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At Current Rates, Only a Few More Years' Worth of IPv4 Addresses

timothy posted more than 4 years ago | from the so-last-decade dept.

The Internet 460

An anonymous reader excerpts from an interesting article at Ars Technica, which begins "There are 3,706,650,624 usable IPv4 addresses. On January 1, 2000, approximately 1,615 million (44 percent) were in use and 2,092 million were still available. Today, ten years later, 2,985 million addresses (81 percent) are in use, and 722 million are still free. In that time, the number of addresses used per year increased from 79 million in 2000 to 203 million in 2009. So it's a near certainty that before Barack Obama vacates the White House, we'll be out of IPv4 address[es]. (Even if he doesn't get re-elected.)"

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Don't say "NAT" (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30635740)

Can we start the discussion by not immediately going to the "NAT will save us" argument? Just accept that while NAT deployments might put it off, IPv6 deployment is inevitably necessary.

::1 (4, Funny)

sakdoctor (1087155) | more than 4 years ago | (#30635768)

I've already got MY ipv6 address.

Re:::1 (1)

negRo_slim (636783) | more than 4 years ago | (#30636190)

Which is great if users are able to connect to said address.

Re:::1 (4, Funny)

furball (2853) | more than 4 years ago | (#30636392)

You can't reach loopback?

Re:Don't say "NAT" (5, Informative)

sopssa (1498795) | more than 4 years ago | (#30635860)

No, not really. There's companies with whole fucking /8 [iana.org] that have no real purpose to own them, but they've just always had them:

003/8 General Electric Company 1994-05 LEGACY
004/8 Level 3 Communications, Inc. 1992-12 LEGACY
008/8 Level 3 Communications, Inc. 1992-12 LEGACY (two /8's ?)
009/8 IBM 1992-08 LEGACY
013/8 Xerox Corporation 1991-09 LEGACY
015/8 Hewlett-Packard Company 1994-07 LEGACY
016/8 Digital Equipment Corporation 1994-11 LEGACY
017/8 Apple Computer Inc. 1992-07 LEGACY
019/8 Ford Motor Company 1995-05 LEGACY
034/8 Halliburton Company 1993-03 LEGACY
044/8 Amateur Radio Digital Communications 1992-07 LEGACY
045/8 Interop Show Network 1995-01 LEGACY
047/8 Bell-Northern Research 1991-01 LEGACY
048/8 Prudential Securities Inc. 1995-05 LEGACY
052/8 E.I. duPont de Nemours and Co., Inc. 1991-12 LEGACY
053/8 Cap Debis CCS 1993-10 LEGACY
054/8 Merck and Co., Inc. 1992-03 LEGACY
056/8 US Postal Service 1994-06 LEGACY

Just get rid of the companies that are reserving such huge spaces without having a real reason to do so, other than that they were there to reserve them in start of 90's. Also US and UK army and defence and other ministers have several /8, but why really? Other countries do just fine without too.

Re:Don't say "NAT" (4, Insightful)

growse (928427) | more than 4 years ago | (#30635934)

So we go through a huge difficult, expensive process to save us, what? A couple of years? Why bother?

Re:Don't say "NAT" (4, Insightful)

sopssa (1498795) | more than 4 years ago | (#30636030)

Seeing the state of IPv6 and how many devices still don't support it, I think thats a pretty good idea. That being said, IPv6 support should be fully done in new devices, OS and programs already, because you need to give some time for old devices too so they can still work under IPv4.

But on another thing, I really doubt we are just a few years ago from IPv4 addresses going out of stock. There's still many /8 unallocated to anyone, most ISP's still give their users 5 ip addresses on home lines and from most hosting companies you can buy new ip's for $1-3 per piece. If we will be running out of them, we will first see hosting companies upping their prices and home ISP's limiting how many IP's they give to customers. And that will come far before we're actually out of address space.

Re:Don't say "NAT" (2, Insightful)

petermgreen (876956) | more than 4 years ago | (#30636144)

we will first see hosting companies upping their prices and home ISP's limiting how many IP's they give to customers. And that will come far before we're actually out of address space.
That depends on what the IANA and the RIRs do. with thier policies over the next few years.

Right now IMO the sane policy for an ISP is to allocate as many IPs to customers as they can get away with, that way they can "justify" getting new IPs from the RIR. When the final squeeze comes with no new IPs availible from the RIRs the ISPs can then claw back IPs from less lucrative customers and give them to more lucrative ones.

Re:Don't say "NAT" (2, Interesting)

gmuslera (3436) | more than 4 years ago | (#30636334)

Inertia could make your car crash even if you started to turn when saw the danger. A few meters more could be the difference between your life or death.

Re:Don't say "NAT" (1)

maxume (22995) | more than 4 years ago | (#30636446)

It also makes my car sit safely in my driveway.

Re:Don't say "NAT" (1)

tehdaemon (753808) | more than 4 years ago | (#30635978)

According to the article (which I haven't read yet BTW) all those /8's listed total what, 18 months worth of addresses? And the legal battles to get them will take how long?

