Table of Contents
The Phase 2—Infrastructure IPv6 Support in WLC Release 8.0 and Later section of this document provides information about the Infrastructure support for IPv6 protocols in the Unified controllers in Release 8.0.
The IPv6 feature set within the Cisco Unified Wireless Network software release version 7.2 allows the wireless network to support IPv4, Dual-Stack, and IPv6-only clients on the same wireless network. The overall goal for the addition of IPv6 client support to the Cisco Unified Wireless LAN is to maintain feature parity between IPv4 and IPv6 clients including mobility, security, guest access, quality of service, and endpoint visibility.
Up to eight IPv6 client addresses can be tracked per client. This allows IPv6 clients to have a link-local, SLAAC address, DHCPv6 address, and even addresses in alternative prefixes to be on a single interface. Work Group Bridge (WGB) clients connected to the uplink of an Autonomous Access Point in WGB mode can also support IPv6.
- Wireless controllers 2500 series, 5500 series, WiSM2, 7500 series, 8500 series, and vWLC
- Cisco AP 1040, 1130 (feature parity with release 7.6; release 8.0 features are not supported), 1140, 1240 (feature parity with release 7.6; release 8.0 features are not supported), 1250, 1260, 1600, 2600, 2700, 3500, 3500p, 3600, 3700, Cisco 600 Series OfficeExtend Access Points, AP 702, AP 702W, AP 801, and AP 802
- Cisco Aironet 1530 series outdoor 802.11n mesh access points, Cisco Aironet 1550 (1552) series outdoor 802.11n mesh access points, Cisco Aironet 1520 (1522, 1524) series outdoor mesh access points
To enable wireless IPv6 client connectivity, the underlying wired network must support IPv6 routing and an address assignment mechanism such as SLAAC or DHCPv6. The wireless LAN controller must have L2 adjacency to the IPv6 router, and the VLAN must be tagged when entering the controller interfaces. Prior to Release 8.0, APs did not require connectivity to an IPv6 network, as all traffic is encapsulated inside the IPv4 CAPWAP tunnel between the AP and the controller.
The most common method for IPv6 client address assignment is Stateless Address Auto Configuration (SLAAC). SLAAC provides simple plug and play connectivity where clients self-assign an address based on the IPv6 prefix. This process is achieved by the IPv6 router sending out periodic Router Advertisement messages which inform the client of the IPv6 prefix in use (the first 64 bits) and of the IPv6 default gateway. From that point, clients can generate the remaining 64 bits of their IPv6 address based on either the MAC address of the adapter or randomly. Duplicate address detection is performed by IPv6 clients to ensure random addresses that are picked do not collide with other clients. The address of the router sending advertisements is used as the default gateway for the client.
The DHCPv6 Stateless mode is used to provide clients with additional network information not available in the router advertisement. This information can include the DNS domain name, DNS server(s), and other vendor-specific options. The following interface configuration example is for an IPv6 router implementing stateless DHCPv6 with SLAAC enabled:
The DHCPv6 Stateful mode operates similar to DHCPv4, that is, it assigns addresses to each client instead of the client generating the address as in SLAAC. The following interface configuration is for an IPv6 router implementing stateful DHCPv6 with SLAAC turned off:
In order to deal with roaming IPv6 clients across controllers, the ICMPv6 messages such as NS, NA, RA, and RS must be dealt with specially to ensure that a client remains on the same Layer 3 network. The configuration for IPv6 mobility is the same as for IPv4 mobility and requires no separate software on the client side to achieve seamless roaming. The only required configuration is the controllers must be part of the same mobility group/domain.
1. If both controllers have access to the same VLAN the client was originally on, the roam is simply a Layer 2 roaming event where the client record is copied to the new controller and no traffic is tunneled back to the anchor controller.
2. If the second controller does not have access to the original VLAN the client was on, a Layer 3 roaming event will occur, meaning all traffic from the client must be tunneled via the mobility tunnel (Ethernet over IP) to the anchor controller. In a mixed deployment with Release 7.x and 8.x, Ethernet over IP is used. In pure 8.0 deployments, we support CAPWAP tunnel for IPv6 mobility tunnel.
a. To ensure that the client retains its original IPv6 address, the Router Advertisements from the original VLAN are sent by the anchor controller to the foreign controller where they are delivered to the client using L2 Unicast from the AP.
b. When the roamed client goes to renew its address via DHCPv6 or generate a new address via SLAAC, the Router Solicitation, Neighbor Advertisement, and Neighbor Solicitation packets continue to be tunneled to the original VLAN so that the client receives an IPv6 address that is applicable to that VLAN.
