SharePoint 2010 / SQL and IPv6

IPv6 is becoming an issue and I hear more techs talking about it now than 5 or 10 years ago. I first learned about IPv6 and the IPv4 depletion issues about 10 years ago when I used to play with my own Cisco lab at home and aspire to be a Cisco Certified Internetwork Expert – CCIE :).

Now, as I have been working full time with SharePoint for years, I thought its a good time to pull out a little bit about SharePoint with IPv6 from the net…

Some things I picked up from reading on the net which may be important to you are:

  • Windows Server 2003: By default, the IPv6 protocol is not installed. However, it can be added.
  • Windows Server 2008: By default, the IPv6 protocol and the IPv4 protocol are both installed and enabled. When both IPv4 and IPv6 are enabled, IPv6 is given preference over IPv4.
  • Microsoft provides supported IPv6 implementations for Windows Server 2003, Windows XP with SP1 or later, Windows Vista and Windows Server 2008 or later.
  • When Windows is configured with IPv6, SQL 2005, 2008 and 2008 R2 Server components automatically recognize the existence of IPv6. No special SQL Server configuration is necessary.
  • The SQL Server Database Engine and the other server components can listen on both IPv4 and IPv6 addresses at the same time. When both IPv4 and IPv6 are present, you can use SQL Server Configuration Manager to configure the Database Engine to listen only on IPv4 addresses or only on IPv6 addresses.
  • When the SQL Server Browser service running on a machine that supports both IPv4 and IPv6 is queried on an IPv4 address, it responds with an IPv4 address and the first IPv4 TCP port in its list. When queried on an IPv6 address, it responds with an IPv6 address and the first IPv6 TCP port in its list. To avoid inconsistency, Microsoft recommends that the IPv4 and IPv6 listeners be configured to listen to the same port.
  • Tools such as SQL Server Management Studio and SQL Server Configuration Manager accept both IPv4 and IPv6 formats for IP addresses. In most cases, the connection string does not need to be modified if the <computer_name>\<instance_name> is specified using server hostname or fully qualified domain name (FQDN).
  • In SQL Server R2, Native Client attempts to establish connections using these IP addresses in the order received from TCP/IP and uses the first connection that succeeds. Because the order cannot be predicted by SQL Server Native Client, this should be regarded as random order. IPv4 addresses are attempted first if both IPv4 and IPv6 addresses are present. This logic is transparent to the users of ODBC, OLE DB, or ADO.NET.
  • All versions of Microsoft SQL Server supported for SharePoint 2010 Products also support IPv6.
  • In SharePoint 2010, when using IPv6 protocol, all end-user Uniform Resource Locators (URLs) must be based on DNS names with AAAA records.
  • Browsing to SharePoint URLs that use IPv6 literal addresses is not supported.
  • SharePoint 2010 Products support entering IPv6 literal addresses for certain farm administration functionality, such as entering the server name when creating or attaching databases. For server names that use a literal address format, you must enclose the literal address within square brackets. An example of a literal address URL is http://[2002:db8:85a2:8d4:1219:8b2e:370:7424]
Some important links:
Introduction to IPv6
Microsoft Technology Position Paper
Microsoft's Objectives for IP Version 6
Migrating IPv6.exe Commands to Netsh Command
IPv6 Transition Technologies
IPv6 Security Considerations and Recommendations
Using Windows Tools to Obtain IPv6 Configuration Information

Internet Protocol, Version 6 (IPv6) Specification – IETF

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