The Importance of IPv6 Support for Amazon EC2 Instances


Apr 19, 2017

Amazon now features IPv6 support for its Amazon EC2 instances that utilize VPC

Amazon is constantly churning out new features for its EC2 platform, but the latest is particularly notable. They introduced the addition of native support for the IPv6 protocol on EC2 instances that utilize the Amazon Virtual Private Cloud (VPC).

How to migrate an Amazon VPC to IPv6

Amazon allows your VPC to operate in what is known as dual stack mode, which lets your server resources communicate over either IPv4, IPv6, or both protocols. If you’re looking for a quick step-by-step guide to enable your VPC to allow IPv6, follow along below:

  1. Associate an IPv6 CIDR block that will be assigned by Amazon with your existing VPC and associated subnets.
  2. NAT devices cannot support IPv6 traffic, so you’ll need to create what is known as an “egress-only Internet gateway” to allow communication between your private subnets and the Internet. An egress-only Internet gateway can only support IPv6 traffic.
  3. Update your routing tables to route IPv6 traffic properly.
  4. Ensure that you update security rules to include IPv6 addresses. This will allow traffic to flow from and to your Amazon EC2 instances.
  5. If your instance type doesn’t support IPv6, change the type.
  6. Once IPv6 has been completely enabled, you can begin assigning IPv6 addresses to your instances based on the address range of your subnet.
  7. This is an optional step, but if your EC2 instance was not already configured to use DHCPv6, it will need to be manually configured to support IPv6 addresses.

Why should we move to IPv6?

The answer is simple: We’re running out of IPv4 addresses. Certain regions of Latin America, Europe, and the Asia-Pacific region have already run out of standard IP addresses, so it’s critical that we look at ways to begin using IPv6 addresses.

In addition to the sheer necessity, IPv6 offers a number of additional benefits over IPv4, including better directed data flows, more efficiently processed data packets, better routing, the ability to stay connected simultaneously to multiple networks, and much more.

Amazon Resources for setting up IPv6 for your EC2 instances

Amazon offers a variety of great tutorials that explain the process of setting up IPv6 for Amazon VPC. Below are a two links that you should check out if you’re interested in how this new technology works:

Interested in learning more about how the Amazon Cloud can revolutionize your business?

If you’re not leveraging the power of cloud-based computing services, such as Amazon EC2 in your business, you could very well be missing out. Contact CloudHesive today at 800-860-2040 or through our online contact form to see what Amazon and the cloud can do for you.

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