T

Re:Don't say "NAT" (1)

maxume (22995) | more than 4 years ago | (#30636454)

Why have a legal battle? Just let the current holders auction off sub-blocks.

Re:Don't say "NAT" (5, Informative)

swillden (191260) | more than 4 years ago | (#30636012)

No, not really. There's companies with whole fucking /8 [iana.org] that have no real purpose to own them, but they've just always had them:

The block you listed contain a total of 301,989,888 addresses. At 2009's rate of 203 million addresses per year, returning those blocks would buy us less than 18 months. Big whoop.

Also, some of those companies actually do make significant use of the addresses they have. For example, I happen to know that IBM uses a good chunk of the 9.0.0.0 space.

Re:Don't say "NAT" (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30636124)

I happen to know that IBM uses a good chunk of the 9.0.0.0 space.

For what? Do all their PCs have public IPs?

Where I work has an entire class B and all of our PCs are public and we're talking now about NAT'ing them all, for security reasons. Once upon a time this would have been a nightmare because all of our devices have static IPs, but now we have a process to easily map in MAC addresses of authorized devices into a DHCP address so they all get their own IP.

What I'm saying is, once upon a time having to give that class B back would have been a nightmare -- right now, not really. We could probably live with a class C.

(Posted anon since someone where I work would probably take great exception to this...)

For stupid reasons (1)

Junta (36770) | more than 4 years ago | (#30636232)

I also know first hand IBM uses a lot of 9.0.0.0/8 today and that the world would have to do something drastic to make them change their usage as it isn't cost-effective from their standpoint unless they can save/get a large chunk of change.

Now, you'd think that means these devices are publically accessible, but noooo. If 99% of their '9.x.x.x' equipment that does have internet access attempts a connection, it gets NATed outbound to a different address entirely! So they sit on a mountain of globally addressable IP addresses, and then only use them internally for nearly all of them.

Just give me a sane IPv6 environment (give me richer DHCPv6 capability than I have today and a few other things that are just flat-out missing in the IP6 generation) and a /48 (or /56) for my house and I'll be on my way.

Re:For stupid reasons (1)

metamatic (202216) | more than 4 years ago | (#30636364)

Now, you'd think that means these devices are publically accessible, but noooo. If 99% of their '9.x.x.x' equipment that does have internet access attempts a connection, it gets NATed outbound to a different address entirely!

Depends on the IBM site. Some use NAT and/or a proxy, but the sites I've worked at in the US don't. In fact, the NATted sites are a source of technical issues internally, exactly as you'd expect.

[Opinions mine, not IBM's.]

Re:For stupid reasons (1)

Stile 65 (722451) | more than 4 years ago | (#30636480)

GE's use of their 3.0.0.0/8 is exactly the same way. All their devices have public IP addresses, and they're all NATed at the firewall anyway - even for some internal communication. The NAT doesn't cause too many problems at most of the sites I've worked with (except one, getting that firewall migrated was a bitch and a half) but it's a huge waste of IP space.

Same goes for many of the customers of my former employer with full /16 blocks, too. Absolutely no reason for most companies to have that much if you're trying to conserve IPv4 address space.

That said, NAT is heinous and horrible for the end user. Peer-to-peer technologies suck when more than one device on the user's network attempts to use them at the same time (and I'm not just talking about BitTorrent, I'm talking about mixnets like Tor and I2P). I look forward to the day when I can have at least my own /64 if not my own /48 without having to tunnel it. Or several /64s - at least one for home and one for my phone and portable devices tethered thereto.

Re:Don't say "NAT" (4, Informative)

swillden (191260) | more than 4 years ago | (#30636268)

I happen to know that IBM uses a good chunk of the 9.0.0.0 space.

For what? Do all their PCs have public IPs?

At present, yes. Also their phones. But the employees' PCs are a fraction of IBM's computers. Keep in mind that IBM runs large data centers all over the world.

Yes, were IBM to go through a very large and expensive network restructuring to move many of the internal networks to NAT, they could probably give a few million addresses back. Maybe as many as 15 million. And at the 2009 rate that would buy us 26 days.

Where I work has an entire class B and all of our PCs are public and we're talking now about NAT'ing them all, for security reasons.

That's silly.

There's no security value to NAT. NAT does provide a stateful firewall that disallows inbound connections, but you can do that just as well without NAT, and with a great deal more flexibility.

Re:Don't say "NAT" (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30636104)

004/8 Level 3 Communications, Inc. 1992-12 LEGACY
008/8 Level 3 Communications, Inc. 1992-12 LEGACY (two /8's ?)

That's due to the acquisition of BBN who was the contractor that did a lot of initial ARPANET work. (The original defense contractor role of BBN was later spun back out and is now part of Raytheon but the network assets stayed with Genuity and then later Level 3) They also have the AS number "1", which gives them some severe old-school bragging rights.

Those assignments really aren't that bad -- they're a major ISP and would have huge chunks of IP space regardless. At least 4/8 is largely delegated to customers (I see 4.x.x.x IP addresses all the time) Not sure how much they've dipped into 8/8.

