GE ML2400 Switch User Manual

5.5 IPv6
This section explains how to access the GE MultiLink switches using IPv6 instead of IPv4
addressing. IPv6 provides a much larger address space and its use is often required.
It is assumed here that the user is familiar with IP addressing schemes and has other
supplemental material on IPv6, configuration, routing, setup and other items related to
IPv6. This user guide does not discuss these details.
5.5.1 Introduction to IPv6
IPv6 is short for "Internet Protocol Version 6". IPv6 is the "next generation" protocol or IPng
and was recommended to the IETF to replace the current version Internet Protocol, IP
Version 4 ("IPv4"). IPv6 was recommended by the IPv6 (or IPng) Area Directors of the
Internet Engineering Task Force at the Toronto IETF meeting on July 25, 1994 in RFC 1752:
The Recommendation for the IP Next Generation Protocol. The recommendation in
question, was approved by the Internet Engineering Steering Group and a proposed
standard was created on November 17, 1994. The core set of IPv6 protocols was created
as an IETF draft standard on August 10, 1998.
IPv6 is a new version of IP, designed to be an evolutionary step from IPv4. It is a natural
increment to IPv4. It can be installed as a normal software upgrade in internet devices and
is interoperable with the current IPv4. Its deployment strategy is designed to have no
dependencies. IPv6 is designed to run well on high performance networks (e.g. Gigabit
Ethernet, OC-12, ATM, etc.) and at the same time still be efficient on low bandwidth
networks (e.g. wireless). In addition, it provides a platform for the new level of internet
functionality that will be required in the near future.
IPv6 includes a transition mechanism designed to allow users to adopt and deploy it in a
highly diffuse fashion, and to provide direct interoperability between IPv4 and IPv6 hosts.
The transition to a new version of the Internet Protocol is normally incremental, with few or
no critical interdependencies. Most of today's internet uses IPv4, which is now nearly
twenty years old. IPv4 has been remarkably resilient in spite of its age, but it is beginning
to have problems. Most importantly, there is a growing shortage of IPv4 addresses, which
are needed by all new machines added to the Internet.
IPv6 fixes a number of problems in IPv4, such as the limited number of available IPv4
addresses. It also adds many improvements to IPv4 in areas such as routing and network
auto configuration. IPv6 is expected to gradually replace IPv4, with the two coexisting for a
number of years during the transition period.
5.5.2 What’s changed in IPV6?
The changes from IPv4 to IPv6 fall primarily into the following categories:
Expanded Routing and Addressing Capabilities – IPv6 increases the IP address size
from 32 bits to 128 bits, to support more levels of addressing hierarchy, a much
greater number of addressable nodes, and simpler auto-configuration of