Department of Defense
High Performance Computing Modernization Program

Introduction

While it is possible for applications software to access remote computers via Internet Protocol version 6 (IPv6) using numerous IPv6 transition mechanisms, an application server can only be accessed via IPv6 from other computers when its host Operating System and Local Area Network (LAN) segment are IPv6-enabled. The steps required to enable IPv6 on a host Operating System (if required) and on LAN equipment are described by separate articles in the IP Transport section of the IPv6 knowledge base.

Microsoft application servers support IPv6, with a few exceptions. This Microsoft article provides a concise summary of Microsoft application server IPv6 support status as of Sept, 2017 and provides details about IPv6 support by Microsoft Operating Systems. (A more recent concise summary is not available.) Links to more recent IPv6 support status for specific Microsoft applications servers are given below in Further Resources for Enabling IPv6. Adding IPv6 support to non-Microsoft software is discussed by the Application Conversion Introduction and Application Conversion Tools articles in the Applications section.

During Feb, 2011, Rand Morimoto published an 8-part series of articles on the NetworkWorld website. In this series, he described and gave examples of the steps required to deploy IPv6 across a Small-Medium Business (SMB) Microsoft environment. The specific application server configuration examples are applicable to any sized environment. These articles cover many important infrastructure elements, and are summarized in:

Part1: Getting Serious with IPv6 in a Windows Networking Environment
Part2: IPv6 Addressing, Subnets, Private Addresses
Part3: IPv6 Static Addressing and DNSv6
Part4: Setting up DHCPv6 to Dynamically Issue IPv6 Addresses in a Network
Part5: Configuring Microsoft Active Directory to Support IPv6
Part6: Configuring IPv6 Routing through IPv4 in a Microsoft Windows Environment
Part7: Best Practices at Configuring Applications for IPv6 for a Microsoft Windows Environment
Part8: Planning Your Cutover to IPv6 for Your Microsoft Windows Environment

below. Follow the links in the summaries to the individual NetworkWorld articles. It might be helpful to read Part8 (written last) after skimming Part1 and before looking at the details contained in Part2 through Part7. NetworkWorld subsequently made the 8-part series available in a single document (although the articles therein appear in a different order than listed above).

The series of articles was published based on the then current release of Windows Server, 2008 R2. Unless otherwise noted, the steps required to deploy IPv6 in Windows Server 2008 R2 apply to later releases. Since that time, subsequent releases of Windows Server have added additional capabilities supporting IPv6:

a. Among the capabilities new to Windows Server 2012:
    Internet Protocol Address Management (IPAM) feature described here
b. Among the capabilities new to Windows Server 2016:
    built-in IPv6 root hints described here
    support for Software Defined Networking (SDN)
c. Among the capabilities new to Windows Server 2019:
    capability to support dual-stack (IPv6 in addition to legacy IPv4) and IPv6-only SDN.

Part1: Getting Serious with IPv6 in a Windows Networking Environment

The Getting Serious with IPv6 in a Windows Networking Environment article provides a short discussion of the IPv4 address exhaustion issue and some answers to Frequently Asked Questions about why it is really a problem, and then in “Implementing IPv6 in a Windows Network” gives a quick summary of the steps necessary to enable IPv6.

Part2: IPv6 Addressing, Subnets, Private Addresses

The IPv6 Addressing, Subnets, Private Addresses article provides an introduction to IPv6-style Addressing, Subnetting, Private Addressing, Gateways, and Routing from the perspective of someone familiar with IPv4. For additional information about IPv6 subnetting, see the IPv6 Subnet Planning topic in the IPv6 Address Plans article in the Network Management section.

Part3: IPv6 Static Addressing and DNSv6

The IPv6 Static Addressing and DNSv6 article provides examples of how to configure IPv6 addressing for Windows server and client systems, and an example of how to configure a Windows 2008 R2 server as the Domain Name System (DNS) server for a Windows domain.

While IPv6 Static Addressing and DNSv6 does not explain why pre-assigned static IPv6 addresses for Windows 2008 R2 (or later) servers are recommended, the IPv6 Address Configuration topic in this article does. (Although written for specific versions of Windows Server systems, both the IPv6 Static Addressing and DNSv6 article and the IPv6 Address Configuration topic in this article also apply to later versions.) To suppress transmission of Dynamic Host Control Protocol (DHCP) version 6 (DHCPv6) SOLICIT messages for interfaces with pre-assigned static IPv6 addresses during on-going system operation, running PowerShell as an Administrator early in the system installation process and executing the cmdlet

Set-NetIPInterface <interface-id> -AddressFamily IPv6 -Dhcp Disabled

for each such interface is recommended. 

