IP Addressing

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The Geography of Internet Addressing

The ITU-T has proposed a new system of country-based IP address allocations which aims to satisfy a natural demand for self-determination by countries; however, the proposal also stands to realign the Internet's frontiers onto national boundaries, with consequences which are explored here. ...we do indeed see the Internet as a single entity, and we even speak of the Internet's architecture as if there was one designer who laid out a plan and supervised its construction. But despite all appearances, the Internet landscape is indeed made up of many separate networks... This article will explore these issues, particularly in light of recent proposals to introduce new mechanisms for IP address management, a prospect which could, over time, substantially alter both the geography of the Internet, and its essential characteristics as a single cohesive network. more

Thoughts on IPv6 Day

Jeff Pulver proposed an interesting idea called IPv6 Day... In geeks term, we call this a 'flag day'. The last time we have a flag day was 1st Jan 1983 when Internet moved from NCP (Network Control Protocol) to IPv4. So why not do it for IPv6? more

DNS WHOIS: Barking Up the Wrong Tree

As the Internet has grown and matured, it has become obvious to everyone involved that the DNS Whois system, as it currently exists, is not a sustainable way to share contact information for resolving network problems. ICANN, in an attempt to save DNS Whois, has plunged head long into the process of developing new policies aimed at fixing it. While I respect all of the hard work that has gone into this process, the results thus far have only made it clearer that this system faces intractable problems. more

Map of the Internet: The IPv4 Space of 2006

An intersecting representation of the IP Address space on a plane using a fractal mapping that preserves grouping... Section of the map also shows the blocks sold directly to corporations and governments in the 1990's before the RIRs took over allocation. more

What the US Government Said About IANA in Singapore

Two weeks ago, the US government announced it would transition its role in the IANA functions to the global Internet community. It tasked ICANN with the job of arriving at a transition plan and noted that the current contract runs out in 18 months' time, 30 September 2015. This week, ICANN started that process at its meeting in Singapore. And on the ground were the two key US government officials behind the decision. more

Court Approves Nortel's Sale of IPv4 Addresses to Microsoft

Yesterday morning (26-April-2011), in US Bankruptcy Court for the District of Delaware, Judge Kevin Gross signed an order authorizing Nortel's sale of IPv4 addresses to Microsoft. This is an important moment for the Internet community, as it represents the beginning of a new market-based mechanism for the distribution of scarce IPv4 address resources. As the various Regional Internet Registry (RIR) organizations exhaust their supply, traditional "needs-based" distribution will become impossible. more

Up to 300 Megawatt Worth of Keepalive Messages to be Saved by IPv6?

The Time Square Ball bringing in 2008 had more than 9,500 LED bulbs displaying 16 million colours while consuming power equivalent to about ten toasters. This compares to 600 incandescent and halogen bulbs adorning last year's Ball. Easy to forget that most mobile devices used by Time Square revelers were behind IPv4 NAT's and that always on applications such as Instant Messaging, Push e-mail, VoIP or location based services tend to be electricity guzzlers. It so happens that applications that we want always to be reachable have to keep sending periodic keepalive messages to keep the NAT state active... 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

IP Addresses in Cars, Car Manufacturers as Internet Registries? - Another Need for IPv6 Now!

I recently came across an interesting piece about the use of IP addresses in the Tesla model S. The part that caught my attention and led to this post is that the car uses the private IPv4 address subnet to address different nodes e.g. the centre console is and the dashboard/navigation screen is Put your geek hat on for a moment as you ponder that! more

Measuring IPv6 - Country by Country

Some years ago a report was published that ranked countries by the level of penetration of broadband data services. You can find the current version of that report at the OECD web site. This ranking of national economies had an electrifying impact on this industry and upon public policies for broadband infrastructure in many countries. Perhaps this happened because there were some real surprises lurking in the numbers at the time. more

Exactly When Is ARIN Going to Run Out of IPv4 Addresses?

At the April 2013 ARIN meeting the inevitable question came up once more: "Exactly when is ARIN going to run out of IPv4 addresses?" Various dates have been proposed as an answer to this question, based on various methods of prediction. As the date is indeed getting closer, it may well be worth the time to review ARIN's situation, and make a few predictions here about the likely date when ARIN's exhausts its remaining pool of IPv4 addresses. more

The Digital Divide on IP Addresses

This growth is clearly unsustainable within the IPv4 address space. Not every country can have these utilization levels. The hunger for new addresses is greatest in China (currently at 1 IPv4 address per 4 inhabitants) and India (1 address per 53 inhabitants). To put these at the modest level of 1 address per inhabitant requires more than 2.2 billion addresses, where there are currently only 290 million left... Given these numbers and the overall strong growth, any hopes of being able to reuse space that is allocated but not used (i.e. pre-CIDR) are futile. This demand dwarfs the entire US allocation. more

URLs, IP Numbers, and Speech

There's a great fight going on right now in Philadelphia...The case is about a Pennsylvania statute [PDF] that mandates that Pennsylvania ISPs remove access to sites that the AG believes contain child pornography. Now, child pornography is abhorrent and any ISP will cooperate in taking down such sites that it is hosting. But the problem is that in complying with the statute with respect to sites the ISPs don't themselves host, ISPs are (rationally) using either IP blocking ("null routing") or "domain poisoning" techniques, both of which (particularly the IP number blocking) result in rendering inaccessible millions of perfectly legal sites. more

An Update on IPv6

In the coming weeks another Regional Internet Registry will reach into its inventory of available IPv4 addresses to hand out and it will find that there is nothing left. This is by no means a surprise, and the depletion of IPv4 addresses in the Internet could be seen as one of the longest slow motion train wrecks in history. The IANA exhausted its remaining pool of unallocated IPv4 addresses over four years ago in early 2011, and since then we've seen the exhaustion of the address pools in the Asia Pacific region in April 2011, in the European and the Middle Eastern region in September 2012, in Latin America and the Caribbean in May 2014 and now it's ARIN's turn... more

When will we run out of IPv4?

A paper by Tony Hain was recently published in the Internet Protocol Journal which sparked a debate on Slashdot. Particularly, Tony's paper suggested that IANA will run out of IP addresses in 5 years or less. However, there is another paper written by Geoff Hutson which projects that we have enough IPv4 address until 2022. The differences got most people confused. So who is right? more