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What you need to know about IPv6

04 Jun 2015

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IPv6 under the hood

Here is just a brief overview of some of the IPv6 functionality.

Neighbour Discovery

Neighbour Discovery solves a set of problems related to the interaction between nodes attached to the same link. Five different ICMPv6 packet types are defined. The messages serve the following purposes:

Router solicitation: Hosts send out messages that request routers to generate router advertisements.

Router advertisement: Routers advertise their presence together with various link and Internet parameters either periodically or in response to a router solicitation message. Router advertisements contain prefixes that are used for onlink determination and/or address configuration, a suggested hop limit value and so forth.

Neighbour solicitation: Sent by a node to determine the link-layer address of a neighbour or to verify that a neighbour is still reachable via a cached link-layer address.

Neighbour advertisement: A response to a neighbour solicitation message. A node may also send unsolicited neighbour advertisements to announce a link-layer address change.

Redirect: Used by routers to inform hosts of a better first hop for a destination.

Stateless Address Autoconfiguration

Stateless address autoconfiguration is a new feature of IPv6 beneficial to network administrators, because it requires no manual configuration of hosts, minimal (if any) configuration of routers, and no additional servers. The stateless mechanism allows a host to generate its own addresses using a combination of locally available information and information advertised by routers and verifies that each generated address is unique on the link.

Stateless address autoconfiguration should greatly decrease the costs of administering an enterprise network. Also, the task of renumbering networks will be simplified since IPv6 can assign new addresses and gracefully time out existing addresses without manual reconfiguration or DHCP.

Duplicate address detection

To ensure that all configured addresses are unique on a given link, nodes perform duplicate address detection on addresses before assigning them to an interface.

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