The interface groups feature allows an organization to have a single WLAN with multiple VLANs configured on the controller to permit load balancing of wireless clients across these VLANs. This feature is commonly used to keep IPv4 subnet sizes small while enabling a WLAN to scale to thousands of users across multiple VLANs in the group. To support IPv6 clients with interface groups, no additional configuration is required as the system automatically sends the correct router advertisement to the correct clients via L2 wireless unicast. By unicasting the router advertisement, clients on the same WLAN, but a different VLAN, do not receive the incorrect RA.
The RA Guard feature increases the security of the IPv6 network by dropping router advertisements coming from wireless clients. Without this feature, misconfigured or malicious IPv6 clients could announce themselves as a router for the network, often with a high priority, which could take precedence over legitimate IPv6 routers.
By default, RA guard is enabled at the AP (but can be disabled) and is always enabled on the controller. Dropping RAs at the AP is preferred as it is a more scalable solution and provides enhanced per-client RA drop counters. In all cases, the IPv6 RA is dropped at some point, protecting other wireless clients and upstream wired network from malicious or misconfigured IPv6 clients.
The DHCPv6 Server guard feature prevents wireless clients from handing out IPv6 addresses to other wireless clients or wired clients upstream. To prevent DHCPv6 addresses from being handed out, all DHCPv6 advertise packets from wireless clients are dropped. This feature operates on the controller, requires no configuration and is enabled automatically.
In order to restrict access to certain upstream wired resources or block certain applications, IPv6 Access Control lists can be used to identify traffic and permit or deny it. IPv6 Access Lists support the same options as IPv4 Access Lists including source, destination, source port, and destination port (port ranges are also supported). The wireless controller supports up to 64 unique IPv6 ACLs each with 64 unique rules in each. The wireless controller continues to support an additional 64 unique IPv4 ACLs with 64 unique rules in each for a total of 128 ACLs for a dual-stack client.
In order to support centralized access control through a centralized AAA server such as Cisco’s Identity Services Engine (ISE) or ACS, the IPv6 ACL can be provisioned on a per-client basis using AAA Override attributes. To use this feature, the IPv6 ACL must be configured on the controller and the WLAN must be configured with the AAA Override feature enabled. The actual named AAA attribute for an IPv6 ACL is Airespace-IPv6-ACL-Name similar to the Airespace-ACL-Name attribute used for provisioning an IPv4-based ACL. The AAA attribute contents must be equal to the name of the IPv6 ACL as configured in the controller.
The IPv6 neighbor discovery protocol (NDP) utilizes Neighbor Advertisement (NA) and Neighbor Solicitation (NS) packets in place of ARP to allow IPv6 clients to resolve the MAC address of other clients on the network. The NDP process initially uses multicast addresses to perform address resolution. This process consumes valuable wireless airtime because the multicast addresses are sent to all the clients in the network segment.
To increase the efficiency of the NDP process, neighbor discovery caching allows the controller to act as a proxy and responds back to the NS queries that it can support address resolution and duplicate address detection. Neighbor discovery caching is made possible by the underlying neighbor binding table present in the controller. The neighbor binding table keeps track of each IPv6 address and its associated MAC address. When an IPv6 client attempts to resolve another client’s link-layer address, the neighbor solicitation packet is intercepted by the controller that responds back with a neighbor advertisement packet.
Router Advertisement (RA) throttling allows the controller to enforce rate limiting of RAs headed towards the wireless network. By enabling RA throttling, routers that are configured to send RAs frequently (every 3 seconds) can be trimmed back to a minimum frequency that will still maintain IPv6 client connectivity. This allows airtime to be optimized by reducing the number of multicast packets that must be sent. In all cases, if a client sends a Router Solicitation (RS), then an RA will be allowed through the controller and unicast to the requesting client. This is to ensure that new clients or roaming clients are not negatively impacted by RA throttling.
