IPv6 RA vs DHCPv6 - The chosen one?

Owen DeLong owen at delong.com
Tue Dec 20 07:31:15 UTC 2011

Different operators will have different preferences in different environments.

Ideally, the IETF should provide complete solutions based on DHCPv6 and
on RA and let the operators decide what they want to use in their environments.


On Dec 19, 2011, at 10:27 PM, Ravi Duggal wrote:

> Hi,
> IPv6 devices (routers and hosts) can obtain configuration information
> about default routers, on-link prefixes and addresses from Router
> Advertisements as defined in   Neighbor Discovery.  I have been told
> that in some deployments, there is a strong desire not to use Router
> Advertisements at all and to perform all configuration via DHCPv6.
> There are thus similar IETF standards to get everything that you can
> get from RAs, by using DHCPv6 instead.
> As a result of this we see new proposals in IETF that try to do
> similar things by either extending RA mechanisms or by introducing new
> options in DHCPv6.
> We thus have draft-droms-dhc-dhcpv6-default-router-00 that extends
> DHCPv6 to do what RA does. And now, we have
> draft-bcd-6man-ntp-server-ra-opt-00.txt that extends RA to advertise
> the NTP information that is currently done via DHCPv6.
> My question is, that which then is the more preferred option for the
> operators? Do they prefer extending RA so that the new information
> loaded on top of the RA messages gets known in the single shot when
> routers do neighbor discovery. Or do they prefer all the extra
> information to be learnt via DHCPv6? What are the pros and cons in
> each approach and when would people favor one over the other?
> I can see some advantages with the loading information to RA since
> then one is not dependent on the DHCPv6 server. However, the latter
> provides its own benefits.
> Regards,
> Ravi D.

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