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Elastic IP address

Elastic IP address

(also EIP)

Elastic IP address definition

An elastic IP address is a static IPv4 address that can be remapped to different resources in a cloud computing environment. Cloud service providers assign a number of these addresses to their accounts and release them back into the common pool when those accounts are closed.

See also: cloud VPS, cloud VPN, IP forwarding, IP address blocking, IP reputation, virtual IP address

Advantages of elastic IP addresses

While elastic IP addresses are static (they remain unchanged until released), they can be dynamically allocated to different cloud resources within the same cloud account. Dynamic allocation allows users to remap the elastic IP address to various virtual machines or other services in their cloud infrastructure.

As such, elastic IP addresses offer flexibility and resilience — by being able to dynamically reallocate the IP address from one resource to another, users can minimize breaks in service when one virtual machine or network device fails and needs to be replaced.

Drawbacks of elastic IP addresses

Some cloud service providers charge extra for idle elastic IP addresses (addresses that are not associated with a running instance or resource. Providers may also limit the number of elastic IP addresses that can be allocated to an account to prevent IPv4 address exhaustion and promote efficient IP address usage. It is advisable to release an elastic IP address back to the pool as soon as it is no longer actively used.

Popular providers offering elastic IP addresses

  • Amazon Web Services (AWS)
  • Google Cloud Platform (GCP)
  • IBM Cloud
  • Oracle Cloud Infrastructure (OCI)
  • Alibaba Cloud
  • DigitalOcean

Further reading

Ultimate digital security