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Amazon’s Elastic Kubernetes Service gains IPv6 flexibility

IPv6 support in EKS lowers latency, simplifies routing, increases address density 

Amazon’s Elastic Kubernetes Service (EKS) now supports IPv6 address spaces. That’s the word from a new blog post by Sébastien Stormacq, principal developer advocate, AWS.

EKS is AWS’s managed container service. It’s aimed at simplifying Kubernetes app operations and scale, in the cloud and on-premises. The added support for IPv6 helps achieve lower-latency communications and simplifies routing. Perhaps more importantly, IPv6 supports much greater address density than IPv4 allows, said Stormacq. This enables businesses to remove a layer of network address translation (NAT) altogether.

Kubernetes presents network management challenges, he explained.

“Kubernetes uses a flat networking model that requires each pod to receive an IP address. This simplified approach enables low-friction porting of applications from virtual machines to containers but requires a significant number of IP addresses that many private VPC IPv4 networks are not equipped to handle,” he said.

Mitigation techniques complicate network routing, monitoring, and troubleshooting, said Stormacq. He offered IPv6 address space support as the solution for these issues.

“There are a few advantages to using Amazon EKS clusters with an IPv6 network. First, you can run more pods on one single host or subnet without the risk of exhausting all available IPv4 addresses available in your VPC. Second, it allows for lower-latency communications with other IPv6 services, running on-premises, on AWS, or on the internet, by avoiding an extra NAT hop. Third, it relieves network engineers of the burden of maintaining complex routing configurations,” said Stormacq.

Simplifying Kubernetes management

“Kubernetes cluster administrators can focus on migrating and scaling applications without spending efforts working around IPv4 limits. Finally, pod networking is configured so that the pods can communicate with IPv4-based applications outside the cluster, allowing you to adopt the benefits of IPv6 on Amazon EKS without requiring that all dependent services deployed across your organization are first migrated to IPv6,” he added.

He concluded with examples of how to activate IPv6 addresses when creating a cluster.

Kubernetes cluster management is key to telcos, and AWS is serving up an important piece of it with EKS. In fact, Amazon EKS is Dish’s container platform

VMware announced Telco Cloud Automation 2.0 in December, with a tech preview of Amazon EKS support. The new enhancement can provision cloud-native network functions directly on native Amazon EKS. This brings unified management of workloads on-premises and on public cloud infrastructures, according to VMware.

RADCOM’s Ace service solution also leverages Amazon EKS. Ace enables operators to dynamically deploy an automated, cloud-native service assurance platform. The goal is efficient scale and reduce time to market for 5G, IoT and edge services.


Peter Cohen
Peter Cohen
Peter is Technology Editor for RCR Wireless News. His coverage areas include telco cloud and the convergence of 5G and cloud computing. Peter's background includes IT management and a decade as a senior editor at Macworld. He and his family live in Massachusetts.

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