AWS Public Sector Blog

AWS enables the US federal government’s move to IPv6

In November 2020, the US Office of Management and Budget (OMB) released a memorandum to executive departments and agencies outlining the strategic intent to deliver information services, operate networks, and access the services of others exclusively through the latest Internet Protocol version 6, known as IPv6. While the memorandum is only a few months old, the transition to IPv6 has been years in the making. IPv6 has a number of advantages over IPv4, including an increased number of addresses available, the potential for simplified routing, and simplified end-to-end IPsec. The US government has spent the last 16 years moving toward IPv6 adoption, requiring federal agencies to operationally deploy IPv6 for public internet servers and internal applications. Now, there is broader interest and urgency in adopting the IPv6 network protocol across the federal government.

Amazon Web Services (AWS) supports the US federal government’s move to IPv6. Transitioning to IPv6 will make sure that growing government networks and Internet of Things (IoT) devices benefit from the increased scale of IPv6. Both public and private sector cloud customers are integrating IPv6 capabilities across their networks to leverage increased security capabilities available through IPv6, as well as to prepare for the transition away from IPv4.

Enabling the OMB Mandate

AWS is committed to the enablement of IPv6, and our cloud services enable public sector customers to move to IPv6 as mission allows. IPv6 support for Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (Amazon EC2) has been available along with IPv6 support for several other services since 2016. Amazon Simple Storage Service (Amazon S3), which customers of all sizes and industries use, and now Amazon EC2, both support dual-stack endpoints. Network Load Balancer (NLB), Amazon Elastic Container Service (ECS), and AWS Site-to-Site VPN added support for IPv6 just in the last year. AWS will continue to provide leading-edge technical solutions to achieve IP-enabled access on Federal networks operating in an IPv6 environment.

Future Innovations

We will continue releasing more services in both dual stack and native capability, increasing the options available to move toward the new standard. Public sector customers looking to implement this solution on their networks can get started with IPv6 on AWS today.

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