An anycast address is assigned to multiple interfaces. Packets addressed to an anycast address are forwarded by the routing infrastructure to the nearest interface to which the anycast address is assigned. In order to facilitate delivery, the routing infrastructure must be aware of the interfaces that have anycast addresses assigned to them and their distance in terms of routing metrics. This awareness is accomplished by the propagation of host routes throughout the routing infrastructure of the portion of the network that cannot summarize the anycast address using a route prefix.
For example, for the anycast address 3FFE:2900:D005:6187:2AA:FF:FE89: 6B9A, host routes for this address are propagated within the routing infrastructure of the organization assigned the 48-bit prefix 3FFE:2900:D005::/48. Because a node assigned this anycast address can be placed anywhere on the organization's intranet, source routes for all nodes assigned this anycast address are needed in the routing tables of all routers within the organization. Outside the organization, this anycast address is summarized by the 3FFE:2900:D005::/48 prefix that is assigned to the organization. Therefore, the host routes needed to deliver IPv6 packets to the nearest anycast group member within an organization's intranet are not needed in the routing infrastructure of the IPv6 Internet.
As of RFC 2373, anycast addresses are used only as destination addresses and are assigned only to routers. Anycast addresses are assigned out of the unicast address space and the scope of an anycast address is the scope of the type of unicast address from which the anycast address is assigned. It is not possible to determine if a given destination unicast address is also an anycast address. The only nodes that have this awareness are the routers that use host routes to forward the anycast traffic to the nearest anycast group member and the anycast group members themselves.
The Subnet-Router anycast address is defined in RFC 2373 and is required. It is created from the subnet prefix for a given interface. When the Subnet-Router anycast address is constructed, the bits in the subnet prefix are fixed at their appropriate values and the remaining bits are set to 0. Figure 3-8 shows the structure of the Subnet-Router anycast address.
Figure 3-8. The structure of the Subnet-Router anycast address
All router interfaces attached to a subnet are assigned the Subnet-Router anycast address for that subnet. The Subnet-Router anycast address is used to communicate with the nearest router connected to a specified subnet.