As other posters have pointed out, recycling them won't really give us much time. I'm not opposed to it personally, but it's not a fix

Re:Don't say "NAT" (2, Informative)

RalphSleigh (899929) | more than 4 years ago | (#30636338)

Google run their public DNS on 8.8.8.8 and 8.8.4.4 so they are being used, this is probably because level 3 provide google with multicast on these addresses.

Re:Don't say "NAT" (4, Insightful)

Hatta (162192) | more than 4 years ago | (#30636270)

It'll be easier to give everyone a block of ipv6 addresses than it will be to take away legacy ipv4 allocations.

Block most ips only give you 1 with 5 costs a lot (0)

Joe The Dragon (967727) | more than 4 years ago | (#30636430)

Block most ips only give you 1 with 5 costs a lot more will comcast ban NAT with ipv6 and make you pay $5+ per pc.
  They pull that carp on the tv side with there outlet fees.

Re:Don't say "NAT" (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30636314)

047/8 Bell-Northern Research 1991-01 LEGACY

BNR, aka Nortel, is currently on the chopping block in bankruptcy court, with many of the big chunks already gobbled up by competitors. Be interesting to see if they hang on to this range and somehow tie it into their post-bankruptcy patent-troll fantasies.

And as many others have noted, only a tiny handful of these class-A addresses (47) are publicly routable.

Re:Don't say "NAT" (1)

fermion (181285) | more than 4 years ago | (#30636402)

Another piece of useless trivia. When HP acquired Compaq which acquired DEC, HP apparently became the only firm with two consecutive "/8".

It might have been 3, but Compaq was never awarded a block. I never understood why that was. Compaq was certainly the major player in the early 90's.

In any case the IPv6 seems to implemented in all major OS(I don't know if it has fully support in Windows 7), so I suspect we will be transitioned within a couple years.It is like telephone numbers. In the US we are up to 10 digits, and we have seen no disasters as a result. We even have number portability.

Re:Don't say "NAT" (1)

enriquevagu (1026480) | more than 4 years ago | (#30635874)

Actually... NAT is WHAT prevented IPv4 from exhausting several years ago.

Re:Don't say "NAT" (3, Insightful)

causality (777677) | more than 4 years ago | (#30635920)

Can we start the discussion by not immediately going to the "NAT will save us" argument? Just accept that while NAT deployments might put it off, IPv6 deployment is inevitably necessary.

It's not unreasonable to say that the increasing scarcity of a finite resource might put more pressure on all of us to utilize that resource more efficiently. Replacing the scarce resource (IPv4 with its 2^32 addresses) with one that is overabundant (IPv6 with its 2^128 addresses) is always an option, of course. But migrating to that option and more wisely using our existing resources are not mutually exclusive. So no, I don't recognize as invalid the discussion of NAT as a technique useful for mitigating this issue.

Re:Don't say "NAT" (1)

fbjon (692006) | more than 4 years ago | (#30636032)

There is no scarcity of the "resource" to begin with, only design flaws. Plus, more efficient use requires more complicated routing.

Pre-emptive strike (5, Insightful)

fbjon (692006) | more than 4 years ago | (#30635994)

"IPv6 addresses are too long and complicated to type"

...is like saying solar panels are too hard to build when you run out of slave labor in hamster wheels.

"We don't need IPv6 since there is NAT"

...is like saying we don't need new energy solutions because beeswax candles are a tried and trusted technology.

"The Internet will be overrun by zombies when NATs no longer protect us."

...is like saying avoiding antibacterial soap will cause untold misery and disease.

"Just re-allocate some of the wasted space in Class A nets."

...is like saying overcrowding of the planet can be mitigated by decreasing the size of houses.

Re:Pre-emptive strike (2, Insightful)

Athanasius (306480) | more than 4 years ago | (#30636100)

"...is like saying avoiding antibacterial soap will cause untold misery and disease."

Well, actually, it has some potential to be a problem, if not used correctly:

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/health/8427399.stm [bbc.co.uk]

Re:Pre-emptive strike (3, Insightful)

fbjon (692006) | more than 4 years ago | (#30636140)

Precisely, NAT is part of the problem.

IPv6 (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30635744)

IPv6 to the rescue!

How many more times are we going to run out? (1)

toxygen01 (901511) | more than 4 years ago | (#30635746)

This is zillionth news article I read about running of ipv4 addresses, first in 2000, then 2004, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2014... what next?
some corporations are given /8 subnets, they clearly don't take use of all of it, so it's not a problem to cut piece of cake from those ip ranges.

i'm pretty sure, if we are in trouble, we can find "few" millions of unused ip's...

http://imgs.xkcd.com/comics/map_of_the_internet.jpg [xkcd.com]

Re:How many more times are we going to run out? (5, Insightful)

Burdell (228580) | more than 4 years ago | (#30635802)

RTFS and do the math. 203 million addresses were allocated in 2009; a /8 is 16.7 million addresses; reclaiming a /8 (which would probably take a lot of time and effort, possibly in court) would put off the IPv4 depletion by about one month. It isn't worth the effort; better to put it into IPv6.

