Anycast for IPv6 Networks

Anycast works with both IPv4 and IPv6 addressing. With the ongoing shortage of IPv4 addresses, more and more large companies and internet service providers are adopting IPv6. Anycast distributes incoming traffic across multiple anycast nodes, all broadcasting the same IPv6 address. When a client sends a request to the anycast IP address, the Border Gateway Protocol (BGP) uses its routing table metrics to make sure the traffic is routed to the nearest node. By using anycast with an IPv6 network, businesses get improved performance, resilience, and load balancing for high demand services.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is IPv6?

IPv6, or Internet Protocol version 6, is the newest version of the Internet Protocol (IP). The IP is a core set of rules that help regulate how data is transmitted and received over the internet. It is a foundational part of any internet service. IP provides the information needed, such device addresses and routing information, that allow data packets to travel from one device to another across a network. 

What is the difference between an IPv4 address and an IPv6 address?

An IP address is a number that is assigned to a device on a network. An IPv4 address is made up of a 32-bit numerical label consisting of four sets of numbers separated by dots. Each set can have a value between 0 and 255, such as However, there can only be so many unique IPv4 addresses, leading to a shortage of IPv4 addresses. This led to the creation of IPv6 addressing. IPv6 addresses are much longer, using a 128-bit numerical label. IPv6 addressing is made up of eight groups of hexadecimal digits separated by colons. An example of an IPv6 address is: 2607:fc50:ffff:0000:000:0000:abcd:0005. The possible combinations of IPv6 addresses is far larger than IPv4, allowing for more devices to be connected to the internet and larger networks to be built.

What is anycast in IPv6?

You can use BGP anycast with both IPv4 and IPv6 addresses. With anycast, you can make multiple, distributed resources from a single IPv6 anycast address. One IPv6 address can belong to different nodes in a global footprint, and with anycast, incoming traffic is routed to the location nearest to them on the network.

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