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The Internet Businesses

Interop Returns 16 Million IPv4 Addresses 270

klapaucjusz writes "Every discussion about IPv4 address exhaustion prompts comments about whether Apple (or MIT, or UCB, or whoever) needs all of those addresses. Interop has set the example by returning 16 million IPv4 addresses to the ARIN pool, extending the IPv4 address exhaustion deadline by a whole month."
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Interop Returns 16 Million IPv4 Addresses

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  • by frozentier ( 1542099 ) on Wednesday October 20, 2010 @08:40PM (#33968670)
    Problem solved!
    • by julesh ( 229690 )

      I'm actually worried that this might be counter-productive. It's going to persuade the let's-wait-before-implementing-IPv6 people to wait a bit longer. Possibly more than it'll save. It'll be reported by the press with a "what were they panicking about?" tone, leading people who don't understand the issues to think of this as a storm-in-a-teacup that'll pass over without them doing anything, just like Y2K did.

  • by MrEricSir ( 398214 ) on Wednesday October 20, 2010 @08:41PM (#33968678) Homepage


  • Why didn't they wait until the supply/demand curves pushed the price of an IP into the dollar or more range? They could have turned their class A into tens if not hundreds of millions of dollars...
    • Not necessiarly (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Sycraft-fu ( 314770 ) on Wednesday October 20, 2010 @09:04PM (#33968856)

      Internet addresses are more leased than sold. The agencies in control let you use them, they don't give you a deed you get to keep forever. As a practical matter they belong to you because they don't want to cause trouble, but if push comes to shove, addresses can be taken back without compensation.

      That may be part of the thought with this. Not only is it altruistic and makes you look good but they may be worried it becomes mandatory later. They worry maybe IANA says "Guess what? We are taking back that block, you've got 1 month to renumber," and it is a big hurry, rather than just doing it and then being in the clear.

      • Re:Not necessiarly (Score:5, Interesting)

        by Drew M. ( 5831 ) on Wednesday October 20, 2010 @09:36PM (#33969112) Homepage

        Why aren't the leases on internet addresses high enough to convince people to give them back? Price them at a buck a month, and if someone truly can afford to spend $16m a month on a class A, let them. Otherwise they will give them back really fast. What's wrong with a little capitalism?

        • Remember back when all this was set up the Internet was a toy for academic institutions and so on. The idea of 4 billion computers in the world was unthinkable. So they handed shit out real cheap. One time cost kind of thing, and the big orgs that got on first got 16 million. Nobody thought this was a problem, nobody needed it. The whole reason for a Class A was just to let you subnet up your network to a high degree easily.

          Maybe they will start charging or doing something else to put the pressure on but I

          • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

            by boombaard ( 1001577 )
            Extremely good is a bit of an overstatement []:

            After the University Of Hawaii began getting Google Over IPv6 in March of 2010, we began noticing problems with user devices on our wireless sending router advertisements and “black-holing” traffic. This problem is, of course made more apparent by initiating Google Over IPv6, which causes significantly more content to be requested by clients over IPv6. Despite first appearances, this is a good thing, since it is a problem that must be faced and dealt with in order to operate a IPv6 network for the near term.
            In a nutshell, a “rogue RA” scenario occurs when some device besides an “official” router identifies itself as a router using “router advertisement” ICMP6 messages. Once client hosts see the “rogue” as a router, they may prefer it as their next hop to send traffic out to the Internet.
            This can result in one of two problems:

            • the rogue router can use its position as a router to intercept and eavesdrop upon or otherwise mess with traffic
            • the rogue router can neglect to forward traffic such that the client cannot reach things by IPv6

            These issues are not IPv6 specific problems. There are numerous similar problems that occur in IPv4 networks, on 802.11 “WiFi” networks, and on Layer 2 switched wired networks.
            The best-known cause of rogue RAs on an IPv6 network comes from Windows Vista hosts with Internet Connection Sharing (ICS) enabled. Other causes are probably common, since the “personalities” of rogue RAs seem to differ widely.

            And there also appears to be a problem with enabled 6to4 tunnels advertising to the network that they are willing to act as virtual gateways.. Not exactly my idea of 'extremely good'

        • by ekhben ( 628371 )

          Because the registries are driven by bottom-up policy processes in which all the stakeholders who care to get involved have a hand in determining the right way to distribute addresses. Current thinking is that addresses are a global public good, and should be distributed based on responsible and efficient need, not based on depth of pocket.

    • Ridiculous. That cost is simply going to be passed-on the consumers. They asked for addresses before they had value, now they got it and it's theirs. Period (unless there are clauses in the agreement about having to return the ranges not in use). I unfortunately wasn't that quick and have to pay for a static IP.