Re:How many more times are we going to run out? (1)

Chang (2714) | more than 4 years ago | (#30635862)

We are consuming a little more than a /8 every month and if every single /8 was reclaimed from a corporation that was assigned prior to 1995 how much extra time would that buy us?

How many years and millions would be spent getting them to renumber or forcing them to renumber through some sort of legal process?

How long is it going to take to transition to IPv6 - probably 10 years or more.

Where is the time and money better spent?

Re:How many more times are we going to run out? (1)

Teancum (67324) | more than 4 years ago | (#30636234)

How long is it going to take to transition to IPv6 - probably 10 years or more.

Where is the time and money better spent?

The transition to IPv6 should have been 10 years ago. It is that old of a concept. That it might take 10 more years is essentially saying it will never happen.

I agree that IPv6 is the way to go, and it astounds me that there are folks even willing to issue IPv4 address blocks. If the harsh reality comes down that no new IP addresses are going to be allocated, folks will be much more prone to a solution like IPv6.

I remember nearly two decades ago that a discussion came up at the university that I attended (which had a /16 address block... or old "Class B" for those in the know) started to go through having to justify all 65k IP addresses that they had and how they were going to be used in the future. Quite literally, every PC in every department plus ones for all of the students were allocated to "justify" keeping the full block. The situation hasn't really changed there either, and that university is quite jealous at keeping its IP block too.

What is funny, however, is folks allocating IPv6 are even more stingy at allocating IP addresses than those involved with IPv4 ever were.

Re:How many more times are we going to run out? (2, Funny)

sopssa (1498795) | more than 4 years ago | (#30635906)

As long as they don't take away 69.69.69.69 from it's owner:

$ host 69.69.69.69
69.69.69.69.in-addr.arpa domain name pointer the-coolest-ip-on-the-net.com.

Re:How many more times are we going to run out? (1)

Dunbal (464142) | more than 4 years ago | (#30636038)

Look at it this way - the year we run out of IPv4 addresses is the same year that linux will be the desktop OS of choice - because Duke Nukem Forever will only be available on linux.

No, that's propaganda (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30635750)

We'll never run out of IPv4 addresses. "Peak-IPv4" is a myth created by those who hate America and want Asia's IPv6 to take over. 4 octets forever!

Re:No, that's propaganda (1, Funny)

Tablizer (95088) | more than 4 years ago | (#30635894)

It's a liberal myth created by Nazi Corporist Jews to take over the IP world and land a fake man on the moon while shooting JFK wearing an Elvis mask from a black helicopter with "UFO" painted on the side just before crashing into the twin towers.

Re:No, that's propaganda (5, Insightful)

Zocalo (252965) | more than 4 years ago | (#30635962)

I know you are joking, but there is a very good reason why Asia is so keen on IPv6 adoption; they are going to feel the crunch first and they know it. IANA has in place an agreement that as soon as one of the RIRs is assigned one of the five final /8s each of the other four RIRs receives one of the remaining /8s and IANA washes their hands of the whole mess. That's without a doubt the most critical milestone along the path to IPv4 exhaustion, so let's look at that instant from the point of each of the RIRs:
  • AfriNIC: Incredibly slow burn rate. They're probably still good for another decade or two at this point.
  • APNIC: Includes China and India, two of the fastest developing nations on the planet with correspondingly high IPv4 assignment requests. There's no two ways about it; without wholesale IPv6 adoption, they're going to be the ones running out first.
  • ARIN: Capitalists to the end, they are on record as saying IPv4 exhaustion is not their problem to solve; it's first come first served and when they are all gone that's it. Even so, there are plenty of US institutions with /8s that could mostly be handed back and reassigned if push came to shove.
  • LACNIC: Not quite as low AfriNIC due to developing countries like Brazil, but are still able to sit back and let any problems with IPv6 get resolved before they make the leap.
  • RIPE: Have already got the strictest IP assignment policies of the RIRs and will probably just continue to tighten the screw right up until the point of exhaustion; LIR assignment windows are typically about one quarter of what they would have been five years ago. It's a pretty fair bet that APNIC and ARIN will both beat them to the wall.

Fool! (1)

ravenspear (756059) | more than 4 years ago | (#30636260)

IANA has in place an agreement that as soon as one of the RIRs is assigned one of the five final /8s

You DO NOT talk about the final five. That is against your programming.

No need to panic. (-1, Offtopic)

geekmux (1040042) | more than 4 years ago | (#30635766)

"...So it's a near certainty that before Barack Obama vacates the White House, we'll be out of IPv4 address[es]...

Ah, that's OK. I hear he's still got Al Gores number. Hell, they're practically Nobel Prize bosom buddies now. Al should have an answer. After all, he invented this whole thing, right? You know, kind of like how he invented Global Warming?

Ah, nothing like a hot cup of sarcasm with a touch of irony to keep warm...

Re:No need to panic. (-1, Offtopic)

fm6 (162816) | more than 4 years ago | (#30635808)

Ah, nothing like a hot cup of sarcasm with a touch of irony to keep warm...

Nothing like repeating the same old "stupid liberal" cliches for the millionth time.

