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IPv4 Unallocated Addresses Exhausted by 2010 419

Posted by CowboyNeal
from the no-room-to-grow dept.
An anonymous reader writes "Ars Technica is reporting on how the unallocated IPv4 address pool could run out as soon as 2010. The IPv4 Address Report gives details on just how fast the available pool of IPv4 addresses is diminishing. Will ISPs be moving towards IPv6 any time soon? Or will IPv4 exhaustion become the next Y2K?"
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IPv4 Unallocated Addresses Exhausted by 2010

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  • From TFA: free pr0n! (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Rodness (168429) * on Thursday May 24, 2007 @08:29PM (#19263601)
    Despite the best efforts of organizations like ARIN, the simple fact is that, compared to IPv4, IPv6 gives you access to very little content and very few users. So far, nobody has been able to get past this chicken-and-egg issue, although a The Great IPv6 Experiment [ipv6experiment.com] proposes to change this by giving away free access to "10 gigabytes of the most popular 'adult entertainment,'" but only over IPv6.

    Is IPv6 so unappealing that they've gotta bribe people with pr0n to use it?
    • by HoosierPeschke (887362) <hoosierpeschke@comcast.net> on Thursday May 24, 2007 @08:36PM (#19263681) Homepage
      Well duh, why do you think people got on the Internet in the first place? Some military experiment? pffffffft. It's all about the pr0n!
      • by billstewart (78916) on Friday May 25, 2007 @12:44AM (#19265961) Journal
        I did some business with the @Home cable modem people back during the 90s boom. They had a very schizophrenic attitude about Napster - not only were they paranoid about users running anything serverlike that might interfere with network performance, but they had an official policy about "Napster Users are EEEVILLLL Content Thieves who'll steal television next! Bad! Bad!"


        But if you talked to @Home's people as individuals rather than Corporate Employees, almost all of them would say "Well, Duh! Napster is the reason that people are *buying* broadband internet connections, of *course* we like it."


        And, ok, the paranoia about servers on home cable modems was partly because their early trial equipment didn't work very well and they had no way to regulate individual upstream bandwidth usage, and PacBell's dishonest "Cable Modem Web Hog" ads made them really worried about perceptions of slow performance, but they were worried that somebody would run a pr0n webserver from home, become Cool Site of the Day because doing that on cable modem would be cool, and trash their neighborhood's network performance while causing a lot of publicity. And unfortunately most of the cable companies have not only not recovered from that attitude, they've been propagating it to the DSL providers, and they've been learning other cluelessly paranoid attitudes from the Australian ex-monopoly who thinks you should cap the total monthly download of their users (since that used to be expensive in Oz), and cap it to a ridiculously low level like 1GB/month, which is like 1.5 days of continuous 56kbps usage.


        But when I had my corporate hat on, especially if I was talking to non-California customers, it was certainly much more proper to talk about the big internet usage being for music piracy than for pr0n :-) These days, BitTorrent occupies over 1/3 of the Internet's bits, apparently mostly copying movies and TV and Linux distros as opposed to music (that's by volume, not by number of items), and I don't know what fraction of that is what kind of movies.

    • by (H)elix1 (231155) * <slashdot.helix@nOSPaM.gmail.com> on Thursday May 24, 2007 @08:40PM (#19263741) Homepage Journal
      Is IPv6 so unappealing that they've gotta bribe people with pr0n to use it?

      With one of the bigger 'features' of IPv6 being the possibility of assigning and tracking users individually with the huge number of addresses - I suspect it does not play into the current (sorta) anonymous surfing mindset folks have today. (Not that anyone is truly anonymous on the web) Once you have to slap down your address to access the content, I can see why people might not be interested.
      • by Kadin2048 (468275) * <`ten.yxox' `ta' `nidak.todhsals'> on Thursday May 24, 2007 @08:50PM (#19263871) Homepage Journal
        That's really just not true. With IPv6, you can get a lot more anonymity than you have now with IPv4. v6 has all sorts of special provisions for randomly assigning addresses, letting you reset them when you want, so that you can appear to be a new user in the middle of a browsing session. That's tough to do with IPv4; even if you try a DHCP release-and-renew from your ISP, generally they won't issue you a new address until the other one has expired.

        IPv6 doesn't force you to give up any privacy, and there's no 'user serialization' unless you buy into it voluntarily.
        • by gronofer (838299) on Thursday May 24, 2007 @09:46PM (#19264401)

          v6 has all sorts of special provisions for randomly assigning addresses
          I've read that with IPv6 the end user would be allocated a block of addresses, instead of getting a single IPv4 address and having to resort to NAT. Presumably this random assignment of addresses would be from the addresses in this block? I don't think this would necessarily give any anonymity, since it may turn out to be easy to identify the block size and alignment and thus be easy to determine that the addresses are associated.
          • by Kadin2048 (468275) * <`ten.yxox' `ta' `nidak.todhsals'> on Thursday May 24, 2007 @11:36PM (#19265345) Homepage Journal
            Yes, it would have the same prefix, but that's exactly the same level of anonymity that you have now with a single IPv4 address and NAT.

            With v4, your router gets the address and then NATs it out to however-many devices you have. With v6, you'd get a block of addresses at the router, which it could then distribute via DHCP, or the machines could randomly assign themselves within. You're not losing anything there. Where you might gain something is in the ability to quickly switch IPs when traveling and connecting to an AP that's not yours (which is conceptually similar to performing a DHCP release-and-renew).