      This comment was posted using 100% IPv6 and I laugh at your obsolescence (not necessarily true but we're getting there).

  • by DigiShaman ( 671371 ) on Wednesday October 20, 2010 @09:00PM (#33968838) Homepage

    I'm guessing the best place to free up IP4 blocks is with the cell phone industry. They could roll out IP6 and eventually drop IP4 depending on the model of your cell phone (dual IP schemes in place for the transition). That industry changes so rapidly anyways and has the largest consumer share over the personal computer. Plus, cell phone devices centrally managed for the most part anyways. Shouldn't be too difficult of a task. At least, not nearly as difficult as flipping home users and SMBs over to IP6 in the same amount of time.

    • by TheLink ( 130905 ) on Wednesday October 20, 2010 @09:20PM (#33968970) Journal
      That only works if the cell phone users don't mind being unable to connect to sites that don't support IPv6 at all - which could include their corporate sites, shopping sites, search engines, map, email, blog, "social" sites.

      Dual-IP no NAT schemes only work if you actually have IPv4 addresses - which we are running out of if you haven't noticed already.

      Schemes involving NAT "kinda" work, but if people really didn't mind using NAT, then we could skip going to IPv6 and stick with mass IPv4 NATing.
      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by Matt_R ( 23461 )

        search engines has IPv6 address 2404:6800:8004::68

        map has IPv6 address 2404:6800:8004::68

        email has IPv6 address 2404:6800:8004::53

        "social" sites. has IPv6 address 2620:0:1cfe:face:b00c::3

      • Double NATing is a bad idea. All sorts of strangeness happens when connecting with a dialup VPN connection and whatnot.

        Of course, ISPs and data centers should convert to IP6 first. But come client side, I still think cell phones should be converted. A much more doable task in comparison to home use and SMB offices.

        And it's not just switching over to IP6. It's all the DNS, OS, and application support that goes along with it. Cell phones are pretty simple devices in comparison. They're centrally administered

        • Of course, ISPs and data centers should convert to IP6 first. But come client side, I still think cell phones should be converted. A much more doable task in comparison to home use and SMB offices.

          If major ISPs deploy IPv6 then homes and SMB offices get it almost automagically these days. I use a tunnel at home and radvd to share it. Everybody who connects to the lan gets a IPv6 addy. No problem. It works on GNU/Linux boxes, Windows boxes, Mac boxes, whatever. Most people visiting don't know and don't care, but it works. If your ISP gives you your pre-configured equipment and you connect to it and it hands you a IPv6 addy then 99% of end-users are all set and we're done. Actually getting ISPs

      • by Cwix ( 1671282 )

        we could skip going to IPv6 and stick with mass IPv4 NATing.

        Bite your tongue.

    • by shitzu ( 931108 )

      at least my cellphone gets an address that is in the NATted private 10.x.x.x range so my provider does not really waste ipv4 public address space.

      • And what if you wanted, say, to ssh into the phone?

        This may be a weird idea for dumbphones, but things like n900 are just subnotebooks with phone capability.

    • by tlhIngan ( 30335 )

      Actually, it depends on your cellphone plan. Many data plans often give you just a private IP address, NAT'ed or double-NAT to the Internet. Considering most of the usage is just connecting to a remote server and getting information, this works fine. Many cheaper plans also go through a transparent HTTP proxy as well which caches and reduces image quality.

      Even the mobile stick/pods/hub plans are often NAT'ed. If you want to do VPN, there's often a VPN tier of service that gets you a real live IP address. If

  • Number Authorities:

    Once you run out of IP allocations to hand out (which you have done at an incredible pace), you have two solutions:

    A) Force everyone onto IPv6 before they are ready
    B) Acknowledge that there is significant underutilisation of existing resources, and that supply/demand are going to encourage the rise of secondary markets.

  • by hedronist ( 233240 ) * on Wednesday October 20, 2010 @09:56PM (#33969222)

    Admittedly it was only a /24 (called a C-net by us geezers), but I had had it since about 1992. That was back in the days you could get a C-net for the asking, and a B-net (a /16 to you youngsters) could be had without too much whining.

    I got a nice note back from ARIN saying:

    As the popular quote says, a journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step. has been returned to the pool of available addresses - thanks!

  • by ZorinLynx ( 31751 ) on Wednesday October 20, 2010 @10:00PM (#33969246) Homepage

    I have ONE static IP from Comcast Business. This is great; I don't really need more than one, right? Well the problem is they've given me a routed subnet. So for me to get my one IP, they also have to waste these additional IPs:

    1. The IP on the WAN side of the router, provided to it by DHCP.
    2. Internal network subnet address.
    3. The router's internal network address.
    4. Internal network broadcast address.

