The IPcalypse is only 100 days away

We've all known it's been coming for a long time now, there's even a new, alternative IP addressing scheme that's been developed and implemented -- IPv6 -- but adoption has been slow, and now, things are about to heat up, as the time remaining before the estimated 166,741,530 remaining addresses run out. It was getting low, but this makes it seem much, much more real.

A Twitter account, labelled the "ARPAgeddon" has surfaced, which is broadcasting the countdown of IPv4's address pool drying up, estimates that as of today, only 102 days remain before all hell may break loose. The world knew it was coming, with IPv4 only being capable of 4,294,967,296 total addresses. IPv6 was developed to supercede the protocol -- which was originally released in 1981 -- and was finalised in 1998, over 12 years ago, but the "new" protocol still hasn't seen the adoption it needs.

The information on the "ARPAgeddon" Twitter account is sourced from Hurricane Electric Internet Services, who offer a live counter of how quickly the pool is diminishing. When the internet runs out of addresses, everything won't grind to a halt, but we could see ISPs reconfiguring their networks to put some clients behind shared public IPs, in order to give dedicated addresses to commercial customers.

Just because the IPv4 addressing scheme is running out, doesn't mean all hope is lost either. There are many ways to mitigate the impending doom, the most obvious being rapid adoption of IPv6, which could be pushed quickly by businesses at risk of not being able to obtain IPv4 addresses. Other possible solutions include heavier IPv4 address sharing, Network Address Translation, private addressing and more, but time is running out quickly.

Only 102 days left until the IPcalypse...

Image Credit: Wikipedia

Report a problem with article
Previous Story

Zuckerberg to become animated film character

Next Story

TechSpot: Samsung 470 Series 256GB SSD review

65 Comments

Commenting is disabled on this article.

^ lol what's this darn good reason?

It's just technology, you are correct with the amount of legacy devices, so until a cost effective router that can take external IPv6 in and share a connection to an IPv4 network we're going to sit in limbo while the number of IPv4 addresses maxes out.

Besides IT service providers that have blocks of addressing are already having them stripped off if not in use, they are fighting it in some cases but I know of a class C block that got taken back last week.

Things have to change, not tomorrow but by 2012 something will be implemented.

This ought to get interesting. Nothing is going to change any time soon.

Just picture all that unsupported legacy software that is still in use that can ONLY speak IPv4. Now imagine how many mission critical roles it is in and suggest to someone that it will all stop working next Tuesday, next month or even next year.

Right, that's happen. I think there is a darn good reason IPv4 is still here, and its got nothing to do with technology.

Why did they go from 4 to 6, is 5 not a nice number or something? Still i`m sure it won`t effect home users for quite some time, i could be wrong but this seems to have cropped up at least twice every year for the past 3-4 years!

Riggers said,
Why did they go from 4 to 6, is 5 not a nice number or something? Still i`m sure it won`t effect home users for quite some time, i could be wrong but this seems to have cropped up at least twice every year for the past 3-4 years!
ipv5 was supposed to be a audio/video media dedicated protocol.

It depends on the ISP and what type of client it is. How a residential connection will work I have no idea, but on a commerical setup our ISP gave us a /48. This gives us 65535 workable subnets beyound our firewall, each with 2^64 (18,446,744,073,709,551,616) addresses.

The router uses Stateless Autoconfiguration to assign an IPv6 addresss to the client based on the MAC address - though it doesn't give DNS server information. If you prefer DHCP, then there is a version for IPv6 called DHCPv6 (what a surprise). I've found a mixture of SA and DHCPv6 seems to give the optimal result in our situation.

Glassed Silver said,
Is it true that ISPs will ONLY offer static IP addressing?
If that is true, I'm calling crap on ipv6

GS:mac

I didn't see where it said they would only offer static addresses, but what would be the problem of that anyway? (btw don't flame me to hard if I'm way off )

Why would you want a dynamic IPv6 address? The main reason ISP's do them is so that they don't have to have an IP address for every single user (not every single user will always be online)

There is enough room in the v6 address space that you could give every single person on Earth a /48 (What I have, which is equal to 79,228,162,514,264,337,593,543,950,336 addresses) and you'd have enough left over for another 41,454 Earth's (give or take a bit)

De.Bug said,
I didn't see where it said they would only offer static addresses, but what would be the problem of that anyway? (btw don't flame me to hard if I'm way off )

I personally just feel saver if I know that I cannot be recognized for a trillion years after my IP address landed somewhere, where it shouldn't land.
Currently with dynamic IPs it's easy: wait 24 hours and you're fine. Or simple reconnect your router.

Not to forget rapidshare advantages and stuff...