            If you want plausible deniability, pretty much your only option is to leave your AP unsecured and hope that when the cops show up they buy it as a defense, or use some type of onion routing like Tor.

            There seems to be a lot of fear and paranoia going around regarding IPv6, and I just don't get it. There's nothing you can do on IPv4 today that you can't do on IPv6, if you want to. Hell, if you're that attached to NAT, you can do it with IPv6 addresses just as readily -- it's just that it's stupid, because there's no longer any reason to since there's no address shortage, and there's really no privacy or security gained from it that you don't get by just rotating your IPv6 address.
            • by X0563511 (793323) * on Friday May 25, 2007 @12:14AM (#19265691) Homepage Journal
              One issue is all the home users inadvertantly using NAT as a "firewall".

              If one were to build a proper ipv6 router, they would need to (pony up the cash to) include a proper firewall, or educate the users. Good luck with either one.
              • by Kadin2048 (468275) * <`ten.yxox' `ta' `nidak.todhsals'> on Friday May 25, 2007 @01:07AM (#19266147) Homepage Journal
                The stateful firewall you'd need on an IPv6 connection isn't inherently any more complicated than an IPv4 UPnP+NAT box. In order for NAT to work, the device performing the translation must keep track of all the individual connections; it's basically a stateful firewall already. If you can do that, then you can firewall IPv6 (provided you have the capacity for the longer addresses). You need a protocol, like UPnP, so that clients can request "holes" (so that things like FTP, Bittorrent, and VoIP work), but that's no worse than NAT right now.

                Now, I think this is a completely crappy way to run a network, and I think we just need to get rid of the idea of firewalls completely (at least as a generic cureall, I'm all for retaining them for specific applications); security needs to be at the client level, not at the network-gateway level; as more and more devices become mobile, they cannot and should not ever assume that their local network is secure.

                But unfortunately, people have gotten so used to the idea of firewalls that they're attached to them, particularly because it allows for a certain amount of laziness (running old, crummy operating systems on Internet-enabled systems, not patching, etc.) while giving the perception of safety. So I suspect that all IPv6 implementations will mimic the brokenness of NAT, at least initially.
          • One of the many optimistic goals in IPv6's design was to support really simple administration, so users can set up machines and networks automagically without having to configure anything by hand. (This dates from the days before DHCP and DHCP Relay support were universal. And Netware IPX could do that (remember Netware? IPX was an XNS-like protocol alternative to IP.)) And we certainly wouldn't have NAT, because that was a crufty annoying artifact of IPv4 address shortages that broke the end-to-end pri
            • by TheRaven64 (641858) on Friday May 25, 2007 @04:59AM (#19267381) Journal
              I take it you haven't been following IPv6 closely, since that hasn't been the case for about six years (see RFC3041). The MAC address part of the IPv6 address was never used as a substitute for ARP; doing so would have broken addresses assigned in different ways (e.g. stateful autoconfiguration, manual configuration), which were always allowed. The low bits are a hash of your MAC address, and so only a mapping from MAC to IP is possible, not the other way around. If privacy is a concern for you, then you can easily pick a different IP at pseudo-random.
        • by kickdown (824054) on Friday May 25, 2007 @03:27AM (#19266909)

          That's really just not true. With IPv6, you can get a lot more anonymity than you have now with IPv4. v6 has all sorts of special provisions for randomly assigning addresses, letting you reset them when you want, so that you can appear to be a new user in the middle of a browsing session. That's tough to do with IPv4; even if you try a DHCP release-and-renew from your ISP, generally they won't issue you a new address until the other one has expired.

          IPv6 doesn't force you to give up any privacy, and there's no 'user serialization' unless you buy into it voluntarily.
          Sorry, but that is just not true. There's some fuss in the air about IPv6 privacy extensions, which is basically bullshit. As an IPv6 customer, you'll typically get a /64 prefix of the address space for your broadband connection. The entire address length is 128 bits, so you might *think* that you can play a lot with different, random, "anonymous" addresses.
          BUT: The whole /64 is assigned to YOU, the contractor of this specific broadband account. So however you variate behind your /64 prefix, it will always be accountable to the same block. If your ISP does it's job right, your customer details will be delivered to RIPE, so that every content provider can conveniently look it up - no need to bug the ISP with such stuff, your cease-and-desist letter goes directly to your letterbox.
          To illustrate my example, there's a IPv6 ISP in Germany that gives out even a /48 prefix - you could almost literally give an IP address to all the atoms in your house, and still have random space left for variations. Still, a RIPE query on the prefix 2001:4b88:107d:: shows that whatever happens with this /48 block gets this specific customer's credit.
          If we're not counting accountability, but just usage tracking on websites etc, easy: just don't treat every Ip address as unique (like in IPv4), but instead every /64. There you go, almost as accurate as before in IPv4.
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Niten (201835)

        What are you talking about? You have to "slap down" your address to receive content with IPv4, too - otherwise, how would a server know where to send its response? And if you're paranoid to the point that you want to break your Internet connection for the sake of not divulging internal IP addresses, then yes, you can masquerade behind a single IP address on IPv6 just as easily as you can on IPv4.

