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The Internet Technology

Last Days For Central IPv4 Address Pool 376

Posted by timothy
from the like-the-debt-clock-in-reverse dept.
jibjibjib writes "According to projections by APNIC Chief Scientist Geoff Huston, IANA's central IPv4 address pool is expected to run out any day now, leaving the internet with a very limited remaining supply of addresses. APNIC will probably request two /8s (33 million addresses) within the next few weeks. This will leave five /8s available, which will be immediately distributed to the five Regional Internet Registries in accordance with IANA policy. It's expected that APNIC's own address pool will run low during 2011, making ISPs and businesses in the Asia-Pacific region the first to feel the effects of IPv4 exhaustion. The long-term solution to IP address exhaustion is provided by IPv6, the next version of the Internet Protocol. IPv6 has been an internet standard for over a decade, but is still unsupported on many networks and makes up an almost negligible fraction of Internet traffic. Unless ISPs dramatically accelerate the pace of IPv6 deployment, users in some regions will be stuck on IPv4-only connections while ISPs in other regions run out of public IPv4 addresses, leading to a fragmented Internet without the universal connectivity we've previously taken for granted."
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Last Days For Central IPv4 Address Pool

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  • by MavEtJu (241979) <slashdot@mave t j u . org> on Saturday January 22, 2011 @05:03AM (#34963868) Homepage

    I'm running IPv6 via tunnels since 2001. I'm running native IPv6 since my ISP [on.net] did their first try-out via ADSL.
    Come on guys, it is not that difficult. Why is slashdot.org still not accessible via IPv6?

    • by drinkypoo (153816) <martin.espinoza@gmail.com> on Saturday January 22, 2011 @10:42AM (#34965142) Homepage Journal

      I tried tunneling IPv6 for a while but no free tunnel delivers acceptable performance. Must be lonely out there on dialup. When my ISP offers me IPv6 I will use it. Until then it would be stupid. My WISP router is a Mikrotik routerboard so it ought to be easy enough for them to do it if and when THEIR provider, an AT&T reseller, provides them with IPv6.

  • Risk aversion (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Fjandr (66656) on Saturday January 22, 2011 @05:06AM (#34963876) Homepage Journal

    Business organizations, like politicians, are usually extraordinarily risk-averse. This touches both in many ways, across many countries. As a result, there won't be any serious pushes into IPv6 until organizations can clearly quantify the damages that will be done from dragging their feet further. Only a small percentage of organizations will fully commit to IPv6 until the guaranteed costs of waiting exceeds the projected costs of moving forward.

    Nobody should have expected anything different once the internet became controlled predominantly by public political and private business interests.

    • by Pharmboy (216950)

      To expand on your idea, our business has 5 IPs that aren't likely to be taken from us (We had 32 at one time, voluntarily dropped to only what we really need). The shortage of IP addresses isn't going to affect the business directly, we won't need more, and everyone that can connect, can connect to us using those IPs. It doesn't make sense to try to switch to IPv6 until we HAVE to. As a matter of fact, there is MORE risk in switching than in not switching, since what we have works and is a known quantity

    • ...by making OS X 10.8 IP6 only and banish the evil of IP4, just as the holy Jobs freed us from the tyranny of RS232 ports, floppy drives, keyboards and Philips screwdrivers :-) But seriously, it will take a Google or Apple to pull a stunt and offer some unique service only available via IP6 to move people.
  • by pyalot (1197273) on Saturday January 22, 2011 @05:10AM (#34963884)
    People never do things en-masse because they thought it's a good idea. They do them because they're out of other options. No surprise there.
    • The cost to switch to IPv6 is not flipping a switch. It will cost trillions upon trillions of dollars globally to migrate. Selling investments like that in the middle of a global recession is not small potatoes

      People on slahsdot talk about IPv6 migration like it is simple - it is NOT. There are a lot more devices than your local router, and a lot more pieces of software then your desktop OS, that have to support IPv6 before it can be migrated. Companies have decades worth of software with hundreds upon hundreds of millions of lines of code, all assuming an IP is 4 bytes.

