Ronny Lam

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The Cost of IPv6 on Amazon Web Services

I am really beginning to like Amazon, not only for the books and the Kindle, but this time for Amazon Web Services (AWS). That being said, I am not Netflix, maybe the most advanced intensive user of the Amazon cloud. I only have a couple of instances running, they run a lot and make advanced use of loadbalancing, up and down-scaling on the fly and their Content Delivery Network.

My instances are running in multiple locations with different users. Some users are working on development stuff while others are running production from the development stuff. I make a lot of use of snapshots, which I can copy to other users, and create Volumes or even Images from them. Version control in the development environment is one thing, but snapshots of the whole machine always come in handy.

That being said, Amazon did a hell of a job building that environment and when competitors position themselves as the AWS-killer you know your marketposition is safe. One thing they are not doing so good though: they are almost completely forgetting IPv6. It is currently not possible to get native IPv6 to your instance. The only way to do that is either by tunnel or by using the Elastic Load Balancer service, which NAT’s public IPv6 into IPv4 to your instance.

Packetpushers has written about it at the start of this year. They even calculated that by a certain amount of traffic it’s getting really expensive to run IPv6.

So, time for Amazon to change and fire up that native IPv6 network.