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IPv6 ND General Operational Overview: ND Functions, Functional Groups and Message Types
(Page 2 of 3)
Host-Router Discovery Functions
One of the two main groups of functions
in ND are those that facilitate the discovery of local routers and the
exchange of information between them and hosts. This includes four specific
Host-Host Communication Functions
- Router Discovery: This is the core function
of this group: the method by which hosts locate routers on their local
- Prefix Discovery: Closely related to the
process of router discovery is prefix discovery. Recall that the
term prefix refers to the network portion of an IP address.
Hosts use this function to determine what network they are on, which
in turn tells them how to differentiate between local and distant destinations
and whether to attempt direct or indirect delivery of datagrams.
- Parameter Discovery: Also closely related
to router discovery, this is the method by which a host learns important
parameters about the local network and/or routers, such as the maximum
transmission unit of the local link.
- Address Autoconfiguration: Hosts in IPv6
are designed to be able to automatically
configure themselves, but this requires
information that is normally provided by a router.
The other main group of functions
is that associated with information determination and communication
directly between nodes, usually hosts. Some of these functions can be
performed between hosts and routers, but this group is not specifically
related to router discovery; it includes:
- Address Resolution: The process by which
a device determines the layer two address of another device on the local
network from that device's layer three (IP) address. This is the job
performed by ARP
in IP version 4.
- Next-Hop Determination: The method for
looking at an IP datagram's destination address and determining where
it should next be sent.
- Neighbor Unreachability Detection: The
process of determining whether or not a neighbor device can be directly
- Duplicate Address Detection: Determining
if an address that a device wishes to use already exists on the network.
The last functional group contains
just one function: Redirect. The technique whereby a router informs
a host of a better next-hop node to use for a particular destination.
Key Concept: The Neighbor Discovery protocol encompasses nine individual functions, many of which are related to each other. They are organized into three functional groups: host-router discovery functions, host-host communication functions, and the redirect function.
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Version 3.0 - Version Date: September 20, 2005
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