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Global Patterns in IPv4 Allocation Statistics

Mirjam Kuehne

In January 2007 we highlighted that the IPv4 allocation rate had increased significantly since early 2004. By 2006 it was clear that continued growth would see IPv4 exhaustion occur sometime between 2010 and 2015.

In October 2010 we revisited the subject in the CircleID articled Graph Shows Decline of IPv4 Almost Linear. The global IPv4 depletion rate between 2004-2010 had been remarkably stable at a rate of roughly 10 /8s per year. Growth had started to pick up in the course of 2009, however, leading to faster depletion than the years before.

Now, in January 2011, we are very close to the exhaustion of the IANA pool of IPv4 address space.

So what happened? Where did the increased depletion rate come from? To answer this, we looked at the IPv4 allocation and assignment statistics that the Regional Internet Registries (RIRs) publish on a daily basis. Each file lists the number resources handed out by each RIR and the date the allocation or assignment has been made. Figure 1 below shows the evolution of total IPv4 address space in all regions starting in 2004.

Next we looked at the IPv4 allocation rates per RIR. Figure 2 shows the running 6 months average allocation rate in the form of a multi colour chart, each colour representing one RIR. You can clearly see the increased demand of IPv4 addresses in the Asia Pacific region over the last few years.

For more information, please refer to the background article on RIPE Labs: Global Pattern in IPv4 Address Statistics.

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