DHCP For IP Version 6 (DHCPv6)
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DHCP is currently the standard host configuration protocol for the TCP/IP protocol suite. TCP/IP is built upon version 4 of the Internet Protocol, also known sometimes as IPv4. However, development work has been underway since the early 1990s on a successor to IPv4: version 6 of the Internet Protocol, or IPv6. This new IP standard will be the future of TCP/IP; it is described in detail in its own section of this Guide.
While most of the changes that IPv6 brings impact technologies at the lower layers of the TCP/IP architectural model, the significance of the modifications means that many other TCP/IP protocols are also affected. This is particularly true of protocols that work with addresses or configuration information, including DHCP. For this reason, a new version of DHCP is required for IPv6. Development has been underway for quite some time on DHCP For IPv6, also sometimes called DHCPv6. At the time that I write this topic, DHCPv6 has not yet been formally publishedit is still an Internet draft under discussion. I will provide a summary of the protocol here, and may expand this into a larger section later.
One of the many enhancements introduced in IPv6 is an overall strategy for easier administration of IP devices, including host configuration. There are two basic methods defined for autoconfiguration of IPv6 hosts:
Which of these methods is used depends on the characteristics of the network. Stateless autoconfiguration is described in RFC 2462, and discussed in a separate topic in the IPv6 section. Stateful autoconfiguration for IPv6 is provided by DHCPv6. As with regular DHCP, DHCPv6 may be used to obtain an IP address and other configuration parameters, or just to get configuration parameters when the client already has an IP address.
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