Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
Communications Networking The Internet

IPv4 Address Use In 2008 258

Posted by Soulskill
from the act-now-while-supplies-last dept.
An anonymous reader writes "The world used 197 million new IPv4 addresses in 2008, leaving 926 million addresses still available. The US remains the biggest user of new addresses, but China is catching up quickly. Quoting Ars Technica: 'A possible explanation could be that the big player(s) in some countries are executing a "run on the bank" and trying to get IPv4 addresses while the getting is good, while those in other countries are working on more NAT (Network Address Translation) and other address conservation techniques in anticipation of the depletion of the IPv4 address reserves a few years from now. In both cases, adding some IPv6 to the mix would be helpful. Even though last year the number of IPv6 addresses given out increased by almost a factor eight over 2007, the total amount of IPv6 address space in use is just 0.027 percent.'"
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

IPv4 Address Use In 2008

Comments Filter:
  • by PhrostyMcByte (589271) <phrosty@gmail.com> on Saturday January 03, 2009 @12:10AM (#26308749) Homepage
    great, so now we're at 8 IPv6 sites, all of which are tunnel brokers!
  • 0.027% (Score:5, Funny)

    by Ant P. (974313) on Saturday January 03, 2009 @12:18AM (#26308793) Homepage

    the total amount of IPv6 address space in use is just 0.027 percent

    So how many is that, in quadrillions?

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Roguelazer (606927)
      Yeah, that seemed a little unlikely to me as well. There are 2**128 addresses in IPv6. Even assuming that all of these were allocated in 64-bit subnets (fairly common), that's still 5*10**15 subnets. Which is a hugely ridiculous amount, many times larger than the IPv4 Internet. Something's fishy about this number...
  • by nathan.fulton (1160807) on Saturday January 03, 2009 @12:21AM (#26308813) Journal
    Instead of waiting for demand to outstrip supply, the IANA should artificially increase demand by bloating the prices for blocks. This will cause everyone to focus more on IP conservation. Because let's be truthful: IPv6 isn't going to be widely adopted in 5 years unless something changes (and it's best for everyone if that "something" isn't a complete lack of IP Addresses)
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      If I was an IPV6-hater, I couldn't come up with a better put-down of IPV6... that it's so pitiful that the only way to get quick adoption is to artificially kill the competition. Sounds like a Microsoft tactic.

      I'm neutral on IPV6; when it becomes necessary, I'll switch. I'm running linux, which is ready for IPV6. We will exhaust IPV4 adress space in a few years, unless ISPs go NWN (Nuts With NAT). Reclaiming /8's from the likes of GE and Compaq (Compaq has 2 /8's; 16 million addresses) may buy another c

    • by MyHair (589485) on Saturday January 03, 2009 @01:51AM (#26309315) Journal

      Because let's be truthful: IPv6 isn't going to be widely adopted in 5 years unless something changes (and it's best for everyone if that "something" isn't a complete lack of IP Addresses)

      It's already enabled by default in Linux distributions and Windows Vista and Server 2008. The major backbones should be able to handle it. Many businesses use proxy and other gateway servers for intranet-to-internet access, so if a company is not ready to migrate the intranet to IPv6 right away they can just put it on their proxy, gateway and public servers.

      I'm not saying it will happen, but I don't think the obstacles are technical at this point. I think what needs to change is to put all the porn on IPv6-only servers. Or YouTube, FaceBook, MySpace, etc.. Okay not literally, but either the customers or the service needs to be accessible by IPv6 only before it make sense for everyone to make the effort. I'm guessing it will be forced when governments or militaries have large masses of users on IPv6 and the IPv6-IPv4 gateways start getting overloaded.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      This will cause everyone to focus more on IP conservation.

      ...and 6 months later when the IP addresses run out for good, we're back at the old problem. Why not solve the problem properly, instead of degrading much of the Internet with NAT and putting up barriers to growth - especially in the mobile communications sector?

    • RIPE gives away IP addresses for free, so not sure what difference that would make.

