Thursday, April 24, 2014

Internet only has room for another 1.4% of world pop

As I pondered my prior post regarding ARIN's announcement of its IPv4 address capacity dwindling down to a single /8, I began to wonder how long it would be before those supporting only IPv4 communications would feel the impact. The "impact" of ignoring IPv6 may be the inability to communicate with THE growth segment of the Internet. Once IPv4 is totally depleted, ALL growth will by necessity utilize IPv6.

And this total depletion time may come very soon. As I pointed out in that post, the sum total IPv4 address space that's available globally is about 0.1 billion. Truthfully, ISPs that obtain space from RIRs and enterprises from ISPs, likewise have their own stock of IPv4 capacity, but once the RIRs run out, there will be no additional space to be had. Consider that the 0.1 billion IP addresses represents a mere 1.4% of the world's population of 7.2 billion. One simple minded conclusion would be that the IPv4 Internet can support a mere 1.4% increase in Internet user penetration.

The current Internet user penetration as reported by Internet Live Stats is about 40% today. The penetration at the end of 2013 was 38.5%, so it took less than four months to grow further than 1.4% in penetration. So could it be another four months until we're totally out of space? Not likely, but it is likely that within a year, IPv4 space will be very hard to come by.

The world's insatiable appetite for IP addresses derives primarily from the proliferation of IP-addressable devices, from consumer communications devices like tablets and mobile phones, to industrial or public safety sensors, to developing countries deploying broadband and wireless networks. If you desire to share information, conduct business, or otherwise communicate with users of such devices, you should consider deploying IPv6 support in the very near future if you have not already. As use of such devices flourishes, they will ultimately use IPv6 addresses as that is all wireless and broadband operators will have available to assign. If you'd like them to be able to reach you online, you'll need IPv6-accessible resources, which means you'll need IPv6 address space. Don't know where to start? Contact us to learn more and for help.

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

ARIN Reaches Final Stage for IPv4 Address Space

ARIN today announced that it is now down to its last /8 of IPv4 address space. This is the point when remaining IPv4 capacity is considered "depleted" and more stringent allocation policies are put into effect, as outlined in the announcement. The analogous depletion state was announced and similar policies enforced by APNIC in 2011 and by RIPE in 2012. LACNIC crossed the /8 threshold in 2011 but will engage its depletion policies when it reaches one /11 (2.1M IP addresses).

The last /8 threshold means the RIR has about 16.8 million IPv4 addresses available, which may seem like a lot, but each allocation consists of hundreds if not thousands of IP addresses to ISPs and customers. Hence the more stringent allocation policies to extend the lifetime of IPv4 a bit longer. You can follow the current outlook on IPv4 lifetime by RIR on Geoff Huston's potaroo site and summarized below and updated with this recent ARIN information:

RIRProjected Exhaustion DateRemaining /8sIP addresses
APNIC19-Apr-2011 (actual)0.793713.3M
RIPE NCC14-Sep-2012 (actual)0.819313.7M

The net impact is that the Internet has just over 100 million IPv4 addresses available. That's 0.1 billion, which with only about 40% Internet user penetration today, doesn't leave much capacity at all for those 4 billion plus earthlings who do not yet have Internet access. If you haven't been convinced of the inevitability of IPv6, hopefully this helps and provides ample time to plan for it. If you haven't had time or resources to plan for IPv6, now is the time to start planning. BT can help with network assessment, planning and deployment services, free IPv6 addressing tools, and commercial IP address management (IPAM) solutions. Contact us to learn more.