Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol (DHCP) is the standard way network administrators assign IP addresses in IPv4 networks, but eventually organizations will have to pick between two protocols created specifically for IPv6 as the use of this newer IP protocol grows.

DHCP, which dates back to 1993, is an automated way to assign IPv4 addresses, but when IPv6 was designed, it was provided with an auto-configuration feature dubbed SLAAC that could eventually make DHCP irrelevant. To complicate matters, a new DHCP – DHCPv6 – that performs the same function as SLAAC was independently created for IPv6.

Deciding between SLAAC and DHCPv6 isn’t something admins will have to do anytime soon, since the uptake of IPv6 has been slow, but it is on the horizon.

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