        Or you could perform more complex 1:1 address masquerading, the likes of which aren't possible on consumer IPv4

      • I am when im on my laptop in a parking lot of some coffee house.

        Hold on, someone is at my window, 'yes officer?' * click *
    • by mengel (13619) <<ten.egrofecruos.sresu> <ta> <legnem>> on Thursday May 24, 2007 @08:44PM (#19263789) Homepage Journal
      The problem is, that claim makes no senses whatsoever. The IPv4 addresses are a subset of the IPv6 space -- you can get to all of the IPv4 systems from an IPv6 network.

      There are two issues:

      1. Switching protocols
      2. Getting IPv6 addresses
      You can use the IPv4 subset of the IPv6 address space, and everyone can still talk to everyone while you convert. It's only the folks that have IPV6 addresses before the IPv4 users have migrated that become unreachable by anyone.

      So the online businesses are going to want to be the last ones to switch, so that their customers don't become unable to reach them.

      But anyway, IPV6 gives you access to all the same content.

      • by Dolda2000 (759023) <fredrik@dold[ ]00.com ['a20' in gap]> on Thursday May 24, 2007 @10:00PM (#19264523) Homepage
        If what you say is true, then you definitely know something that I don't, and then I still think that I know more about IPv6 than at least most people do. I would think that you confuse either the ::/96 or the ::ffff:0:0/96 prefix for the IPv4 address space as a "subspace" of the IPv6 space. If you do, neither is true.

        ::/96 is a method for routing IPv6 traffic over IPv4. In other words, if you send a UDP packet to ::1.2.3.4, what is being transmitted onto the wire is an IPv4 packet (src: the address of your system's IPv4 stack, dst: 1.2.3.4), encapsulating an IPv6 header (src: the address of your system's IPv4 stack in the last 32 bits left-padded with zeroes, dst: ::1.2.3.4), in turn encapsulating a UDP header. It's a simple way of setting up a SIT tunnel, nothing more. You won't be sending any raw IPv4 packets that way, and neither is any router on the way going to convert it to IPv4 for you.

        ::ffff:0:0/96 is merely a way of talking to the IPv4 stack in your system, even if the program in question only uses IPv6. It does not work on a system without a working and properly configured IPv4 stack. In fact, I hear that the IETF is starting to work against the ::ffff:0:0/96 prefix due to some security issues that I have yet to understand.

        In fact, if IPv4 truly were a subspace of IPv6, then what sources address would an IPv4-only host be seeing when it receives such a packet from an IPv6-only host?

        It is perfectly possible to use both an IPv4 and an IPv6 stack simultaneously, and there are some NAT-like technologies that run on a router to give IPv4 connectivity to IPv6-only hosts, but you'll still need an IPv4 stack somewhere on your network to access IPv4 content.

      • WRONG (Score:3, Informative)

        by Anonymous Coward

        The IPv4 addresses are a subset of the IPv6 space -- you can get to all of the IPv4 systems from an IPv6 network.

        This is what IPv6 fanatics constantly FAIL TO UNDERSTAND. IPv4 addresses ARE NOT a subset of IPv6 addresses, because IPv4 and IPv6 are INCOMPATIBLE PROTOCOLS.

        Let that sink in.

        Just because there's some addresses within the IPv6 space that can map onto IPv4 addresses doesn't mean you've made the two protocols compatible.

        I can't get to these embedded IPv4 addresses from my IPv4-only machin

        • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

          by Cato (8296)
          Comcast has already deployed IPv6 in its core network and will deploy it to homes, simply because it's already gone beyond the available 10.x addresses and is now on public IPv4 space - it needs about 100 million devices for its IP voice/video/net customers. So the other incentive to use IPv6 is simply that you won't get Comcast service at some future date without having IPv6. Of course, this will be largely transparent to the customer as they'll use native IPv6 within Comcast and then be converted to and
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by ekhben (628371)

      Is IPv6 so unappealing that they've gotta bribe people with pr0n to use it?

      It's not unappealing, it's totally irrelevant to end-users. There's no market out there asking for IPv6 network access. ISPs and their upstream providers thus have no increase in revenue if they deploy IPv6, but that deployment will cost them real money -- v6 capable routers need much more storage and processing, for instance -- and so there's real financial incentive to avoid IPv6. Offering free pr0n might be a way to make the

      • by daeg (828071) on Thursday May 24, 2007 @09:17PM (#19264125)
        There's also significant financial incentive to keep the limited address space of IPv4. Want a static IP address or additional IP addresses? Fork over the cash, baby!
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        There's no market out there asking for IPv6 network access. ISPs and their upstream providers thus have no increase in revenue if they deploy IPv6, but that deployment will cost them real money -- v6 capable routers need much more storage and processing, for instance -- and so there's real financial incentive to avoid IPv6.

        Routers that have been capable of supporting IPv4/IPv6 dual stack have been available for a long time now so unless you're a tiny ISP that has no budget for life-cycle upgrades it's very

        • Not so much actually (Score:3, Informative)

          by Sycraft-fu (314770)
          Often the router can do it, but not well. We have this at work (a major university) with our stuff. It's all Layer-3 switches, which means that IPv4 is done extremely quickly via ASICs, with minimal impact on the CPU even for fairly complex sets of rules. However IPv6 is not accelerated. Thus you can turn it on, and it'll work fine so long as not many people use it, but if everyone tried, the router falls over as the CPU gets slammed. There are, of course, new supervisor modules that'll do the v6 routing on
    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by malsdavis (542216)
      "Is IPv6 so unappealing that they've gotta bribe people with pr0n to use it?"