Now obviously I don't mean preventing legal actions or stuff, because IP+time/date is always recorded at the same time, but yea... that's not my point ^__^

GS:mac

Bah bet most companies will end up with private IPv6 addresses at router and IPv4 internally to aid migration.

IPv6 isn't that hard to understand, its hex not dotted, not the end of the world.

Besides even if we did run out it wouldn't cause major issues immediately as the amount of overlap vs the amount online would be pretty damn minimal at first.

Good comment Karen - I'd just like to bring peoples attention to the graph's actual scale which is in '/8's. So the total number of individual IPs is declining (of course) but the graph is only showing the allocation of /8 (that's 255.0.0.0 masked subnets of 16777214 IP addresses EACH). I figure not many companies or organisations are requesting or being allocated /8 networks from IANA anymore.

About 100 days, depending on what you are measuring. About 100 days estimate for IANA to dish out the remaining addresses to the Regional Internet Registries (RIR). You then have RIR depletion a bit later when they have assigned the addresses to ISP's, and then the time for ISP's to use them all up. So the pain might not be felt until 2012, unless there is a grab by companies to get stocked up with the addresses.

In the last 12 months allocations have been (rounded to the nearest million)
APNIC (Asia Pacific RIR) 113 Million addresses
RIPE (European RIR) 49 Million addresses
ARIN (North American RIR) 42 Million addresses
LACNIC (South American RIR) 17 Million addresses
AFRINIC (Africa RIR) 8 Million

IPv6 isn't hard. We have implemented it quite easily in the company I work for, and we have been running dual stack for about a year. What is hard is getting ISP's to give you an IPv6 block. Most ISP's give you is a standard answer of "There is no demand". I demanded and got. Much harder to do with a residential ISP as each person on their own has little clout and ISP's can often just say no demand, even if they got 200 calls a day on the subject.

The other issue is lack of IPv6 support on major websites. Google has some IPv6 sites, but Microsoft, IBM, BBC, Neowin etc seems to be none existent. Until companies and other websites makes themselves IPv6 accessible, then ISP's will say - "what is the point?"

The vast majority of the technologies are IPv6 ready.

Windows is totally ready for IPv6. All Microsoft provided software is also IPv6 ready because of the way networking is implemented in Windows. I've been using Internet Explorer over IPv6 since the year 2000!

FreeBSD, Linux, OSX etc. have been IPv6 ready for a long time too. However, due to networking API changes, software for these systems will always need new code to support IPv6. Thankfully all the useful software is already 6 enabled.

Some ISPs have been testing to water by offering 6to4 tunnelling, but to this date the actual take-up is very little. You can be sure that when demand actually starts making a difference to them, the ISPs will be falling over themselves getting a production IPv6 configuration in place.

But the elephants in the room, sadly, are all the residential gateways that either don't offer IPv6 or won't have them enabled by default.

Is IPv6 aware of v4? I mean couldn't ISP's offer the v6 address to the end customer but route over v4?

The internet has changed. Back on dialup 254 addresses would be used by lots of users. These days most people have routers that are online 24/7 using one IP.

SK[ said,]Is IPv6 aware of v4? I mean couldn't ISP's offer the v6 address to the end customer but route over v4?

The internet has changed. Back on dialup 254 addresses would be used by lots of users. These days most people have routers that are online 24/7 using one IP.

They are designed to be incompatible. There are some (very poor) work arounds. 6 to 4 ... crap like that.

Who gives a $hit more of the same BS hype to make more money. Question is whats lamer the hype or the people sitting around worrying either way more cashflow is created.

120 said,
Who gives a $hit more of the same BS hype to make more money. Question is whats lamer the hype or the people sitting around worrying either way more cashflow is created.

Are you stupid?

Blackmist said,
Am I the only one who is excited about this? For once the boring world of the internet will have a little chaos in it

Boring world of the internet?

Boring world of the internet? You obviously never heard of sites that stir up the internet almost every day.

Anyway, I'm excited about this too. Except I have a feeling they won't switch to IPV6 for some reason...

Tekkerson said,
Boring world of the internet? You obviously never heard of sites that stir up the internet almost every day.

Anyway, I'm excited about this too. Except I have a feeling they won't switch to IPV6 for some reason...

You mean like 4chan? A big MEH I want something that puts the entire internet upside down

Blackmist said,

You mean like 4chan? A big MEH I want something that puts the entire internet upside down

We should be friends. You're also one of those people who would LOVE to try to survive a zombie outbreak, right? Because I am.

lordofangels said,
Sorry for my ignorance but i don't get the calypse bit,
maybe collapse.
Could someone explain please.
Apocalypse....IPcalypse, its a play on the word apocalypse.

