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AWS and Microsoft Azure Gain Native IPv6 Connectivity

Amazon Web Services and Microsoft have each brought native IPv6 connectivity to their respective cloud services as the need for the new addresses continues to rise amid new software that requires them and a limited pool of those based on those on the original IPv4.

AWS first added IPv6 to its S3 storage offering back in August and last week extended it to other services. Microsoft announced that Azure now supports native IPv6 addresses at last month's Ignite conference in Atlanta, though the move was overshadowed by the news that the company had quietly upgrade all of its network nodes with field-programmable gate arrays (FPGAs), providing 25Gbps throughput, a substantial boost. Internet service and cloud providers have been under pressure for years to upgrade their networks to support IPv6 and now fueling demand are compliance requirements and a proliferation of new devices.

"The demand for IPv6 has never been greater with the explosive growth in mobile devices and billions of Internet of Things (IOT) devices entering the market," wrote Yousef Khalidi Microsoft's corporate VP for Azure networking, in a blog post late last month announcing the IPv6 availability in Azure. Khalidi also discussed other network enhancements including the accelerated support powered by the FPGAs, cross-premises Vnet-to-Vnet connectivity via the new high-availability Azure VPN gateways and the release of Azure DNS, which Khalidi said now lets customers host domains and manage DNS records using the same credentials, APIs, tools, billing and support as other Azure services.

Khalidi noted that Microsoft has used IPv6 for Microsoft services for more than three years. The new native connectivity in Azure is available for connectivity to both Windows and Linux virtual machines. In separate posts, Microsoft has outlined how to connect IPv6 network endpoints to the Azure Load Balancer either by using a template, using PowerShell or using Azure Resource Manager with the Azure CLI.

The IPv6 connectivity is currently available in most regions with the exceptions of parts of Australia, the U.K., Germany, China and the U.S. government cloud. Current availability is posted here.

The AWS support for IPv6 announced in August covered access to content in its S3 storage offering with all features except for Web site hosting and access via BitTorrent.

At the time, it also didn't cover transfer acceleration, though that was added to last week's new set of services now supporting IPv6. The AWS IPv6 support update also adds its CloudFront content delivery network (CDN) at all of its 60-plus edge locations and Web application firewall (WAF) service. In last week's announcement, AWS Cloud Evangelist Jeff Barr explained how to implement the respective APIs.

Posted by Jeffrey Schwartz on 10/10/2016 at 5:12 PM


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