Re:No need to panic. (0, Offtopic)

hedwards (940851) | more than 4 years ago | (#30635868)

It's really irritating to still be hearing that long since debunked claim that Gore claimed to invent the internet. In the video where he supposedly claimed that he invented the internet he says nothing more than that he took initiative on the internet. Implying that it must have previously existed to take initiative on. Which for politicians of that day was somewhat remarkable considering the almost complete lack of competence in the area in general.

Re:No need to panic. (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30636356)

It's really irritating to still be hearing that long since debunked claim that Gore claimed to invent the internet. In the video where he supposedly claimed that he invented the internet he says nothing more than that he took initiative on the internet

Actually the quote is "During my service in the United States Congress, I took the initiative in creating the Internet."

'initiative' = "A beginning or introductory step; an opening move: took the initiative in trying to solve the problem." [freedictionary.com]

'create' = To cause to exist; bring into being. [freedictionary.com]

So, substituting the meaning for the words in his sentence, you get "During my service in the United States Congress, I took a beginning or introductory step in causing the Internet to exist."

Sorry, still sounds like he's claiming to have invented the Internet.

Let me be the first to say ... (5, Funny)

GNUALMAFUERTE (697061) | more than 4 years ago | (#30635772)

4 octets should be enough for everyone.

I'll believe it when I see it (2, Interesting)

haus (129916) | more than 4 years ago | (#30635796)

It has not yet become a big enough of a problem for the large sections of unused address by universities such as MIT and Harvard to be recalled.

Re:I'll believe it when I see it (1)

Alrua (704865) | more than 4 years ago | (#30635828)

It has not yet become a big enough of a problem for the large sections of unused address by universities such as MIT and Harvard to be recalled.

Well actually, from TFA:

There is an old story that Stanford University supposedly has more IPv4 addresses than the entire country of China. At the beginning of the decade, this was true: Stanford had the entire 36.0.0.0/8 class A block, more than twice the less-than 8 million addresses that were given out in China at the time. Times have changed, however. Last year, China passed Japan and took the number-two spot behind the US. This year, organizations in China obtained another 50.67 million addresses for a total of 232 million. And Stanford is one of the very few organizations that has returned a class A block.

I read the org post in 1998 (1)

haus (129916) | more than 4 years ago | (#30636192)

So there is no need to read the repost.

I will guess by your user id that you where in junior high then, or are old and senile and forgot the password to your old account. Either way the story goes that everyone needs many address they do not exist so we will all change over to IPV6 by Thursday. Hint the research is done by people who have a vested interest in selling gear or by grad students who have never worked anywhere.

When you have read the next three such articles and the country is suffering through the nightmare of a Palin presidency you will become cynical as well...

Re:I'll believe it when I see it (1)

Blakey Rat (99501) | more than 4 years ago | (#30635842)

But I love reading this story over and over again about every 2 years. It'll happen any day now!! We pinky-swear!

Every two years? Hah. More like twice a year (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30636182)

Yeah... I used to think that this will be a real problem. I have, however, seen so many articles about it (especially on Slashdot) over the years that it is getting harder and harder to believe "THAT date will be the final one...". You know, you've all heard stories about the boy who cried "Wolf!".

Every time I see another story about this, I get more certain that the problems - if there'll be any - will be postponed even more, if there'll even be any. Yeah, we'll have to pay a bit more for static IPs, whooppedoo.

(Yes, I study network engineering. I know what the problems would supposedly be.)

Re:Every two years? Hah. More like twice a year (1)

dgatwood (11270) | more than 4 years ago | (#30636386)

I'm not positive, but I'm pretty sure we'll run out of IP addresses on December 21, 2012. :-)

Re:I'll believe it when I see it (1)

JWSmythe (446288) | more than 4 years ago | (#30636320)

    If I remember right, it's been less than a year since the last "the IP sky is falling" story here. Even then, we were numbered in months, not years. I know the deadline was in 2009. :) I have a lot of faith in it's failure though. It'll fall apart, and we're going to all die, or at least not be able to twitter quite as much. :)

Re:I'll believe it when I see it (2, Informative)

swillden (191260) | more than 4 years ago | (#30636040)

It has not yet become a big enough of a problem for the large sections of unused address by universities such as MIT and Harvard to be recalled.

At over 200 million new addresses needed per year, returning all of those class As wouldn't buy more than 2-3 years.

Re:I'll believe it when I see it (1)

schon (31600) | more than 4 years ago | (#30636328)

At over 200 million new addresses needed per year, returning all of those class As wouldn't buy more than 2-3 years.

That's great then - everyone knows that the world is gonna end in 2012, so it's not a problem!

Re:I'll believe it when I see it (4, Interesting)

fm6 (162816) | more than 4 years ago | (#30636174)

Do you think the current owners are hanging onto their address spaces out of pure spite? If they rely on the Internet to do business, this crisis hurts them more than anybody.

This mess happened because of the simplistic addressing schemes that were implemented without taking into account the explosive growth of the Internet. One result is that that some early adopters ended up with Class A [tcpipguide.com] networks (16 million addresses) because they needed more than the 64 thousand addresses in a Class B network. Only one Class A space belongs to a university (MIT). (There used to be two, but Stanford gave its IP space back.) Other owners include Halliburton, Apple, IBM, and Xerox PARC. HP has two, counting the one that was originally issued to DEC. DoD has eight.

