Tuesday Feb 1st 2011
Major telecommunication companies and large organizations already have plans to implement a permanent solution as the remaining IPv4 Web-address space nears exhaustion.
last IP address blocks in the IPv4 namespace will be automatically assigned to
the organizations overseeing the net address assignments three months earlier
Asia Pacific Network Information Center (APNIC), the organization that oversees net
addresses in the Asia-Pacific region, requested and received two blocks of
addresses from the Internet Assigned Numbers Authority (IANA) on Feb. 1. The
assignment triggered an ICANN rule
(Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers ), which states that when
only five blocks of addresses remain in the pool, they will be parceled out
evenly between the five regional agencies.
rule was expected to kick in around May 26, according to the IPv4 Address
Report program back in September. IPv4 Address Report is an online script that
calculates how many addresses are left in the namespace. As of Feb. 1, the
program calculated that only 1 percent of all possible IPv4 addresses are left
the five remaining blocks are allocated, the regional registries will continue
assigning addresses in these blocks, each containing 16 million IP addresses,
until the supply runs out. South American and African registries are expected
to last longer since there's comparatively less demand in those regions at this
time. The entire address space is expected to be more or less exhausted by
Sept. 24, according to the IPv4 Address Report.
Internet service providers and infrastructure companies have been preparing for
IP-address exhaustion for years and there are transition plans in place,
according to networking experts. "It's easy to create alarm with forecasts of
the end of Internet address [space], but while there is a lot of smoke, there
is no actual fire," said Alain Durand, director of software engineering at
will continue "normal allocations" for another three to six months, and then
restrict assignments so that enough addresses are available during the
transition to IPv6, the organization said. Under this policy, the organization
expects to keep assigning addresses for another five years, APNIC said.
future growth and innovation of the Internet is now reliant on deployment of
IPv6," said Axel Pawlik, managing director of RIPE NCC, the regional
Internet registry for Europe and Middle East.
current IPv4 naming scheme was developed in the 1970s and had capacity for 4.3
billion addresses, which were grouped into 255 blocks of 16 million addresses
each. The replacement scheme, IPv6, has a staggeringly large number of
addresses: more than 340 undecillion (for the curious, that's
340,282,366,920,938,463,463,374,607,431,768,211,456), grouped into blocks of 18
Networks surveyed IPv6 adoption in the summer and found that less than a tenth
of a percent of all traffic used IPv6, "almost below the threshold of what
we could measure," according to Craig Labovitz, the chief scientist at
the infrastructure is in place for IPv4 systems and IPv6 systems to run in
parallel, widespread adoption of IPv6 has been very slow because the two
systems are not compatible and there was no economic incentive for companies to
do so. "The two protocols can coexist, but they can't intercommunicate," Nigel
Titley, chairman of RIPE NCC, told eWeekEurope.
on systems with IPv6 addresses couldn't access sites and services with IPv4
addresses. "Gradually, as IPv6 usage ramps up, IPv4 usage will ramp down. And
eventually it will get to a point where we envisage retiring IPv4 altogether."
the transition from IPv4 to IPv6 many be a little bumpy for larger
organizations, it shouldn't be calamitous at all for most companies. Modern
computers are generally IPv6 compliant, but businesses may need to upgrade
their routers and switches.
a gold mine because everybody eventually has to upgrade" to equipment that
is compatible with IPv6," Joel Conover, a Cisco senior marketing manager, told
the Wall Street Journal.
large sites, such as Google, have already rolled out an IPv6 site for customers
already on that system. Google, Facebook and Yahoo are among some of the larger
companies planning a one-day test run of IPv6 addresses as part of World IPv6
Day, on June 8, to encourage the transition to the new namespace.
telecommunication companies have been upgrading their infrastructure over the
past few years in anticipation of the transition. Comcast has
begun assigning IPv6 addresses to
its cable modem customers in a "native dual stack" configuration, wrote John Brzozowski, the cable company's chief architect for IPv6, on the corporate blog
on Jan.31. Under this configuration, customers have both IPv4 and IPv6
addresses and can access content and services over both systems. Comcast's
first 25 IPv6-enabled customers went live Jan. 11 in the Littleton, Colo. area,
according to the post.
Cable has already signed up commercial customers on IPv6 and plans to begin
residential IPv6 trials in the spring. TimeWarner Cable is also expected to
adopt a dual-stack approach similar to that of Comcast. "Time Warner Cable
has long been preparing for the eventual end of IPv4 address
availability," said chief technology officer Mike LaJoie.
infrastructure company VeriSign will also provide business services to assist
companies with the transition during the year, the company said during its