IPv4 enters exhaustion phase - Update: Gone!

Time has just been called on allocations for IPv4 address space, with the last two available ranges being assigned to APNIC, the RIR responsible for allocations in the Asian and Pacific regions.

These blocks are 39.x.x.x and 106.x.x.x. This leaves just five ranges unallocated, which triggers the IANA IPv4 exhaustion policy. At this stage, the five remaining /8 networks will be allocated equally, one to each of the RIRs.

Whilst this marks the end of IPv4 allocations from the IANA to RIRs, APNIC is estimating the allocations it has just received will last between three and six months, under current allocation rules, before stricter controls are put in place, and smaller ranges sold to ISPs. At this point, each ISP will be permitted to purchase only one further block, and a /16 will be held in reserve for possible future use. This means that ISPs still have time to test and prepare their networks in time for a full IPv6 rollout to their customers.

The unallocated address blocks are: 102.x.x.x, 103.x.x.x, 104.x.x.x, 179.x.x.x, and 185.x.x.x.

Recently, Neowin has been taking an in-depth look what IPv4 exhaustion means to you, and the preparedness of ISPs for the transition to IPv6 so that you needn't panic when IPv4 runs out.

Update: As expected, the final five blocks have now been allocated. This afternoon AfriNIC received 102/8, APNIC were given 103/8, 104/8 went to ARIN, 179/8 was given to LACNIC, and finally, RIPE received 185/8. A ceremony and press conference was held this afternoon to mark the occasion, and discuss the transition to IPv6.

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Question: Why didn't any tech news sites post about IPv4 running out well before now? I know it wouldn't have been big news... perhaps I'm just living under a very big rock?

Oh no. It has become. First they take all our base. Then all our IPs. Then the abductions will start, mark my word.

There's something I don't quite get; If we migrate towards IPv6, we'll have tons of "old" IPv4 addresses lying around = hence they're viable again. So won't this kind of create a loophole where half the net is IPv6 and the other half is IPv4 somehow routing to the IPv6 sites (I admit i'm not sure if the latter is doable)?

IPv6 isn't just a way to get more IP addresses out there. The standard offers more features than IPv4, which should make it more attractive for future device implementations.

Conjor said,
IPv6 isn't just a way to get more IP addresses out there. The standard offers more features than IPv4, which should make it more attractive for future device implementations.

Can you give some examples?

Azyr said,

Can you give some examples?

For starters IPv6 headers are designed to be more efficient and will be routed quicker.
IPv6 can be more secure as each and every packet can be handled with IPsec.
Getting rid of NAT and giving every device it's own public IP address means quicker connections, applications like torrents for example that use many connections will see an increase in performance.

Also I'm sure someone will come in saying "why get rid of NAT it protects me", NO NAT is not a firewall. We can still run firewalls and be secure with every device having it's own address.

IPv6 uses a 128-bit address and the new address space supports 2^128 (3.4 x 10^38) addresses.. so I guess we will be fine for quite some time.

este said,
When do we run out of IPv6 addys?

Just like x64 memory support (currently around 4PB) compared to x86's 4GB. IPv6 will last for a /long/ time because unlike IPv4 which supports around 4 billion addresses which are now pretty much used up, IPv6 has if my maths are right about 2,961,967,666,954,240 addresses by comparison

este said,
When do we run out of IPv6 addys?

We won't, you can have billions of address just to yourself. We will have to worry about the ever expanding population overstraining the earths resources long before any one will have to think about running out of IPv6 addresses.

Digitalx said,

Just like x64 memory support (currently around 4PB) compared to x86's 4GB. IPv6 will last for a /long/ time because unlike IPv4 which supports around 4 billion addresses which are now pretty much used up, IPv6 has if my maths are right about 2,961,967,666,954,240 addresses by comparison

Yeah it is off, here's the number:

340,282,366,920,938,463,463,374,607,431,768,211,456

With that many, each person on earth could get 1 BILLION addresses to themselves and still have plenty of address left over! For comparison, with IPv4 now, you have say 255 addresses on each router per home.