      My previous comment on the subject [slashdot.org] shows they're not exactly used efficiently ...

      Rich.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday January 03, 2009 @12:21AM (#26308819)

    What's to prevent someone from buying them all and charging more later?

    An open market for IPv4 addresses would solve the 'depletion' problem by encouraging the most wasteful users to sell their addresses.

    • by Wesley Felter (138342) <wesley@felter.org> on Saturday January 03, 2009 @01:38AM (#26309233) Homepage

      What's to prevent someone from buying them all and charging more later?

      You can only get addresses if you can demonstrate a legitimate use for them. To get millions of addresses, you'd have to show that you have millions of devices that need them. Also, technically you can't resell addresses.

      • by A beautiful mind (821714) on Saturday January 03, 2009 @01:56AM (#26309335)

        Also, technically you can't resell addresses.

        Not just technically. It would be a huge, huge routing problem to do so and the regional registrars would step in to get back the IPs, since they are delegated and not bought or sold.

      • by jabuzz (182671)

        Do you want to explain why HP has two class A IP blocks then? Do you honestly think they need them? Or are they just an historical accident from takeovers and mergers?

        If you created a market where some of the large class A networks that where allocated for free many years ago could be broken up and sold off for money then I am sure that companies with excess network allocations would put in the effort to make selling them off a viable proposition.

        The basic problem at the moment with IP4 is that there is no

        • by Lennie (16154)

          They were handed out like candy in the old days of the internet and the HP/Compaq (DEC was the part that had the the IP-block) merger/buyout/whatever gave them 2 large blocks. If I'm not mistaken.

      • by Ed Avis (5917)

        That's just the problem. Let people buy and sell IP addresses freely. You do not have to show a 'legitimate' use to buy oil or gold or land or trademarks. What we have now is a feudal system where space is 'allocated' by the king. Just as that changed to a free market in real property, we need a free market in IP addresses. That would provide the necessary incentive to conserve addresses, and to adopt IPv6 when it becomes necessary.

  • tunnelbroker.net (Score:5, Informative)

    by XanC (644172) on Saturday January 03, 2009 @12:22AM (#26308835)

    Get your IPv6 addresses here: Tunnelbroker.net [tunnelbroker.net]

    They've got a ton of presences all over the place, so latency is not too bad. It's really nice to be able to SSH directly to your boxes behind your router. Every address you get contains the square of the IPv4 address space for your own use.

    Then bug your ISP to give you native connectivity.

    • I notice on that website their counter for ipv4 addresses still available is far different to that of the one mentioned in TFA. 560 million. Maybe it's just a cheesy flash counter and not based on any facts but it is extremely inaccurate, if so.
    • by jd (1658)
      There are many IPv6 tunnel brokers - British Telecom, Hurricane Electric, and so on. Since it costs nothing to get an IPv6 tunnel, it's trivial to do, and all modern OS' support it, anyone worthy of the title of geek should already be using at least one such tunnel. (Hell, I used to run 10 IPv6 tunnels on Linux 2.0.20!)
      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by MichaelSmith (789609)
        If the tunnel exit is outside the Great Australian Firewall then you can count me in.
      • by Tony Hoyle (11698) *

        BTExact shut down their tunnel broken. Apart from Sixxs there aren't any the UK any more. Anyway, tunnels suck. They add huge amounts of latency and are unreliable

        Luckily there are at least two ISPs that'll route IPV6 (AAISP and Entanet).

        Unluckily unless you fork out for a cisco router (or hack an old linksys) you can't use it..

        • Apart from Sixxs there aren't any the UK any more

          The JANET tunnel broker [ipv6.ac.uk] is still running, and JANET is switching to all IPv6 internally this year. I get around 20ms RTT to hosts pretty much anywhere on JANET from Virgin Media, so the additional latency shouldn't be too much.

          Unluckily unless you fork out for a cisco router (or hack an old linksys) you can't use it..

          I have a PC Engines WRAP (266MHz Geode, 64MB RAM, two ethernet, one WLAN, 7W) which runs OpenBSD nicely. Cost about as much as a decent access point.

