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IPv6 on Oracle Cloud Infrastructure

Ajay Chhabria
Sr. Solution Architect

We’re pleased to announce that you can now configure IPv6 in Oracle Cloud Infrastructure (OCI). Building on our previous GOV region IPv6 deployment, we’re moving forward with the launch of IPv6 support in all commercial regions with more features and functions.

With IPv6 support in OCI, you can advertise IPv6 addresses allocated from Oracle onto the internet for public connectivity or use them only for private connectivity within and between your virtual cloud networks (VCNs) or to your on-premises networks (No NAT required).  Build and deploy applications that can communicate from IPv6 endpoints to IPv6 enabled Compute instances and resources connected to on-premises networks using VPN or FastConnect. Your IPv6 clients can also connect to an IPv6 web load balancing virtual IP and get load-balanced to IPv4 web application instances. This allows customers to make their applications accessible to IPv6 end-users via the public internet.

Use cases

This functionality enables the following cases:

  • Mobile applications or websites that need IPv6 endpoints for communication.

  • Internet of Things (IoT) requires more IP addresses than ever before. IPv6 enables IoT devices to communicate to IPv6 endpoints in the cloud.

  • On-premises IPv6 connectivity helps onboard IPv6 applications from on-premises network to cloud.

This release enables customers to create their IPv6 applications in OCI with minimal disruptions. You can launch dual-stack IPv6 instances and load balancers, which allow IPv6 connectivity with internet and on-premises networks. Fresh allocations of public IPv4 are exhausted, and the exponential boom in connected devices (IoT) has compelled providers to address these devices using public IPv6 addresses. Proliferation of IPv6-addressed connected devices, such as smart appliances, connected security systems, metering devices, smartphones, and mobile devices, means that customers can now connect their IPv6 addressed endpoints to endpoints in OCI.

Getting started

You can begin utilizing IPv6 by enabling it on your new or existing VCNs. Each VCN has a unique /56 address prefix from within Oracle’s Global Unicast Address (GUA).

A screenshot of the Create a Virtual Cloud Network screen in the Console with the check box for Enable IPv6 CIDR Block selected and outlined in red.

You can assign a /64 address prefix to each subnet in your VCN. We use a dual-stack model that assigns each instance an IPv4 address and an IPv6 address. The IPv6 prefix is allocated dynamically by Oracle from its public IPv6 GUA address space. You can create custom IPv6 enabled subnets as private or public, where connections to resources (VNICs) deployed in the subnet from the internet or vice versa is prohibited or permitted.

Internet communication with IPv6-enabled resources in private subnets is prohibited. After a Compute instance is launched in an IPv6-enabled VCN and subnet, you can add IPv6 addresses to the instance VNIC. Oracle dynamically assigns the IPv6 addresses to the instance host OS through DHCPv6.

A screenshot of the process of assigning IPv6 addresses to VNICs.

Scenarios

IPv6 supports the following scenarios.

East-west IPv6 traffic

You can configure dual-stacked IPv4-IPv6 addresses on Compute instances and virtual machines to enable east-west IPv6 communication. An IPv6 enabled application can talk to another application either within the same VCN, different VCNs in the same region or remote region.

A graphic depicting the architecture of dual-stacked IPv4-IPv6 addresses on a virtual machine in a VCN.

North-south IPv6 traffic

Oracle Cloud Infrastructure supports termination of IPv6 traffic in a dual stack load balancer or virtual machine through the internet gateway. The load balancer accepts IPv6 connections from your users and then proxies those connections to your backends. On the reverse path, the load balancer receives the IPv4 response from the backend and then places it into the IPv6 connection back to the original client.

If an IPv6 enabled client wants to talk to an IPv6 enabled internet endpoint, you can add a ::/0 rule with target as internet gateway in the routing table. In this way Oracle supports custom routing where you can add custom IPv6 route rules to your route tables. IPv6 traffic between the on-premises and Oracle cloud using VPN and FastConnect is also supported.

A graphic depicting the architecture for north-south IPv6 traffic.

Conclusion

We hope that you enjoyed this introduction to using IPv6 on OCI. You can create and manage IPv6 network resources similar to IPv4 networks. Dual-stack allows customers and OCI to more quickly adopt IPv6 iteratively and apply existing knowledge, tools, and processes to mitigate disruption. Eventually, support for IPv6 in OCI Virtual Networking can facilitate any customer use case currently supported using IPv4. Keep watching the Oracle Cloud Infrastructure space for updates as we add more exciting capabilities.

Thank you for reading this post. Your feedback and recommendations for the post are most welcome. You can find more information about configuring IPv6 in the Networking documentation.

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