Part4: Setting up DHCPv6 to Dynamically Issue IPv6 Addresses in a Network

The Setting up DHCPv6 to Dynamically Issue IPv6 Addresses in a Network article provides an example of how to set up a Windows 2008 R2 server as both the DHCP for IPv4 (DHCPv4) server and DHCPv6 server for a Windows domain, how to get the routers on the LAN to play nicely as relay agents, and some troubleshooting tips if it doesn’t work at first. Pay close attention to the “DHCP Reservations” discussion (along with this article on the differences between reservations and exclusions). These tips are not limited to Microsoft Windows-centric infrastructures. An (unrelated) article provides examples of how to set up both DHCPv4 and DHCPv6 on Windows 2012 and later servers. 

While Setting up DHCPv6 to Dynamically Issue IPv6 Addresses in a Network does not explicitly mention StateLess Address AutoConfiguration (SLAAC), it does discuss enabling/disabling Stateless DHCPv6 mode. Enabling Stateless DHCPv6 mode configures the server to use Stateless DHCPv6 (originally called DHCPv6 Lite) which uses SLAAC. There are significant differences between DHCPv4 and DHCPv6, as the DHCP and SLAAC on IPv6 Networks article in the Infrastructure section explains. On IPv6-only networks in Windows 8, 8.1 and early versions of Windows 10 clients SLAAC support was problematic, but the Creator Update release of Windows 10 (Version 1703 released 11 April 2017) added SLAAC support.

This Microsoft website describes how to set up an IPv6 test lab and extend it to test DNS Zone Transfers over IPv6, DHCPv6, and IPv6-only networking.

When cloning one Windows server already set up as a DHCPv6 server to create another server, delete the values (but NOT the keys) in the cloned server for

HKLM>CurrentControlSet>services>TCPIP6>Parameters>Dhcpv6DUID
HKLM>CurrentControlSet>services>TCPIP6>Parameters>Interfaces>{INT}>Dhcpv6IAID

Part5: Configuring Microsoft Active Directory to Support IPv6

The Configuring Microsoft Active Directory to Support IPv6 article provides a description of how easy getting Active Directory (AD) Domain Controllers (DC) and Global Catalogs (GC) set up with IPv6 can be when things are done in the right order. It is also a good practice to review pre-existing AAAA entries in DNS and remove those that do not conform to your intended DHCPv6 policies.

Part6: Configuring IPv6 Routing through IPv4 in a Microsoft Windows Environment

The Configuring IPv6 Routing through IPv4 in a Microsoft Windows Environment article provides examples of how to configure the 6to4, Teredo, IP-HTTPS and DirectAccess IPv6 transition mechanisms. These IPv6 transition mechanisms are provided “just in case” -- most businesses will choose not to use or will not need them. It also provides a discussion of Tunnel Brokers which small businesses may find helpful when getting started with their IPv6 deployment, and Hyper-V, which can be helpful when configuring routing in virtualized environments. In Sept, 2008, Rand Morimoto and Jeff Guillet published a book Windows Server 2008 Hyper-V Unleashed. This chapter from that book discusses Hyper-V in Server 2008 R2. This paper discusses Hyper-V in Server 2012, Server 2012 R2 and Server 2016. This article discusses Hyper-V in Server 2019.

The IP Helper service should only be enabled on a server supporting an IP-HTTPS or DirectAccess IPv6 transition mechanism. In other cases it should be turned off and disabled.

Part7: Best Practices at Configuring Applications for IPv6 in a Microsoft Windows Environment

The Best Practices at Configuring Applications for IPv6 in a Microsoft Windows Environment article focuses on Operating System configuration and host naming issues, but does not provide any specific guidance for individual application servers. For such guidance, see Further Resources for Enabling IPv6 below. For some Microsoft application servers, IPv6-enabling its host Operating System and LAN segment may be all that is needed.

Guidance on disabling system services on Windows Server 2016 or later with Desktop Experience is provided in this article. Beginning with Windows Server 2019, system services are configured in accordance with that guidance by default.

