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Fast-growing cloud provider DigitalOcean has started offering slices of physical servers to customers with IPv6 addresses — the future protocol of the Internet, as more devices come online.

Now, any “droplet” — DigitalOcean’s term for a unit of rentable computing resources — that a customer requests from the company’s Singapore data center can get an IPv6 address, according to a blog post today from chief executive Ben Uretsky.

DigitalOcean — a favorite among developers, with a reputation for low prices and ease of use — will assign 16 IPv6 addresses to each droplet, Mitch Wainer, the company’s chief marketing officer, told VentureBeat. “Essentially, we’re giving a block of IPs,” he said. And the company will soon add IPv6 support at its other data centers, too, following similar moves from other cloud providers.

It’s only a matter of time until IPv6 replaces IPv4 as the standard on the Internet. There are only so many IPv4 addresses to go around; each carries 32 bits. But with IPv6, which has 128 bits, billions more addresses become available to smartphones, connected refrigerators, and, yes, a portion of a server sitting in a data center.


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Customers have requested IPv6 support since DigitalOcean launched in 2012, Uretsky wrote in the blog post. But it will also help DigitalOcean in its quest to keep up with rivals in an increasingly competitive public cloud market. Linode, which competes with DigitalOcean on price, and market leader Amazon Web Services already offer IPv6 for cloud resources, Wainer said. And DigitalOcean doesn’t want to cede any business to those players.

IPv6 support is slated to arrive in DigitalOcean’s San Francisco data center in the next few weeks, Wainer said.

At least DigitalOcean can take comfort in how fast it’s grown lately. It announced $37.2 million in new funding in March.

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