The wireless and wired guest features present for IPv4 clients work in the same manner for dual-stack and IPv6-only clients. Once the guest user associates, they are placed in a “WEB_AUTH_REQ” run state until the client is authenticated via the IPv4 or IPv6 captive portal. The controller will intercept both IPv4 and IPv6 HTTP and HTTPS traffic in this state and redirect it to the virtual IP address of the controller. Once the user is authenticated via the captive portal, their MAC address is moved to the run state and both IPv4 and IPv6 traffic is allowed to pass.
To support the redirection of IPv6-only clients, the controller automatically creates an IPv6 virtual address based on the IPv4 virtual address configured on the controller. The virtual IPv6 address follows the convention of [::ffff:<virtual IPv4 address>] . For example, a virtual IP address of 192.0.2.1 would translate into [::ffff:192.0.2.1] .
Enter an IPv6 enabled URL such as www.ipv6.google.com or an IPv6 address of a web site, for example—[2001::120]. The controller will intercept IPv6 HTTP and HTTPS traffic in this state and redirect it to the IPv6 virtual IP address of the controller as shown below:
When using a trusted SSL certificate for guest access authentication, ensure that both the IPv4 and IPv6 virtual address of the controller is defined in DNS to match the SSL certificates hostname. This ensures that clients do not receive a security warning stating that the certificate does not match the hostname of the device.
VideoStream enables reliable and scalable wireless multicast video delivery, sending each client VideoStream in a unicast format. The actual multicast to unicast conversion (of L2) occurs at the AP providing a scalable solution. In Release 8.0, the controller sends the IPv6 video traffic inside an IPv4 or IPv6 CAPWAP multicast tunnel which allows efficient network distribution to the AP.
IPv6 packets use a similar marking to IPv4’s use of DSCP values supporting up to 64 different traffic classes (0 – 63). For downstream packets from the wired network, the IPv6 “Traffic Class” value is copied to the header of CAPWAP tunnel to ensure that QoS is preserved end-to-end. In the upstream direction, the same occurs because client traffic marked at Layer 3 with IPv6 traffic class will be honored by marking the CAPWAP packets destined for the controller.
FlexConnect in local switching mode supports IPv6 clients by bridging the traffic to the local VLAN, similar to IPv4 operation. Client mobility is supported for Layer 2 roaming across the FlexConnect group.
Note FlexConnect mode APs will join IPv4 or IPv6 Multicast group if AP Multicast mode is configured as Multicast in release 8.0; however, there will be slight Data through-put degradation impact in the FlexConnect centrally switched scenario compared to AP Multicast mode configured as Unicast.
- From the AP Multicast Mode drop-down list, choose Multicast and enter a valid multicast group address in the Multicast Group Address text box.
- From the AP IPv6 Multicast Mode drop-down list, choose Multicast and enter a valid IPv6 multicast group address in the IPv6 Multicast Group Address text box. The IPv6 multicast group address must be in the FFXX::/16 range which is scoped for IPv6 multicast applications.
NoteUnlike previous versions of releases, IPv6 Unicast traffic support does not mandate that “Global Multicast Mode” be enabled on the controller. IPv6 Unicast traffic support is enabled automatically.
Step 1 Go to the Controller tab > Multicast page. To support multicast IPv6 traffic, check the Enable MLD Snooping check box. In order for IPv6 Multicast to be enabled, the Enable Global Multicast Mode of the controller must be enabled as well.
Step 2 To verify that IPv6 multicast traffic is being snooped, go to the Monitor tab > Multicast page. Notice that both IPv4 (IGMP) and IPv6 (MLD) multicast groups are listed. Click the “MGID” to view the wireless clients joined to that group address.
Step 2 From the IPv6 RA Guard on AP drop-down list, choose Enable. RA Guard on the controller cannot be disabled. Along with RA Guard configuration, this page also displays any clients that have been identified as sending RAs.
Step 6 Click Add New Rule, and enter the desired parameters for the rule, and click Apply. Leave the sequence number blank to place the rule at the end of the list. The Direction option of Inbound is used for traffic coming from the wireless network, and Outbound for traffic destined for wireless clients. Remember, the last rule in an ACL is an implicit deny-all.
