IP Addressing



The Benefits and Risks of Leasing IPv4 Space

Everything You Need to Know About IPv4 vs. IPv6

IP Blacklist and Blacklist Removal

IP Addressing / Most Commented

IPv4 Addresses Not Property, Canada Weighs in on the Nortel/Microsoft Transfer

The recent tempest in a teacup on ARINs PPML list over the transfer of IP address blocks from Nortel (a company in Chapter 11) to Microsoft has some interesting Internet Governance dimensions that are yet to be discussed. One aspect that has been overlooked amidst all the sound and fury, is the governmental perspective on IP address transfers. more

IPv6, Phone Numbers and Analogies

My local area code (814) is running out of phone numbers. When discussing IPv6 with non-technical folks, I frequently use the hypothetical scenario of running out of phone numbers as an analogy for IPv4 address depletion. The conversation usually goes like this: "Imagine if we were running out of phone numbers. One way of solving that problem would be to make them bigger. Instead of ten digits, what if we made then thirty digits? If we did that, how many other things would we have to change? Some mundane things like business cards, letterhead, and phone books. But also more substantial things..." more

Why 2008 Was a Milestone Year for IPv6

The beginning of the year saw IPv6 added to the DNS root, closing a major hole for IPv6-only communication. In mid-year, the US federal government's IPv6 mandate came into effect, requiring all federal IP backbones to support IPv6. While the mandate didn't have anywhere near the effect that many had hoped for, it did spur many vendors to add IPv6 support to their products. The amount of observed IPv6 traffic increased considerably, but we still lack good data for how much IPv6 is being used. So, where were we at the end of 2008? more

Comcast Proposes Its IPv6 Transition Solution to IETF, Invites ISPs to Participate

Comcast, the largest cable operator in the U.S., is reported to have developed an innovative approach for gradually migrating its customers to IPv6. The company has 24.7 million cable customers, 14.1 million broadband customers and 5.2 million voice customers. The solution dubbed Dual-Stack Lite, is backwards compatible with IPv4 and can be deployed incrementally according the company. Comcast has submitted this proposal to the Internet standards body, Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) which has scheduled a review during the upcoming IETF meeting in Dublin later this month. From the Comcast document submitted to IETF... more

IPv6 for the Rest of Us

IPv6 deployment is in a chicken and egg situation. On the one hand, there is no willingness from ISPs and commodity DNS router manufacturers to include IPv6 support in their infrastructure or equipment because "there is no demand". On the other hand, there is no demand because the average Joe Blow could not care less if he accesses a web site under IPv4 or IPv6. It should just work. The equipment and infrastructure should adapt transparently... What we users can do is to stop waiting for the industry to get its act together and work around its limitations... more

Researchers Explore Redesigning Internet Infrastructure from Scratch

Government and university researchers have been exploring ways to redesign the Internet from scratch. Some of the challenges that led researchers to start thinking of clean-slate approaches... Researchers are questioning whether all devices truly need addresses. Perhaps sensors in a home could talk to one another locally and relay the most important data through a gateway bearing an address. This way, routers wouldn't have to keep track of every single sensor, improving efficiency. more

IP or NAT IP: Mostly IP

There seems to be a heated debate on this site about NAT (network-address translation). What came as a surprise to me is that a lot of the arguments seem to reside in ideological point of views which obscure the real issues at hand -- IP addressing, IP security -- and have little to do with NAT's actual merits or drawbacks. more

Lights Going Out on the Internet? Not Just Yet

In his article titled, "End of Life Announcement", John Walker (author of the Speak Freely application) makes a few arguments about Network Address Translation (NAT) that are simply not true: "There are powerful forces, including government, large media organisations, and music publishers who think this situation is just fine. In essence, every time a user--they love the word "consumer"--goes behind a NAT box, a site which was formerly a peer to their own sites goes dark, no longer accessible to others on the Internet, while their privileged sites remain. The lights are going out all over the Internet. ...It is irresponsible to encourage people to buy into a technology which will soon cease to work." more

Blacklisting Under Wrong Assumptions

If you analyze the relay of spam- and malware-containing email circulating on the Internet purely through your mail server logs (running the Unix command "tail"), a large proportion seem to come from Asia Pacific hosts, especially those from mainland China. Therefore, many less-experienced systems administrators have simply blocked the access from subnets of Chinese or Asian origin, effectively destroying the fabric of the Internet -- messaging. If administrators took pains to analyze these supposedly Asian spam messages by analyzing the full Internet headers, they would have realized that the Asian servers were merely used by the real spammers as open relays, or perhaps as zombie hosts previously infected with the mass mailing worms through the exploitation of operating system vulnerabilities.  more

Is the Internet Dying?

There are indications that the Internet, at least the Internet as we know it today, is dying. I am always amazed, and appalled, when I fire up a packet monitor and watch the continuous flow of useless junk that arrives at my demarcation routers' interfaces. That background traffic has increased to the point where it makes noticeable lines on my MRTG graphs. And I have little reason for optimism that this increase will cease. Quite the contrary, I find more reason to be pessimistic and believe that this background noise will become a Niagara-like roar that drowns the usability of the Internet. And the net has very long memory... more

The Internet is Dead - Long Live the Internet

Back in the early 2000s, several notable Internet researchers were predicting the death of the Internet. Based on the narrative, the Internet infrastructure had not been designed for the scale that was being projected at the time, supposedly leading to fatal security and scalability issues. Yet somehow the Internet industry has always found a way to dodge the bullet at the very last minute. more

New Trend: Vanity IPv6 Addresses

It's like a vanity license plate, but for your IP address. Previously under IPv4 DNS registration, users were limited to only using numbers. However, with the height of IPv6 underway users are getting creative with their newfound use of characters. Although you can only use characters A-F, it only takes a little creativity to find ways around this. more

Designing Effective Regulation for IPv6 Adoption

So you are the IT regulator for a country and you are convinced that the shortage of IPv4 address space represents a threat to the development of the Internet in your country and you want to do something about it. Being that as regulator you don't really run the countries IP networks, what can you really do? I've heard many regulators in over 30 countries grapple with this problem. The purpose of this article is to think through some ideas to guide action on using (or not) regulation to drive IPv6 adoption. more

Valuing IP Addresses

The prospect of exhaustion of the IPv4 address space is not a surprise. We've been anticipating this situation since at least 1990. But it's a "lumpy" form of exhaustion. It's not the case that the scarcity pressures for IP addresses are evidently to the same level in every part of the Internet. It's not the case that every single address is being used by an active device. A couple of decades ago we thought that an address utilisation ratio of 10% (where, for example, a block of 256 addresses would be used in a network with some 25 addressed devices) was a great achievement.  more

Can't Sell Your IPv4 Numbers? Try Leasing Them

In a "policy implementation and experience report" presented at ARIN 31 in Barbados, ARIN's staff noted that they are seeing "circumstances" related to the leasing of IPv4 number blocks. At the recent INET in Denver, ARIN's Director John Curran alleged that there is a "correlation" between address leasing activity and organizations that have been unable to complete specified transfers through the ARIN process, which requires needs-based justification. more