      It worked with IPv4.
      Although I shudder to think back to the days of downloading pr0n on a 14.4k modem!
  • it's tghe next Y2k (Score:5, Insightful)

    by timmarhy (659436) on Thursday May 24, 2007 @08:29PM (#19263603)
    i've been hearing about how ip4 will run out in the next 5 years for the last TEN years.
  • by WormholeFiend (674934) on Thursday May 24, 2007 @08:30PM (#19263619)
    I bet that people will be bored of the internet by then
  • Worse than Y2K (Score:4, Insightful)

    by phantomcircuit (938963) on Thursday May 24, 2007 @08:31PM (#19263625) Homepage
    Y2K was a bug which was easily solved. This is an infrastructure defect which has an available, but expensive, solution.

    It will be expensive to make a major shift to IPv6, which is why it's taking so long.

    Until the complete exhaustion of all IPv4 addresses is an immanent threat the change will not happen, much like Y2K.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Kadin2048 (468275) *
      Y2K was a bug which was easily solved.

      You have an interesting concept of "easy" ...

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by MtViewGuy (197597)
      I don't think it will be as frightening as people think.

      After all, most recent network hardware are more or less ready to make the transition, and anyone running Windows 2000 Professional or later, MacOS X variants, and more recent Linux distributions could make the jump to IPv6 either natively or by installing a patch program.
    • Re:Worse than Y2K (Score:5, Informative)

      by sirket (60694) on Thursday May 24, 2007 @11:07PM (#19265111)
      This is so patently wrong I don't know where to begin-

      My home network sits behind a Cisco 2621 running an IPv6 IOS image- and I have a /64 and a tunnel to tunnelbroker.net (By Hurrican Electric). It took ten minutes to set up- and another minute to enable IPv6 on my FreeBSD desktop- at that point I was able to get to www.kame.net via IPv6 with no problems.

      I even set up an IPSEC / GRE tunnel with a friend of mine along with mBGP (multiprotocol BGP). No problems. I set up route-maps and filters all without a problem. My friend and I were then able to get to each others Unix servers via ssh over IPv6 using hostnames that resolved via AAAA records.

      I also run OSPFv3 internally- again without incident. Deploying IPv6 to my network took a grand total of an hour- and we're talking about BGP, OSPF, GRE IPSEC tunnels and so on.

      In fact- the change was so easy I immediately began a project to upgrade my company to IPv6. So far it has been incredibly easily and completely transparent to everyone.

      What's holding IPv6 back is two things: public perception that the change will be difficult (completely unfounded) and the unwillingness of anyone to just start deploying it. I have SpeakEasy for my home connection (business class SDSL with a /27) and they neither offer IPv6- nor do they even have any IPv6 plans (or so customer service told me. This is just sad. The same goes for my employers upstream provider- and backbone provider.

      -sirket
      Senior Network Engineer for a company you've definitely heard of
  • by McDutchie (151611) on Thursday May 24, 2007 @08:31PM (#19263631) Homepage
    They could delay the inevitable by reallocating existing IPv4 space more efficiently. Many old/historical allocations are inefficient. Apple Computer, for example, has all of the 17.x.x.x space, comprising 256^3 = more than 16 million addresses, which is just plain absurd in this day and age.
    • by KillerCow (213458)

      They could delay the inevitable by reallocating existing IPv4 space more efficiently. Many old/historical allocations are inefficient. Apple Computer, for example, has all of the 17.x.x.x space, comprising 256^3 = more than 16 million addresses, which is just plain absurd in this day and age.


      This would meet with more resistance, and would be harder to do, than just switching to IPv6.
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        That, and the fact that it would only buy us like 2 years. /me scuttles off to go find link.
      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by imemyself (757318)
        "harder to do"

        Are you kidding me? Are you actually saying that it would be more difficult for IANA to pull the class A's from organizations who have absolutely no use for it whatsoever, than it would be to upgrade every device connected to or part of the Internet infrastructure and configure it to communicate/route an almost entirely new protocol?
    • by garcia (6573)
      And all the other networks (*cough* MIT *cough*) that are hoarding them for no good reason. This entire discussion, happening over and over and over again only on Slashdot it seems, is pointless. We aren't running out of space -- it's just over allocated.
    • by whoever57 (658626)

      Apple Computer, for example, has all of the 17.x.x.x space,
      And there are plenty of others with Class A allocations (/8). [wikipedia.org] Probably the RSRE has several thousand IP addresses per employee!
    • by Detritus (11846) on Thursday May 24, 2007 @08:46PM (#19263817) Homepage
      You and what army of lawyers? :-)

      Class A blocks were one of the benefits of being a Internet pioneer. Why should they give them up?

      • by TooMuchToDo (882796) on Thursday May 24, 2007 @10:00PM (#19264519)
        Actually, you don't need an army of lawyers. Those Class A blocks are delegated solely at the whim of ARIN (at least those Class A blocks that fall under ARIN control). If ARIN has a vote, and the majority of stakeholders create a resolution requiring action to be taken to stave off address exhaustion, then anything is possible.

