Is cloud scalability one of the advantages of IPv6?

The advantages of IPv6 -- from its vast address space to its use of multicast -- can boost cloud scalability, says networking expert Ciprian Popoviciu.

Do the advantages of IPv6 include cloud scalability? If so, how?

The cloud, particularly cloud provider environments, would not be able to scale to what we envision it to be without the resources and capabilities of IPv6.

The vast pool of Internet Protocol version 6 (IPv6) simplifies address management and makes it easier for providers to integrate with enterprise private clouds or offer customers virtual private cloud services with a dedicated address space. This all enables greater cloud scalability. Additionally, the Neighbor Discovery Protocol, a supplementary protocol for IPv6, is better at scaling large broadcast domains than IPv4's Address Resolution Protocol (ARP).

IPv6's intrinsic use of multicast for the control plane and the heightened availability of multicast addresses make implementing Virtual Extensible LANs (VXLANs) easier and more scalable. Another advantage of IPv6 is its packet header structure, which offers a more scalable approach to implementing VXLANs than using Generic Routing Encapsulation or User Datagram Protocol encapsulation.

These are examples of obvious areas where IPv6 makes a difference in enabling scalable cloud infrastructures. Significantly, more advantages of IPv6 should be uncovered as cloud providers and product companies continue to explore and deploy the full capabilities of the protocol.

Have a question for one of our experts? Send an email to editor@searchcloudprovider.com.

This was last published in August 2012

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