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STUDENT Majed Jemmieh Mjemmieh@hotmail.com
DR. Shihap Ghaya
DATE 24/ April/2008
The current version of the Internet Protocol (known as IP version 4 or IPv4) has not been substantially changed since RFC 791 was published in 1981. IPv4 has proven to be robust, easily implemented and interoperable, and has stood the test of scaling an internetwork to a global utility the size of today's Internet. This is a tribute to its initial design. However, the initial design did not anticipate: The recent exponential growth of the Internet and the impend ing exhaustion of the IPv4 address space. The growth of the Internet and the ability of Internet backbone routers to maintain large routing tables. The need for simpler configuration. The requirement for security at the IP level. The need for better support for real-time delivery of data (also known as quality of service). To address these concerns, the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) has developed a suite of protocols and standards known as IP version 6 (IPv6). This new version, previously n amed IP-The Next Generation (IPng), incorporates the concepts of many proposed methods for updating the IPv4 protocol. IPv6 is intentionally designed for minimal impact on upper and lower layer protocols by avoiding the arbitrary addition of new features.
IPv6 Features :
New header format Large address space Efficient and hierarchical addressing and routing infrastructure Stateless and stateful address configuration Built-in security Better support for prioritized delivery New protocol for neighboring node interaction Extensibility
Differences Between IPv4 and IPv6 :
Fig 1 highlights some of the key differences between IPv4 and IPv6.
IPv4 Source and destination addresses are 32 bits (4 bytes) in length. Header includes a checksum. Header includes options.
IPv6 Source and destination addresses are 128 bits (16 bytes) in length. For more information, see “IPv6 Addressing.” Header does not include a checksum. For more information, see “IPv6 Header.” All optional data is moved to IPv6 extension headers. For more information, see “IPv6 Header.” ARP Request frames are replaced with multicast Neighbor Solicitation messages. For more information, see “Neighbor Discovery.” IGMP is replaced with Multicast Listener Discovery (MLD) messages. For more information, see “Multicast Listener Discovery.” ICMP Router Discovery is replaced with ICMPv6 Router Solicitation and Router Advertisement messages and is required. For more information, see “Neighbor Discovery.” There are no IPv6 broadcast addresses. Instead, a link-local scope all-nodes multicast address is used. For more information, see “Multicast IPv6 Addresses.” Uses host address (AAAA) resource records in the Domain Name System (DNS) to map host names to IPv6 addresses. For more information, see “IPv6 and DNS.” Uses pointer (PTR) resource records in the IP6.ARPA DNS domain to map IPv6 addresses to host names. For more information, see “IPv6 and DNS.” Must support a 1280-byte packet size (without fragmentation). For more information, see “IPv6 MTU.”
Address Resolution Protocol (ARP) uses broadcast ARP Request frames to resolve an IPv4 address to a link layer address. Internet Group Management Protocol (IGMP) is used to manage local subnet group membership. ICMP Router Discovery is used to determine the IPv4 address of the best default gateway and is optional.
Broadcast addresses are used to send traffic to all nodes on a subnet.
Uses host address (A) resource records in the Domain Name System (DNS) to map host names to IPv4 addresses. Uses pointer (PTR) resource records in the IN-ADDR.ARPA DNS domain to map IPv4 addresses to host names. Must support a 576-byte packet size (possibly fragmented).
Differences between IPv4 and IPv6
The IPv6 header is a streamlined version of the IPv4 header. It eliminates fields that are unneeded or rarely used and adds fields that provide better support for real-time traffic.
Structure of an IPv6 Packet
Fig 2 shows the structure of an IPv6 packet.
Fig. 2 the structure of an IPv6 packet
The IPv6 header is always present and is a fixed size of 40 bytes.
IPv6 is using two distinct types of headers: Main/Regular IPv6 Header and IPv6 Extension Headers. The main IPv6 header is equivalent to the basic IPv4 one despite some field differences. The IPv4 and IPv6 main headers are shown in Fig 3.