        Disclaimer: I've worked with ARIN to get/manage/return blocks of IPs for years.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by bug1 (96678)
        "Class A blocks were one of the benefits of being a Internet pioneer. Why should they give them up?"

        First, apple was never an internet pioneer, they were very late in implementing the IP protocol, even microsoft beat them to it.

        The people who handed out IP blocks cleanly did not expect the internet to be so popular (if they did they would have gone to ipv6 straight away).

        They benefited froma mistake, now they should fxi the mistake.

        If IP blocks are handed out as a reward for being an internet pioneer, how m
    • by neoform (551705) <djneoform@gmail.com> on Thursday May 24, 2007 @08:55PM (#19263925) Homepage
      Apple is a bad example, they could actually use those IPs if they shared them with google or something..

      companies that totally don't need them would be companies like:

      Ford
      Boeing
      GE
      • by Wolfier (94144) on Thursday May 24, 2007 @09:06PM (#19264007)
        Halliburton Company     34.0.0.0 - 34.255.255.255

        Even as someone who doesn't think of Microsoft as an Internet pioneer, I'd rather MS owns this block than Halliburton.
      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by Anonymous Coward
        companies that totally don't need them would be companies like: ...Boeing...

        Apple has under 20,000 employees. Boeing has over 150,000 employees.

        Apple is a computer company, but just because Boeing isn't as trendy as Apple today doesn't mean they design airplanes with slide rules.

        And they're not all about building commercial aircraft, either (that's actually less than half the company these days). Phantomworks isn't as well-known as Lockheed's Skunkworks, but they do their share of high-performance computi
    • by RzUpAnmsCwrds (262647) on Thursday May 24, 2007 @09:22PM (#19264169)

      They could delay the inevitable by reallocating existing IPv4 space more efficiently. Many old/historical allocations are inefficient. Apple Computer, for example, has all of the 17.x.x.x space, comprising 256^3 = more than 16 million addresses, which is just plain absurd in this day and age.


      Don't complain about Apple. HP has all of 15.x.x.x and all of 16.x.x.x, because they purchased DEC who also had a class-A.

      Interestingly, HP is the only company that effectively has a /7 because their block is contiguous.
      • by Kalriath (849904) on Thursday May 24, 2007 @10:07PM (#19264593)
        Oh really?

        Department of Defense Network Information Center 21.0.0.0 - 22.255.255.255

        That's a... /7? And check THIS out:

        Department of Defense Network Information Center 6.0.0.0 - 7.255.255.255
        Department of Defense Network Information Center 11.0.0.0 - 11.255.255.255
        Department of Defense Network Information Center 21.0.0.0 - 22.255.255.255
        Department of Defense Network Information Center 26.0.0.0 - 26.255.255.255
        Department of Defense Network Information Center 28.0.0.0 - 30.255.255.255
        Department of Defense Network Information Center 33.0.0.0 - 33.255.255.255
        Department of Defense Network Information Center 55.0.0.0 - 55.255.255.255

        So that's... about 330 MILLION IP addresses for the US DoD alone? And people bitch about MIT hoarding!
        • Well, yeah. That's the "Strategic IP Address Reserve."

        • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

          by forkazoo (138186)

          Oh really?

          Department of Defense Network Information Center 21.0.0.0 - 22.255.255.255

          True, but the OP did say "company." DoD isn't really playing in the same league as HP. (Despite HP's best efforts to go into the spying business.) Besides, DoD was responsible for DARPA, which was responsible for the early Internet, so I figure if one group deserves an absurd allocation, it is probably them.

          So that's... about 330 MILLION IP addresses for the US DoD alone? And people bitch about MIT hoarding

          Well, think abo

        • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

          by abb3w (696381)

          So that's... about 330 MILLION IP addresses for the US DoD alone? And people bitch about MIT hoarding!

          Perhaps, but when contemplating prying them loose the phrase "you and what army?" may need literal consideration.

    • by grapeape (137008) <mpope7@kc[ ].com ['.rr' in gap]> on Thursday May 24, 2007 @09:49PM (#19264415) Homepage
      Anyone else think its kind of weird that the US only has 300,000,000 people but the Department of Defense needs 184,549,376 IP addresses? Also why does the freakin interop show need a class A, and why does PSI still have the 38. block didnt they go out of business around 5-6 years ago?
      • It only seems ridiculous because of the way we distribute IP addresses today, using CIDR. Prior to 1993 (or whenever CIDR was implemented), if you wanted to run a network with subnets, then you needed at least a Class B allocation, so that your subnets could have Class C blocks (254 hosts each).

        This is why MIT, Apple, DEC, IBM, and lots of other big companies were given Class A's. It wasn't just a "thanks for playing" reward, it was because the original design for the IP system required Class A blocks if you wanted to run big networks: if you had a big organization, you needed a Class A, in order to do multiple levels of subnetting.

        When you look at the IP allocations and see GE or DEC's Class A blocks, it seems ridiculous. But you have to understand that when those allocations were made, what they were looking at was less the number of actual host IPs in the block (which is what we care about now) but the number of Class B and C subnet blocks that were inside. Put yourself in the shoes of someone at a big company like IBM or GE, with lots of regional offices. Each region/office needs to have a network, with its own subnets (for each department or whatever). That's how they were laying things out. "IBM" as an organization gets a Class A. Each regional office or some other division, Class B. Each network or further subdivision, Class C. Yeah, you end up with a lot of wasted capacity, but this whole scheme was designed back when a "host" was a PDP or VAX; there just weren't enough of them for it to seem like a major issue.