      The IPv6 switchover makes the Y2k thing look like small potatoes, namely because the IP stack is a much more integral piece of functionality in a lot of software than the absolute date ever was - that and you have a lot more to switch over today than you did in 1999.

      • The cost to switch to IPv6 is not flipping a switch. It will cost trillions upon trillions of dollars globally to migrate. Selling investments like that in the middle of a global recession is not small potatoes

        Wait.. when would you prefer doing it? Wait until the labor market is tight again? If it's going to take the efforts of thousands of people to make it happen, wouldn't it be best to do it when labor is cheap?

  • by mgv (198488) <Nospam.01.slash2 ... g ['tma' in gap]> on Saturday January 22, 2011 @05:13AM (#34963888) Homepage Journal

    Most isp's don't give out ip6 addresses

    Most home routers don't handle ip6 (apple is a notable exception here)

    This is going to be a bit ugly for a while.

    • Thats ok, from what i've seen, way to many ISP's are doing things so wrongly that when IPv6 comes out, you won't even notice, because they will kludge it into there network anyways. For example, My home router does not have to work with IPv6 as far as i can tell, because my DSL modem sets up an internal network. It is giving me 198.168.0.* addresses for my home computers, but addresses itself with a totally different block to the actual internet. what i'm saying is that home users are not going to be throw
    • Routers (Score:4, Informative)

      by Midnight Thunder (17205) on Saturday January 22, 2011 @09:33AM (#34964748) Homepage Journal

      There is a list here of IPv6 capable routers:

      http://www.sixxs.net/wiki/Routers [sixxs.net]

      The list is by no means complete, so if you are aware of others then be sure to add it the list (you will need to register for a Sixxs account).

      BTW At this point, if your ISP does not provide IPv6 support then you can try out 6to4 or Teredo. Myself I am currently using 6to4, since this is support by the Apple Airport Extreme, and all the devices on my network have an IPv6 address this way.

    • by Cimexus (1355033)

      Most new home routers do actually support IPv6 now, and older ones are getting the capability added via firmware updates. My several-year-old router didn't have IPv6 initially but it does now (firmware update sometime last year added it).

  • I keep seeing this fear of the IPv4 address pool disappearing, but I thought there was no such things as shortages in a free market? So then what's going on here? Clearly the IANA is refusing to allow the prices (and therefore costs) of IPv4 addresses to rise to reflect the true scarcity of them. I think the ANIPC goes as far to say you don't own your IP address to sell. Prices aren't just arbitrary things, they reflect information about scarcity, and if IPv6 addresses were cheaper to adopt than IPv4 addres

    • by cbope (130292)

      Except it's not so simple. If you have network hardware and software that don't support IPv6, you have a lot of cost involved to upgrade. Gateway devices, DSL and cable modems, routers... all need to support the protocol. Not to mention OS's and the software running on top of the network infrastructure.

      You make it sound like we can all switch overnight to IPv6 based purely on the cost of the addresses, when there are a LOT more things to consider than simply addressing.

      • So... what's your point? No one is claiming the switch would be made overnight, but the fact there is no profit and loss mechanism to drive us in the direction of adoption cannot be helpful at all, and people who most urgently demand IPv4 addresses (the people who are willing to pay lots of money because not having an IPv4 address is a massive cost) would be excluded from getting them, while companies like Apple and such have /8 blocks they have no chance of selling off portions of.

      • by AGMW (594303) on Saturday January 22, 2011 @05:46AM (#34963992) Homepage
        What I don't get is why the people who came up with IPv6 didn't make the upgrade path easier? Obviously I'm missing something, but what if (for the sake of argument) they had decided that the first 'n' IPv6 addresses would correspond to the complete set of IPv4 addresses, and all IPv6 routers, etc, would understand that one of the first IPv6 addresses meant 'route the traffic to the corresponding IPv4 address'. Could that have been done?
        If so, then people could have been upgrading to IPv6 over the last 10 years as opportunities arose (ie as old equipment needed replacing they'd have replaced with the IPv6 option) and still have been able to see the IPv4 world. As more w/s moved to IPv6 only there would be a compelling reason for more people to follow suit ...

