IPv6 and cloud computing: The obvious choice

Just like efforts to use renewable energy before fossil fuels are exhausted to reduce transition costs, one of the 'drivers' for Pv6 is cloud computing and IaaS.

Internet Protocol version 6 (IPv6) has been used for decades, but its practical application is still slow for many reasons. The future of the Internet depends heavily on IPv6. We must look for applications, trends to make the transition to IPv6 happen faster, helping IPv6 to be applied before IPv4 is exhausted and experience early problems that conversion can create.

Just like efforts to use renewable energy before fossil fuels are exhausted to reduce transition costs, one of the 'drivers' for Pv6 is cloud computing and Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS).

Obviously IPv6

We all know IPv6 - the next standard IP address generation, is designed to replace IPv4, the protocol that most Internet services use today. Every computer, mobile device or any other device connected to the Internet needs a numeric IP address to be able to communicate with other devices. The original IP address mechanism, IPv4, is now approaching exhaustion. Some geographical areas no longer have IPv4 for new allocations. Very soon, the world will be running out of IPv4, despite having 4.3 billion addresses, while the number of global Internet users currently stands at around 2 billion.


IPv6 brings us a huge address space. To put it simply, if we consider the number of IPv4 addresses equal to the volume of a tennis ball, then the number of IPv6 addresses is equal to the volume of the globe.

By this time, many countries have actively implemented IPv6. According to Google statistics, IPv6 usage on the Internet has reached nearly 5% and tends to increase rapidly.

Obviously cloud computing

Changes in technology and shifts in demand have led to the inevitable trend of cloud deployment. More and more organizations and businesses are gradually bringing their applications to the cloud.

Costs and expertise factors are the main drivers for IT leaders to decide to bring their IT infrastructure and applications to the cloud. The total cost of ownership (TCO) with cloud applications is said to be much lower than the usual way of deploying IT applications, when organizations must invest in hardware, software, network, human resources... In addition, cloud computing helps businesses bring applications to production in a faster time.

The success of cloud service vendors in the world in recent years, once again shows that the cloud trend is certain.


IPv6 and cloud computing in parallel

According to Barb Darrow, senior director of communications for Oracle, as we move into the Internet-of-Things era, with billions of devices connected online, we will need a lot of separate IP addresses. Large cloud service vendors will be required to support IPv6.

The explosion of applications, data, IT services and more has quickly depleted IPv4 addresses. However, moving applications or services to the cloud is also a good time to plan for IPv6 support. Most end users and application developers often have to change or adapt their applications as they move from the regular IT environment to the cloud environment, where they can have benefits such as application delivery speed, scalability... Ensuring that cloud applications and platforms are ready for IPv6 is important for any migration decision.

Cloud solves many problems when maintaining and expanding a complex server infrastructure. However, it also raises some additional problems. One of cloud's big challenges is its IP address. IPv4, the addressing protocol we are still using today, is not designed to match the physical features of the cloud. Each virtual machine needs a way to find another virtual machine on an IP network, but it is not practical to assign each client a public, routable IPv4 address. Depending on the cloud provider's architecture, sometimes it is better not to use an IPv4 public address even in cases of lacking addresses.

Cloud infrastructure environment has differences. It must be designed so that a virtual machine can be shut down and dropped quickly without stopping the application, meaning that the configuration of DNS and IPv4 must be flexible and not hard-coded in application.

By: Kelly Jonas

  1. IPv6

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