Part8: Planning Your Cutover to IPv6 for your Microsoft Windows Environment

The Planning Your Cutover to IPv6 for your Microsoft Windows Environment article provides a review of the steps described in Part2 through Part7. It is more detailed than the quick summary in Part1.

Further Resources for Enabling IPv6

In 2016, Microsoft introduced a documentation website called docs.microsoft.com. It can be a valuable resource when enabling IPv6 in Microsoft Windows software, although it may take some searching to find the guidance you need.

Additional deployment guidance for older versions of DirectAccess, Exchange, and Sharepoint, along with deployment guidance for file serving, print serving, and Active Directory is available here.

The following are links for versions of specific Microsoft application servers and software tools supporting IPv6. Later versions also support IPv6.

Azure

DirectAccess (Windows Server 2008 R2 or earlier) – The NetworkWorld article referenced in Part6 above contains links to a Deployment Guide and a video about deploying DirectAccess with IPv6, both prepared by Rand Morimoto

DirectAccess (Windows Server 2012 and later) – This article describes how to support DirectAccess on a multihomed server. This article describes how to migrate from the Routing and Remote Access Service (RRAS) role service in Windows Server 2012 or earlier (now combined with DirectAccess) to the Remote Access server role

DirectAccess (Windows Server 2016 and later) – articles describing how to support DirectAccess in an enterprise

Exchange 2010 – An IPv6-only configuration is not supported (a dual-stack configuration is)

Exchange 2013 – An IPv6-only configuration is not supported (a dual-stack configuration is)

Exchange 2016 - Unchanged from Exchange 2013

Exchange 2019 - Unchanged from Exchange 2013

Internet Information Server (IIS)

IP-HTTPS – All releases

Lync 2010 (and its predecessor Office Communications Server 2007) – No IPv6 support.

Lync Server 2013

Microsoft Deployment Toolkit (MDT) (Support for IPv6 varies with software being deployed and target environment. See a book like Mastering the Microsoft Deployment Toolkit by Stokes and Singer for more information.)

Microsoft Teams – IPv6 support is determined by the environment provided by the components used when configuring Teams, such as Office 365. Teams is the preferred communications client for Office 365, and will eventually supplant Skype for Business

Office 365 – An Office 365 IPv6 URL and IP address ranges document is available, as is an Office 365 IPv6 test plan. Inbound and outbound mail transport via IPv6 is supported upon request. As of Oct 2018, IPv6 is no longer supported in Office 365 when Skype for Business is being used as a communications client

Office 2010

Office 2013 – This is a licensed subset of Office 365

Office 2016 – This is a licensed subset of Office 365

Office 2019 – This is a licensed subset of Office 365

OneDrive – No IPv6 support currently. www.onedrive.live.com does not have an IPv6 address. (Formerly known as SkyDrive)

OneDrive for Business – No IPv6 support currently, even though the Content Distribution Network Provider Akamai provides access to www.onedrive.live.com and Akamai is able to support dual stack access (Formerly known as SkyDrive Pro)

Operations Management Suite – Limited IPv6 support (see Note under "How Network Device Discovery Works")

Project 2013

Project 2016

Remote Access Service (see DirectAccess)

Sharepoint 2010

Sharepoint 2013

Sharepoint 2016

Sharepoint 2019

Skype – Mobile clients (only in China).

Skype For Business Server 2019. Upgrading Skype for Business to Microsoft Teams is discussed in this article. As of Oct, 2018, IPv6 is not supported by Office 365 when using Skype for Business as a communications client

Structured Query Language (SQL) Server 2014

Structured Query Language (SQL) Server 2016 and later

Systems Center Configuration Manager 2012 – yes, with a few restrictions

Systems Center Data Protection Manager 2010

Systems Center Operations Manager 2012 R2

Systems Center Virtual Machine Manager 2012 Introduction and Part1, Part2, Part3 and Part4

Windows Server Update Services (WSUS) – 4.0

Xbox, Xbox 360 – No IPv6 support

Xbox One

The Microsoft website (www.microsoft.com) and Microsoft TechNet (technet.microsoft.com) are the authoritative sources for enabling IPv6 in specific application servers, although it may take some searching to find the guidance you need. Microsoft websites that can be useful are the IPv6 Survival Guide wiki and the Test Lab Guides.


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