Category: Cloud

Cloud

Cloud Provider Digital Ocean Announces IPv6 Support In Singapore

digital-ocean-ipv6We were very pleased to see the news that cloud platform provider Digital Ocean announced IPv6 support in their Singapore data center.  The announcement says in part:

Since our launch, IPv6 has been one of the most requested features in our community. Today we are excited to announce that public IPv6 addresses are now available for all Droplets in our Singapore region. IPv6 can be enabled during Droplet creation, or added to existing Droplets without the need for a reboot. This will be the standard for all new datacenter locations going forward – several of which will be launching within the next few months.

The article goes on to point to a number of articles that help users get started on IPv6.  There’s an ongoing discussion thread on the article where it seems that in this initial deployment Digital Ocean is not allocating a full /64 to each virtual private server (VPS) but rather allocating a smaller /124 instead. To their credit, the folks from Digital Ocean are engaged in the conversation and seeking feedback and information from people there.  (My only comment would be to point to the links off of our IPv6 address planning page and to RFC 6177/BCP 157, all of which generally recommend at least /64 for end networks. Still, there is no “one-size-fits-all” approach and it will be interesting to see what evolves in the cloud marketplace.)

More importantly, Digital Ocean moderators reconfirm in the comments that they will be implementing IPv6 across all their data centers and that all new data centers will support IPv6 from the start.

As we’ve written here over the past week, cloud providers need to get with the IPv6 program … and Microsoft ran out of “U.S.” IPv4 addresses for their Azure cloud … so it’s great to see a cloud provider starting down the path to having IPv6 everywhere!

If you want to join with Digital Ocean in making the transition to IPv6, please visit our “Start Here” page to find IPv6-related resources focused on your type of organization – and please do let us know if you can’t find what you are looking for!

P.S. There are of course discussion threads on this topic on both Hacker News and Reddit.

UPDATE: Moments after I hit “Publish” on this post, Digital Ocean tweeted out a chart showing the nice big spike in their IPv6 usage as people went in and enabled IPv6 on their VPS’. Very nice to see spikes like this!

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IPv4 Exhaustion Gets Real – Microsoft Runs Out Of U.S. Addresses For Azure Cloud – Time To Move To IPv6!

us ipv4BOOM! IPv4 address exhaustion just hit home really hard for a good number of people.  They set up virtual machines (VMs) in a US region on Microsoft’s Azure Cloud and now suddenly find that when they use those VMs to access other websites they are treated as if they are from a country outside the US.  Why?

Because Microsoft RAN OUT OF IPv4 ADDRESSES from its “U.S.” blocks of IPv4 addresses!

As Microsoft notes in their blog post:

Some Azure customers may have noticed that for a VM deployed in a US region, when they launch a localized page on a web browser it may redirect them to an international site. 

Oops.

They go on to say precisely what we and many others have been warning about for some time:

IPv4 address space has been fully assigned in the United States, meaning there is no additional IPv4 address space available. This requires Microsoft to use the IPv4 address space available to us globally for the addressing of new services. The result is that we will have to use IPv4 address space assigned to a non-US region to address services which may be in a US region.  It is not possible to transfer registration because the IP space is allocated to the registration authorities by Internet Assigned Numbers Authority.

Keep in mind, too, that back in 2011 Microsoft bought 666,624 IPv4 addresses from Nortel for $7.5 million. So they have already been shopping for more IPv4 space in the North American region.

They’re out.  Done.  Finished.

And so all those people wanting to run VMs on Microsoft’s Azure Cloud are suddenly confronting the reality that if they wanted their server to appear as if it came from the US, they can’t!

Sure, their domain name can look like it is a regular address for a US company… but in the underlying IP addressing their server will appear to the rest of the Internet to be in Brazil or some other location based on some of the geographical IP databases.

UPDATE: It is apparently not just Azure Cloud accounts in the US.  Over on Hacker News a commenter indicated that an Azure account in the North Europe datacenter in Dublin, Ireland, is also getting an IP address from Brazil.  I would guess (but don’t know for a fact) that this means Microsoft may be out of European IP addresses, too.

The impact is that servers running in the Azure Cloud (on VMs) may be treated by applications and services running on other servers as if they are outside the U.S. and so they may be given different choices or options than would be given to US servers.  The example shown in Microsoft’s blog post is of a web browser running on a VM connecting to a site and being given a Portuguese web page because the web server thought the incoming connection was coming from Brazil.  Depending upon how strongly the web server being visited serves out pages based on geographic IP data there may or may not be an easy option to get to pages intended for visitors from the US – or it might at least require more steps.   On a more serious note, there may be some sites that might block traffic in their firewalls based on where IP addresses are thought to be coming from – and so while you thought your server was set up “in the U.S.” it could instead wind up on someone’s blocked list.

