Tuesday, November 30, 2010

IPv4 address pool draining fast

We're down to just seven /8 netblocks left. Those are the blocks assigned to the Regional Internet Registries (RIRs) who hand out blocks of addresses to entities needing to connect to the Internet. That means we've got effectively 2 blocks left, since when it hits 5 unallocated blocks each of the 5 RIRs will automatically get one of those 5. That'll exhaust the pool of addresses ICANN can allocate to RIRs.

That won't mean too much immediately. The RIRs have unassigned space they can keep handing out. But they won't be able to go to ICANN to get more blocks. That means that when they assign their last space, that's it. Finished. No more. You want on the Internet? Sorry, no addresses left the RIR can give you. It won't be a big cliff, but gradually there'll be more and more problems. Hosting centers won't be able to add more machines because they don't have addresses to give them and can't get any. Consumer ISPs will have problems signing up subscribers because all the addresses available in that area are in use and the ISP can't get more address space. I figure it'll take about 6 months to a year to really come to a head.

Me, I'm going to finish prepping my LAN and gateway for full IPv6 capability and setting things up to run IPv6 internally in parallel with IPv4. That way I'll be ready for the inevitable switch to IPv6 by Cox. And I'm going to make sure any routers I buy will handle IPv6.

And I really ought to work out how to load custom firmware into Netgear routers and access points. I've things I want to do with them.

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