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The Internet Running Out of Everything?

Yves Poppe

We know that the Internet is running out of IPv4 addresses and that some in our community check twice a day Mat Ford's doomsday clock or spend an hour once a week reading the tea leaves based on Geoff Huston's exhaustive data compiled at Potaroo. Like with global warming, there is still a school of thought out there arguing that this running out of IP addresses is just fear mongering and that we are not really running out of IPv4 addresses as a NATted world is more than adequate to run the Internet for the foreseeable future.

We know that the Internet is running out of AS (Autonomous System) numbers. Good thing that 32 bit AS'es were approved; interestingly without any fuss or major outcry. This topic obviously did not generate the same passion as IP addresses.

There is growing concern that the routing table size issue may become acute.

Some consultants even envisage a gridlocked internet running out of transmission capacity!

Last but not least while on the topic of exhaustion in our Internet: the alarming disappearance of available domain names containing IPv6!

An article in the October 22nd issue of a Canadian newspaper, the National Post, referred to a study done by Dennis Forbes, a financial analyst in New York, who found that every two and three letter and number combinations are gone as are every four letter words in English and the 1000 most common words in the English language!

I wondered how bad it was for our beloved four character combination IPv6. No surprise, 'IPv6.com' was gone. So was 'IPv6migration.com' as well as 'IPv6deployment.com' and of course the venerable 'IPv6forum.com'. The true IPv4 faithfull should register the still available 'IPv4forever.com' and reserve 'IPv4forum.com' to set up the traditionalist forum! 'IPv4address.com' is available but 'IPv6address.com' is taken! Looks like we have started running out of domain names containing IPv6 already, but, still have a lot of IPv4 available.

Any wisdom to be gained from all this? With the highly speculative nature of the domain name business and its perceived value as trend indicator, it should be safe to bet that the bets are on IPv6!

Oh yes, 'IPvsix.com' is gone and too late also for 'natlovers.com'. Maybe we should try another top-level domain.

Any opinions, findings, conclusions or recommendations expressed in these articles are solely those of the author and are not in any way attributable to nor reflect any existing or planned official policy or position of his employer in respect thereto.

By Yves Poppe, Director, Business Development IP Strategy at Tata Communications (Any opinions, findings, conclusions or recommendations expressed in these articles are solely those of the author and are not in any way attributable to nor reflect any existing or planned official policy or position of his employer in respect thereto.) Visit Page
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Re: The Internet Running Out of Everything? John Curran  –  Dec 18, 2007 6:49 AM PDT

Like with global warming, there is still a school of thought out there arguing that this running out of IP addresses is just fear mongering and that we are not really running out of IPv4 addresses as a NATted world is more than adequate to run the Internet for the foreseeable future.

Interesting assertion for someone to make, particularly given that ISP's receiving large contiguous IPv4 blocks today add hundreds of customers per new route, and that once these blocks are no longer available, each and every new customer connected (via NAT or not) will add a new route since the addresses will be from someplace other than a contiguous block.

That particular school of thought only works when "foreseeable future" equals "for one or two years after RIR IPv4 depletion"…

/John

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