    • I've hassled Comcast excessively to get my native IPv6 on business connections. Both me poking them and my posts on NANOG regarding the same fell on deaf ears. So I switched to Hurricane Electric. Native IPv6 FTW!

      Disclaimer: Just a very, very satisfied transit customer.

      • Where does HE serve?
        Also, how would a residential user select them as his ISP? ;)

        • Ahh, that's the rub. I get HE from Equinix, and then shoot it about 10 miles away using wireless on their roof =( On the other hand, you could always tunnel IPv6 over IPv4. I've done that in some situations where IPv6 was a must. Works well, but it ain't native :(

          • Yeah. I've a tunnel through HE's tunnel broker service.

            *sits on his hands, waiting for Comcast to get with the times*

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by slash.duncan (1103465)

        AFAIK, DOCSIS 2.0 modems won't do native IPv6. That takes DOCSIS 3.0, one of the new features of which is native IPv6 capabilities. Until your market deploys DOCSIS 3.0, then (and Comcast does seem to be a bit ahead there, at least in its two high-speed markets), hassling the cableco isn't going to do you much good.

        Unfortunately DOCSIS 3 has been vaporware for ~2 years now. There's certified equipment now, but from what I read, most of it's going to Asia. It's quite difficult to find DOCSIS 3.0 modems

  • by frooddude (148993) on Saturday January 03, 2009 @01:04AM (#26309045)

    What is .027% of 2**128

    Here's a neat (and understandable) place to find out just how stupid it is to say that "only X%" if IPv6 is assigned: http://www.tcpipguide.com/free/t_IPv6AddressSizeandAddressSpace-2.htm [tcpipguide.com]

    IPv6 is HUGE. I didn't even understand how huge until I found out I can get an address for every friggin cell in my body.

    Weeeee!

    • by paul248 (536459) on Saturday January 03, 2009 @01:30AM (#26309175) Homepage

      The space may be astronomical, but astronomical amounts of space are wasted in order to simplify routing and such.

      For all practical purposes, I would estimate that IPv6 is about 64k times larger than IPv4.

      • by thogard (43403)

        Except its not the IPv4 address we are running out of, its the number of blocks of address space that we are running out of and that was made worse when they stopped allocating /24. Every dual homed network out there will need a 2 routing entries even if they only use IPv6 addresses. We could double the IPv4 address space by using the protocol version bits and most (leaf node) routers won't even care.

    • Holy Shit (Score:2, Interesting)

      by DanZ23 (901353)

      I had no idea exactly how big either. From your link:

      [...]imagine the IPv4 address space is the 1.6-inch square above. In that case, the IPv6 address space would be represented by a square the size of the solar system.

    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by cababunga (1195153)

      I can get an address for every friggin cell in my body.

      Finally missing piece of the puzzle. When IPv6 was first planned it suppose to give enough addresses for every cell phone, but apparently due to miscommunication, they made it large enough to give address to every cell.

  • by arrenlex (994824) on Saturday January 03, 2009 @01:24AM (#26309151)

    I don't understand why they made IPv6 the way they did.

    Sure, the size of the new address space is absolutely staggering, but this was done at the expense of making them impossible for a person to remember. Right now, I can go to some internet cafe and ssh into my home network because I can remember the IP.

    Were I using an IPv6 address, I would have to pay for DNS service just so I could log into my own network remotely, or keep a scrap of paper and laboriously type it out.

    Why not extend IPv4 by adding more bits to the representation of each octet? For example, instead of using 8 bits, use x bits where x is specified at the beginning of the address. For example, you can use x=10 and create an address up to 1024.1024.1024.1024.

    This still allows people to remember them easily, as there is no difference between remembering, say, 189 and 857 from a human brain perspective. It's three digits in each case. And, you can go as high as you need to. You can never deplete it, as you can just keep using more bits to represent the address when necessary, and all of the applications supporting such a protocol would be able to support that natively.

