IPv4 addresses to run out by the end of this year

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IPv4 addresses to run out by the end of this year

Postby Game_boy » Mon Jan 03, 2011 10:39 pm UTC

http://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/news ... -to-go.ars

The Asia-Pacific IP address registry will likely run out of new IPv4 IP addresses to hand out by the end of this year at current rates. This means that ISPs won't be able to connect new customers to the internet. And there is no easy workaround - the whole internet including clients, servers and ISPs must switch to IPv6 to get more address space. Anything less than a complete transition will leave new customers unable to connect to some websites. Yet IPv6 penetration is currently no more than a few percent of the systems it needs to be.

It will be interesting to see when ISPs and large corporations suddenly realise they need to switch ASAP. I doubt there's enough time so that no disruption occurs when it happens.
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Re: IPv4 addresses to run out by the end of this year

Postby Bhelliom » Mon Jan 03, 2011 10:56 pm UTC

Couldn't ISPs do something like NAT but on a larger scale?
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Re: IPv4 addresses to run out by the end of this year

Postby Qaanol » Mon Jan 03, 2011 10:58 pm UTC

Game_boy wrote:Anything less than a complete transition will leave new customers unable to connect to some websites.

This is not technically true. But it would require a proxy server that people who only have an IPv6 address can connect to. It would have a pool of IPv4 addresses at its disposal, and when a request was made for a website without IPv6 capabilities it would link them dynamically. This might result in a drastic slowdown if many times more people want to access such websites than there are available IPv4 addresses. But the sites would not be inaccessible.
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Re: IPv4 addresses to run out by the end of this year

Postby phillipsjk » Tue Jan 04, 2011 12:54 am UTC

Bhelliom wrote:Couldn't ISPs do something like NAT but on a larger scale?


They can and will, but why would you want that?

The IP protocol is inherently peer to peer. The prevalence of NAT has made many P2P applications difficult like:
  • Bittorrent
  • Hosting a personal webserver
  • Using VOIP without a middle-man (ISP QoS policies are also an issue)
  • Hosting a game server for a match between friends

Keep in mind those are not only restricted by technical limitations: the Terms of Service from your ISP probably say you are not allowed to host any type of server. If you say, "fine, I'll get web-hosting," most webhosts say you are only allowed to host "normal" websites. No protocol experimentation for you.
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Re: IPv4 addresses to run out by the end of this year

Postby frezik » Tue Jan 04, 2011 1:03 am UTC

Bhelliom wrote:Couldn't ISPs do something like NAT but on a larger scale?


No. Please, no.
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Re: IPv4 addresses to run out by the end of this year

Postby Game_boy » Tue Jan 04, 2011 2:25 am UTC

OK, it's possible to use NAT, pools of IP addresses and other hacks. But they are not permanent solutions and will cause problems at some point to someone. They are (I've read) a pain to configure and operate, as are dual-stacks of IPv4 and IPv6.

The only real fix is a complete switch to IPv6, and I'm not seeing a push for the conversion any time soon.
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Re: IPv4 addresses to run out by the end of this year

Postby netcrusher88 » Tue Jan 04, 2011 3:10 am UTC

It's called carrier grade NAT, and yes, it has... problems.

It won't necessarily be users that'll drive the migration to v6. It'll be content providers who can't get any more v4 space. There are some hideous ways carriers could map v6 space into v4 space inside their NAT, but... there'll be a point, not too far off, where it'll just be cheaper to get everyone on v6 than it is to keep buying hardware and people to implement that crap.
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Re: IPv4 addresses to run out by the end of this year

Postby Glass Fractal » Tue Jan 04, 2011 3:12 am UTC

Being a very un-computer-networking-savy person I have a question, why didn't we go straight to IPv10 or something once it became apparent that the internet was going to be a big thing?

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Re: IPv4 addresses to run out by the end of this year

Postby Qaanol » Tue Jan 04, 2011 3:26 am UTC

Glass Fractal wrote:Being a very un-computer-networking-savy person I have a question, why didn't we go straight to IPv10 or something once it became apparent that the internet was going to be a big thing?

The ‘v’ stands for “version”.
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Re: IPv4 addresses to run out by the end of this year

Postby Vieto » Tue Jan 04, 2011 4:00 am UTC

Qaanol wrote:
Glass Fractal wrote:Being a very un-computer-networking-savy person I have a question, why didn't we go straight to IPv10 or something once it became apparent that the internet was going to be a big thing?

The ‘v’ stands for “version”.


regardless, I believe he was asking why they continued to use 255.255.255.255 vs 255.255.255.255.255.255.255.255.255.255.

