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Amazon Virtual Private Cloud
User Guide

Getting Started with IPv6 for Amazon VPC

In this exercise, you create a VPC with an IPv6 CIDR block, a subnet with an IPv6 CIDR block, and launch a public-facing instance into your subnet. Your instance will be able to communicate with the Internet over IPv6, and you'll be able to access your instance over IPv6 from your local computer using SSH (if it's a Linux instance) or Remote Desktop (if it's a Windows instance). In your real world environment, you can use this scenario to create a public-facing web server, for example, to host a blog.

To complete this exercise, do the following:

  • Create a nondefault VPC with an IPv6 CIDR block and a single public subnet. Subnets enable you to group instances based on your security and operational needs. A public subnet is a subnet that has access to the Internet through an Internet gateway.

  • Create a security group for your instance that allows traffic only through specific ports.

  • Launch an Amazon EC2 instance into your subnet, and associate an IPv6 address with your instance during launch. An IPv6 address is globally unique, and allows your instance to communicate with the Internet.

For more information about IPv4 and IPv6 addressing, see IP Addressing in Your VPC.

Before you can use Amazon VPC for the first time, you must sign up for Amazon Web Services (AWS). When you sign up, your AWS account is automatically signed up for all services in AWS, including Amazon VPC. If you haven't created an AWS account already, go to http://aws.amazon.com and choose Create a Free Account.

Step 1: Create the VPC

In this step, you use the Amazon VPC wizard in the Amazon VPC console to create a VPC. The wizard performs the following steps for you:

  • Creates a VPC with a /16 IPv4 CIDR block and associates a /56 IPv6 CIDR block with the VPC. For more information, see Your VPC. The size of the IPv6 CIDR block is fixed (/56) and the range of IPv6 addresses is automatically allocated from Amazon's pool of IPv6 addresses (you cannot select the range yourself).

  • Attaches an Internet gateway to the VPC. For more information about Internet gateways, see Internet Gateways.

  • Creates a subnet with an /24 IPv4 CIDR block and a /64 IPv6 CIDR block in the VPC. The size of the IPv6 CIDR block is fixed (/64).

  • Creates a custom route table, and associates it with your subnet, so that traffic can flow between the subnet and the Internet gateway. For more information about route tables, see Route Tables.

The following diagram represents the architecture of your VPC after you've completed this step.


                    Getting started: VPC with IPv6 CIDR block and subnet

Note

This exercise covers the first scenario in the VPC wizard. For more information about the other scenarios, see Scenarios for Amazon VPC.

To create a VPC using the Amazon VPC wizard

  1. Open the Amazon VPC console at https://console.aws.amazon.com/vpc/.

  2. In the navigation bar, on the top-right, take note of the region in which you are creating the VPC. Ensure that you continue working in the same region for the rest of this exercise, as you cannot launch an instance into your VPC from a different region. For more information about regions, see Regions and Availability Zones.

  3. In the navigation pane, choose VPC dashboard and choose Start VPC Wizard.

    
                            The Amazon VPC dashboard

    Note

    Do not choose Your VPCs in the navigation pane; you cannot access the VPC wizard from this page.

  4. Choose the first option, VPC with a Single Public Subnet, and choose Select.

  5. On the configuration page, enter a name for your VPC for VPC name; for example, my-vpc, and enter a name for your subnet for Subnet name. This helps you to identify the VPC and subnet in the Amazon VPC console after you've created them.

  6. For IPv4 CIDR block, you can leave the default setting (10.0.0.0/16), or specify your own. For more information, see VPC Sizing.

    For IPv6 CIDR block, choose Amazon-provided IPv6 CIDR block.

  7. For Public subnet's IPv4 CIDR, leave the default setting, or specify your own. For Public subnet's IPv6 CIDR, choose Specify a custom IPv6 CIDR. You can leave the default hexadecimal pair value for the IPv6 subnet (00).

