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Architecture of the Next Generation TCP/IP Stack

The following figure shows the architecture of the Next Generation TCP/IP stack. The three principal APIs by which applications, services, or other system components access the Next Generation TCP/IP stack are the following:

WSK Used by WSK clients. For more information, see Winsock Kernel in the Windows Driver Kit. Windows Sockets Used by Windows Sockets-based applications and services. The Windows Sockets API operates through the Ancillary Function Driver (AFD) to perform Socket functions with TCP/IP. TDI Used by NetBIOS over TCP/IP (NetBT) and other legacy TDI clients. TDX is a translation layer between TDI and the Next Generation TCP/IP stack.

The Next Generation TCP/IP stack exposes an WFP Callout API, which provides a consistent, general-purpose interface to perform deep inspection or data modification of packet contents. The WFP Callout API is part of WFP. The Next Generation TCP/IP stack provides access to the packet processing path at the Network and Transport layers. The Next Generation TCP/IP stack sends and receives frames using NDIS. The architecture of the Next Generation TCP/IP stack driver (Tcpip.sys) consists of the following layers:

Transport layer Contains the implementations of TCP and UDP, and a mechanism to send raw IP packets that do not need a TCP or UDP header. Network layer Contains implementations of both IPv4 and IPv6 in a dual IP layer architecture.

Framing layer Contains modules that frame IPv4 or IPv6 packets. Modules exist for physical networking technologies such as IEEE 802.3 (Ethernet), IEEE 802.11, wide area networks (Point-to-Point Protocol [PPP]-based traffic), and IEEE 1394 interfaces. Modules also exist for logical interfaces such as the loopback interface, IPv4-based tunnels, and IPv6-based tunnels. IPv4-based tunnels are commonly used for IPv6 transition technologies.

For More Information


For more information about this topic, consult the following resources:

Windows Server 2008 TCP/IP Protocols and Services book from Microsoft Press Microsoft Windows Vista Web page Windows Vista Resources for IT Professionals Microsoft Windows Server 2003 TCP/IP Implementation Details white paper