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Notes for Lecture-17

MCA 206: Advanced Computer Networks

1. Autoconfiguration

Autoconfiguration is the ability of an IPv6 node to start up and dynamically attain its node and
network addresses. There are two types of auto configuration:

Stateful: Some external device assists the node at startup to determine its network address
(prefix), node address, and perhaps some router addresses. A consideration of this is for DHCP
to enable the configuring of an initializing node.

Stateless. This means that the node will configure itself and find its resources on the network
through the use of multicast addresses. This allows the node to start up and send out request
messages to which other nodes will respond. The node can then determine its network address
and prefix and node address based on these responses. IPv6 nodes start this behavior by joining
the all-nodes multicast group upon startup. This is accomplished by initializing the interface to
the allnodes multicast address of FF02::1. These nodes can solicit information from routers using
the all-routers multicast address of FF02::2 as the destination and their own link local addresses
as the source.
Stateless autoconfiguration has its advantages in that it is really automatic and very simple to
use. However, this type of configuration is vulnerable to hackers who could simply place their
network station on the subnet and immediately gain access to the resources on that subnet.
Stateful autoconfiguration was developed to combat such a threat.

2. Neighbor Discovery

Neighbor Discovery is presented in RFC 1970. Although it uses ICMP, do not expect to find its
listing in ICMPv6 RFC (RFC 1885). The Address Resolution Protocol is not used with IPv6. It is
part of the Neighbor Discovery protocol. Nodes (hosts and routers) use Neighbor Discovery to
determine the link-layer addresses for neighbors known to reside on attached links and to quickly
purge cached values that become invalid. Hosts also use Neighbor Discovery to find neighboring
routers that are willing to forward packets on their behalf.

2.1 Neighbor Discovery Types

This protocol solves a set of problems related to the interaction between nodes attached to the
same link. It defines mechanisms for solving each of the following problems:
Router Discovery. This protocol allows hosts to locate and identify routers on their local link.
Prefix Discovery. How hosts discover the set of address prefixes that define which destinations
are on-link for an attached link. (Nodes use prefixes to distinguish destinations that reside on-
link from those only reachable through a router.)
Parameter Discovery. How a node learns such link parameters as the link MTU or such Internet
parameters as the hop-limit value to place in outgoing packets.
Address Autoconfiguration. How nodes automatically configure an address for an interface.
Address Resolution. How nodes determine the link-layer address of an on-link destination (e.g.,
a neighbor) given only the destination’s IP address.
Next-Hop Determination. The algorithm for mapping an IP destination address into the IP
address of the neighbor to which traffic for the destination should be sent. The next-hop can be a
router or the destination itself.
Neighbor Unreachability Detection. How nodes determine that a neighbor is no longer
reachable. For neighbors used as routers, alternate default routers can be tried. For both routers
and hosts, address resolution can be performed again.
Duplicate Address Detection. How a node determines that an address it wishes to use is not
already in use by another node.
Redirect. How a router informs a host of a better first-hop node to reach a particular destination.

2.2 Neighbor Discovery and IPv4

1. IPv6 Neighbor Discovery combines IPv4 protocols of ARP, ICMP Router Discovery, and
ICMP Redirect.
2. IPv4 has no agreed-upon method for Dead Gateway Detection and Neighbor
Unreachability detection.
3. IPv6 assumes a redirect next hop is on-link—on the same link that it resides.
4. IPv6 detects half link failures (neighbors that are suspect or that have gone away).
5. IPv6 Router advertisements do not contain a Preference field.
6. Using link-local addresses to identify routers means that this relationship is maintained
even if the provider addresses changes.
7. Address resolution is accomplished at the ICMP layer.