Somewhat ironically, we wrote just yesterday about the need for cloud providers to get with the IPv6 program - and today we have living proof of WHY cloud providers need to care.

And as we also noted earlier this week, Latin and South America are basically out of IPv4 addresses – so while Microsoft can use some Brazilian IPv4 addresses today, odds are pretty good they won’t be able to get any more!

Here are a couple of other posts about today’s news:

The cold hard reality is that we simply cannot continue to rely on the “experimental” version of the Internet that used IPv4 addresses.  We need to collectively take the leap to the production version of the Internet using IPv6.

There are BILLIONS of people still to come online on the Internet – and there are BILLIONS more devices that we want to put online as part of the “Internet of Things”.  IPv4 simply doesn’t have the necessary number of addresses!

To get started with IPv6, please visit our “Start Here” page to find resources that are focused for your type of organization. And if you don’t find what you need, please let us know!  We are here to help you make the transition!

As Microsoft so vividly showed us today, IPv4 exhaustion is going to increasingly make IT systems more complicated.  It’s time to make the move to IPv6 where we don’t have to worry about address exhaustion – or having to use IP addresses from a different part of the world.

The time for IPv6 is now!

Good discussions on this topic are happening at:

 

GigaOm: Cloud Providers Need To Get IPv6!

GigaOm article about IPv6Over on GigaOm today we were delighted to see the article “With billions of devices coming online, cloud providers better get with IPv6 program“.  In that article, author Barb Darrow writes:

As we enter the internet of things era, with millions; check that, billions of devices coming online, we’re going to need a lot more unique IP addresses. That means the big cloud providers need to get on the stick to support IPv6, the internet protocol that opens up billions of new addresses for just that purpose.

EXACTLY!

This is a key point we’ve been making in our events and presentations – with all these many devices coming online, and also with 3-4 billion more people to come online, we need to move to using IPv6!

In the article, she goes on to note that IPv6 is NOT supported by Microsoft Azure, Google Computer Engine and most of Amazon Web Services.  She does point out that IBM Softlayer does support IPv6 as will a new “Verizon Cloud” service apparently coming out later this year.  (All of which has made me note that we need a page on this Deploy360 site about “cloud services that support IPv6″.)

A few weeks back I asked a friend of mine who has an Internet of Things (IoT) startup whether his new service supported IPv6.  He runs his system, not surprisingly, on a cloud platform – in his case Amazon’s Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2) – and because EC2 doesn’t have IPv6, he can’t run his apps over IPv6.

We need to get there.  We need all the cloud providers to be enabled for IPv6, because they will then enable all the companies, large and small and everything in between, to make the move to the “production” version of the Internet.

Barb Darrow mentions in the GigaOm article that “the device population explosion pose to cloud providers and the very architecture of data centers will be a hot topic next week at Structure“, where Structure is GigaOm’s conference on the whole “cloud” topic.  That sounds great… although in looking at the agenda I don’t see anything specifically mentioning IPv6.  Hopefully that is a topic that gets covered and maybe we’ll be able to write about some of the IPv6-related news next week.

UPDATE: In a comment to this post, Barb Darrow indicates that IPv6 will be a topic in the Structure panel “What has to happen to enable the infrastructure to support IOT?”  And indeed, to support the Internet of Things (IoT) we very definitely need to move to IPv6!

Meanwhile, if you are a cloud provider – or anyone else – do check out our “Start Here” page or just browse through some of our IPv6 resources to get started with the move to IPv6!

The Google vs Amazon Platform Rant – A Must-Read From Steve Yegge

Google logo

What does Amazon.com do so much better than Google? And why does Amazon do everything “wrong” while Google does everything “right”… yet offer a better platform? How should you construct a “platform” so that everyone can use it?

If you are a developer, IT manager, product manager, system architect, product marketer, CTO or even a CEO, you really need to take a bit to read this “Mother of all Reply-All failures” that was written by Googler Steve Yegge and accidentally posted publicly back on October 12th. Steve pulled down his own posting of the rant, but it was re-posted to Google+ by Rip Rowan and also posted over to Hacker News. The long rant – and the comments on both sites – are worth a read:

It’s a LONG piece that gives some fascinating insight into both Amazon and Google as companies, but also into what it takes to be a “platform”.

A bit later, on October 21st, Steve Yegge posted an update indicating that he did not get fired and in fact people actually listened within Google. He also dove a bit more into Amazon.com and Jeff Bezos. And just this week he wrote a lengthy piece describing how amazing it is to work at Google, explaining a bit more about what he meant in his rant about how Google “does everything right”.

