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Amazon Web Services moving toward IPv6

In an amazing coincidence, Amazon launched IPv6-enabled Elastic Load Balancing just hours before my Enterprise IPv6 – the first steps webinar (you can still register for an online session) in which I describe (among other things) how you can make your IPv4-only content reachable over IPv6 with NAT64 or with 6-to-4 load balancing.

IPv6 enthusiasts might be quick to point out that AWS still doesn’t allow you to run native IPv6 on your EC2 instances. That’s true, but if I’m correct and they do have a full-blown L3 hypervisor switch, making it IPv6-ready is way more work than running IPv6 over layer-2-only hypervisor switches like vSwitch, Open vSwitch or Nexus 1000V (did I mention it still doesn’t support IPv6 access lists?). Speaking of virtual switches, there’s still some places left on the VMware Networking Deep Dive webinar.

Coming back to AWS – in my opinion it’s way more important (today) to offer your content to IPv6 clients than to have end-to-end IPv6 connectivity. Assuming your application uses load balancers (and most scale-out applications do unless they rely on brokenware like Microsoft NLB), the load balancer breaks end-to-end connectivity anyway and it doesn’t matter if the two legs use the same layer-3 protocol or not ... BUT the 6-to-4 load balancing (while great news) doesn’t get AWS off the hook – we’re still waiting for native IPv6 on the EC2 instances.


  1. "but if I’m correct and they do have a full-blown L3 hypervisor switch" << Do you have more information about that ? Is it something developped internally ?
  2. Start a few EC2 instances in the same isolated subnet, try to do all-1-broadcast, subnet-broadcast and multicast pings, inspect ARP tables and draw your own conclusions ;)

    Haven't seen a commercial vSwitch product that would scale as well as what they do.
  3. "but if I’m correct and they do have a full-blown L3 hypervisor switch" really ?

    Ivan I had bigger expectations from you than this...
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