        Once all traffic was using IPv6 there could be an update to free up those first 'n' address for use in IPv6, though there's so many addresses that might not be required for quite some time, so the natural upgrading of equipment would see them made available over the next 5 or 10 years without needing any big splash upgrades.

        Or am I completely missing something that would have made this impossible?

        • by Wizarth (785742) on Saturday January 22, 2011 @06:18AM (#34964082) Homepage

          You're overlooking that an IPv4 only host can't RESPOND to an IPv6 address. Instead you get IP6to4 NAT, which has to be a service provided by someone, that connects the IPv6 network to the IPv4 network, so the IPv4 destination sees the request originating from an IPv4 address.

        • by bbn (172659) <baldur.norddahl@gmail.com> on Saturday January 22, 2011 @08:06AM (#34964384)

          What I don't get is why the people who came up with IPv6 didn't make the upgrade path easier? Obviously I'm missing something, but what if (for the sake of argument) they had decided that the first 'n' IPv6 addresses would correspond to the complete set of IPv4 addresses, and all IPv6 routers, etc, would understand that one of the first IPv6 addresses meant 'route the traffic to the corresponding IPv4 address'. Could that have been done?

          This is the way it is. The first 4 billion IPv6 addresses maps to the entire IPv4 address space.

          If so, then people could have been upgrading to IPv6 over the last 10 years as opportunities arose (ie as old equipment needed replacing they'd have replaced with the IPv6 option) and still have been able to see the IPv4 world. As more w/s moved to IPv6 only there would be a compelling reason for more people to follow suit ...

          People could have been doing that but they didn't. So here we are.

          Or am I completely missing something that would have made this impossible?

          Yes, just mapping between IPv4 and IPv6 using this mechanism does not make it possible for your old IPv4 host to communicate with a IPv6 host using an address outside the 4 billion address space supported by IPv4. So what you describe is not actually backwards compability.

          The real compability is called "dual stack" meaning all IPv6 hosts also have IPv4. As we are running out of IPv4 this might be using NAT to conserve addresses. People have been doing dual stack for a decade now, but just not enough. It is said about 0.5% of the traffic is on IPv6.

          Your ISP was supposed to give you an IPv6 address along with your IPv4 address 10 years ago. But they didn't.

          Your OS provider was supposed to make your OS support dual stack 10 years ago. They actually did.

          Your router provider was supposed to make your router dual stack capable 10 years ago. They didn't.

          Your software provider was supposed to implement dual stack support 10 years ago. To a large extend they did, but some programs are still lacking here.

        • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

          by marka63 (1237718)

          What I don't get is why the people who came up with IPv6 didn't make the upgrade path easier?

          Because it was a hard problem to shoehorn more addresses into 32 bits. Instead of doing that they choose a 10+ year transition strategy where IPv6 could run along side IPv4. For over the last 10 years they have been saying this day is coming. Microsoft listened (XP supports IPv6), Apple listened, the Linux and *BSD developers listened as did Sun, HP, SGI. Just about any end user general purpose computer shipped in the last 10 years has supported IPv6. The big router vendors support IPv6 though it took a

        • by jimicus (737525)

          Yes, you're missing that even if everything else in an IP header between versions 4 and 6 were identical (they're not), IPv6 has 128 bit source and destination addresses. Which means that the router would calculate the offset for the payload within the packet incorrectly.

    • by pjt33 (739471)

      Don't be ridiculous. There have been shortages in free markets for as long as there have been free markets in places suffering drought. When something is sufficiently necessary and scarce, prices are irrelevant because people will take it by force.

      • Crack open an Econ textbook, scarcity is not the same as a shortage. Scarcity means there isn't enough of the good for the cost of acquisition to be free (pretty much everything except air). Shortage means there isn't enough for anyone to acquire even if you wanted to pay for it, and in a market only happens with a bad prediction of anticipated prices, and only in the short term -- Or in the case of IPv4 addresses, when there's no way of trading blocks of addresses.