        The problem people sometimes refer to when they talk about "the last time we were running out of IPs" (back in the early 90s) wasn't really a shortage of IPs at all (well, at least not immediately, although people were definitely realizing it was going to be a problem), it was a shortage of Class B and C subnet blocks. (Particularly Class B's, since that's what medium-size businesses and .edu's really wanted, and there are only like 16k of them around for direct allocation.)

        So that's when CIDR was introduced, and it ended the whole 'Classed Network' concept (A, B, and C classes) and replaced it with the now-familiar bitwise/subnet-mask format. (E.g., IBM's Class A block is 9.0.0.0/8, Apple's is 17.0.0.0/8, etc.) This, along with prefix aggregation, allowed more efficient address allocation, and kept the routing tables from growing out of control. Now that you can subnet at the bit level, rather than at the Class level, those A Blocks seem huge. But keep in mind that before CIDR, each of those A Blocks was looked at, not as 16M hosts, but as 254 subnetworks.

        It's only in retrospect, with the help of a bunch of new technologies, that the allocations made back in the Internet's early years look ridiculous.
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by sirket (60694)
      Everyone in this thread is sooooo wrong it isn't funny.

      First off- no one in their right mind is going to give up their addresses.

      Secondly- let's not keep IPv4 around any longer than it has to be. Please let it die already. Moving to IPv6 is just not that hard- including OSPFv3, mBGP, tunnels, filters and route-maps it took me an hour or so of actual configuration time to enable IPv6- for gods sake- let's just do it already.

      Finally- breaking up /8's into lot's of smaller networks is a TERRIBLE idea. There ar
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by anticypher (48312)
      But Apple is using much of their /8 allocation.

      Go into any Apple store and fire up your Wifi, and you'll get a non-NATed 17.x.x.x address. There is a firewall, but other than that, its exactly what the internet is supposed to be.

      Since Apple has very little of their infrastructure behind NAT, they have very few problems with things like NAT traversal, or buggy VoIP systems.

      the AC
  • Will ISPs be moving towards IPv6 any time soon?

    Are they going to fix [slashdot.org] IPv6 anytime soon?

    I also love my quirks [slashdot.org].
  • IPv4 runs out, bamboo flowers for the first time in 150 years. Can't be a chance, can it?
  • Many companies are using a fraction of the /8s and /16s that were assigned to them back when.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      True, but you'll have to pry it from their cold dead fingers!!!
      Kind of reminds me of a Grandpa Simpson (skewed to be somewhat on topic): "I didn't earn it, I don't need it, but if they miss one [octal] I'll raise hell."
  • VoIp Everything (Score:5, Insightful)

    by chill (34294) on Thursday May 24, 2007 @08:37PM (#19263699) Journal
    Telecom companies are switching everything, including cell phones, to VoIP. Soon, damn near every cell phone will have an IP address associated with it. CDMA phones that EVDO rev-A already do. I know one carrier that has a pool of 2 million available addresses, and 20+ million customers with cellphones.

    IPv4 addresses are going to be going away very quickly.
  • Whew! (Score:5, Funny)

    by zymurgy_cat (627260) on Thursday May 24, 2007 @08:41PM (#19263753) Homepage
    Man, am I glad I've got 192.168.0.100 through 192.168.0.105 setup on my network at home. Hmmm.....maybe I should lay claim to 106 through 110, just in case.....
  • Carbon Credits (Score:4, Insightful)

    by biocute (936687) on Thursday May 24, 2007 @08:48PM (#19263847) Homepage
    I think companies will start 'renting' addresses as IPv4 is approaching its limit, pretty much like the concept of carbon credits.

    Companies may cut down unnecessary IP usage, or buy/rent addresses from other companies with plenty to spare.

    This 'trade' could go on until such point it's either more costly to rent than move to IPv6, or when all available-and-necessary addresses have been fully utilized.
  • by DreadSpoon (653424) on Thursday May 24, 2007 @08:48PM (#19263851) Journal
    I doubt anyone will be making a concerted effort to switch until it actually becomes necessary. Once the IPv4 address space runs out, hacks will be done to extend it. Ranges will be "repo'd" from companies, or those companies will just start reselling those ranges. Not until there is no space left to squeeze out will people really start caring.
  • ISPs won't care (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Natales (182136) on Thursday May 24, 2007 @08:55PM (#19263919)
    If we do run out of IPv4 addresses for real this time, I predict ISPs will switch to 100% private IP addressing space before even thinking on IPv6.
    Heck, it's already happening in other countries. In Chile for example (a reasonably high-tech country) VTR http://www.vtr.cl/ [www.vtr.cl], the only cable ISP, will give you ONLY RFC-1918 addresses, period.

    The masses won't care. They only care about their basic apps, and ISPs will use that as leverage to control more services, especially all P2P and VoIP-related ones.
  • by bl8n8r (649187) on Thursday May 24, 2007 @08:57PM (#19263941)
    Kidding - I'm KIDDING
  • by dircha (893383) on Thursday May 24, 2007 @09:29PM (#19264237)
    ...and climb on board as an enterprise IPv6 migration consultant.

