Friday, November 4, 2011

IPv6 Subnetting

In this article I will try to explain the basic concepts of IPv6 subnetting.
IPv6 subnetting may seem awkward at first glance but once you get used to the technique, it's really not that hard, actually whoever is familiar with IPv4 subnetting will feel comfortable really soon - just some practice is needed.

A fast refresher before we start:

1)IPv6 address consists of 128 bits total , when the first 64 bits represent the network and the last 64 bit represent represent the host, it's presented in Hexadecimal values.

2) Every character in IPv6 address represents 4 bits.

3) Each IPv6 set (like 2ffe) represent 16 bits  (4 characters ,each one is 4 bits length).

So, as an example let's suppose that our ISP has allocated our small corporation the following range:


Our requirement is to allocate one subnet to each department ,there are 8 departments in total.

Let's get busy:

Since we are required to have 8 subnets we need to understand how many bits are going to represent this subnetting.
In order to understand how many bits we will need, we will have to find which power of 2 will be enough for the needed allocation.

The formula here is very simple:

S=total subnets required
B=number of bits for subnet presentation

2^B >= S

In our case we will get:2^3>=8

That means 3 bits needed for our subnetting, so our new prefix will be /59 (56 that were given +3 subnet representation bits).

 /59 - means that 59 bits will be reserved for the network portion of the IPv6 address.

The subnetting will take place on the 3rd nibble of the 4th set (dd00).

We will represent the 3rd nibble of the 4th set (dd00) as Binaries, since only 3 bits are needed for subnetting - our lowest possible value will be 000 and our highest possible value will be 111, the last (4th) bit of the set stays untouched.

000 0
001 0
010 0
011 0
100 0
101 0
110 0
111 0

Next, we will convert the Binary values to Hexadecimal values, pay attention that we the change accurs on the 3 bits only while the 4th bit stays the same (0):

000 0 =>0
001 0 =>2
010 0 =>4
011 0 =>6
100 0 =>8
101 0 =>a
110 0 =>c
111 0 =>e

Lastly we will write down all the subnets we got ,it will look something like this:


And whoila, we got 8 subnets for each department - just what we wanted to achieve.

You can dissect the adress even more and add more layers of subnetting depending on your needs.

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