Chapter 15. Getting Acquainted with IPv6

15.0. Introduction

IPv6 has far more to recommend it than merely providing a vastly larger pool of IP addresses. Here are some handy bullet-pointed highlights:

  • Network autoconfiguration (say goodbye to DHCP)

  • No more private address collisions

  • Better multicast routing

  • The newfangled anycast routing

  • Network Address Translation (NAT) becomes an option, rather than a necessity

  • Simplified, more efficient routing and smaller routing tables

  • Genuine quality of service (QoS)

  • Good-quality streaming media delivery

In short, it promises to make the life of the network administrator significantly easier, and to make a whole new generation of high-quality on-demand streaming audio and video services a reality.

In this chapter, you’ll learn the basics of using IPv6: network addressing, autoconfiguration, network interface configuration, ad-hoc IPv6 LANs, and how to calculate IPv6 addresses without needing hundreds of fingers to count on.

IPv6 adoption is proceeding slowly in the U.S., but it is inevitable. It doesn’t cost anything but a bit of time to get acquainted with it in your test lab. Linux has supported IPv6 since the later 2.1.x kernels, and most of the important Linux networking utilities now support IPv6.

Most of the pieces are in place: most networking hardware (e.g., switches, interfaces, routers) supports IPv6 now. Cameras, cell phones, PDAs, and all manner of devices now support IPv6. Growing numbers of Internet service providers offer native IPv6, and ...

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