System Administration Guide: IP Services

Packet Flow Through the 6to4 Tunnel

This section describes the flow of packets from a host at one 6to4 site to a host at a remote 6to4 site. This scenario uses the topology that is shown in Figure 11–6. Moreover, the scenario assumes that the 6to4 routers and the 6to4 hosts are already configured.

  1. A host on Subnet 1 of 6to4 Site A sends a transmission, with a host at 6to4 Site B as the destination. Each packet header has a 6to4-derived source address and 6to4-derived destination address.

  2. Site A's router encapsulates each 6to4 packet within an IPv4 header. In this process, the router sets the IPv4 destination address of the encapsulating header to Site B's router address. For each IPv6 packet that flows through the tunnel interface, the packet's IPv6 destination address also contains the IPv4 destination address. Thus, the router is able to determine the IPv4 destination address that is set on the encapsulating header. Then, the router uses standard IPv4 routing procedures to forward the packet over the IPv4 network.

  3. Any IPv4 routers that the packets encounter use the packets' IPv4 destination address for forwarding. This address is the globally unique IPv4 address of the interface on Router B, which also serves as the 6to4 pseudo-interface.

  4. Packets from Site A arrive at Router B, which decapsulates the IPv6 packets from the IPv4 header.

  5. Router B then uses the destination address in the IPv6 packet to forward the packets to the recipient host at Site B.