Lecture 17: Plug-N-Play Networking; IPv6

An example of the DHCP discovery process

The Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol (DHCP) and Network Address Translation (NAT) are two technologies that have transformed home networking, while making enterprise-level networking a much less trivia-prone operation. DHCP allows for networking information to be distributed via a configuration phase to hosts that are just booting up or joining the network. NAT allows for addresses and ports that are internal to a network be very different from the addresses and ports advertised to the external network. Both technologies are very useful to build a plug and play network, but can also be used for a variety of other goals. Knowing about them is vital to the skilled networking engineer.

A second topic will be included in this lecture — IPv6. This new version of IP was developed in the late 1990s, but has not seen widespread adoption. The motivating reason behind the new version is address exhaustion -- IPv6 allows for many, many, many more addresses than IPv4. Along the way, a variety of new features were included that will, for instance, speed up packet processing at the router.

Lesson Objectives

By the end of this lesson, the student will be able to: