Wednesday 27 April 2016

So why don't Google and Azure have full IPv6 connectivity yet?

For my company I've been using different cloud providers in the past years. One of the things I noticed is that Google, Amazon and Azure currently don't offer IPv6 connectivity for virtual machines at all! The following is Google's statement at the time of writing:

All Compute Engine networks use the IPv4 protocol. Compute Engine currently does not support IPv6. However, Google is a major advocate of IPv6 and it is an important future direction.
Azure states something similar:
 Microsoft has played a leading role in helping customers to smoothly transition from IPv4 to IPv6 for the past several years. [...] The foundational work to enable IPv6 in the Azure environment is well underway. However, we are unable to share a date when IPv6 support will be generally available at this time.
So how is this even possible? I understand that there are technical challenges, but IPv6 has been around for years and these guys really are really big players in the cloud market!

So what ARE your options for native IPv6?
Well, basically you can use an Amazon load balancer with IPv6 support, create a tunnel for IPv6, or use another hacky solution, but for now I'm afraid native (and vendor supported) IPv6 is only available with smaller hosting companies, Softlayer and Linode being great examples of providers that do offer IPv6 with virtual machines. But if you require specific vendor services from Google, Amazon or Microsoft you'll be left without official IPv6 support for VM's. At least, for now.

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