Google Cloud charging for IPv4, but proper IPv6 support is still missing in action

Google will start charging for IPv4 addresses in use in 2020. Due to transit fees for NAT, this will cost the enterprise, but not if Google brings proper IPv6 to GCP.

How to solve IPv6 network problems If you're having issues with Linux servers, or desktops, you might need to disable the IPv6 of the network protocol. Jack Wallen shows you how.

Google is increasing the prices for Google Compute Engine (GCE) VMs using external IPv4 addresses, starting in 2020, according to messages sent to Google Cloud Platform customers. Starting on January 1, 2020, a standard GCE instance will cost an additional $0.004 per hour, with preemptable GCE instances costing an additional $0.002 per hour, if they use an external IPv4 address—essentially, an extra $2.92 or $1.46 per month, respectively. Unused static IP will remain unchanged at $0.01 per hour ($7.30 per month). 

While that price increase is by no means wallet-busting, the increase can add up quickly for users of multiple VMs. The natural solution to that would be NAT, but prices are also changing for Cloud NAT Gateway, with Google indicating that they "will charge $0.0014/hr for each VM instance up to a maximum of $0.044/hr (32 or more instances). Gateways that are serving instances beyond the maximum number are charged at the maximum rate." Users with fewer than 32 nodes will be charged less, while users with more will see no difference.

SEE: Server virtualization: Best (and worst) practices (free PDF) (TechRepublic)

Notably, ingress and egress traffic on NAT are subject to an additional $0.045/GB across all regions, as part of the price changes, making NAT less than a compelling solution to a problem that Google is arguably causing.

All of this comes as Google Cloud still lacks proper IPv6 support at the instance level on Compute Engine, despite the fact that ARIN's free pool of IPv4 address space was depleted in September 2015. Concerns about the lack of IPv4 address space have been the subject of headlines for over a decade, with TechRepublic's Deb Shinder explaining in 2005 how to make your IPv4 network scalable to IPv6

Last year, father of the internet—and Google's Chief Internet Evangelist—Vint Cerf declared that enterprise IT ships avoiding the problem of IPv4 need to "get with the program," as IPv6 standards were published years prior.

With support IPv6 in Kubernetes now relatively mature, the responsibility to enable IPv6 falls on Google. It's possible that Google could roll out proper IPv6 support prior to the price changes taking effect, though the company has a notably lackadaisical attitude toward full IPv6 support, as Android and Chrome OS lack support for DHCPv6, making these the only modern operating systems to reject the industry standard—support for DHCPv6 was added in Windows Vista, OS X 10.7 (Lion), Fedora 9, Ubuntu 11.04, iOS 4.3.1, BlackBerry 10, and Windows Phone 8. 

For more, check out TechRepublic's smart person's guide to IPv6, as well as "IPv4 addresses exhausted, networking standards must support IPv6: IAB" at ZDNet.

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Frustrated businessman staring at row of servers

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