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Re: IPv4 addresses to run out by the end of this year

Postby netcrusher88 » Tue Jan 04, 2011 4:19 am UTC

Yeah, but the question stands.

v6 was released around 1996. By that time, IPv4 had been how things worked for 10 years or more. There was hardware and software and other stuff for it. v4 was Cisco's bread and butter, and now it's Cisco's and Comcast's and Juniper's and Extreme's and Fortinet's and Verizon's and XO's and Global Crossing's and every content provider's. And since v4 exhaustion was, at best, an extreme long-term possibility, there was no real reason to change that, as v6 is incompatible. And when it did become a problem on the horizon, nobody wanted to invest money to make the transition happen and users' equipment didn't support it anyway. Most of the last ~14 years of v6 standard development has been spent on a half dozen (literally) or more transition methods.
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Re: IPv4 addresses to run out by the end of this year

Postby frezik » Tue Jan 04, 2011 5:09 am UTC

Plus, if it was just a matter of moving to 128-bit addresses, the transition might have been wrapped up before eBay had its IPO. Instead, the IPv6 standard also puts in a whole lot of fundamental fixes, which are all very nice in themselves, but caused transition plans to be delayed and made implementation all that much harder.
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Re: IPv4 addresses to run out by the end of this year

Postby Vaniver » Tue Jan 04, 2011 9:32 am UTC

Glass Fractal wrote:Being a very un-computer-networking-savy person I have a question, why didn't we go straight to IPv10 or something once it became apparent that the internet was going to be a big thing?
IPv6 uses 128 bits for the address; IPv4 uses 32 bits for the address. Essentially, that's like going to IP 16 if the current is IP 4- so they are doing that.

Why I'm not sure, as that means there will be over a hundred billion trillion quadrillion addresses per person currently alive (rather than less than one per person). You'd think 64 bits would be enough.
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Re: IPv4 addresses to run out by the end of this year

Postby phillipsjk » Tue Jan 04, 2011 12:34 pm UTC

I figure the extra address space will be enough for a pan-galactic civilization.

People have pointed out the the /64 host portion everybody gets from their ISP may not be enough for all of your nano machines in the future. I suppose you will have to supply them with site-local addresses(/118).

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Re: IPv4 addresses to run out by the end of this year

Postby Vaniver » Tue Jan 04, 2011 1:52 pm UTC

phillipsjk wrote:I figure the extra address space will be enough for a pan-galactic civilization.
It's ten billion trillion addresses per star in the observable universe, and almost a million billion trillion per star in the Milky Way. Still strikes me as overkill. 264 would still give you millions of addresses per star in the Milky Way.

But, this is 64 bits we're talking about; that's not terribly significant overhead.
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Re: IPv4 addresses to run out by the end of this year

Postby netcrusher88 » Tue Jan 04, 2011 2:47 pm UTC

Yeah v6 is on the scale of "every human from now until the heat death of the universe gets an IPv6 address every second".

Also: site-local addresses are deprecated. They were replaced by unique local addresses, which are defined better (rather than using the ambiguous term "site" they're defined like the v4 private space).
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Re: IPv4 addresses to run out by the end of this year

Postby frezik » Tue Jan 04, 2011 2:51 pm UTC

Vaniver wrote:
phillipsjk wrote:I figure the extra address space will be enough for a pan-galactic civilization.
It's ten billion trillion addresses per star in the observable universe, and almost a million billion trillion per star in the Milky Way. Still strikes me as overkill. 264 would still give you millions of addresses per star in the Milky Way.


Two reasons:

1) Zero-One-Infinity Rule. For performance reasons, a variable (potentially infinite) address space wouldn't work very well, so they've err'd on the side of too many addresses.
2) As seen in the IPv4 space, address allocation is not perfectly efficient. That is, not every address can be assigned to a host, and many sit unused*. The plan in IPv6 is to give everyone a /48, so there will be many, many unused addresses**.

* Not just in the old class-A (/8) address space, either, which is a favorite target of some people who don't know any better. There are tons of IPv4 addresses in the /29 range (6 hosts) that are sitting unused. I'm personally assigned a static /29, but only use 2 addresses, plus my ISP's gateway router (so 3 of the 6 addresses).

** Note that even at this level, there are more /48 IPv6 subnets to give out than there are IPv4 addresses total.
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Re: IPv4 addresses to run out by the end of this year

Postby Glass Fractal » Tue Jan 04, 2011 5:01 pm UTC

Vieto wrote:regardless, I believe he was asking why they continued to use 255.255.255.255 vs 255.255.255.255.255.255.255.255.255.255.