In my opinion, they should start cleaning up the current IP ranges that have been handed out. I know a lot of universities (at least here in the Netherlands) have full /16 address blocks. If all those universities hand in their public addresses, we'll have yet another free /8 block.

-Dave- said,
Well Egypt don't need their's anymore, so maybe we'll last out a little longer ?
Was just about to post the same - they don't need IPs. We require them!

If you look at http://www.vyncke.org/ipv6status/detailed.php?country=uk the top part lists which UK based websites have IPv6 - no many. If you then scroll down a bit, you will see the IPv6 prefixes that have been assigned. Nice to see people like British Telecom on the list (2a00:2000:: prefix), so it appears they are doing something. However, I didn't see Virgin Media on that list and according to http://www.ispreview.co.uk/review/top10.php they are the third largest ISP in the UK.

I find it worrying that TalkTalk is in 2nd place.

BT have decent connections, their Tech Support though is simply awful though. I rang them once and was told I need Windows 97.5 to fix my block on receiving SMTP traffic. No lie. I lost my rag with her and hurled abuse before hanging up. I kinda felt sorry for her after, still she shouldn't be doing a job that she clearly has no knowledge of.

david13lt said,
For long tipe my Mac shows me IPv4 and IPv6 addresses for my machine. But have never tried IPv6 locally or globally.

IPv6 was found in Windows XP but disabled. It was enabled by default with Vista onwards.

yowan said,
My ISP still has a large quantity of IPs left. They won't be running out of IPv4 addresses any in the next years

Who's your ISP, and how do you know how many IPs they got left?

yowan said,
My ISP still has a large quantity of IPs left. They won't be running out of IPv4 addresses any in the next years

Your ISP might, but other ISPs might not - in UK or abroad. So what do you do if you only have IPv4 and you need to access an IPv6 resource?

Pupik said,

Who's your ISP, and how do you know how many IPs they got left?

My ISP is orange mu. It still has large blocks left. They won't be using IPv6 soon

Karen Cookson said,

Your ISP might, but other ISPs might not - in UK or abroad. So what do you do if you only have IPv4 and you need to access an IPv6 resource?

If your on an IPv4 network and try to access an site which is using IPv6 the dns server you use will automatically translate the address so you needn't worry If your DNS server doesn't do this you need to complain vigorously to your ISP or use an different DNS server like OpenDNS

Athlonite said,

If your on an IPv4 network and try to access an site which is using IPv6 the dns server you use will automatically translate the address so you needn't worry If your DNS server doesn't do this you need to complain vigorously to your ISP or use an different DNS server like OpenDNS

No... It can only do that if a) the site also has an IPv4 address, and b) the IPv4 address is published alongside the IPv6 address in it's DNS servers.

At first I was worried about having to memorize IPV6 addresses at work, but then I realized this only really affects you if you care about your outward facing network interface. For internal networks, IPV4 is still fine, so I don't think the head sheds at work will be switching our LANs/WANs over to IPV6 any time soon. I mean it's one thing to remember 4 numbers long enough to do what needs to be done, it's a whole other thing to try and memorize stuff like fe80::251:63ff:fea5:23f4.

The_Decryptor said,
You'd still be running IPv6 on the internal network as well, no reason not to.

If you're not, you're doing it wrong. The idea behind IPv6 is a public address on every device

CoMMo said,
At first I was worried about having to memorize IPV6 addresses at work, but then I realized this only really affects you if you care about your outward facing network interface. For internal networks, IPV4 is still fine, so I don't think the head sheds at work will be switching our LANs/WANs over to IPV6 any time soon. I mean it's one thing to remember 4 numbers long enough to do what needs to be done, it's a whole other thing to try and memorize stuff like fe80::251:63ff:fea5:23f4.

you wont be using IPv4 on internet networks. the whole idea is to remove internal and external networks, remove NAT and make all devices a public-facing device w/ a unique IPv6 address.

look at it like this...atleast Egypt will be back on the Internet with IPv6. The whole thing could've been an initiative by the government to roll out IPv6 man..!

