On 15th April 2011, the Asia Pacific Network Information Centre (APNIC) announced that it had reached the last significant block of Internet Protocol version 4 (IPv4) addresses in its available pool – making the Asia Pacific region the first to reach the point of being unable to meet regular IPv4 demand.
While other regions’ IPv4 address pools are decreasing at a slower rate, this latest milestone in the Internet’s evolution underlines the importance of a rapid migration to IPv6 for all. If we want the Internet current rate of growth to continue, a common system for addressing is vital. We encourage organizations to develop or accelerate their plans to deploy IPv6, the successor to IPv4 and the only viable path forward for the Internet.
APNIC’s reaching the final block of addresses triggers a new approach to allocating addresses in the Asia Pacific region. This scarcity means that companies cannot continue with ‘business as usual’ in network growth. Among the possible coping strategies, it is expected some will choose to pay to acquire rights to use IPv4 addresses from others – an expensive undertaking given recent estimates of approximately US$11 per address.
For the continued smooth operation of the Internet, including its security and stability, it is imperative that these re-used addresses are administered responsibly. In an open letter, Internet Society President and CEO Lynn St.Amour this month strongly urged that such transfers be effected per appropriate RIR processes. The Internet Society therefore recognizes and supports the work of the five Regional Internet Registry (RIR) open policy forums on the matters of administration and management of IP addresses in the case of transfers.
RIR open policies are developed to provide the full range of administrative responsibilities for these key Internet resources. As such, they are applicable to address space that has been transferred from elsewhere, as much as to newly allocated space. If addresses are transferred outside the scope of the processes defined by the RIRs, it could negatively impact Internet routing table sizes as transfers cause de-aggregation of address blocks. Also, accurate and timely registration of administrative information pertaining to address block use is important for facilitating resolution of operational and security issues.
As part of its work to encourage the timely deployment of IPv6, the Internet Society is coordinating World IPv6 Day on 8 June 2011. Google, Facebook, Yahoo!, Akamai and Limelight Networks will be amongst some of the major organisations that will offer their content over IPv6 for a rigorous 24-hour global “test drive”. This large scale test of IPv6 will enable participants to test the readiness of their systems under controlled conditions, enabling them to prepare for large-scale IPv6 adoption.
For additional information and the complete statements, please see:
APNIC IPv4 depletion http://isoc.org/wp/newsletter/?p=3592 and
Transfer of Internet Protocol Addresses http://isoc.org/wp/newsletter/?p=3585
For more information about World IPv6 Day or about IPv6 deployment, please visit http://www.internetsociety.org/worldipv6day/
The website ipv6actnow.org gathers video shorts on kley issues relating to IPv6. This is perhaps the best resource for those coming to this issue for the first time, whether it be CTO/CIO/CEOs of large or small companies, or end users.
BBC News – Internet approaches addressing limit By Mark Ward, Technology correspondent, BBC News
In less than 18 months there will be no more big blocks of net addresses to give out, estimates suggest.
Predictions name 9 September 2011 as the date on which the last of those tranches is released for net firms and others to use.
Everything connected to the net needs an “IP address” to ensure data reaches the right person or device.
Experts say that the net’s entire existing address space will be exhausted about a year after that date.
A newer scheme is being rolled out but many firms and countries are being slow to switch, experts warn.
The net is built around version four of the Internet Protocol addressing scheme (IPv4) which has space for about four billion addresses. Its successor – IPv6 – has trillions available.
The continued growth of the net is tied to this pool of addresses.
While four billion was enough in the 1970s when the net was being set up, the growth of the world wide web is rapidly depleting this store.
The growth of the web has meant that only about 7% of these addresses, roughly 300 million, are left to allocate. This entire pool is expected to be depleted in April 2012.
In early May, the Internet Assigned Numbers Authority (IANA), which oversees the net address space, handed over two of the big chunks of remaining addresses.
The removal of these 17 million addresses from the global pool meant that the date on which there will be no more big chunks left jumped forward.
The Hitchhiker’s Guide to Ipv6
Prepare, Don’t Panic.
By John Jason Brzozowski
On April 15, 2009, John Curran, then chairman of the board of trustees (and now president and CEO) for the American Registry for Internet Numbers (ARIN), sent a letter to corporate leaders of the Internet community underscoring a key concern. “At the current rate of consumption, IPv4 addresses will be depleted within the next two years,” Curran stated.
Curran strongly recommended that service providers start planning for IPv6 adoption, if they had not done so already.
The adoption of IP version 6 (IPv6), like that of any technology, has its benefits and challenges. But at least one key benefit is well understood. By means of a 128-bit address, IPv6 has a maximum of 2 128 available addresses — that is, roughly 34 followed by 37 zeros. In one popular translation, this is enough to give multiple IP addresses to every grain of sand on the planet.
