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My business's web site uses the AWS platform. I want the site's visitors to be able to reach my content using the IPv6 protocol. How can I add an IPv6 address?

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I just noticed I actually linked to your blog. If you were thinking of doing the same be warned that it almost certainly would have been marked as SPAM and deleted. If you were going to paste the contents of that blog here, that would be acceptable (as well as linking back for further reference). See the FAQ for more details. –  Chris S Jan 6 '12 at 17:41
    
Chris, thanks for the comment. I understand the intent of SF as a repository of technical knowledge and not a platform for self-promotion. SF has been very useful to me and I want to give back to the community. –  Jeff Loughridge Jan 6 '12 at 18:45

5 Answers 5

Although EC2 instances are not native IPv6-capable as of this writing, Amazon has implemented IPv6 for its US East (Northern Virginia), EU (Ireland), Asia Pacific (Tokyo), and Asia Pacific (Singapore) Elastic Load Balancers. I’ll demonstrate how to make IPv6 content available using EC2 instances and a load balancer.

Elastic Load Balancer (ELB) Set-up

I'll assume that you are already using a load balancer. (If you want to set one up, follow the directions in the Elastic Load Balancer Developer's Guide at http://awsdocs.s3.amazonaws.com/ElasticLoadBalancing/latest/elb-dg.pdf).

Place a check next the ELB entry so that detailed information appears in the bottom panel. Write down your dual stack name for your ELB. It will resemble a name like dualstack.new-balancer-751654286.us-east-1.elb.amazonaws.com.

Testing DNS

Use dig or nslookup to verify that you get A (IPv4) and AAAA (IPv6) records using the dual stack ELB DNS name. If you are not comfortable with these command-line tools, use a web-based dig such as the one at http://www.kloth.net/services/dig.php.

Create CNAMEs for your domain

I recommend testing on a throw-away domain to avoid potential production outages. The CNAME for www.example.com should point to the dual stack ELB name.

Verification

Visit www.example.com from an IPv6 connected host. Alternatively, you can use http://ipv6-test.com/validate.php to test IPv6 connectivity to your site.

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IPv6 is not available (as of Sep 2013) for EC2; however it is available for ELB. So you can use ELB as a sort of IPv4 gateway, but you can not yet assign IPv6 addresses to EC2 instances.

There is chatter that this may change in the "near future" (whatever that means).

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Still not available directly on EC2 or VPC instances, unfortunately. :( –  Martijn Heemels Jun 5 '13 at 16:10

You can make the site available with IPv6 (and some other benefits) by proxying your site through CloudFlare CDN.

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Interesting. I wasn't aware that Cloudflare had an automatic IPv6 gateway. Thanks for the tip, Marcus. –  Jeff Loughridge Jan 9 '13 at 0:46

You can get a free IPv6 tunnel from Tunnelbroker. It works well with EC2. I've tested it.

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"works well" is a pretty subjective phrase. –  Chris S Jan 6 '12 at 19:00
    
It works, communication goes in and out, fast, reliable. What else you expect more? –  Stone Jan 6 '12 at 19:20

AWS EC2 instance still receive RFC1918 IPv4 address space but if you have the web service behind an ELB then there is the dualstack and ipv6 prefixed hostnames for the ELB instance that provide dual IPv4/IPv6 and only IPv6 access. The communication between the ELB and the EC2 instance will still remain as IPv4 but the client connecting via IPv6 will not see anything different unless the web application you're hosting specifically looks for the IPv6 address.

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I would add that you'd likely want to configure your web server to look at the X-Forwarded-For value to see which visitors use IPv6 to reach your site. –  Jeff Loughridge Jan 6 '12 at 19:11
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Yes, there are several modules (mod_rpaf & mod_extract_forwarded)to assist with that along with the changes in the newest versions of Apache2 (mod_remoteip) that will actually make doing this a lot easier. Not just with IPv6 but with AWS ELB in general. –  Jeremy Bouse Jan 7 '12 at 1:26

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