    Yes, that means for my ONE static IP, Comcast is wasting four more. I can't help wondering why they built their network this way, rather than simply assigning me the WAN side IP and making sure it doesn't change. But hey, that's Comcast for you.

    Who knows how many millions of IPs are wasted through inefficient allocation this way. If I have a block of six IPs it would make administrative sense to do it this way but for one? Come on. :)

    • by Agent Green ( 231202 ) on Thursday October 21, 2010 @04:50AM (#33971220)

      There are actually reasons behind this. I've got a /29 from Charter Business myself, but this is why it is the way it is, based on my experience as a former Charter engineer.

      In the days of old, customers were assigned their statics in WAN-side way as you describe. My parents used to have a static assigned to them from a WAN block on their CMTS. This was great because whatever allocation assigned was very efficiently used. Granted, this was back when nodes were combined 4:1 or greater on the small CMTS that was being used. A uBR7246 with 1x6 cards in the day could easily route traffic for over 48 cable nodes, at 2:1 combining on the upstreams, and 12:1 on the downstreams. (A whopping 150mbps for 48 nodes ... laugable today).

      It wasn't all that long ago I remember some towns sharing a single downstream port. Now, enter node splits, and combining gets down to 1:1 in many cases. Even with a much larger CMTS (uBR10012 vs. uBR7246), it can't handle the same number of nodes. With redundancy failover switchboxes, there are only 35 downstreams per box (assuming 5x20 cards).

      Now a problem exists as soon as the box's capacity is reached. If I need to split your node and move it to another CMTS to increase your available bandwidth, I need to coordinate with everyone who is moving who has a WAN side IP and tell them that their IP address is going to change on whatever date. This turns into an incredible shitstorm when one person stammers their feet and cries up the escalation chain and then delays necessary work because they bitch. Then capacity continues to be in hell until the move is finally approved. Then, there are the customers who ignore your voicemail and phone calls and then cry for a credit because they didn't pay attention until the move date.

      So now what everyone is doing in order to make this easier is to assign you a /30 or /29 or whatever which you get from your modem. The modem sends that assignemnt up via RIP and it gets redistributed into the network. Now, it doesn't matter what town you're in or what CMTS you're on. Note splits and changes can essentially happen without you ever having to renumber your side. With the growing demands on bandwidth, it's not unheard of that you could move a couple of times per year, depending on the scope of the engineering changes.

      Seems wasteful, but that's the sense behind it.

  • This will not help in the long run, we must all switch to IPv6 immediately or the Internet(s) is going to die. In other news, the sky is about to fall on our head. I've been (ab)using IPv6 for a decade so I can scp stuff between boxen using DNS, and absolutely nothing has changed regarding global deployment during that period - and I doubt it ever will
  • by Technomancer ( 51963 ) on Wednesday October 20, 2010 @10:06PM (#33969292)

    return their 16M IPv4 addresses, just look at the map
    HP, DEC, Ford, Xerox, Bell Labs, Apple, MIT, USPS, DuPont, IBM, General Electric, Boeing, Prudential, Eli Lily, Halliburton.
    Why does plane, car, drug or chemical manufacturer or an insurance company need 16M publicly routable IP addresses?
    I guess HP has now all the DEC IPs, so they have 32M, WTF!

    • by Nelson ( 1275 ) on Wednesday October 20, 2010 @11:47PM (#33969714)

      So if you're a large business, what's the best way to make sure any two devices on your network can easily talk to each other if they need to? Keep in mind that companies like HP and IBM buy other companies on a very regular basis and there are constant collisions with private space when that happens. What's the solution?

      The very best solution is to give all the machines unique public IPs that are routable and do your own routing inside your network. A lot more companies than those use that practice.

      • by gblues ( 90260 )

        TCP/IP is routable, period. The "non-routable" blocks are simply IP addresses that can't be used across the Internet but will still work fine in an internal network. HP's users might need to talk to each other, but there's no reason for me to able to ping all of them from home.

  • I plan to skip IPV6 (Score:4, Interesting)

    by snsh ( 968808 ) on Wednesday October 20, 2010 @11:39PM (#33969672)
    IPV6 never caught on, like Windows Vista caught on. Better to wait for IPV7.
  • by KingAlanI ( 1270538 ) on Thursday October 21, 2010 @12:01AM (#33969800) Homepage Journal

    "ARIN warns that Interop's return will not significantly extend the life of IPv4. ARIN continues to emphasize the need for all Internet stakeholders to adopt the next generation of Internet Protocol, IPv6."

To do two things at once is to do neither. -- Publilius Syrus