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IPv6 Learning Roadmap

Published: October 7, 2010

Updated: March 30, 2011

Applies To: Windows 7, Windows Server 2008, Windows Server 2008 R2, Windows Vista

Support for Internet Protocol version 6 (IPv6), the new suite of standard protocols for the Network layer of the TCP/IP protocol suite, is built into the latest versions of Microsoft Windows, which include Windows 7, Windows Server 2008 R2, Windows Vista, and Windows Server 2008.

IPv6 is designed to solve many of the problems of the current version of IP (known as IPv4) such as address depletion, security, autoconfiguration, and extensibility. Its use will also expand the capabilities of the Internet and enable a variety of valuable and exciting scenarios, including peer-to-peer and mobile applications.

If you are new to IPv6, this topic can help you identify what you need to learn to fully understand IPv6, from addressing to protocol and process details to application development. It includes prerequisite topics that cover a variety of TCP/IP fundamentals. You must understand the prerequisite topics first, because IPv6 builds upon them and assumes an understanding of them. Afterwards, you can begin learning about IPv6 through the resources in the Level 100 (introductory), 200 (intermediate), and 300 (advanced) sections.

We recommend that you read the topics in the order listed.

Prerequisites

This section contains links to a variety of resources for the background information you need to fully understand IPv6.

  • Step 1: Learn about TCP/IP architecture.

    See Chapter 2 – Architectural Overview of the TCP/IP Protocol Suite (http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?linkid=153192) of TCP/IP Fundamentals for Windows.

    Your goal is to understand the basics of the layered TCP/IP stack architecture for IPv4 and the key protocols in the TCP/IP suite including Internet Protocol version 4 (IPv4), Internet Control Message Protocol (ICMP), Transmission Control Protocol (TCP), and User Datagram Protocol (UDP).

  • Step 2: Learn about IPv4 addresses.

    See the “IPv4 Addressing” section of Chapter 3 – IP Addressing (http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?linkid=153193) of TCP/IP Fundamentals for Windows.

    Your goal is to understand the size and syntax of IPv4 addresses, the different types of addresses, and how to express ranges of addresses.

  • Step 3: Learn about IPv4 forwarding and routing.

    See the “IPv4 Routing” section of Chapter 5 – IP Routing (http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?linkid=153197) and the “End-to-End IPv4 Delivery Process” and “Step-by-Step IPv4 Traffic Example” sections of Chapter 10 - TCP/IP End-to-End Delivery (http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?linkid=153198) of TCP/IP Fundamentals for Windows.

    Your goal is to understand how IPv4 uses routing tables to send or forward packets and the details of the IPv4 end-to-end delivery processes.

  • Step 4: Learn about the Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol (DHCP).

    See Chapter 6 – Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol (http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkId=203303) of TCP/IP Fundamentals for Windows.

    Your goal is to understand the role of DHCP clients, servers, and relay agents and how DHCP automatically assigns IPv4 addresses and other configuration settings.

  • Step 5: Learn about host name resolution and the Domain Name System (DNS).

    See Chapter 7 - Host Name Resolution (http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkId=203304) and Chapter 8 - Domain Name System Overview (http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkId=203305) of TCP/IP Fundamentals for Windows.

    Your goal is to understand how Windows-based computers resolve names and how DNS clients and servers work to resolve fully qualified domain names (FQDNs).

  • Step 6: Learn how to troubleshoot IPv4.

    See Chapter 16 – Troubleshooting TCP/IP (http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkId=109262) of TCP/IP Fundamentals for Windows.

    Your goal is to understand the different tools in Windows to troubleshoot IPv4-based problems and the methodology for troubleshooting IPv4-based connectivity, name resolution, and TCP connections.

Level 100

The following resources contain introductory information about IPv6 in Microsoft Windows.

  • Step 1: Learn about the history and objectives of IPv6 support in Windows.

    See Microsoft's Objectives for IP Version 6 (http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkId=71542).

    Your goal is to understand how the support for IPv6 in Windows has evolved and which versions of Windows are most suitable for an IPv6 deployment.

  • Step 2: Learn the benefits of IPv6.

    See Development and Deployment of IPv6: Good for Internet, Technology (http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkId=168083) and Chapter 1 – Introduction to IPv6 of the Understanding IPv6, Third Edition Microsoft Press book.

    Your goal is to understand the technical limitations of IPv4 and how IPv6 addresses them and provides business value.

Level 200

The following resources contain intermediate information about IPv6 in Microsoft Windows.

  • Step 1: Learn about IPv6 in TCP/IP architecture.

    See the “IPv6 Internet Layer” section of Chapter 2 – Architectural Overview of the TCP/IP Protocol Suite (http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?linkid=153192) of TCP/IP Fundamentals for Windows.

    Your goal is to understand the role of the IPv6 protocols in the TCP/IP stack architecture, including IPv6, ICMP for IPv6 (ICMPv6), and Multicast Listener Discovery (MLD).