The original platform rant, though, should definitely be on a “must-read” list for people thinking about how their services could really be a “platform”…

P.S. Are we connected on Google+? If not, you can find my Google+ profile and add me to a circle…

Deep Tech Dives Into Cloud Availability In Light Of Amazon’s EC2/EBS Problems From Joyent and enStratus

With Amazon’s ongoing struggles with part of their cloud, I’ve obviously been watching closely, given that I work for a company that provides a cloud for communication applications (hosted almost entirely on our own global carrier-grade infrastructure). Watching Amazon’s status site, they continue to not be entirely back in action a couple of days later.

There have been a lot of great technical posts out there related to what’s happening with AWS. Two that caught my eye are admittedly by an Amazon competitor, Joyent, but are definitely worth a read:

The latter post about abstraction layers hits a few major points with me, particularly around the need for abstraction layers to allow some type of control… and some type of transparency into what is going on.

Black boxes are great… until they break.

Another great post was by George Reese over in the O’Reilly Community (he is CTO of enStratus, a company making equipment to assist in infrastructure automation):

Reese argues that it is the application developer’s responsibility to design apps in such a way that they aren’t dependent at all on the underlying infrastructure.

This all takes me back to my post I wrote in 2009 about the need for services to be distributed and decentralized. Now I was talking in there about Twitter and Facebook… but the same argument can be made for apps in general…

It’s a fascinating time… I hope for Amazon’s sake that they can get everything back in action soon… and it will be interesting to see what questions this all makes developers ask with regard to cloud providers. Meanwhile, I’m enjoying many of these deep technical posts… I expect to see more coming in the days and weeks ahead.

NodeFu – Free Hosting of Your Node.JS Apps In The Cloud!

NodeFu.jpgHave you been experimenting with Node.JS (as I have) and wished you had a place to host your Node.js apps? If so, you may want to check out NodeFu.com, a new hosting service that just launched today.

Created by my friend and co-worker Chris Matthieu out of frustration with not getting invites for some of the other new Node.js hosting services, NodeFu is hosted up in Amazon EC2 and currently offers free hosting of Node.js apps to anyone interested.

Getting Started

As shown on the NodeFu home page, the process of using NodeFu is fairly straightforward. You request a coupon (an invite) via a commandline curl:

curl -X POST -d "email=your_address@example.com" http://nodefu.com/coupon

When you get an email confirming your invite, you can register an account, provide our ssh public key, etc.

From then on out all deployments happen purely through git commands. You start out by registering a new NodeFu application via another command-line curl command:

curl -X POST -u "testuser:123" -d "appname=myapp&start=hello.js" http://api.nodefu.com/app

NodeFu will respond with some JSON that includes the port number your app will run on and the name of the git repo you will push to. You then just do two git commands:

git remote add nodefu the_url_returned_by_our_api
git push nodefu master

And your NodeFu app will be live at http://appname.nodefu.com. As you work on your app, you just do more commits to your local git repo and then do a “git push nodefu master” when you want to update the live app. Once you push to NodeFu, your app should automagically be updated.

A Very Basic Example

You can see NodeFu in action in a VERY basic form at:

http://dany2.nodefu.com

As I write this post today, that app is literally a super basic “Hello, World” Node.js app. The code is visible up on GitHub at https://github.com/danyork/nodefu-dany2 and hopefully in the next bit I’ll have a chance to turn it into something a bit more involved.

Building Voice and SMS Apps with NodeFu

I’ve also created a Tropo app at http://tropohello.nodefu.com which uses the Tropo WebAPI library for Node.js to return JSON to Tropo.com where you can connect to the app using voice, SMS, IM or Twitter. Right now I only have voice and SMS wired up, but you can try out the app at any of these numbers:

Voice & SMS Messaging: +1-850-462-8472
Skype Voice: +990009369991478810
SIP Voice: sip:9991478810@sip.tropo.com
INum Voice: +883510001827346

Tropo is providing the voice and SMS connectivity and then communicating with my app running over on NodeFu.com. Pretty cool stuff!

Learning More and Trying It Out

You can just go to NodeFu.com to learn more and ask for an invite. Chris has invited 50 people in so far and plans to be giving out more invites over the next few days. It’s notable that Chris has open-sourced the entire codebase for NodeFu, so anyone else could really just download Chris’ code and set themselves up with their own NodeFu-like site:

https://github.com/chrismatthieu/nodefu

Here’s a video explaining what Chris is trying to do:

Other Options

I should note that Chris isn’t alone in coming up with a service like this. The comments to the Hacker News story about Chris’ site (and also the Mashable story) show a range of other Node.js hosting options, including:

… and a couple of others were listed, too, but they seem to offer other forms of hosted JavaScript versus Node.JS hosting.

The key point of all of this is that for those of us experimenting with Node.JS, this is truly a wonderful time to be trying it out, because we now have so many options before us!