What requires further attention are the challenges of IPv6 adoption. With the goal of sharing insight into what it takes to deploy IPv6 (and with a nod to Douglas Adams, author of The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, for inspiring the title and corresponding subheads) this article addresses three general topics
* IPv6 gaps, status and trends
* Testing and integration
* IPv4 to IPv6 transition
Organization Member IPv6 Study
The Internet Society (ISOC) conducted a study of the operational characteristics of
IPv6 in its organization members’ networks. This was done through a questionnaire
sent to the organization members. The organization members that responded to the
survey reported that while customer pressure motivated IPv6 deployment, specific
business-case drivers did not yet exist. While respondents who had begun IPv6
deployment reported gaps in support for IPv6 among tools and applications, they
found the process of deploying IPv6 relatively straightforward. This report provides
additional details about the results of that study.*
The Internet Society (ISOC) has approximately 90 organization members
(http://www.isoc.org/orgs/). Organization members are diverse types of organizations
from around the world, ranging from small companies to large corporations, Internet
service providers (ISPs) to enterprises, vendors to network operators. All of these
organizations operate a network of some sort and, due to their diversity, provide a
wide cross section of use models for IPv6. In 2008 ISOC conducted a study of how
organization members use IPv6 in their networks.
Internet Society organization members include various ISPs, Internet exchange point
operators (IXPs), enterprises, national research and education networks (NRENs),
and network equipment and software vendors. The networks they operate range
from very small networks in a single office to large networks spanning multiple
facilities and multiple geographical areas. ISOC was keen to determine the level of
operational penetration that IPv6 has in these networks, to understand something of
the thought processes organization members went through in evaluating the
usefulness of IPv6, and to learn of their experiences in adopting it. ISOC was not
interested in determining through the study information about specific vendors’
product capabilities or details about commercial operational differentiators. ISOC
committed to keep the contents of the responses anonymous when presenting the
results of the study.
OECD IPv6 Report (Download from OECD)
Download file from OECD website
15/05/2008 – Governments and business must work together more effectively and urgently to meet the growing demand for Internet addresses and secure the future of the Internet economy, according to a new OECD report.
With nearly 85% of all available Internet addresses already in use by May 2008, experts believe that, if current trends continue, addresses will run out by 2011.
This could mean that new Internet users or mobile devices will not be able to access the Internet. The answer, says the report, is Internet Protocol version 6 (IPv6) which will provide an unlimited number of addresses and help drive the rollout of broadband, Internet-connected mobile phones and sensor networks, and new Internet services.
Governments and business should raise awareness of the need to start preparing now for the move from today’s Internet Protocol version 4 to IPv6 and explain to Internet Service Providers and IT professionals that the move is a commercial and social opportunity, not a financial burden.
Service providers have to date been reluctant to invest because customer demand for IPv6 is low. Governments could play a role as a large user of Internet services by stimulating demand for IPv6 through their own procurement policies and public-private partnerships in IPv6 research and development.
The report also considers the alternative to a widespread adoption of IPv6 whereby some regions adopt it and others merely adapt IPv4 as a short-term solution. This, it warns, would impact the economic opportunities offered by the Internet with severe consequences in terms of stifled creativity and deployment of new services.
Some countries have taken a lead in deploying IPv6 networks. The Japanese telecommunications firm NTT, for example, uses IPv6 to connect thousands of earthquake sensors via a computer system that sends automatic alerts to television programmes and turns traffic lights red. This type of application requires millions of addresses so cannot work on today’s Internet but already does on IPv6.
The United States government has set June 2008 as the deadline by which the Internet network of every government agency must be compatible with IPv6. The European Commission is also funding research projects and looking at ways to speed up deployment.
Korea, the venue of the forthcoming OECD Ministerial Meeting on the Future of the Internet Economy, has committed to converting Internet equipment in public institutions to IPv6 by 2010 and to installing IPv6 equipment in every newly built communications network.
The Chinese government has begun rolling out an IPv6 network, called China Next Generation Internet, and will use the 2008 Olympics in Beijing to test mobile devices and intelligent transport and security systems running on IPv6.
The report is available on the OECD’s website at www.oecd.org/sti/ict and a podcast on the issue is available here.
For further information, journalists should contact Karine Perset of the OECD’s Information and Communications Policy division (tel. + 33 1 45 24 19 83).
COM(2008) 313 final
Action Plan for the deployment of Internet Protocol version 6 (IPv6) in Europe
It is the objective of this Action Plan to support the widespread introduction of the
next version of the Internet Protocol (IPv6) because
- Timely implementation of IPv6 is required as the pool of IP addresses provided by
the current protocol version 4 is being depleted
- IPv6 with its huge address space provides a platform for innovation in IP based
services and applications
IPv6 Factsheet: IPv6 Factsheet
WWT has launched www.ipv6resource.com, a microsite for organizations and individuals seeking information about Internet Protocol Version 6 (IPv6). The site provides baseline information about IPv6 and its benefits, as well as information about the Internet protocol it is replacing, IPv4, and the steps that forward-looking organizations can take for a smooth transition from the old protocol to the new one.
World Wide Technology, Inc. (WWT) is a systems integrator that provides innovative technology and supply chain solutions to the commercial, government and telecom sectors. The company brings to market a powerful blend of knowledge, infrastructure and technology to help its customers manage the planning, procurement and deployment of IT products and solutions. Based in St. Louis, WWT employs over 1,100 people and operates more than 1.6 million square-feet of warehousing, distribution and integration space in 20 facilities throughout the world.
In this excellent article Everything you need to know about IPv6 Iljitsch van Beijnum puts the approaching address shortage issue in the context of the history of the evolution of the Internet. A very good read to get up to speed on all the issues. The link is to the first page only, and you need to manually move to the subsequent three pages.