Edrick Smith said,
So you mean to tell me in 100 days there will be 166,741,530 new NAT Networks or devices on the public internet? I call BS

How many new Smartphones are being bought? How many new computers are educational institutions adding to their networks? How many people are getting a new game console this holiday season? How many BD players are IP capable? How many new TVs are IP capable? How much more backend (routers which need IPs of their own) to support the ever growing bandwidth demand is being added? Data centers? IP telephony via ISPs? (usually ads a dedicated modem)

/I know not all of these will have dedicated IPs, and will share some via NAT, but there are a hell of a lot of IP capable devices being bought and added to the global network every day

If we were realistically 100 days away from the IP Apocalypse for IPv4 there'd be a lot more being done by network engineers and ISPs, companies, etc... to switch over or fix this issue. Just like every other "expert" impending doom has come and gone this will also.

Edrick Smith said,
If we were realistically 100 days away from the IP Apocalypse for IPv4 there'd be a lot more being done by network engineers and ISPs, companies, etc... to switch over or fix this issue. Just like every other "expert" impending doom has come and gone this will also.

No, it will happen anyway. Businesses just don't want to invest in the engineers who have IPv6 skills so will look for other methods.

Sraf said,

How many new Smartphones are being bought? How many new computers are educational institutions adding to their networks? How many people are getting a new game console this holiday season? How many BD players are IP capable? How many new TVs are IP capable? How much more backend (routers which need IPs of their own) to support the ever growing bandwidth demand is being added? Data centers? IP telephony via ISPs? (usually ads a dedicated modem)

/I know not all of these will have dedicated IPs, and will share some via NAT, but there are a hell of a lot of IP capable devices being bought and added to the global network every day

How about 98% of what you quoted will have either NAT, or IP6. ISP have been moving to IP6 for a while now for their network, leaving IP4 for the end points.

rrode74 said,

How about 98% of what you quoted will have either NAT, or IP6. ISP have been moving to IP6 for a while now for their network, leaving IP4 for the end points.

You are very good at reading full posts aren't you? I know that not everything here will have a dedicated IPv4 address, but some of these things will. Smartphones are one I can guarantee(at least in part), as I just checked my HSPA+ smartphone on Telus, and it has an IPv4 address

I should also note that I have every confidence that little will occur that any end users will have to care about when the IPv4 addresses run out (and it is most definitely a "when" not an "if")

Systems and network admins, on the other hand, not so much. Depends on what their companies have planned for, if anything, but they'll sort out their issues well enough. The upper management likes its email

My work has blamed the fact that people want an IP for their smart phones on the need to claim more IPv4 space. I know Windows CE has been sixified for donkey's years, but how about Android and iOS?

If those companies are paying for those ip blocks then the ISPs can't really say much. It is terribly wasteful, indeed. I can see a lot of bandwidth issues happening with ISPs "renetworking" with shared public ips.

IPv6 needs to roll out harder. NetAdmins need to step up

Swerz said,
If those companies are paying for those ip blocks then the ISPs can't really say much. It is terribly wasteful, indeed. I can see a lot of bandwidth issues happening with ISPs "renetworking" with shared public ips.

IPv6 needs to roll out harder. NetAdmins need to step up


Have you seen how ridiculous IPv6 is?

Owen W said,

Have you seen how ridiculous IPv6 is?

for lan maybe for public network no
but even for lan there's a lot that IPv6 can do that IPv4 can't

Owen W said,

Have you seen how ridiculous IPv6 is?

there is no way around it , ipv4 would get depleted sooner or later and we would be forced to use ipv6

Owen W said,

Have you seen how ridiculous IPv6 is?

Owen, IPv6 is not *that* ridiculous unless you're just plain used to IPv4 and have no desire (or interest) in changing over (or unless you have a lot of hardware that is IPv6-unready).

Operating systems - Windows has been IPv6-ready since XP, as are all the open-source alternatives and OS X (since Tiger).
Cable modems - DOCSIS 3.0 is IPv6-ready, and so is the hardware thereof. Older hardware, however, is not.
xDSL hardware - While newer hardware is shipping that is IPv6-ready, a lot of older hardware (as is the case with pre-DOCSIS 3 cable modems) is still out there.
Residential routers - Third-party firmware for most routers generally supports IPv6 (especially for Linksys routers; also, the newest Broadcom-based NETGEAR routers); as with older cable modems and xDSL modems, the issue is older routers (especially those without third-party firmware available).

PGHammer said,

Owen, IPv6 is not *that* ridiculous unless you're just plain used to IPv4 and have no desire (or interest) in changing over (or unless you have a lot of hardware that is IPv6-unready).


Not my point. I know IPv6, but it's just a hassle to implement, cause you're right... most big companies are used to IPv4 and don't want to spend money.