Step 7 IPv6 ACLs are applied on a per WLAN/SSID basis and can be used on multiple WLANs concurrently. To apply the IPv6 ACL, navigate to the WLANs tab and click the WLAN ID of the SSID in question. Click the Advanced tab and change the Override Interface ACL for IPv6 to the ACL name.
- Throttle Period: The period of time that throttling takes place. RA throttling takes effect only after the “Max Through” limit is reached for the VLAN.
- Max Through: This is the maximum number of Router Advertisements on the VLAN before throttling kicks in. The “No Limit” option allows an unlimited amount of RAs through with no throttling.
- Interval Option: The interval option allows the controller to act differently based on the RFC 3775 value set in the IPv6 RA.
- Allow At-least: The minimum number of Router Advertisements per router that will be sent as multicast before throttling takes effect.
- Allow At-most: The maximum number of Router Advertisements per router that will be sent as multicast before throttling takes effect. The “No Limit” option will allow an unlimited amount of RAs through for that router.
- Down Lifetime – The down timer specifies how long IPv6 cache entries should be kept if the interface goes down.
- Reachable Lifetime – This timer specifies how long an IPv6 address will be marked active, which means traffic has been received from this address recently.
- Stale Lifetime – This timer specifies how long to keep IPv6 addresses in the cache which have not been seen within the “Reachable Lifetime”.
Refer to Cisco Unified Wireless Network Solution: VideoStream Deployment Guide for information on enabling VideoStream on the 802.11a/g/n network as well as the WLAN SSID.
Step 5 Name the stream and enter the start and end IPv6 addresses. When using only a single stream, the start and end addresses are equal. After adding the addresses, click Apply to create the stream.
- Address assignment
- PING for IPv6
- Management access (Wired and Wireless)—Telnet/SSH/HTTP/HTTPs
- UDP Lite for IPv6
- Tunnel switch
- CAPWAP Preferred mode
- Data DTLS
- Mobility Configuration – L3
- Auto Anchor/Guest Access
- WebAuth for pure IPv6 client
- NTP over IPv6
- Syslog over IPv6
- Radius Over IPv6
- CDP v6
- Flex Connect Central/Local switching with CAPWAP IPv4/IPv6 but IPv4 clients only
- Service port SLAAC configuration
See Appendix A for sample IPv6 configurations on the 3750 switch.
Controller configuration for the native IPv6 support is similar to that of the IPv4 controller with the exception of the few interfaces accepting the IPv6 addresses as demonstrated in the following examples:
- Management solution supports one IPv6 address (+ LLA address).
- Dynamic interfaces support only IPv4 addresses.
- Dynamic AP manager supports only IPv4 addresses.
- Redundancy management/Redundancy port (HA interfaces support IPv4 only) supports only IPv4 addresses.
- Service-port can get an IPv6 address statically or using SLAAC (Only SLAAC interface is supported on the WLC).
- LAG is required for IPv6 AP load balancing.
a. In the Interface Address area, enter the Primary IPv6 Address in the 2001:XX:XX:X0::XX format. Enter the Prefix Length as 64. In Primary IPv6 Gateway text box, assign the Link-Local address of the VLAN X0.
When you copy/paste the Link Local IPv6 address in the Primary IPv6 Gateway text box, ensure that there is no space in the beginning and end of the Link local IPv6 address. Click Apply to save the settings.
- No IPv6 address is used, IPv4 address is used on the Dynamic Interface.
- An IPv6 address can exist on an IPv6 enabled switch/router because traffic is bridged on the VLAN.
- A DHCPv6 server or relay must exist on the VLAN interface at the switch/router
- VLAN Select must not be used in a dual-stack environment.
- VLAN Select only works with IPv4 addresses.
- Clients receive an IPv4 address from one VLAN and an IPv6 address from another VLAN.
- VLAN mismatch causes problems in a mixed IPv4 and IPv6 environment.
3. Once the IPv6 address is assigned to the WLC management interface, try accessing the WLC GUI, that is, launch https://[2001:10:10:X0::2] through your respective wired client connected to your controller.
4. Associate a wireless client, that is, your iPhone/iPad/laptop, to your respective controller WLAN and check if the client is able to receive the IPv4 and IPv6 addresses. Also, go to WLC > Monitor > Clients and click the client MAC address to view the IPv4 and IPv6 addresses.