  8. Leave the rest of the default configurations on the page, and choose Create VPC.

  9. A status window shows the work in progress. When the work completes, choose OK to close the status window.

  10. The Your VPCs page displays your default VPC and the VPC that you just created.

Viewing Information About Your VPC

After you've created the VPC, you can view information about the subnet, Internet gateway, and route tables. The VPC that you created has two route tables — a main route table that all VPCs have by default, and a custom route table that was created by the wizard. The custom route table is associated with your subnet, which means that the routes in that table determine how the traffic for the subnet flows. If you add a new subnet to your VPC, it uses the main route table by default.

To view information about your VPC

  1. Open the Amazon VPC console at https://console.aws.amazon.com/vpc/.

  2. In the navigation pane, choose Your VPCs. Take note of the name and the ID of the VPC that you created (look in the Name and VPC ID columns). You use this information to identify the components that are associated with your VPC.

  3. In the navigation pane, choose Subnets. The console displays the subnet that was created when you created your VPC. You can identify the subnet by its name in Name column, or you can use the VPC information that you obtained in the previous step and look in the VPC column.

  4. In the navigation pane, choose Internet Gateways. You can find the Internet gateway that's attached to your VPC by looking at the VPC column, which displays the ID and the name (if applicable) of the VPC.

  5. In the navigation pane, choose Route Tables. There are two route tables associated with the VPC. Select the custom route table (the Main column displays No), and then choose the Routes tab to display the route information in the details pane:

    • The first two rows in the table are the local routes, which enable instances within the VPC to communicate over IPv4 and IPv6. You can't remove these routes.

    • The next row shows the route that the Amazon VPC wizard added to enable traffic destined for an IPv4 address outside the VPC (0.0.0.0/0) to flow from the subnet to the Internet gateway.

    • The next row shows the route that enables traffic destined for an IPv6 address outside the VPC (::/0) to flow from the subnet to the Internet gateway.

  6. Select the main route table. The main route table has a local route, but no other routes.

Step 2: Create a Security Group

A security group acts as a virtual firewall to control the traffic for its associated instances. To use a security group, add the inbound rules to control incoming traffic to the instance, and outbound rules to control the outgoing traffic from your instance. To associate a security group with an instance, specify the security group when you launch the instance.

Your VPC comes with a default security group. Any instance not associated with another security group during launch is associated with the default security group. In this exercise, you create a new security group, WebServerSG, and specify this security group when you launch an instance into your VPC.

Rules for the WebServerSG Security Group

The following table describes the inbound and outbound rules for the WebServerSG security group. You add the inbound rules yourself. The outbound rule is a default rule that allows all outbound communication to anywhere — you do not need to add this rule yourself.

Inbound
Source IP Protocol Port Range Comments
::/0 TCP 80 Allows inbound HTTP access from all IPv6 addresses.
::/0 TCP 443 Allows inbound HTTPS traffic from all IPv6 addresses.

IPv6 address range of your home network

TCP

22 or 3389

Allows inbound SSH access (port 22) from the range of IPv6 addresses in your home network to a Linux/UNIX instance. If your instance is a Windows instance, you need a rule that allows RDP access (port 3389).

Outbound
Destination IP Protocol Port Range Comments
0.0.0.0/0 All All The default outbound rule that allows all outbound IPv4 communication. You do not need to modify this rule for this exercise.
::/0 All All The default outbound rule that allows all outbound IPv6 communication. You do not need to modify this rule for this exercise.

Note

If you want to use your web server instance for IPv4 traffic too, you must add rules that enable access over IPv4; in this case, HTTP and HTTPS traffic from all IPv4 addresses (0.0.0.0/0) and SSH/RDP access from the IPv4 address range of your home network.

Creating Your WebServerSG Security Group

You can create your security group using the Amazon VPC console.

To create the WebServerSG security group and add rules

  1. Open the Amazon VPC console at https://console.aws.amazon.com/vpc/.

  2. In the navigation pane, choose Security Groups, Create Security Group.

  3. For Group name, enter WebServerSG as the name of the security group and provide a description. You can optionally use the Name tag field to create a tag for the security group with a key of Name and a value that you specify.