Fig3. IPv4 and IPv6 Headers
The fields in the main IPv6 header are:
Version – 4 bits are used to indicate the version of IP and is set to 6. Traffic Class – Like the IPv4 Type of Service field, specifies a DSCP values and flags for ECN. The size of this field is 8 bits. Flow Label – Indicates that this packet belongs to a specific sequence of packets between a source and destination, requiring special handling by intermediate IPv6 routers. The size of this field is 20 bits. The Flow Label is used for non-default quality of service connections, such as those needed by real-time data (voice and video). For default router handling, the Flow Label is set to 0. There can be multiple flows between a source and destination, as distinguished by separate nonzero Flow Labels. The use of the Flow Label field is defined in RFC 3697. Payload Length – Indicates the length of the IPv6 payload. The size of this field is 16 bits. The Payload Length field includes the extension headers and the upper layer PDU. With 16 bits, an IPv6 payload of up to 65,535 bytes can be indicated. For payload lengths greater than 65,535 bytes, the Payload Length field is set to 0 and the Jumbo Payload option is used in the Hop-byHop Options extension header. Next Header – Indicates either the first extension header (if present) or the protocol in the upper layer PDU (such as TCP, UDP, or ICMPv6). The size of this field is 8 bits. When indicating an upper layer protocol above the Internet layer, the same values used in the IPv4 Protocol field are used here. Hop Limit – Indicates the maximum number of links over which the IPv6 packet can travel before being discarded. The size of this field is 8 bits. The Hop Limit is similar to the IPv4 TTL field except that there is no historical relation to the amount of time (in seconds) that the packet is queued at the router. When the Hop Limit equals 0, an ICMPv6 Time Exceeded message is sent to the source address and the packet is discarded. Source Address – Stores the IPv6 address of the originating host. The size of this field is 128 bits. Destination Address – Stores the IPv6 address of the current destination host. The size of this field is 128 bits. In most cases the Destination Address is set to the final destination address. However, if a Routing extension header is present, the Destination Address might be set to the next router interface in the source route list.
IPv6 Extension Headers:
The IPv4 header includes all options. Therefore, each intermediate router must check for their existence and process them when present. This can cause performance degradation in the forwarding of IPv4 packets. With IPv6, delivery and forwarding options are moved to extension headers. The only extension header that must be processed at each intermediate router is the Hop-by-Hop Options extension header. This increases IPv6 header processing speed and improves forwarding process performance.
RFC 2460 defines the following IPv6 extension headers that must be supported by all IPv6 nodes:
Hop-by-Hop Options header Destination Options header Routing header Fragment header Authentication header Encapsulating Security Payload header
In a typical IPv6 packet, no extension headers are present. If special handling is required by either the intermediate routers or the destination, one or more extension headers are added by the sending host. Each extension header must fall on a 64-bit (8-byte) boundary. Extension headers of variable size contain a Header Extension Length field and must use padding as needed to ensure that their size is a multiple of 8 bytes. Fig 4 shows the Next Header field in the IPv6 header and zero or more extension headers that form a chain of pointers. Each pointer indicates the type of header that comes after the immediate header until the upper layer protocol is ultimately identified.
Fig 4. Chaining Extension Headers in IPv6 Packets
RFC2460 defines the extension headers as shown in the following table along Fig 5 :
Extension Headers Hop-by-Hop Options Routing Fragment Authentication Encrypted Security Payload Destination Options
Description Miscellaneous information for routers Full or partial route to follow Management of datagram fragment Verification of the ender's identity Information about the encrypted content Additional information for the destination
Fig. 5. IPv6 Extension Headers
Fig 6 shows an extension header for datagram's exceeding 64k ( Jumbograms ),for supercomputer.
Jumbo payload length
Fig. 6. The hop-by-hop extension header for larger datagram's (
Fig. 7 The extension header for routing Next header 0 Number addresses Bit map Jumbo payload length
Fig. 7 The extension header for routing
Extension headers are an intri sic building block of IPv6. t is critically n I important to understand their role and mode of use as well as the processing requirements they h ave on various network devices. Deployed IPv6 networks must be capable to handle IPv6 traffic containing extension headers. They must orward such IPv6 traffic at op f timal, production level performance in the presence of adv anced features such as Access Lists. In IPv6 ,unlike in IPv , only the source host can fragment a 4 packet . If a router is confronted with a packet that I too large , it discards the packet and sends an ICMP packet back to the source , so the source fragments the packet and tries again .
1. http://www.cisco.com/en/US/products/sw/iosswrel/ps1829/products_feature_guid e09186a00801d4a94.html 2.
Windows Server® 2008
Introduction to IP Version 6, Published: September 2003 , Updated: January 2008 http://technet2.microsoft.com/WindowsServer/mnp_utility.mspx
3. RFC2460 “Internet Protocol, Version 6 (IPv6) Specification” S. Deering and R. Hinden, December 1998. 4. Supplement Computer Network ( Telecommunication ) .
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