Thursday, September 15, 2011

The World is running out of IPv4 addresses

Well, its finally happening, the world is starting to run out of IPv4 addresses. ICANN (Internet Corporation For Assigned Names and Numbers) and IANA (Internet Assigned Numbers Authority) announced in February that the last of the world’s remaining IPv4 blocks had been assigned to the Regional Internet Registries(RIR). We would have expected the RIRs to be able to meet demand for IPv4 addresses for at least another year. However, APNIC(Asia-Pacific Network Information Centre), the RIR for the Asia-Pasific region, announcedthat it has released its final block of IPv4 addresses.

“This event is a key turning point in IPv4 exhaustion for the Asia Pacific, as the remaining IPv4 space will be ‘rationed’ to network operators to be used as essential connectivity with next-generation IPv6 addresses (PDF Link). All new and existing APNIC Members who meet the current allocation criteria will be entitled to a maximum delegation of a /22 (1,024 addresses) of IPv4 space.” - APNIC

What caused it to run out so quickly? Primarily it is the exponential growth in fixed and mobile networks in the region. From now on, all new networks and services in the region must implement IPv6. Based on these stats it is not too hard to imagine RIPE or ARIN running out of IP addresses by the end on 2011, let alone lasting into 2012.
ARIN has reported that there has been a decline in IPv4 request since IANA reached depletion of their IPv4 pool in early February. While demand for IPv6 has gone up. So you can expect to see more interaction with IPv6 this year, and expect to have to order a few from next year onwards.
IPv6 traffic on the Internet is still reported to be only 0.25%. In hopes to improve that, the Internet Society is planning a World IPv6 dayOn World IPv6 Day, major web companies and other industry players will come together to enable IPv6 on their main websites for 24 hours. The goal is to motivate organizations across the industry — Internet service providers, hardware makers, operating system vendors and web companies — to prepare their services for IPv6 to ensure a successful transition as IPv4 address space runs out.
So, yes, its high time you start thinking about your future needs, and jump onto the IPv6 bandwagon today!