  4. Select the ID of your VPC from the VPC menu and choose Yes, Create.

  5. Select the WebServerSG security group that you just created (you can view its name in the Group Name column).

  6. On the Inbound Rules tab, choose Edit, add rules for inbound traffic as follows, and then choose Save when you're done:

    1. For Type, choose HTTP and enter ::/0 in the Source field.

    2. Choose Add another rule, For Type, choose HTTPS, and then enter ::/0 in the Source field.

    3. Choose Add another rule. If you're launching a Linux instance, choose SSH for Type, or if you're launching a Windows instance, choose RDP. Enter your network's public IPv6 address range in the Source field. If you don't know this address range, you can use ::/0 for this exercise.

      Warning

      If you use ::/0, you enable all IPv6 addresses to access your instance using SSH or RDP. This is acceptable for the short exercise, but it's unsafe for production environments. In production, authorize only a specific IP address or range of addresses to access your instance.

Step 3: Launch an Instance

When you launch an EC2 instance into a VPC, you must specify the subnet in which to launch the instance. In this case, you'll launch an instance into the public subnet of the VPC you created. Use the Amazon EC2 launch wizard in the Amazon EC2 console to launch your instance.

To ensure that your instance is accessible from the Internet, assign an IPv6 address from the subnet range to the instance during launch. This ensures that your instance can communicate with the Internet over IPv6.

The following diagram represents the architecture of your VPC after you've completed this step.


                    Getting started: Launch instance

To launch an EC2 instance into a VPC

  1. Open the Amazon EC2 console at https://console.aws.amazon.com/ec2/.

  2. In the navigation bar, on the top-right, ensure that you select the same region in which you created your VPC and security group.

  3. From the dashboard, choose Launch Instance.

  4. On the first page of the wizard, choose the AMI to use. For this exercise, we recommend that you choose an Amazon Linux AMI or a Windows AMI.

  5. On the Choose an Instance Type page, you can select the hardware configuration and size of the instance to launch. By default, the wizard selects the first available instance type based on the AMI that you selected. You can leave the default selection and choose Next: Configure Instance Details.

  6. On the Configure Instance Details page, select the VPC that you created from the Network list and the subnet from the Subnet list.

  7. For Auto-assign IPv6 IP, choose Enable.

  8. Leave the rest of the default settings, and go through the next pages of the wizard until you get to the Add Tags page.

  9. On the Add Tags page, you can tag your instance with a Name tag; for example Name=MyWebServer. This helps you to identify your instance in the Amazon EC2 console after you've launched it. Choose Next: Configure Security Group when you are done.

  10. On the Configure Security Group page, the wizard automatically defines the launch-wizard-x security group to allow you to connect to your instance. Instead, choose the Select an existing security group option, select the WebServerSG group that you created previously, and then choose Review and Launch.

  11. On the Review Instance Launch page, check the details of your instance and choose Launch.

  12. In the Select an existing key pair or create a new key pair dialog box, you can choose an existing key pair, or create a new one. If you create a new key pair, ensure that you download the file and store it in a secure location. You need the contents of the private key to connect to your instance after it's launched.

    To launch your instance, select the acknowledgment check box and choose Launch Instances.

  13. On the confirmation page, choose View Instances to view your instance on the Instances page. Select your instance, and view its details in the Description tab. The Private IPs field displays the private IPv4 address that's assigned to your instance from the range of IPv4 addresses in your subnet. The IPv6 IPs field displays the IPv6 address that's assigned to your instance from the range of IPv6 addresses in your subnet.

For more information about the options available in the Amazon EC2 launch wizard, see Launching an Instance in the Amazon EC2 User Guide for Linux Instances.

You can connect to your instance through its IPv6 address using SSH or Remote Desktop from your home network. For more information about how to connect to a Linux instance, see Connecting to Your Linux Instance in the Amazon EC2 User Guide for Linux Instances. For more information about how to connect to a Windows instance, see Connect to Your Windows Instance Using RDP in the Amazon EC2 User Guide for Windows Instances.

Note

If you also want your instance to be accessible via an IPv4 address over the Internet, SSH, or RDP, you must associate an Elastic IP address (a static public IPv4 address) to your instance, and you must adjust your security group rules to allow access over IPv4. To do this, see the steps in Getting Started.