Reassigning all these addresses would be a logistical nightmare, because you're changing the basic logic of network routing. Imagine all the routers that would have to be reprogrammed or replaced, and the expensive down time that would result. Much more cost effective to just go to IPv6 already. Plus there are other features of IPv6 we really, really need.

Except that nobody's doing it. I used to work at Sun, where I kept suggesting that our embedded lights-out management system [sun.com] (all Sun servers have them) start supporting IPv6. The answer I always got was, "customers aren't asking for it." Which means that everybody is putting off this problem until the last minute. As usual.

Re:I'll believe it when I see it (0)

haus (129916) | more than 4 years ago | (#30636282)

Sure the DNS changes will be a pain, but who cares, it can be done.

Besides Halliburton, Daimler, and what is left of PRAC can all share a NAT'ed home DSL line and no one would notice...

Re:I'll believe it when I see it (1)

Jonner (189691) | more than 4 years ago | (#30636304)

The difficulty being discussed is not related to DNS, but to IP routing, a lower level function.

Re:I'll believe it when I see it (1)

fm6 (162816) | more than 4 years ago | (#30636462)

Anything can be done, if you have enough money. The question is, where does the money come from?

Re:I'll believe it when I see it (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30636408)

Well, where I live it's impossible to get a fixed IPv4 address for a reasonable fee. So yes I certainly believe it - for all practical purposes addresses have already run out. Arguing about recalling addresses previously handed out sort of circles around the main problem, namely that there are so few addresses that they are a scarce resource. Even if only half the addresses or so would be actually assigned, that would probably still impose a monetary value on something which could be free, were it not for the fact that we're only using four bytes and doing so for no good reason at that.

Ah but...! (1)

Wowsers (1151731) | more than 4 years ago | (#30635822)

Ah but nobody will take away the IPv4 address I got myself, 127.0.0.1 !

Re:Ah but...! (4, Funny)

hedwards (940851) | more than 4 years ago | (#30635882)

Ha ha, I'm pwning it as we spe

Re:Ah but...! (1)

sconeu (64226) | more than 4 years ago | (#30635884)

Hey! That's MY IP address, you insensitive clod!

Re:Ah but...! (1)

t0y (700664) | more than 4 years ago | (#30636072)

It's a /8... The address fairy will soon revoke it from you.

Re:Ah but...! (1)

Teancum (67324) | more than 4 years ago | (#30636308)

I was more worried about my own private /8 block:

10.0.0.0

Of course I could still settle with simply

192.168.0.0

I've used both plenty of times.

I am curious.... how did you know the address to my web server?

Bono should be pleased... (4, Funny)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | more than 4 years ago | (#30635856)

Anybody not paying for a business line will being going through so many layers of NAT in the near future that getting bittorrent to work will be quite difficult...

Re:Bono should be pleased... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30636094)

Last time I checked, anyone who uses bittorrent seriously shovels out the $150/month to rent a dedicated server with gigabit line and several public ip addresses that come with it.
And the sad part is that the 2mbit business line(/28 subnet) which I'm paying for is twice as expensive compared.

Re:Bono should be pleased... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30636198)

This is just sad.

In other news (1)

Cmdr-Absurd (780125) | more than 4 years ago | (#30635896)

Commercial fusion power will be a reality in 20 years.

We've been hearing this for a while (1)

badger.foo (447981) | more than 4 years ago | (#30635910)

We've been hearing this for quite a while, and for some odd reason IPv6 isn't really entering the mainstream regardless of these warnings.

We should not forget that within IPv4 space, reallocations do happen. Some organizations are AFAIK still sitting on routeable /8s for no good reason whatsoever, and possibly, maybe, some of that space will be redistributed one way or the other. Then of course those parts of the world that have actually switched to IPv6 are not likely to switch back (but you'd have to pry their 4to6 and 6to4 gateways from their dead, cold fingers), and actuall large segments of the Western world lives quite comfortably (fsvo) behind one or more layers of NAT.

So are we actually that close to running out?

Could be. It could also be that reallocations happen in IPv4 space that make the matter a little less urgent for just long enough that IPv6 wins the hearts and minds of the resisters or their objections are in fact addressed.

Re:We've been hearing this for a while (1)

Tablizer (95088) | more than 4 years ago | (#30635942)

If there is a small fee levied for each IP address block loaned out, then the unused ones may start appearing back on the market.

No real scarcity yet (5, Interesting)

bizitch (546406) | more than 4 years ago | (#30635912)

I just helped out a friend who lives in a remote rural section outside of Chicago. I tried for years and years to get her lit up on decent broadband service.

Finally, we got a relay from a WiMAX provider --

When I went to connect her broadband with a Cisco router - I discovered that she was assigned a FRIGGIN /27 of public numbers!! (i.e. she now personally burns 32 usefull IPV4's)

I was gonna call their support ... but why bother?

You never know if she's gonna need 30+ public ip numbers right? Just because she lives alone - she may get many friends real soon!