    • by Fjandr (66656)

      I thought there was no such things as shortages in a free market

      You need to stop using the source from which you got that definition. Nobody, pro- or anti- free market, also having two or more brain cells to rub together, would ever state a free market is supposed (or is claimed) to be free of shortages. There are various claims about how free markets affect short supplies vis-à-vis allocation and price, but not the they can turn a supply from limited to limitless. Any such claim is absurd.

      • In fact it is a commonly claimed feature of a market, there's even a term for it: the market clearing mechanism [wikipedia.org]. There is no reason that an entrepreneur would want to sell a good at a lower price than would cause a shortage, if they could instead sell to the highest bidders, so they do not occur in a free market, at least not in the short run (before mistakes are corrected). That is to say, selling at a price that causes a shortage has an opportunity cost for both the buyers and the seller.

    • by Dunbal (464142) *

      but I thought there was no such things as shortages in a free market?

            Where do you see a free market? There is no free market, everything is regulated, certain corporations are protected by law, and One Big Agency is assigned the duty of handing out IP addresses. That's not a free market. And by the way, it answers your question: since it's not a free market this is why there are problems.

      • "There is no free market, everything is regulated"

        Sigh, a market is not a physical thing it is a set of (in)formal regulations governing transactions. A market without regulations makes as much sense as a game without rules, it's an oxymoronic definition. No matter what Glenn Beck says, the "free" in free market does not mean free of regulations, it means anybody is free to participate provided they abide by the rules.

        "since it's not a free market this is why there are problems."

        Free markets are a
    • Rationing IPv4 would be like rationing currency. Since you're schooled in economics, consider what would happen if a country's Mint decided that only 2 billion units of currency would ever be minted (say because they ran out of serial numbers). The country could function, but with a pointlessly crippled economy.

      I'm surprised anyone who is clearly schooled in economics (but perhaps not of IT) would not see this obvious correlation and basically identical consequences of rationing what is ultimately just a te

  • by 1s44c (552956) on Saturday January 22, 2011 @05:15AM (#34963894)

    We know already. Just about everyone on slashdot has setup IPv6 at home, and most likely given up on it later as there is little to access on it.

    Until we pressure the ISP's to give everyone native IPv6 this thing isn't going to go anywhere. If the ISP's lead the big retailers will follow, other sites will follow them. The very last thing anyone wants is ISP level NAT but that is exactly what we are going to see if we don't fix the current mess.

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by SuricouRaven (1897204)
      I have found two good things on IPv6: One is a public, high-retention public usenet server with binaries. The other is now defunct, but used to be one of the semi-mythical university pirate caches - vast deposits of copyright infringement hosted on academic high-bandwidth connections, accessible only via IPv6 where no enforcers are yet capable of looking.

      I think the ISPs may want ISP level NAT. It would mean an end to the p2p software that has been placing such a high demand upon their networks, a barrier
      • by omglolbah (731566)

        That works until one ISP sees that there is a demand for non NATed access.

        They provide that and gets piles of customers.

        In norway all owners of copper need to let other companies rent said copper at a reasonable price. So on the copper pair entering my apartment I have an option of at least 20 different DSL providers. Works wonders for competition ;)

    • by Dunbal (464142) *

      The answer will be: whatever is cheaper. ISP's don't give a shit about the user or they would be constantly upgrading and improving their networks instead of running software to screw up people's access by throttling or shaping (Yeah we'll sell you x MB/s bandwidth but you're not allowed to use it).

      They give a shit about profits though - so they won't let the whole network collapse - but only when they really really really have to. Ahh, monopolies. By the way, weren't we supposed to run out of IP's last yea

    • by Arlet (29997)

      I tried it last year, but I noticed some problems in getting my web and mail server to work properly, so I went back to IPv4. The problem with IPv6 is that there's no benefit to switching, only more trouble, so what's the point ? This isn't going to change anytime soon.

      The very last thing anyone wants is ISP level NAT

      They will have to anyway. The IPv6-only customers still want access to IPV4-only servers. This means there's no benefit to upgrade those servers to IPv6.

