How will the internet survive without IPV4
When do we really run out?
Contrary to popular belief at the time, IANA assigning the last /8 of IPv4 did not equate to the world running out of address space. Instead it simply meant that the last previously untouched /8 was now allocatable to end users. IP space is allocated and assigned in a chain, and from IANA down for most people it looks like this:
- IANA allocate an enormous block of space to each Regional Internet Registry (RIR). There are 5 RIRs in total
- The RIR is responsible for vetting Local Internet Registry’s (LIRs) requests for address space and allocating accordingly
- Wirehive is an LIR and our role is vetting End User (EU) requests for address space and also performing assignments of individual IP addresses
- The EUs then attach these IP addresses to their devices
While IANA have handed the last /8 available to an RIR, there are still just under 19 /8 address blocks available with the RIRs for allocation to LIRs. This equates to around 315 million IP addresses!
While this may sound like a lot the demand for address space has not gone down significantly. In fact RIPE, the RIR responsible for Europe and therefore Wirehive, has only 3.6 /8 address blocks remaining. Current projections look like RIPE will enter their last /8 around July 2012 and will be completely exhausted by September 2012.
This then leaves the IP space allocated to LIRs which is a lot harder to gauge. Based on currently advertised address space via BGP around a third of assigned space is not currently advertised. This is however expected to change rapidly once no more allocations are granted to LIRs as they rapidly rearrange networks to free up space for customers. At this points, LIRs will be making a push in the masses towards alternative options.
So what is the alternative?
Everybody who’s anybody in the Internet industry has heard about IPv6, and I won’t go in to the technicalities and meanings of it here. What is important though is that you start using it, as once the mass media gets hold of the next IPv4 outage news your customers will be clamouring to find service providers who tick the “IPv6 Ready” box.Rest assured that Wirehive is ready, and we will help you get there as well. Last month we were assigned our LIR IPv6 Initial Allocation, which contains more address space alone than the entire planet will ever require. Starting from January 2012 all new client servers we provision will be deployed as “Dual Stacked”. What this means is they get a publicly accessible IPv6 address as well as any IPv4 address that may be needed.Following our obligations to the Internet community as an LIR we will also be assigning IPv6 address space to all existing customers and helping get them on the IPv6 Internet. We are also able to supply you with office internet connections deployed on the same dual stacked model, which will put you on the fore front of the move away from IPv4.
If you would like to discuss the IPv4/IPv6 situation in any more detail feel free to get in touch with us and we’ll help you get your head around it and start using it as a selling point. Contact us on 01252 560565 or at email@example.com.