Re:No real scarcity yet (1)

Lord Byron II (671689) | more than 4 years ago | (#30636098)

I take it she's on Clear?

How does she like it?

Bandwidth up and down? Ping times? Reliability?

I've been looking to break free from the AT&T and Comcast duopoly and Clear's Wimax sounds just about right.

Re:No real scarcity yet (1)

sopssa (1498795) | more than 4 years ago | (#30636226)

Yep, that just tells that all of this "we are running out of ip addresses!" is just nonsense still, especially if ISP's are able to give 32 public ip's to a single home customer.

Re:No real scarcity yet (1)

Jonner (189691) | more than 4 years ago | (#30636278)

I've never gotten more than on public address from any ISP for a residential account, whether dialup, DSL or cable. Have you? I think that's a pretty rare situation.

Re:No real scarcity yet (1)

sopssa (1498795) | more than 4 years ago | (#30636316)

My ISP gives 5 public ip's, but I know some give even more (like in GP's case too)

Re:No real scarcity yet (1)

LBArrettAnderson (655246) | more than 4 years ago | (#30636406)

And 5 usable IPs likely means that they are allocating 8 for you. 1 for a gateway, 1 for the network address, and 1 broadcast IP.

Re:No real scarcity yet (1)

wagnerrp (1305589) | more than 4 years ago | (#30636438)

I realize I am by far an extreme case, but in a house of four, I run one server, two mythtv frontends, one networked tuner, one networked POTS ATA, one game console, three WiFi access points, one networked printer, one networked RAID card, three desktops, four laptops, three internet capable phones, and a handful of other old machines that I occasionally bring online for various uses. That's 21 devices which could be using their own IP. Throw in half a dozen applications I'm running on the server which each have their own IP as well, and I would nearly fill that /27.

Now sure, a number of those devices shouldn't have internet access, and I can run NAT like a normal person with a consumer router, but I would love to not have to. Meanwhile, VOIP services, networked consoles, NAS boxes, networked media players, and even networking in bluray players and TVs means the number of addresses used per-person is going to skyrocket in the next few years. This is exactly what IPv6 is supposed to allow.

Great... now do I switch? (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30635916)

I live in one of the most tech-focused parts of the country (downtown San Francisco) and as far as I can tell there's no way for a normal consumer to order native (i.e. not tunneled) IPv6 here.

When I moved to my current apartment in 2004 I specifically went with Speakeasy because they were talking about rolling out IPv6 to customers. Over 5 years later, those plans are still stalled as far as I can tell. None of the other providers seem to be even making a peep about it. If I'm wrong, someone please correct me - I'd love to switch to an IPv6-capable provider.

I've pretty much concluded that IPv6 just isn't going to happen -- instead providers will just force all of us normal people into shared IP addresses. From a technical perspective this isn't hard to do: just move the software that's currently running in your home NAT router onto the DSLAM and only provide a NATed view. For the ISPs there's no downside to this since not only can they avoid rolling out IPv6, it means they have complete control of your network connection.

I bet in 10 years we still won't have IPv6 in our homes, and the idea of having your own IP address (even a dynamically allocated one) will just be a memory. It's a shame.

Here's what's going to happen... (1)

WebManWalking (1225366) | more than 4 years ago | (#30635930)

... We'll run out. People won't be able to get new IP addresses. Entrepreneurs will see a market to sell IPv6 addresses. We'll have IPv6 addresses.

Some entrepreneurs will start earlier than others, and they'll have an edge.

On the other hand... (2)

192939495969798999 (58312) | more than 4 years ago | (#30635936)

... we won't run out, because more and more of the addresses in use will also become available, and as ipv6 uptake accelerates, ipv4 uptake will dramatically decelerate, and it will stop just shy of actually running out.

So act now! Operators are standing by... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30635974)

After reading the headline, I didn't even have to RTFS.

For a limited time only, you can now purchase a .net address and get Internet sanctioned .biz and .tv addresses ABSOLUTELY FREE...!

Refrigerator .... (1)

Mansing (42708) | more than 4 years ago | (#30636018)

... can't get a DHCP address .... Film at 11.

Re:Refrigerator .... (1)

Jeremi (14640) | more than 4 years ago | (#30636458)

... can't get a DHCP address .... Film at 11

The Film at 11 has been cancelled, because the television's NAT gateway wasn't configured properly.

Only a Few More Years' Worth of IPv4 Addresses... (2, Insightful)

jimpop (27817) | more than 4 years ago | (#30636028)

Only a Few More Years' Worth of IPv4 Addresses

They (vested interest groups) have been saying that for a decade now.... guess what, we haven't run out yet.

Re:Only a Few More Years' Worth of IPv4 Addresses. (1)

compro01 (777531) | more than 4 years ago | (#30636478)

We managed to slow it down via massive use of NAT and the RIRs tightening the requirements to get blocks of address space.

2012? (1)

michaelmalak (91262) | more than 4 years ago | (#30636046)

The Mayans were right about 2012!

