IPocalypse: What’s next for the ‘End of the Internet’ ?

I wanted to put some more meat on the bones around the next few weeks and IPocalypse (The end of IPv4). I’ve gathered up a bunch of links so that we can get good seats for the “End of the Internet”.

So if you head over to IANA IPv4 Address Space Registry you can get a high level overview of the allocation of IPv4 address (in chunks of /8).

What you can see here is that there are SEVEN /8 ranges showing as UNALLOCATED. However, APNIC has a valid claim for two more /8 and they can request them at any time, and are expected to make this happen in the next two weels. The APNIC pool of available address is shown here.

Once this occurs, there will be five /8 ranges and the will trigger the previously agreed “end of days” scenario where IANA will close the IPv4 address pool by allocating one of each remaining /8 to each RIR. This process is described Global Policy for the Allocation of the Remaining IPv4 Address Space at ICANN.

Global Policy for the Allocation of the Remaining IPv4 Address Space

(ratified by ICANN Board on 6 March 2009)

This policy describes the process for the allocation of the remaining IPv4 space from IANA to the RIRs. When a minimum amount of available space is reached, one /8 will be allocated from IANA to each RIR, replacing the current IPv4 allocation policy. In order to fulfill the requirements of this policy, at the time it is adopted, one /8 will be reserved by IANA for each RIR. The reserved allocation units will no longer be part of the available space at the IANA pool. IANA will also reserve one /8 to any new RIR at the time it is recognized.

The process for the allocation of the remaining IPv4 space is divided in two consecutive phases:

1. Existing Policy Phase

During this phase IANA will continue allocating IPv4 addresses to the RIRs using the existing allocation policy. This phase will continue until a request for IPv4 address space from any RIR to IANA either cannot be fulfilled with the remaining IPv4 space available at the IANA pool or can be fulfilled but leaving the IANA remaining IPv4 pool empty. This will be the last IPv4 address space request that IANA will accept from any RIR. At this point the next phase of the process (Exhaustion Phase) will be initiated.

2. Exhaustion Phase

During this phase IANA will automatically allocate the reserved IPv4 allocation units to each RIR (one /8 to each one) and respond to the last request with the remaining available allocation units at the IANA pool (M units).

2.1 Size of the final IPv4 allocations

In this phase IANA will automatically allocate one /8 to each RIR from the reserved space as defined in this policy. IANA will also allocate M allocation units to the RIR that submitted the last request for IPv4 addresses.

2.2 Allocation of the remaining IPv4 Address space After the completion of the evaluation of the final request for IPv4 addresses, IANA MUST:

Immediately notify the NRO about the activation of the second phase (Exhaustion Phase) of this policy.

Proceed to allocate M allocation units to the RIR that submitted the last request for IPv4 address space.

Proceed to allocate one /8 to each RIR from the reserved space.

The EtherealMind View

I, for one, welcome our new IPv6 overlords. wikipedia

Other Posts in A Series On The Same Topic

  1. Why Allocating a /64 is Not Wasteful and Necessary (23rd January 2011)
  2. IPv6 - /48 allocation in /64 chunks - that's a lot of addresses (21st January 2011)
  3. IPocalypse: What's next for the 'End of the Internet' ? (20th January 2011)
  4. The IPocalyse is Nigh - Forced Allocation of IPv4 to RIRs next week ? (19th January 2011)
  5. IETF IPv6 address allocation policy being updated. (12th January 2011)
  6. Scheduling the IPocalypse (25th November 2010)
About Greg Ferro

Greg Ferro is a Network Engineer/Architect, mostly focussed on Data Centre, Security Infrastructure, and recently Virtualization. He has over 20 years in IT, in wide range of employers working as a freelance consultant including Finance, Service Providers and Online Companies. He is CCIE#6920 and has a few ideas about the world, but not enough to really count.

He is a host on the Packet Pushers Podcast, blogger at EtherealMind.com and on Twitter @etherealmind and Google Plus

You can contact Greg via the site contact page.

  • Sal Buscemi

    I know you’ve probably mentioned it before, but when are they gonna use those addresses allocated for “future use” 240-255? Is it not the ‘future”?

    • Ryshon

      Those are typically used for multicast and broadcast purposes, probably be more work to utilize those than switch to IP6..

      • http://www.larsenconsulting.net Robert Larsen

        Multicast is in the range to

        While it would be nice to think that the “future use” range of could be available for normal use, the vast majority of IP stacks are hard-coded to not accept configurations in this range.

        The effort involved in changing this just isn’t worth it: imagine having to patch Windows, OS X, all the various flavours of UNIX/Linux, never mind all the network devices (routers, firewalls, etc.) to support this. And that’s assuming you could consistently apply those patches to near-100% of these devices globally.

        Besides, making those extra 16 x /8 blocks available is still only going to delay the IPocalypse by — what? — maybe 24 months at best? IPv6 is still the only viable long-term solution.

    • http://etherealmind.com Greg Ferro

      It’s not possible to use these addresses because it would require replacement of all existing computers. Many operating systems, network drivers, software coding, explicity deny the use of these addresses thus making their use effectively impossible.

      It more effective to bridge between IPv4 and IPv6 networks than to ‘fix’ every computer.

      Not to mention that the 16 /8′s that could be used, would last about a year, maybe year and a half before they were all allocated. Not much of a win.

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