    Hopefully it *is* the new Y2K.
  • by Zaffle (13798) on Thursday May 24, 2007 @09:30PM (#19264259) Homepage Journal
    I'm continually amazed at the number of people in the IT and Net industry who keep "wondering" when IPv6 will arrive. Its been here for a long time. I'm running a series of web servers for internal company use that have native IPv6 addresses. For public consumption, we have an IPv4 reverse proxy that allows us to run our entire web services behind one IPv4 address. Any customer who has an IPv6 address gets to talk to the individual servers.

    The advantage comes when you consider management. In order to have 20 SSH/FTP/etc accessible Internet servers, I'd either need 20 separate IPv4 addresses (getting a decent segment of a class C here is expensive), or I'd have to play fun games with ports. All our technicians have IPv6 on their laptops, and use tunnel brokers for access to the v6 network.

    Most of our clients have IPv6 connectivity, though they don't notice it. When we put in a firewall, IPv6 comes default setup with tunnel brokers.

    People keep asking, when's there gonna be v6 content? There is no v6 content (ok, their is full colour ascii starwars). Any content provider would be nuts to say "you have to have v6 to see our content" at this point (with the exception of mobile phones). IT Techs brought v4 to the public, we'll bring v6 to the public. Its technicians like myself who appreciate having an Internet accessible toaster (ok, so its not yet accessible) that have already started the ball rolling.

    Before long you'll see hosting providers saying, you can have one web gateway shared v4 address and a /64 v6 address for a cheap price. You'll design your websites to be usable on v4, but for management tools, etc, you'll need to install a v6 tunnel.
  • by jhines (82154) <john@jhines.org> on Thursday May 24, 2007 @09:42PM (#19264375) Homepage
    There will be some guy in an ill fitting suit accosting you, "hey man, got extra IP4?" "I gotta plug in man, I'm jones'ng for some connectivity." "IP6? can't. My colon can't take the colons, 3 dots is all I can handle"
  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday May 24, 2007 @09:57PM (#19264495)
    Just move slashdot to an IPv6 only address; voilla by monday every corporate will have a functioning IPv6 setup... ;-)
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Spy Hunter (317220)
      No need to go that far. Just give users who post over IPv6 a badge next to their name and and an auto +1 IPv6 mod on their posts.
      • by anticypher (48312) <anticypher@gmai l . c om> on Friday May 25, 2007 @07:18AM (#19268071) Homepage
        Just give users who post over IPv6 a badge next to their name and and an auto +1 IPv6 mod

        I know you came up with this on your own, because great minds think alike. This was my suggestion a few years ago in some other IPv6 thread. It was a good idea then, and still a good idea now. Maybe, once /. has both v4 & v6 access, for a period of one year to increase karma or auto-mod up posts, or some other kind of reward or badge or access to content not available to the dinos^WIPv4 people.

        The whole of the OSTG would gain a lot of knowledge in migrating servers to dual stack, which would give the programmers very valuable skills they could exploit for a few years.

        the AC

        Yes, I've been on IPv6 natively since 2000, isn't it obvious?
  • Supply and demand (Score:3, Insightful)

    by michaelmalak (91262) <michael@michaelmalak.com> on Thursday May 24, 2007 @10:03PM (#19264555) Homepage

    Or will IPv4 exhaustion become the next Y2K?
    No, Y2K was a hard deadline. IPv4 will become the next DNS. Quick, someone register GreatIPs.com. Oops, someone already has. See what I mean?

    And now to ensure this gets modded as Flamebait: there just aren't enough free-market thinkers on Slashdot.

  • by r7 (409657) on Thursday May 24, 2007 @10:16PM (#19264701)
    ARS must have rushed the fact checking to get this article out. Truth is that ARIN does not, and has never, made a best effort at anything except to charge ISPs for address space and let them reap a 500 to 1000% profit reselling it. ARIN has done nothing substantive to promote IPv6, and ARIN looks the other way at hundreds of existing, unused, large IPv4 network allocations.

    I've worked at Silicon Valley companies with multiple class B allocations that could have easily put them behind NAT gateways and firewalls. The University of California campuses have many class Bs and will tell you they "can't do NAT to the dormitories because it's too difficult to track". That's 65K address per class B and there are dozens of these, and several class As, that are just waiting to be reclaimed.

    What these class A and B-owning organizations are doing is holding on to vacant land as long as they can, until it becomes valuable, at which point they hope to sell it at a big profit.

    ARIN is doing the same thing by failing to reclaim these allocations. They're just waiting for demand to climb like California real-estate to begin cashing-in. This is exactly what Network Solutions/Verisign did with domain names when they had a government-protected monopoly. Have we forgotten so soon, one year domain registration was free (via SRI), and the mext year it was $100 per year per domain (via Verisign), despite actual costs of $7/year. This scenario should also be familiar to those who have had to change telephone area codes, sometimes more than once, until enough people complained (of course that was when the FCC was in Democratic hands. With Republicans the Telcos have once-again been cleaning up).

    So believe the hype, but remember, if you fail to look a little deeper we will soon be paying the price, in increased ISP fees, for this wholly artificial IPv4 address shortage.
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by anticypher (48312)
      Truth is that ARIN does not, and has never, made a best effort at anything except to charge ISPs for address space and let them reap a 500 to 1000% profit reselling it.