Re:2012? (1)

Dayofswords (1548243) | more than 4 years ago | (#30636146)

dang...... your right, could be by then

yuo Fa1l It!? (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30636052)

fucking percent of the last nigHt of BSD machines,

recover unused/abandoned IP blocks (0, Flamebait)

Archfeld (6757) | more than 4 years ago | (#30636064)

If the idiots in charge would just go about recovering the HUGE blocks of IP's issued to companies and entities that no longer exist this issue would not exist either, but then as someone else mentioned just implementing NAT in all the appropriate places would also avoid the issue, but from a corporate point of view, then there would be no market for NEW hardware that is IPV6 compliant and it is much harder to track activity from a NAT'd source than it would be if every electronic device in he world had its' own ip. I personally don't WANT my refrigerator feeding Safeway Inc. information on what's in my freezer box, or enabling them to target more ads based on what I buy even though I have gone to the trouble to get a members' club card under a false phone number with NO NAME associated with it...
This "problem" isn't a real problem it just interfers with the corporate right to make a profit of anything they feel like...

Re:recover unused/abandoned IP blocks (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30636164)

Tinfoil hat much?

Re:recover unused/abandoned IP blocks (1)

Jonner (189691) | more than 4 years ago | (#30636440)

You clearly don't understand the way the Internet is supposed to work, which is as a bunch of peers, all able to communicate with each other. NATs only work to the extent that they can preserve the illusion of a peer to peer network. A shortage of addresses resulting in more NATs gives the man more ways to control us, not the opposite.

"Private" IP addresses have little to do with human privacy. If you don't want a fridge giving out private information, don't buy fridge capable of doing that or don't connect it to a network. If you think NATs keep your network secure or keep your data private, you're in for a big surprise, especially if there are devices in your network actively trying to leak private information. What can be helpful in keeping a network secure is a stateful firewall (though that wouldn't necessarily prevent a malicious device such as the hypothetical fridge from leaking private information), and since most routers that do NAT also have stateful firewalls, many people seem to confuse the two.

ipv6 (1)

Dayofswords (1548243) | more than 4 years ago | (#30636138)

lets just switch to ipv6 and just end it already, you hear me ISPs, get you butts in motion!

A possible solution (1)

RoccamOccam (953524) | more than 4 years ago | (#30636210)

Two words: offshore drilling.

Internet! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30636222)

Is that thing still around?

Cool dashboard (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30636242)

I'm ready for IPv6.

This dude claims that we will run out of IPv4 addresses in March 2011, that is about 6 months before anybody else thinks we will.
http://ipv4depletion.com/old.html [ipv4depletion.com]

Take back his Nobel Prize!! (1)

lucm (889690) | more than 4 years ago | (#30636244)

> So it's a near certainty that before Barack Obama vacates the White House, we'll be out of IPv4 address

When Bush left, there was still plenty of IPv4! Shame to you, Obama.

Workaround (1)

SEWilco (27983) | more than 4 years ago | (#30636284)

So it's a near certainty that before Barack Obama vacates the White House, we'll be out of IPv4 address[es]. (Even if he doesn't get re-elected.)

So if we change the Constitution to extend the President's term of office to eternity, we'll be OK? No election, no problem.

Now if IPv6 could get fixed... (5, Interesting)

Junta (36770) | more than 4 years ago | (#30636310)

There are so many ways IPv6 remains broken and too many of the people with influence can tend to say 'working as designed'.

I know that's controversial, so I'll enumerate my pain points:
-DHCPv6 DUID is a pain to 'pre-provision'. When any operating system or firmware instance dhcpv6 for the first time, it sends out something that you'll never know what it would be ahead of time. In 99% of cases, the DUID is a generated value at 'OS Install time' that is used only for that specific OS, and a reinstall or livecd boot will change it out completely. stateless boot, multi-boot systems and multi-stage booting (i.e. pxe -> os) cannot hold together a coherent identity because DHCPv6 is explicitly designed not to do that. Binding by MAC is considered 'evil', but it has been the strategy used for ages. I wouldn't mind so much if DUID was commonly implemented as a value retrieved from motherboard firmware tables, but no one is stepping up to drive that behavior in a spec visible to all parties.

No PXE/bootp boot. I believe they are trying to reinvent, from scratch the boot design from IPv4, and are nearing completion. I fear the extent to which the baby has been tossed out with the bathwater (i.e. 'root-path' was dropped and no one has pulled it into dhcpv6).

Some standards are missing the capability to operate in IPv6. I.e. IPMI hase some IPv4 specific portions of the standard without IPv6 capable equivalents.

There's an incredible amount of waste in IPs (1)

mschuyler (197441) | more than 4 years ago | (#30636444)

I know of one organization, for example, that was originally awarded 11 Class C's. These are permanently assigned. One Class C was used to knit together nine routers (That's all.) Another was assigned to a branch office that had five PCs, one hub, and one router. Later they added an IP-addressable copy machine and printer, so that's nine IPs hard coded out of one Class C. When their main office got a little crowded they did manage to subnet this Class C into two and swipe half of it away, but overall I think they had 2700+ IPs and were using about 300 of them. There are so many other ways they could have handled it, but in the early years they gave them away. Who knew?

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