    • by houghi (78078)

      Until we pressure the ISP's to give everyone native IPv6 this thing isn't going to go anywhere.

      I would say, start with (part of the) content: the websites. Hosting companies should make their servers and hosted domains IPv6.

      Why first the content? Because that is where the greater knowledge is available. Then later grandma will wonder why she can't go to site XYZ, call her provider and is sold a new type of connection.

      Otherwise, why would grandma care? She does not care that she has a 10.X.X.X address and al

      • by Arlet (29997)

        I would say, start with (part of the) content: the websites. Hosting companies should make their servers and hosted domains IPv6.

        What's the benefit to them ? As long as 99.9% of the customers can still access their site by IPv4, there's no incentive.

  • It's the apocalypse! Aaaaaaaah! We're doooooooomed! Now I've got that out of my system, get your arses in gear, ISPs and site owners. We're counting on you. We know you can do it.
  • Renting IP Addresses (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Drew M. (5831) on Saturday January 22, 2011 @05:52AM (#34964004) Homepage

    There's a very simple solution to this. We should be renting IP addresses, not handing them out. Make publicly routable IP addresses cost $1 a month. Many class A owners would be dying to give back address space that they aren't using. Isn't that the answer to a limited supply of anything? Set a value to them so they aren't wasted.

    • by Wizarth (785742)

      This is what I see happening - IPv4 addresses will start being traded "privately".

    • by gclef (96311)

      The very interesting question is whether the agreement between the legacy /8 holders and ARIN *allows* RIRs like ARIN to charge regular fees for IP space. In the good old days there were no formal agreements like that for allocations, so the RIRs don't have the legal authority to change anything, and mostly have to rely on the goodwill of the orgs with these allocations.

    • by steelfood (895457)

      Maybe that's what the current class A owners should do.

  • Is there such a thing? (there must be) Where can one look to plan a conversion at home? At work?

    Like just about everyone else, I have been pushing this off hoping for a "just push this button" solution to emerge. I haven't seen one yet.

    • by Dogers (446369)

      If you're running a modern OS, it's fairly easy to set up a tunnel.

      Register on either http://tunnelbroker.net/ [tunnelbroker.net] or http://www.sixxs.net/main/ [sixxs.net] and create a new tunnel for yourself. There are instructions on how to start the tunnel which will put that single machine on the IPv6 network.

      From there, you can look into setting up RAdvD (if *nix) to act as an endpoint on your network, supplying IPv6 IPs to everything on it automatically.

      The next step would be to have an ISP which supplies an IPv6 address to your ro

    • by grumbel (592662)

      At home you can basically twiddle your thumbs and wait till your provider gives you IPv6, if that happens go buy a new IPv6 capable router and everything will be fine without extra work (at least in theory).

      If you want to toy with IPv6 right now, you can install a tunnel. In Ubuntu that basically means:

      sudo apt-get install miredo

      and you are done for a single client. When using UFW you have to enable IPv6 in /etc/default/ufw also or it will be blocked. If you want multiple clients you have to install radvd a

  • by rudy_wayne (414635) on Saturday January 22, 2011 @08:28AM (#34964486)

    OK. We run out of IPv4 addresses. So what? It's not like the 4 billion existing addresses are going to suddenly evaporate. Everything will continue to work just fine, and if you're late to the party, well, it sucks to be you.

    Just put up a sign "The Internet is full, go home."

  • by moz25 (262020) on Saturday January 22, 2011 @08:52AM (#34964586) Homepage

    An easy way to promote IPv6 would be if it were know or assumed that Google assigns higher pagerank to sites using IPv6 addresses. Then it would be something that customers of hosting companies would insist on, at least.

  • People thought CS people looked stupid when they found out dates were represented using two digits in computer programs. But those same people did not have to personally do anything; they just had to cross their fingers and hope that the programs got rewritten in time. This is going to effect a LOT of people directly. They are going to have to struggle with technological issues related to updating their equipment. Stuff that they barely got working the first time they set it up (TVs, wireless route

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