10/18 2023

AWS IPv4 Public Addresses Will Be Charged? Nextlink Guides You Through Two Major Strategies to Save Costs on IP Resources

Recently, AWS announced in its official documentation that starting from February 2024, regardless of whether users use public IPv4 addresses in their environment setups, AWS will charge users a fee of $0.005 per hour for each public IPv4 address. For users currently relying on basic services, this will undoubtedly result in additional expenses. Every instance used in Amazon EC2 computing machines, Amazon Elastic Load Balancing load balancers, instances in Amazon RDS relational databases, or nodes in AWS EKS, if connected to services with public IPv4 addresses, will be included in the bi-monthly bill. Therefore, in anticipation of this policy implementation, the Bohong Cloud Architect column specifically guides you on how to inventory resources before its enforcement, enabling you to plan ahead and effectively save costs!

History of IPv4 Address

IPv4 (Internet Protocol Version 4) is a communication protocol used for ‘identifying’ and ‘locating devices’ on the global internet. It consists of 32-bit binary numbers, typically represented in the form of four decimal numbers (ranging from 0 to 255) separated by periods. For example, an IPv4 address looks like this:

However, with the rapid development of the online world, the utilization of public IPv4 addresses is nearing full capacity at an astonishing pace. Surveys indicate that the cost of obtaining a single IPv4 address for services has tripled over the past five years. In the face of resource depletion, users must now contemplate how to efficiently allocate public IPv4 addresses to save costs. Simultaneously, accelerating the adoption of IPv6 is essential, allowing for the expansion of available IP addresses in a modernized manner.

Therefore, despite the initial inclusion of 750 hours of free usage of IPv4 addresses per month within the free tier of Amazon EC2 on AWS, starting from February 2024, there will be adjustments in the billing method:

Public IP Address TypeCurrent Charge Hourly (USD)Current Charge Hourly (USD) (Starting from 2024/2/1)
The public IPv4 addresses currently used in Amazon VPC, Amazon Global Accelerator, and AWS Site-to-Site VPN, including those provided by AWS or Elastic IP.Free$0.005
Elastic IP running additionally on EC2 instances.$0.005$0.005
Unused Elastic IP addresses in the account.$0.005$0.005

How to analyze the usage of IPv4 addresses more effectively?

In response to the potential use of multiple IPv4 addresses within a cloud account, AWS has introduced the Amazon VPC IP Address Manager. Inside, there is a Public IP Insights dashboard that allows users to monitor, analyze, and audit the currently used public IPv4 addresses free of charge. In addition to efficient utilization of IP resources, the Public IP Insights dashboard enables users to understand the security of the public IP addresses being used in their accounts. From the example below in the AWS environment, you can observe the current IP usage analysis on the dashboard:

如何更好掌握 IPv4 Public Address?
如何更好掌握 IPv4 Public Address 使用狀況?

This way, by analyzing the dashboard and public IP addresses, users can clearly understand which IP is being used for what service at the moment. This enables them to allocate resources precisely and efficiently.

Two Effective Strategies to Save Costs on IP Resources

In light of the upcoming charges for public IPv4 addresses, Bohong Cloud Architects recommend taking inventory of existing IP resources as crucial. Varied service usage could result in additional costs ranging from over USD 1,000 to as much as USD 6,000 per month for businesses. Therefore, our Bohong Cloud Architect editors present two strategies to effectively save costs on IP resources:

Verifying the Necessity of IPv4 Usage

After taking an inventory of resources, it’s essential to confirm the necessity of using these public IP addresses and whether they are required for external services in applications on AWS. For instance, Service Managed IPs in Elastic Load Balancers (ELBs) inevitably need to be connected to public IPv4 addresses, incurring associated costs.

If, upon inventory, it’s discovered that in an administrator’s role, accessing the environment only requires internal permissions without the need for public IPv4 addresses, or in user scenarios where services like Amazon EC2, ELB, and CloudFront don’t require a large number of public IPv4 addresses, it is recommended to use EIC (Elastic IP) Endpoints. This eliminates the need to connect to resources in the cloud environment through the VPC’s Internet Gateway (IGW), public IP addresses within the environment, bastion hosts, or any agents. This way, users can save unnecessary expenses.”

Gradual Implementation of IPv6 Addresses

Since IPv4 resources are gradually depleting and are soon to be charged, it’s advisable to start adopting IPv6 public addresses. IPv6 offers a significantly larger IP address space compared to IPv4 and is estimated to accommodate network usage for the next decade. Moreover, AWS provides Dual-Stack, allowing systems to operate both IPv4 and IPv6 protocol stacks simultaneously. Currently, services like Amazon EC2 and Amazon RDS support both IPv4 and IPv6 on AWS, liberating users from the limitations of IPv4 address quantities when scaling applications. Furthermore, some AWS services now support IPv6-only scenarios. Most importantly, IPv6 is currently free, making it a significant boon for users.

Feeling confused about conducting an inventory of your current IPv4 address network resources or unsure where to start? To achieve cost optimization, reach out to Nextlink immediately. We can assist you in inventorying your network resources to achieve efficient and effective resource utilization!