  • Step 2: Learn about IPv6 addresses.

    See the “IPv6 Addressing” and “Comparing IPv4 and IPv6 Addressing” sections of Chapter 3 – IP Addressing (http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?linkid=153193) of TCP/IP Fundamentals for Windows and Chapter 3 – IPv6 Addressing of the Understanding IPv6, Third Edition Microsoft Press book.

    Your goal is to understand the size and syntax of IPv6 addresses, the different types of addresses, and how to express ranges of addresses.

  • Step 3: Learn about IPv6 forwarding and routing.

    See the “IPv6 Routing” section of Chapter 5 – IP Routing (http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?linkid=153197), the “End-to-End IPv6 Delivery Process” and “Step-by-Step IPv6 Traffic Example” sections of Chapter 10 - TCP/IP End-to-End Delivery (http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?linkid=153198) of TCP/IP Fundamentals for Windows, and Chapter 10 – IPv6 Routing of the Understanding IPv6, Third Edition Microsoft Press book.

    Your goal is to understand how IPv6 uses routing tables to send or forward packets and the details of the IPv6 end-to-end delivery processes.

  • Step 4: Learn about IPv6 address autoconfiguration and DHCPv6.

    See Chapter 8 – Address Autoconfiguration of the Understanding IPv6, Third Edition Microsoft Press book.

    Your goal is to understand how IPv6 address autoconfiguration works for stateless address autoconfiguration and how DHCPv6 can be used for stateful and stateless address autoconfiguration.

  • Step 5: Learn about name resolution support for IPv6.

    See Chapter 9 – IPv6 and Name Resolution of the Understanding IPv6, Third Edition Microsoft Press book.

    Your goal is to understand how IPv6 on Windows-based computers resolves names using DNS and Link-Local Multicast Name Resolution (LLMNR).

  • Step 6: Learn about the support for IPv6 in Windows.

    See Chapter 2 – IPv6 Protocol for Windows Server 2008 and Windows Vista of the Understanding IPv6, Third Edition Microsoft Press book and Support for IPv6 in Windows Server 2008 R2 and Windows 7 (http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkId=203306).

    Your goal is to understand IPv6 architecture, features, application programming interfaces, and configuration for computers running Windows 7, Windows Server 2008 R2, Windows Vista, or Windows Server 2008.

  • Step 7: Learn about IPv6 transition technologies.

    See Chapter 15 – IPv6 Transition Technologies (http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?linkid=153199) of TCP/IP Fundamentals for Windows and Chapter 11 – IPv6 Transition Technologies, Chapter 12 – ISATAP, Chapter 13 – 6to4, and Chapter 14 – Teredo of the Understanding IPv6, Third Edition Microsoft Press book.

    Your goal is to understand how the Intra-Site Automatic Tunnel Addressing Protocol (ISATAP), 6to4, and Teredo IPv6 transition technologies work.

  • Step 8: Demonstrate IPv6 connectivity in a test lab.

    See the Test Lab Guide: Demonstrate IPv6 (http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkId=211788).

    Your goal is to understand the default IPv6 behaviors of Windows-based computers and how to configure and use ISATAP and native IPv6-based connectivity in a simplified test lab environment.

Level 300

The following resources contain advanced information about IPv6 in Microsoft Windows.

  • Step 1: Learn about IPv6 security considerations.

    See IPv6 Security Considerations and Recommendations (http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkId=203307).

    Your goal is to understand the security aspects and recommendations of IPv6 for address autoconfiguration, traffic protection, and the exchange of traffic with the Internet.

  • Step 2: Learn how to troubleshoot IPv6 connectivity.

    See the “Troubleshooting IPv6” section of Chapter 16 – Troubleshooting TCP/IP (http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkId=109262) of TCP/IP Fundamentals for Windows.

    Your goal is to understand the methodology for troubleshooting IPv6-based connectivity, name resolution, and TCP connections.

  • Step 3: Learn the details of IPv6 protocols for protocol analysis.

    See Chapter 4 – The IPv6 Header, Chapter 5 – ICMPv6, Chapter 6 – Neighbor Discovery, and Chapter 7 – Multicast Listener Discovery and MLD Version 2 of the Understanding IPv6, Third Edition Microsoft Press book.

    Your goal is to understand the details of IPv6 protocols in the IPv6 Internet layer and the structure of IPv6 packets to perform protocol analysis with a network sniffer, such as Microsoft Network Monitor (http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkId=88370).

  • Step 4: Learn how to modify your applications to be IPv6-capable.

    See the IPv6 Guide for Windows Sockets Applications (http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkId=203308).

    Your goal is to understand the issues and the areas of development most affected when adding IPv6 capability to an application.

Additional Resources

IPv6 TechNet web page (http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkId=71543)

To share your suggestions for resources to help others learn about IPv6, see Community Suggestions for Ramping up on IPv6 (http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkId=214818).

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