2011 was an interesting year for IPv4: in February 2011, the Internet Assigned Numbers Authority (IANA) handed out their last free IPv4 address blocks to the Regional Internet Registries (RIRs).
In April 2011, the APNIC (the Regional Internet Registry for the Asia Pacific region) started allocating from its last /8. At the RIPE NCC we did not see a big jump in IPv4 address allocations in 2011, as anticipated by some observers.
The image below shows the total amount of IPv4 address space allocated each year (calculated as /16s on the y axis). You can see that in 2011 there was a drop in the amount of IPv4 address space from the previous year, bringing it down to the level of 2008 and 2009. There was no big run on the remaining IPv4 addresses.
Note that this does not correspond with the number of requests. Especially the number of requests for /21s increased in 2011 (you can find more on this in the background article on RIPE Labs).
IPv4 is certainly running out, but there is no great rush for the last addresses as feared by some. It was all pretty much "business as usual". As we've said in the past, predicting exactly when the RIPE NCC will run out of IPv4 address space is difficult. We cannot anticipate the size of requests we'll receive.
For more information and more statistics, please refer to IPv4 Allocation Statistics in 2011 on RIPE Labs.
By Daniel Karrenberg, Chief Scientist at the RIPE NCC
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