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IPv6 protocol features

Updated: January 21, 2005

Applies To: Windows Server 2003, Windows Server 2003 R2, Windows Server 2003 with SP1, Windows Server 2003 with SP2

IPv6 protocol features

The IPv6 protocol for the Microsoft® Windows Server 2003 family includes the following features:

6to4 tunneling

6to4 is a tunneling technique that is described in RFC 3056. 6to4 hosts do not require any manual configuration and create 6to4 addresses by using standard autoconfiguration. 6to4 uses the global address prefix of 2002:WWXX:YYZZ::/48, where WWXX:YYZZ is the colon-hexadecimal representation of a public IPv4 address (w.x.y.z) that is assigned to a site or host. WWXX:YYZZ is the Next Level Aggregator (NLA) portion of a 6to4 address.

6to4 allows IPv6-enabled sites and hosts to communicate by using unicast IPv6 the Internet. IPv6 sites and hosts can use their 6to4 address prefix and the Internet to communicate without obtaining an IPv6 global address prefix from an Internet service provider and connecting to the IPv6 Internet.

For more information, see IPv6 traffic between nodes in different sites across the Internet (6to4).

Intrasite Automatic Tunnel Addressing Protocol

Intrasite Automatic Tunnel Addressing Protocol (ISATAP) is an address assignment and tunneling mechanism for communication between IPv6/IPv4 nodes within an IPv4 site. It is described in the Internet draft titled "Intra-Site Automatic Tunnel Addressing Protocol (ISATAP)" (draft-ietf-ngtrans-isatap-0x.txt). For more information, see IPv6 traffic between nodes on different subnets of an IPv4 internetwork.

Temporary addresses

To provide a level of anonymity when accessing Internet resources, the 64-bit interface identifier of a global IPv6 address is derived by using random numbers to create a temporary global address.

For more information, see IPv6 interface identifiers.

Site prefixes in router advertisements

Published on-link prefixes can be configured with a site prefix length, as described in the Internet draft titled "Site prefixes in Neighbor Discovery" (draft-ietf-ipngwg-site-prefixes-0x.txt). You can use the netsh interface ipv6 add route command to include a site prefix length with the address prefix. For more information, see Netsh commands for Interface IPv6.

When a prefix information option that specifies a site prefix is received, an entry is created in the site prefix table. You can view this table by using the netsh interface ipv6 show siteprefixes command. The site prefix table is used to remove inappropriate site-local addresses from those that are returned by the getaddrinfo() Windows sockets function.

DNS support

Processing for Domain Name System (DNS) IPv6 host records (known as AAAA or quad-A resource records), as defined in RFC 1886, "DNS Extensions to support IP version 6," is supported by the DNS resolver (client) in Microsoft® Windows® XP and the Windows Server 2003 family, and DNS Server service in the Windows Server 2003 family and Windows 2000. All DNS traffic is sent over IPv4 or IPv6.

For more information, see IPv6 Name resolution.

IPSec support

Processing for the Authentication Header (AH) using the Message Digest 5 (MD5) hash, and the Encapsulating Security Payload (ESP) using the NULL ESP header and the MD5 hash, is supported. There is no support for ESP data encryption.

Caution

  • This implementation of IPSec for IPv6 is not recommended for use in a production environment because it relies on static keying and has no provisions for updating keys upon sequence number reuse.

For an example configuration, see Using IPSec between two local link hosts.

Application support

Applications and components that are provided with the Windows Server 2003 family and support the use of IPv6 include:

  • Distributed Component Object Model (DCOM)

  • Distributed File System (DFS)

  • Domain Name System (DNS) server and client

  • File and print sharing

  • File Transfer Protocol (FTP) client

  • Internet Explorer

  • Microsoft .NET Framework

  • Network Monitor

  • Telnet Server and Telnet Client

  • Windows Media Services

  • Windows Sockets

For more information, see IPv6 applications.

RPC support

Remote Procedure Call (RPC) functions, which are used to forward application function calls to a remote system across the network, can be used over IPv6. A typical use for RPC is remote administration.

Static router support

A computer running a member of the Windows Server 2003 family can act as a static IPv6 router that forwards IPv6 packets between interfaces based on the contents of the IPv6 routing table. You can configure static routes with the netsh interface ipv6 add route command. There is currently no support for IPv6 routing protocols.

A computer running a member of the Windows Server 2003 family can send router advertisements. The contents of router advertisements are automatically derived from the published routes in the routing table. Nonpublished routes are used for routing but are not sent in router advertisements. Router advertisements always contain a source link-layer address option and an MTU option. The value for the MTU option is taken from the sending interface's current link MTU. You can change this value with the following Netsh command:

netsh interface ipv6 set interface [interface=]String [[mtu=]Integer]

A computer running a member of the Windows Server 2003 family will only advertise itself as a default router (by using a router advertisement with a router lifetime other than zero) if there is a default route that is configured to be published.

For more information and examples, see Netsh commands for Interface IPv6, IPv6 traffic between nodes on different subnets of an IPv6 internetwork, and IPv6 test lab tasks.

Command-line tool support

The following command-line tools are provided with the Windows Server 2003 family and support the use and configuration of IPv6:

The Netstat command-line tool provided with the Windows Server 2003 family and Windows XP includes support for IPv6-related statistics. There are four categories of statistics:

  1. IPv6 statistics

  2. ICMPv6 statistics

  3. TCP connections over IPv6 statistics

  4. UDP traffic over IPv6 statistics

6over4 tunneling

6over4, also known as IPv4 multicast tunneling, is a tunneling technique that is described in RFC 2529. 6over4 allows IPv6 and IPv4 nodes to communicate by using IPv6 over an IPv4 infrastructure. 6over4 uses the IPv4 infrastructure as a multicast-capable link. In order for 6over4 to work correctly, the IPv4 infrastructure must be IPv4 multicast-enabled.

For more information about configuring a 6over4 interface, see the command add 6over4tunnel in Netsh commands for Interface IPv6.

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