Yep, that was what I meant.

netcrusher88 wrote:v6 was released around 1996. By that time, IPv4 had been how things worked for 10 years or more. There was hardware and software and other stuff for it. v4 was Cisco's bread and butter, and now it's Cisco's and Comcast's and Juniper's and Extreme's and Fortinet's and Verizon's and XO's and Global Crossing's and every content provider's. And since v4 exhaustion was, at best, an extreme long-term possibility, there was no real reason to change that, as v6 is incompatible. And when it did become a problem on the horizon, nobody wanted to invest money to make the transition happen and users' equipment didn't support it anyway. Most of the last ~14 years of v6 standard development has been spent on a half dozen (literally) or more transition methods.


So it is, ultimately, a problem of logistics I take it. The trouble of getting everyone to switch is greater than the trouble created by patching the problem.

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Re: IPv4 addresses to run out by the end of this year

Postby Dauric » Tue Jan 04, 2011 5:18 pm UTC

Glass Fractal wrote:So it is, ultimately, a problem of logistics I take it. The trouble of getting everyone to switch is greater than the trouble created by patching the problem.


Yep.

Anyone who works in any kind of business system administration has had this fight before. I've been the IT guru in my office for a little over three years and we've only -finally- gotten a real server to host the company-wide files on. Up until this last November we've been using one of our surplus desktop machines to host the records that everyone needs access to, up until we hired another 4 or 5 employees and suddenly the top-brass in the company couldn't get access to the "file server" because too many of the office grunts had continually open connections (which they need to do their jobs in the first place).

So we had two weeks of scrambling to find workarounds and company brass twiddling their thumbs while the new $5,000 server was on order.

And this is an office of 20 people.

Now apply the same mentality to a dozen gigantic companies with millions invested in old hardware that will cost billions to replace, and vast accounting departments that make it a hassle to explain exactly why you need that IPv6 hardware (while occasionally accusing you of obfuscating some luxury with meaningless techno-jargon) and entire executive boards that don't really understand the issue but do understand that these expenditures will sap their quarterly bonuses...
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Re: IPv4 addresses to run out by the end of this year

Postby Obby » Tue Jan 04, 2011 6:10 pm UTC

Dauric wrote:Anyone who works in any kind of business system administration has had this fight before. I've been the IT guru in my office for a little over three years and we've only -finally- gotten a real server to host the company-wide files on. Up until this last November we've been using one of our surplus desktop machines to host the records that everyone needs access to, up until we hired another 4 or 5 employees and suddenly the top-brass in the company couldn't get access to the "file server" because too many of the office grunts had continually open connections (which they need to do their jobs in the first place).

So we had two weeks of scrambling to find workarounds and company brass twiddling their thumbs while the new $5,000 server was on order.

And this is an office of 20 people.

Now apply the same mentality to a dozen gigantic companies with millions invested in old hardware that will cost billions to replace, and vast accounting departments that make it a hassle to explain exactly why you need that IPv6 hardware (while occasionally accusing you of obfuscating some luxury with meaningless techno-jargon) and entire executive boards that don't really understand the issue but do understand that these expenditures will sap their quarterly bonuses...


There are actually degrees now for people to be the in-between guy for the two groups you talk about. Someone to grease the wheels, so to speak, and is able to explain all the IT jargon to the people making the corporate decisions.
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Re: IPv4 addresses to run out by the end of this year

Postby frezik » Tue Jan 04, 2011 6:17 pm UTC

Not to mention the basic economics/Game Theory involved. It would be best for all of us if we got onto IPv6 as soon as possible, but there's little incentive for each individual to bother.
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Re: IPv4 addresses to run out by the end of this year

Postby Dauric » Tue Jan 04, 2011 6:17 pm UTC

Obby wrote:
There are actually degrees now for people to be the in-between guy for the two groups you talk about. Someone to grease the wheels, so to speak, and is able to explain all the IT jargon to the people making the corporate decisions.


Doesn't surprise me, kind of long overdue actually.
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Re: IPv4 addresses to run out by the end of this year

Postby Eseell » Tue Feb 01, 2011 3:44 am UTC

This just in: IANA has allocated two of the last seven IPv4 /8s to APNIC. Of the final five, one will be allocated to each RIR. In other words, IANA is out of IPv4 addresses. Now the panicking is really going to begin.
Spoiler:
Also, I'd hate to be the RIR that gets this one.
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Re: IPv4 addresses to run out by the end of this year

Postby Triangle_Man » Tue Feb 01, 2011 3:59 am UTC

I'm sorry. I just wandered in here after not paying attention to this story for a while.