    Best of all, assume x=8 unless explicitly specified, and voila -- perfect backwards compatibility with the existing IPv4 protocol. You no longer need to have separate treatment of IPv4 and next-gen address spaces, because IPv4 will be a subset of the expanded space.

    Why the current mess of horrible alphanumeric sequences? Why didn't they make it easy on our eyes and do it like this?

    • by compro01 (777531) on Saturday January 03, 2009 @01:31AM (#26309181)

      There are several free DNS services, such as dyndns and no-ip, which work just fine for such uses.

    • by LordKaT (619540)

      A typical IPv6 address in dotted notation looks like:

      128.91.45.157.220.40.0.0.0.0.252.87.212.200.31.255

      So ... yeah, it's not that much better.

    • by eggnet (75425) on Saturday January 03, 2009 @01:43AM (#26309263)

      Or you put your IPv6 address in ~/.ssh/config

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by paul248 (536459)
      If your connection gets a /48 allocated to it, then you can have a relatively simple address, like:

      2001:db8:a5b2::1

      Where the last part is statically assigned by you. The addresses aren't really that messy unless you're using relying on autoconfiguration for the last 64 bits.
    • by mcrbids (148650) on Saturday January 03, 2009 @02:07AM (#26309373) Journal

      Why not extend IPv4 by adding more bits to the representation of each octet? For example, instead of using 8 bits, use x bits where x is specified at the beginning of the address. For example, you can use x=10 and create an address up to 1024.1024.1024.1024.

      You misunderstand the meaning of the octet, which is little more than a way to make a large number more understandable. If you take 255*255*255*255 you end up with the largest number that can be stored in a 32 bit integer. And it's this integer that is actually your "ip address". It's just rendered in octet format because 63.95.215.231 is much more readable than some huge integer like 2393201938.

      But when you are talking about very, very, very, very large numbers, such as 2^128, even breaking up the numbers into "bite sized chunks" falls apart. Even when you use alphanumeric values, it still is hard to remember.

      So DNS is your friend. It works well, fast, and reliably.

      • by lintux (125434)

        > You misunderstand the meaning of the octet,

        Yours is also a bit lacking:

        > If you take 255*255*255*255 :-P

    • by MyHair (589485) on Saturday January 03, 2009 @02:08AM (#26309377) Journal

      They made it that way because it's similar in structure to IPv4 and made it long not to make 2^128 addressable devices but to make (theoretically up to) 2^64 collision domains with the possibility for 2^63 globally Unique IDentifiers and 2^63 non-globally-unique ID's. But a lot of people are going to ignore the global ID part and use (network)::1, (network)::2, etc. or have fun with hex letters with (network)::dead:beef and such. (Luckily--actually by design--these simplified IPv6 addresses will usually happen to be be in the non-globally-unique range.)

      They intend to waste a lost of potential addresses to make routing tables simpler. Ideally the IPv6 network map will be a hierarchical structure of networks.

      If you don't have DNS handy there are a growing number of peer-to-peer name resolution protocols that I expect will become more popular with IPv6 addressing.

      So the answer is that the "horrible alphanumeric sequences" are designed to make easy-on-core-routers hierarchical routing feasible while squaring the theoretical maximum number of addressable hosts. And they really expect people to use managed or peer name resolution, anyway.

    • I want to move to Mars because my brain is too small to remember my Earth latitude and longitude.
    • by knorthern knight (513660) on Saturday January 03, 2009 @02:50AM (#26309581)

      > Why not extend IPv4 by adding more bits to the representation of each octet?

      *ANY* physical change to IPV4 breaks IPV4, as far as today's applications, operating systems, and internet routers are concerned. Repeat... *ANY* physical change to IPV4 breaks everything that relies on IPV4.

      > Why not extend IPv4 by adding more bits to the representation of each octet?
      > For example, instead of using 8 bits, use x bits where x is specified at the
      > beginning of the address. For example, you can use x=10 and create an address
      > up to 1024.1024.1024.1024.