Undefineed said,
look at it like this...atleast Egypt will be back on the Internet with IPv6. The whole thing could've been an initiative by the government to roll out IPv6 man..!

assuming they ever get internet back, there is no reason to think it will be IPv6

Here's the response from my ISP:

Hello XXXX,

At this time we don't have any immediate plans on IPV6 yet. There is no
reason for us to go out and start spending money on IPV6 blocks when we
don't have a use for them yet and there is no major benefits to end
users. When that time comes we will purchase some. May users hardware
such has routers do no support IPV6 so doing this currently would create
a tech support nightmare.

The new Motorola modems should already work on the network, but I am not
100% sure at this point yet which models.

Thanks,
Shawn

Ignorance is bliss??

Lexcyn said,
Here's the response from my ISP:

Hello XXXX,

At this time we don't have any immediate plans on IPV6 yet. There is no
reason for us to go out and start spending money on IPV6 blocks when we
don't have a use for them yet and there is no major benefits to end
users. When that time comes we will purchase some. May users hardware
such has routers do no support IPV6 so doing this currently would create
a tech support nightmare.

The new Motorola modems should already work on the network, but I am not
100% sure at this point yet which models.

Thanks,
Shawn

Ignorance is bliss??

LOL. IPv6 has no benefits? Um okay?. Good luck trying to give more users ip addresses that you don't have.

ZekeComa said,
LOL. IPv6 has no benefits? Um okay?. Good luck trying to give more users ip addresses that you don't have.

They may be planning on using NAT rather than IPv6, which would allow them to assign a great deal more addresses

StarLion said,

They may be planning on using NAT rather than IPv6, which would allow them to assign a great deal more addresses

And screw port forwarding in the process? Lol

ensiform said,
And screw port forwarding in the process? Lol

But only hackers and pirates would need to use port forwarding, right?

lunarworks said,

But only hackers and pirates would need to use port forwarding, right?

Um no? What about XBOX? What about the Blizzard downloader? What about any program that requires a specific port (IE VOIP)?

lunarworks said,

But only hackers and pirates would need to use port forwarding, right?

Sure if you don't like playing some online games, running your own little server for vpn, or other purposes

lunarworks said,

But only hackers and pirates would need to use port forwarding, right?

Being British, I can clearly see the sarcasm in this post. Shame about the guys above me ;-)

iKenndac said,

Being British, I can clearly see the sarcasm in this post. Shame about the guys above me ;-)


It's a shame it's hard to use here even when it's blindingly obvious to anyone well versed in IT.

iKenndac said,

Being British, I can clearly see the sarcasm in this post. Shame about the guys above me ;-)

What does being British have to do with it?

ZekeComa said,

LOL. IPv6 has no benefits? Um okay?. Good luck trying to give more users ip addresses that you don't have.

Sounds like they have enough unassigned IP address for now, and then will move to IPv6 when the time comes. Sounds like a good plan to me.

acnpt said,

Sounds like they have enough unassigned IP address for now, and then will move to IPv6 when the time comes. Sounds like a good plan to me.

But what happens when those run out and they've procrastinated and hit a wall? There's no reason why ISPs can't start working on it now.

Andrew Lyle said,
An ISP I want to switch to has run out of IP addresses I guess i'll have to wait till they upgrade to IPv6 to expand.
you're looking at TecSavvy too?

Andrew Lyle said,
An ISP I want to switch to has run out of IP addresses I guess i'll have to wait till they upgrade to IPv6 to expand.

And it would really stall any expansion in TekSavvy's cable option. We REALLY need it here in KW to jump ship from DSL, but are stuck. ARGH!

Napalm Frog said,

And it would really stall any expansion in TekSavvy's cable option. We REALLY need it here in KW to jump ship from DSL, but are stuck. ARGH!


i'm in KW myself

shinji257 said,

I thought 2012 was for the end of the world.

Is there a difference between the end of the internet and the end of the world?

geoken said,

Is there a difference between the end of the internet and the end of the world?


In my case its like the end of the world.

Lazlo said,
Oh god. And we thought we had until 2012. Fools!

Well now the article does state that the IPs haven't actually been allocated to consumers yet, they estimate that they have 3-6months before they have to use stricter allocation policies, which could prolong it by say another 6 months, making it 201...