Key features of IPv6 addressing: A Comprehensive Guide
Introduction to IPv6
The IPv6 is the abbreviation for the Internet Protocol version 6. The IPv6 is the most updated protocol of network layer which can make the transmission of data possible in packets between two networks. It simply means that one can easily send in and also receive data on the network in packet form. Just for our reference, Ipv6 address are basically categorized into 3 types –
- Unicast : represent a single interface.
- Anycast : represent a set of interfaces, where a packet sent to an anycast address which is a member of the set. Anycast addresses are used for load-balancing.
- Multicast : represents a dynamic group of hosts. In this addressing type, packets are sent to all interfaces that are part of a multicast group
IPv6 protocol was laid down by the IETF– Internet Engineering Task Force well before in time, i.e. 1998, the specification for which is RFC 2460. The extent to which the IPv6 will be able to serve is rightfully considered to be the upcoming generation of the Internet. This protocol has the ability to serve extensively large scale organizations. Back in 2004, Korea and Japan first came up and announced having publicly assigned IPv6. The Internet Protocol Version 6 is the latest protocol version which surpasses and fixes up the limitations of its predecessor internet Protocol Version 4.
Related – IPv4 vs IPv6
Features of IPv6
The key features of IPv6 are:
To let the subsidiary internets of the large organizations be deployed and to ultimately enable the subnetting, IPv6 has been designed to accommodate larger address space. 128-bits can be possible which makes it up to 16-bytes in the IP address which can possibly have combinations over approximately 3.4×1038 addresses.
Due to a larger possibility of more number of addresses available, the need for conserving the address won’t stand necessary.
The header format of version 6 of Internet Protocol is optimized to include the optional and the non-essential fields under the extension headers which come into the sight after the Internet Protocol v 6 header. Both the formats of version 4 and 6 are not directly compatible and for being able to process both, the router must implement both the formats. The version 4 header is twice as small as the version 6 header format.
The version 6 of the Internet Protocol can configure the addresses both in the absence and the presence of a DHCP server (Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol), which simply means that both stateless and stateful address configurations are supported, respectively.
In the absence, the link local address is configured automatically by the hosts with IpPv6 addresses.
This protocol for IPSec needs some support which for fulfilling the security needs of the network provides a solution based on the standards. This will also assist in interoperations of the protocol implementations.
Routing Infrastructure and Hierarchical Address
The routing infrastructure of the version 6 protocol enables hierarchical addressing system which is more efficient. The hierarchy is formed based on the occurrences of the service providers of the internet.
The connectivity of the hosts to the internet has been enhanced more wherein every unique IP address can directly connect to any other host over the internet though being constrained by the policies of the organization or through firewalls with the IPv6.
The communication of neighboring nodes in the version 6 internet protocol is managed by a sequence of Internet Control Messages. This neighbor discovery procedure is the new replacement to the Address Resolution Protocol, ICMPv4 redirecting messages and ICMPv4 router discovery which were based on broadcasting with the more competent Neighbor Discovery messages both for one-to-one communication or multicasted, i.e. one-to-many communication.
Support for QoS
The quality of service is taken care of by the IPSec encryption of packet payload in this Internet protocol version. There are new segments or fields incorporated in the header section of the protocol to be able to recognize and manage the traffic. For being able to recognize the traffic, a header field of Flow Label is added which enables the router to spot and endow it with the respective flow of packets to keep the packets communication between the source or host and the receiver. And for enhancing the quality of service, there is even no problem in the flow of packets even if it is IPSec encrypted.
While the IPv4 can only support up to 40 bytes of address choices or options, for expanding the IPv6 header, the extension headers can be added. The extension header size of IPv6 can be of the size of the IPv6 packet. Simply put, more information can be added in the extension headers.
Related – IPv6 Stateless Autoconfiguration