The following screenshots display a client running MacOS, where the client is connected to the WLAN. The client receives both IPv4 and IPv6 addresses. Also, the client is able to ping the IPv6 address.
To support Mobility group configuration for Guest Anchor or Auto Anchor, the Guest Anchor should be on the 8.0 code to support controllers in release 8.0. This allows 8.0 WLCs sharing the mobility group to connect by using the CAPWAPv6 tunnel, and the WLCs running prior to release 8.0 will join by using the EoIP tunnel.
There is no need for New Mobility with this configuration. In this configuration mode, both ends of the Mobility tunnels have to be configured with IPv4 addresses. In pure 8.0 and later deployments, IPv6 addresses can be assigned and CAPWAPv6 can be used.
4. If an AP tries to join the WLC with configured prefer-mode and it fails to join, then it will fall back to choose the AP manager of the other transport and joins the same WLC. When both transports fail, the AP will move to the next discovery response.
Step 1 As indicated above, Global prefer-mode will be pushed to default-group APs and to those AP Groups that do not have prefer-mode configured. The following example displays the Global prefer-mode configuration in the GUI, where the IPv4 or IPv6 address is chosen for the CAPWAP preferred-mode.
Step 2 AP Group specific prefer-mode will be pushed to AP if prefer-mode of the AP Group is configured to the AP it belongs. Global prefer-mode will be pushed to default-group APs and to those AP Groups that do not have prefer-mode configured. To configure in the GUI CAPWAP preferred mode for the AP Group, see the following example:
This CLI command is used to configure the prefer-mode of the AP Group and all APs. Global prefer-mode is not applied to APs if the AP Group prefer-mode is already configured. After configuration, the AP restarts the CAPWAP to join with the configured prefer-mode after choosing the WLC based on its primary/secondary/tertiary configuration.
When selecting a primary, secondary, or tertiary controller, the process is similar to CAPWAPv4. The WLC management IP address can either be IPv4 or IPv6, it does not matter as long as the address is reachable. It is not possible to add both the IPv4 and IPv6 address because only one entry is allowed per WLC.
- Enabling UDP Lite speeds up the packet processing time.
- UDP Lite computes checksum on the pseudo header of the datagram.
- The IP protocol ID is 136 and it uses the same CAPWAP ports as UDP.
- Enabling UDP Lite requires that the network firewall allows protocol 136.
- Switching between UDP and UDP Lite causes all APs to re-join the WLC.
- UDP Lite is enabled by default.
Example: Go to interface gi 1/0/24 and run the i pv6 rip cisco_user enable command (this interface is the uplink of your own IOS switch Core, if it is different from gi1/0/24, replace with the appropriate uplink port).
The DHCPv6 server can provide those configuration parameters that do not require the server to maintain any dynamic state for individual clients, such as DNS server addresses and domain search list options. The DHCPv6 server may be configured to perform prefix delegation.
All the configuration parameters for clients are independently configured into the DHCPv6 configuration pools, which are stored in NVRAM. A configuration pool can be associated with a particular DHCPv6 server on an interface when it is started. Prefixes to be delegated to clients may be specified either as a list of preassigned prefixes for a particular client or as IPv6 local prefix pools that are also stored in NVRAM. The list of manually configured prefixes or IPv6 local prefix pools can be referenced and used by DHCPv6 configuration pools.
The DHCPv6 server maintains an automatic binding table in its memory to track the assignment of some configuration parameters, such as prefixes between the server and its clients. The automatic bindings can be stored permanently in the database agent, which can be for example, a remote TFTP server or local NVRAM file system.
A DHCPv6 configuration information pool is a named entity that includes information about available configuration parameters and policies that control assignment of the parameters to clients from the pool. A pool is configured independently of the DHCPv6 service and is associated with the DHCPv6 service through the command-line interface (CLI).
A DHCP relay agent that resides on the client’s link, is used to relay messages between the client and server. The DHCP relay agent operation is transparent to the client. A client locates a DHCP server using a reserved, link-scoped multicast address. Therefore, it is a requirement that for direct communication between the client and the server, the client and the server must be attached to the same link. However, in some situations where management, economy, or scalability is a concern, it is desirable to allow a DHCP client to send a message to a DHCP server that is not connected to the same link.