      Because internet traffic would be painfully slow, that's why. Current routers (the hardware that the internet runs on, not the toy between your modem and your computers) are hard-coded in ROM/firmware to handle 32-bit addresses. They can handle 128 bits in software, but it's a lot slower. Think hardware acceleration versus software acceleration for video cards. New routers can be had which do 128 bits in hardware. Your suggestion breaks down because...
      a) the router would have to figure out dynamically how many bits constitutes a data packet.
      b) once it figures that out, it has to route it. Because there are endless possibilities, it has to be done in software, again slowing it down.

      > Best of all, assume x=8 unless explicitly specified, and voila -- perfect
      > backwards compatibility with the existing IPv4 protocol.

      Wring, wrang, wrung... wrong, wrong, wrong. At the hardware level, TCP/IP is a series of 8-bit bytes. Ain't gonna change without throwing out almost every computer currently in existence. That would make the switch from IPV4 to IPV6 look trivial.

      Just in case you modify your proposal to say X=N bytes instead of X=N bits, there is still a problem. You would need a "flag byte" to signal how many bytes to use. IPV4-compliant software and hardware would choke on the extra bytes in the stream. I repeat what I said at the beginning... *ANY* physical change to IPV4 breaks IPV4. Given that assumption, we may as well start from scratch, and go back to square 1 when designing IPV6.

    • by Casandro (751346)

      Well there just are 32 bits for the address. So they need to make new headers and thus a new protocoll.

      Further more there are a lot of features in IPv4 which seemed like a good idea, but turned out to be bad ideas. Those features have been fixed in IPv6.

  • by mysidia (191772) on Saturday January 03, 2009 @01:37AM (#26309223)

    Even though last year the number of IPv6 addresses given out increased by almost a factor eight over 2007, the total amount of IPv6 address space in use is just 0.027 percent.'"

    IPv6 addresses are 128 bits instead of v4's 32-bits. I sure HOPE the percentage stays small.

    It's a preposterous claim that a whole 0.027 IPv6 addresses are in use. If that many addresses were in use, then that would mean IPv6 is wildly successful

    If you just consider the first 48 bits of a V6 address. That's 281474976710656 network addresses.

    IF 0.027% of those are in use, then 75,998,243,711 IPv6 networks have been used, which is more networks than IPv4 has ip addresses.

    The full 128 bits allows for 340282366920938463463374607431768211456 host addresses.

    If 0.027 of those are in use, then that would mean 91876239068653385135111144006577417 IPv6 host addresses are in use.

    • It's not 0.027% of available addresses in IPv6, it's 0.027% of all allocated addresses in IPv4 + IPv6.

  • There's a whole ton of IPv4 address space that seems to be allocated to people that don't realistically need it. For example, HP, Apples. IBM, MIT, Ford, Digital, Halliburton, GE, Xerox and a bunch more all have /8's. AT&T has two /8's. Do these companies really need 16 million public IP addresses?

    I know of many universities that have /16's, and really, same situation - do they really need 65k addresses? Labs, residence PCs, wifi laptops, are all assigned public IPs, and then behind a firewall so nothin

    • by Strider- (39683)

      I know of many universities that have /16's, and really, same situation - do they really need 65k addresses? Labs, residence PCs, wifi laptops, are all assigned public IPs, and then behind a firewall so nothing is accepted inbound anyways. These systems could easily be assigned private addresses and stuck behind NAT.

      You are missing part of the point of the "public" IPs. By definition, public IP addresses are globally unique. This makes it easy to integrate or even just link two separate networks, since you can be absolutely sure that there will not be duplicated IP addresses. You try integrating or linking two separate, private networks that are both running on 192.168.0.0/24 :)

  • Now you can still get n times 2^80 IP-Addresses for free from tunnel brokers like Sixxs.net. They even offer reverse DNS delegation and such things. You won't get that level of service from your local ISP, ever.

    • You can also get 2^80 addresses from the 6to4 fairy with no tunnel broker required. And since the whole point of IPv6 is that it won't run out, there's really no need to stock up in advance.