I assume we're about to hit a crisis with the internet?
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Re: IPv4 addresses to run out by the end of this year

Postby Eseell » Tue Feb 01, 2011 4:08 am UTC

That's what some people are saying. Personally, I think most people won't notice hardly at all.
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Re: IPv4 addresses to run out by the end of this year

Postby phlip » Tue Feb 01, 2011 4:45 am UTC

There's a thread in General that talks about what is likely to happen now that IPv4 has officially Run Out... The upshot at the consumer level: not a whole lot, just yet. Wait a few more months, and then you might start noticing effects.

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Re: IPv4 addresses to run out by the end of this year

Postby Minerva » Tue Feb 01, 2011 5:47 am UTC

Bhelliom wrote:Couldn't ISPs do something like NAT but on a larger scale?


Layering more NATs on top of NATs is a gigantic pain in the arse for Internet usability - but yes, it is probably one of the things that will be done as part of the solution to managing v4 exhaustion.
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Re: IPv4 addresses to run out by the end of this year

Postby Thesh » Tue Feb 01, 2011 5:58 am UTC

Some companies already do that, AOL for example has multiple customers sharing the same IP using NAT.
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Re: IPv4 addresses to run out by the end of this year

Postby Brooklynxman » Tue Feb 01, 2011 6:24 am UTC

To sum up:

We are now joining news chopper 7 with live coverage of the internet.
Spoiler:
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We figure out what all this means, then do something large and violent

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Re: IPv4 addresses to run out by the end of this year

Postby Triangle_Man » Tue Feb 01, 2011 6:33 am UTC

Brooklynxman wrote:To sum up:

We are now joining news chopper 7 with live coverage of the internet.
Spoiler:
Image



Oh crap...

This doesn't look good.

This is the exact opposite of good.
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Re: IPv4 addresses to run out by the end of this year

Postby el_loco_avs » Thu Feb 03, 2011 1:01 pm UTC

Ok we need internet versions of these guys:

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Re: IPv4 addresses to run out by the end of this year

Postby Arrian » Thu Feb 03, 2011 3:33 pm UTC

I wonder if organizations will end up selling back address space. Early adopters got massive networks, I know there are a few universities with multiple class A's and more than a couple companies that have the same.

There are addresses available out there, getting them to the right people is the problem. (The short term problem, at least. If everyone is going to have their PCs, iPhones, thermostats, fridges and toasters on the Internet, sooner or later we will need more address space.)
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Re: IPv4 addresses to run out by the end of this year

Postby Eseell » Thu Feb 03, 2011 3:40 pm UTC

Some of those folks with large legacy allocations have negotiated agreements with ARIN to keep it and some have handed a portion of their space back for re-allocation. Doubtless some of them will also try to sell their extra space directly to other autonomous systems.
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Re: IPv4 addresses to run out by the end of this year

Postby Technical Ben » Thu Feb 03, 2011 4:31 pm UTC

Quick speculate! (As when IPV6 comes in, unless we do a few internet addresses for each atom, it's going to last a while)
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Re: IPv4 addresses to run out by the end of this year

Postby Zamfir » Thu Feb 03, 2011 4:44 pm UTC

Eseell wrote:Some of those folks with large legacy allocations have negotiated agreements with ARIN to keep it and some have handed a portion of their space back for re-allocation. Doubtless some of them will also try to sell their extra space directly to other autonomous systems.

That's at the root of the problem. Skynet is buying all available space, so there won't be enough for us left.

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Re: IPv4 addresses to run out by the end of this year

Postby frezik » Fri Feb 04, 2011 4:12 am UTC

Arrian wrote:I wonder if organizations will end up selling back address space. Early adopters got massive networks, I know there are a few universities with multiple class A's and more than a couple companies that have the same.

There are addresses available out there, getting them to the right people is the problem. (The short term problem, at least. If everyone is going to have their PCs, iPhones, thermostats, fridges and toasters on the Internet, sooner or later we will need more address space.)


Something like this comes up in every thread on IPv4 allocation. The answer is always the same: getting back the entire set of the old Class A networks would give ARIN maybe three months of extra time. The costs involved would be immense--those organizations are using at least some of those addresses, and they'd all have to be reassigned, routers reconfigured, firewall rulesets rejiggered, etc.

Most of the inefficiencies in address allocation are at a much smaller level. I'm a business-class DSL customer with a static block of 5 IP addresses. I only use 2 of those, so the other 3 are blank. There's no simple way to reassign those extra addresses to someone else (it's possible, just not easy). I'm a very small part of a very big problem.

In any case, India and China have about 1 billion people each. Either one could easily absorb the entire IPv4 address space by themselves.
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