I setup my router to use IPv6 a while ago (tunnels unfortunately, TPG currently don't offer native IPv6), it was pretty damn easy.

I mean, it's like a 2KB config file for full IPv6 routing on my LAN (each system publicly addressable, can access any other IPv6 system, etc.)

NesTle said,

for lan maybe for public network no
but even for lan there's a lot that IPv6 can do that IPv4 can't

With ipv6 there is no distinction between WAN and LAN. They are one in the same. You just use firewall rules and no NAT. Very strange, but true.

The_Decryptor said,
I setup my router to use IPv6 a while ago (tunnels unfortunately, TPG currently don't offer native IPv6), it was pretty damn easy.

I mean, it's like a 2KB config file for full IPv6 routing on my LAN (each system publicly addressable, can access any other IPv6 system, etc.)

You should post a detailed post about how you did that. I've been trying to do that with DD-WRT with little success. I got IPs from Hurricane Electric.

If I remember some of the steps I will, I'm using OpenWRT so a lot of the work is already documented.

I remember the major stuff (setting up a tunnel, setting up radvd), but there's some smaller steps I've entirely forgotten.

Swerz said,
If those companies are paying for those ip blocks then the ISPs can't really say much.

There are RIPE/ARIN regulations that normally only allow you to register/assign IP addresses if you have a legit reason; like installing an SSL certificate, setting up nameservers, FTP, etc. Sadly, those regulations are only on paper for most companies.

I had a few servers at a data center in the US which simply assigned about 30 IP addresses to each server just in case I need them. It seems like a small number, but it quickly adds up.

Owen W said,

Have you seen how ridiculous IPv6 is?

It actually isn't all that bad. IPv6 addresses might look aweful when you see them, but if you are worried about how you will use PING to test network connections with IPv6, don't. IPv6 addresses automatically summerize the network mask. When you ping your router instead of typing PING 192.168.1.1 you would only need to type PING ::1 or your computer might be PING ::B7 or whatever. If you are pinging another subnet then you just need the network address and the host address, so it might look like PING 2001::2B. It is really only crazy if you are trying to ping public internet addresses or a huge corp network, in either case you are likely to use DNS.

How about cleaning up the massive IP blocks assigned to corporations that don't use them?? I personally know of companies that have hundreds of public IP addresses not in use that they have "just in case". It's time for the ISP's to go out and see if they're being used and if not then time to take them back and use them elsewhere until IPv6 is rolled out. It'll buy at least another few hundred days.

Tim Dawg said,
How about cleaning up the massive IP blocks assigned to corporations that don't use them?? I personally know of companies that have hundreds of public IP addresses not in use that they have "just in case". It's time for the ISP's to go out and see if they're being used and if not then time to take them back and use them elsewhere until IPv6 is rolled out. It'll buy at least another few hundred days.

Hundreds? Try millions. Companies like Apple, GE, IBM, Ford each own an entire Class A block of IP addresses. There are over 16 million IP addresses in a Class A block. Some companies, such as HP, have multiple Class A blocks.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/L...gned_/8_IPv4_address_blocks

Tim Dawg said,
How about cleaning up the massive IP blocks assigned to corporations that don't use them??

They already said that freeing up those blocks wasn't going to help, it just delays it by a month or so. In reality the ISP's should have already switched over to IPv6, they've had years. So now if they find themselves up the creek its their own fault.

Joey H said,

Hundreds? Try millions. Companies like Apple, GE, IBM, Ford each own an entire Class A block of IP addresses. There are over 16 million IP addresses in a Class A block. Some companies, such as HP, have multiple Class A blocks.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/L...gned_/8_IPv4_address_blocks

I was talking about hundreds on average for each company just sitting on IP addresses although I agree there are huge companies out there sitting on massive unused blocks in the millions.

An /8 block would only last for a couple of weeks, the problem is that the rate of IP requests is growing, while the actual pool is either staying the same or shrinking.

The only workable solution is IPv6 (NAT isn't a workable solution due to the sheer amount of things it would break)

The amount of time/money/effort needed to force a company to give up an /8 block simply isn't worth it. Even if they had never been given out it would have only given us another month or two.

ObiWanToby said,
They are going to sell them for a premium when they run out. I would.

I think that is what will happen. As they run out they will start giving new customers IPv6 addresses. Keep in mind that if you are only an internet consumer (not hosting any services) IPv6 will work just fine, it is fully able to access the IPv4 network. The biggest downside is that most SOHO routers do not support IPv6 yet, so home and small business users might have to buy a new, possibly more expensive, router. Customers who want an IPv4 address will have to pay extra, similar to the way customers who want a static IP address have to pay extra now.

Some ISPs might even start moving existing dynamic IP customers to IPv6, but that could be risky from a support point of view.