This week Amazon Web Services (AWS) launched the option to create IPv6-only subnets in Amazon Virtual Private Clouds. While IPv4 is still going to be around for a while, this is a big step for the future.
AWS says that the new setup accommodates approximately 18 quintillion IP addresses for applications. Solutions architects Rohit Aswani and Aditya Santhanam point out that this is good for workloads like serverless and container applications that consume a high number of IP addresses.
Amazon has enabled its local Instance Metadata Service (IMDS), Time Sync, and VPC DNS server to be accessed with IPv6 addresses.
For the time being, clients can only use the AWS API or command-line, not from the web-based console.
Outpacing the Competition
All the major cloud providers, including the big three (AWS, Microsoft Azure, and Google Cloud) support dual network stacks that allow both IPv4 and IPv6 addresses. AWS is now the only one that allows for IPv6-only networks.
The solution architects explain that users will now be able to meet requirements set by the US federal government. Requirements for the adoption of IPv6-only networks.
This gives AWS clients an advantage, and AWS itself an edge over its competition. To use these networks, clients must build them on AWS’ Nitro System.
As the Register points out, this capability incentivizes getting applications right for IPv6, which could accelerate its adoption, something the world is working towards. Another benefit is eliminating IP address conflicts related to IPv4 with VPN services.
The question remains of whether AWS’ competitors will step up their game to stay in the race.