      • by Casandro (751346)

        Yes, but right now you can get them from 2 guys in swiss insteadt of some big company which wants to charge you extra for access to Wikipedia.

        IPv6 solves most technical problems, but unfortunately many problems are not technical, but caused by greedy ISPs.

        Having a neutral ISP is a big advantage.

      • by Tony Hoyle (11698) *

        Yeah but 6to4 is broken... for example, trace to 192.88.99.1 from my server in Dallas ends up in a server in Holland, and would add 360ms to my first hop.

        Really you want (a) routed ipv6, (b) a nearby tunnel. 6to4 is a desparate last resort.

  • by SystematicPsycho (456042) on Saturday January 03, 2009 @03:26AM (#26309731)

    While China and the US consume the world's resources, even the virtual ones the rest of the world is trying to adopt more efficient methods? Same old familiar story.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Just Some Guy (3352)

      While China and the US consume the world's resources, even the virtual ones the rest of the world is trying to adopt more efficient methods?

      There are only so many ways to efficiently directly address a few billion devices. As computers become ubiquitous (picture a kid in India with a cell phone), so does the demand for addresses. There's no such thing as "fault" here; everyone wants this.

  • by Conspiracy_Of_Doves (236787) on Saturday January 03, 2009 @03:45AM (#26309811)

    Why not just take every existing IPv4 address and make it an alias for the same IPv6 address, but with 5 zeros in front of it? And declare that the owners of those IPv4 addresses now own the corresponding IPv6 addresses?

    • by Strider- (39683) on Saturday January 03, 2009 @03:56AM (#26309859)

      Why not just take every existing IPv4 address and make it an alias for the same IPv6 address, but with 5 zeros in front of it? And declare that the owners of those IPv4 addresses now own the corresponding IPv6 addresses?

      That's basically what 6to4 tunneling does, except that the ipv4 address defines a /64 subnet. :)

    • by swillden (191260) <shawn-ds@willden.org> on Saturday January 03, 2009 @12:47PM (#26312149) Homepage Journal

      Why not just take every existing IPv4 address and make it an alias for the same IPv6 address, but with 5 zeros in front of it? And declare that the owners of those IPv4 addresses now own the corresponding IPv6 addresses?

      Because that ignores the biggest feature of IPv6 -- the solution to the routing table size problem. Also, there's no need to do that. ICANN is providing v6 address blocks for free to everyone who has ICANN-assigned v4 addresses, and the IPv4 and v6 infrastructure can easily coexist during a transition, so there's no reason not to use new v6 addresses which are hierarchically-structured for easy routing.

  • by WimBo (124634)

    When will consumer grade routers support IPv6?

    When I can go and get a netgear, linksys, or dlink router that supports IPv6 then I'd hope that I can get IPv6 connectivity from my ISP. (QWest)

    I'm running Vista and Linux here at home, and could operate on ipV6 without any issues right now, except that I guess most software is only configured to talk ipv4. (Does Firefox attempt to talk to any ipV6 locations?)

    • by compro01 (777531)

      Yes, Firefox can do IPv6. There's an option (network.dns.disableIPv6) to disable it in about:config, though it is enabled by default.

    • by lintux (125434)

      Many customized router firmware images (think of OpenWRT and friends) support IPv6. I adapted mine to get that. It sets up a tunnel to SixXS and announces my IPv6 /64 on my LAN. Everything just works.

      Not sure if anything out of the box can do this yet, especially the tunneling part.

    • by am 2k (217885)

      Apple's Airport Stations [apple.com] (including Time Machine [apple.com]) support IPv6 out of the box.

    • I guess most software is only configured to talk ipv4

      Any software written relatively recently should be using the getaddrinfo() interface to the socket library for remote service lookup. This takes a host name and service name as arguments, but nothing protocol-specific. You then get a list of protocol-independent address entries back. This means that the same code will work with IPv4, IPv6, AppleTalk, or MagicFutureProtocolThatGoesToEleven.

If you aren't rich you should always look useful. -- Louis-Ferdinand Celine

Working...