      ARIN, and the RIRs made one effort back in the 1997-2000 timeframe to reclaim many of the allocations that didn't seem to be in use (i.e. not announced on the internet). I can't find the summary of that, it should be somewhere on the Potaroo site linked in the OP. The results were something like 8 /8's were returned, 15 replied with an absolu
  • auction! (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Doppler00 (534739) on Thursday May 24, 2007 @10:47PM (#19264945) Homepage Journal
    Same thing that happened when popular domain names started running out. I'm sure IP addresses will go up for auction. Seems kind of silly though considering the space available in IPv6. But if you have people that need these addresses, someone will be willing to pay for them. I imagine some of the big names that got them free from the start will be making a lot of money, such as MIT.
  • This just in. (Score:3, Interesting)

    by kinglink (195330) on Thursday May 24, 2007 @11:36PM (#19265347)
    Oil out of supply in 1999, Global warming killing everyone in 2005, P2P piracy ends with Napster, Limewire, Kazaa.

    Seriously it's all just FUD, There's an expiration date, but 2010? What happens when we make a few Class As into Class Bs? oh that's right, more time. I think the key is to figure out how to make the best "IPv6" and a way to make it so my old commodore 64 is willing to work with it (whether that be ISP level conversion or a inexpensive hub, note INEXPENSIVE)

    Do I have a commodore 64? Not any more but the point remains there's literally a million devices out there only able to communicate with IPv4. There's actually a million people out there not willing to go through the hassle of going to IPv6 (and probably about that many who are unwilling to change) and if the way they are pushing to get people to switch with FUD like this, I'm guessing it's more than a couple million who don't want IPv6, so it's time to ask ourselves, how can we make IPv6 more attractive than staying with IPv4, and implement these ideas. IPv6 will likely overtake v4 one day, but come on, let's find a way to make people switch rather then just wait for it to happen.
  • by EdelFactor19 (732765) <adam.edelstein@a ... u minus caffeine> on Thursday May 24, 2007 @11:42PM (#19265427)
    clearly the real answer here is 42. we should skip right over IPv6 and go to.... IPv42
    anything else?
  • by thogard (43403) on Thursday May 24, 2007 @11:58PM (#19265553) Homepage
    They don't allocate IP addresses, they allocate routes entry and with route entries, you get way more addresses than most need. The solution for this is to start allocating non-contigious /24... Force everyone to fix their routing and treat the wold as a 2^24 /24 ranges and get over it. To do this right requires less than 8mb of cache tag ram in most routers that want full feeds and enough ram to process the bgp routing updates.

    Going to IPv6 doesn't fix the fact that routers are running out of routes. This problem will get plenty of attention in about 2 months when the big Cisco routers start to dump routes because they are too big and adding IPv6 only makes the problem much worse.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward
      The IPv6 address space is hierarchically structured, making routing tables smaller, not larger (as opposed to what you want to do, which is the exact opposite). Learn your facts before spouting off.
  • TCP/IP 101 (Score:3, Insightful)

    by pandrijeczko (588093) on Friday May 25, 2007 @03:30AM (#19266931)
    Any specific service on the Internet is uniquely identified by an IP address and a port number that's in the range of 0-65535.

    Using (P)NAT, it's possible to map each one of those (potentially) 65536 services on a single real IP address to a unique machine on a reserved IP address (in the 10.x.x.x, 172.16.x.x, 192.168.x.x ranges). Since the reserved addresses are not routable, they can be used an infinite number of times provided that they connect to the Internet via a single real IP address.

    The point I'm trying to make is that only an Internet server needs to be identified by a unique port on a unique IP address, everyone else can get away with using NAT-ed reserved IP addresses. Therefore, the exhaustion of the IPv4 address space really isn't that critical in the short term.

  • by davecb (6526) * <davec-b@rogers.com> on Friday May 25, 2007 @10:05AM (#19270167) Homepage Journal

    Vista will only contact Active Directory DC over IPv6, and although Samba3 works over IPv6, it won't work as a DC [Dan Shearer]

    David Holder has a more detailed presentation of this at http://www.ipv6consultancy.com/ipv6blog/wp-content /uploads/2007/05/samba-and-vista-with-ipv6v2.pdf [ipv6consultancy.com] but to oversimplify, MS tried to prevent Samba from being an AD Domain Controller by making IPV6 a prerequisite, with strictly limited and temporary success (;-))

    --dave

  • by Marrow (195242) on Friday May 25, 2007 @10:19AM (#19270415)
    So right now we have a flat address space of 32bits or so. Why not
    create multiple internets, one per country lets say. Everyone
    gets to keep their existing internet address. Its just encapsulated
    within a country network.

    In order to get to country A address B.B.B.B you have to use
    a route. Each ISP would have a special router address that would
    send packets to that country accross a "dedidcated" connection. Your
    computer would know that when DNS assigns a "zip" for a particular
    connection, it locks the routing for those packets to go out via
    the local ISP dedicated router address.

    Your computer knows what router to use because it got the "zip code"
    for that route when it did the DNS lookup.

    Yes, I realize there would be problems. But perhaps less problems then
    with IPv6 adoption?

    This is moving to a hierarchial model. And the extra address space
    comes from the routing tables.

    Its just an idea. Please be kind.

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