The IPocalyse is Nigh – Forced Allocation of IPv4 to RIRs next week ?

The whisper is that the last two /8 IP address ranges were today allocated. Since there were seven pools of /8 addresses, this means that we are witnessing the start of the IPocalypse.

What’s Happened ?

Some time ago, Internet Assigned Numbers Authority (IANA) established the final process as the IPv4 address pool is exhausted. That is, when the last five /8 pools of IPv4 address remain, that each RIR will receive a final allocation of one pool each and the source of all IPv4 addresses will be empty.

It’s possible that few more addresses may appear as organisations give up allocations but a few thousand or even tens of thousand addresses won’t significantly change anything when there are millions of devices added to the Internet every month.

What’s Next ?

The master pool of IPv4 addresses is now empty, and in the hands of the RIR’s. The RIR’s will continue to issue IP addresses to the Service Providers and ISPs and then on to users as needed. For the next few months, there is no visible change.

Internally, the warning bell goes off for those companies and network that have not started to implement their IPv6 projects. For those few companies who have some plans in place, it is the starting gun.

When is the IPocalypse ?

The guess is that there will now be a rush to ‘grab’ addresses for stockpiling and thus the IPv4 availability will probably run out in a few months. The rush will be led by companies who haven’t started planning or implementing IPv6 upgrades – and this appears to be almost everyone. Very few Service Providers have implemented, or are even planning to do IPv6 upgrades this year so they will be keen to lock down IPv4 address capacity to delay the upgrade process for as long as possible.

It’s going to be quite a shock for most Service Providers.

The EtherealMind View

I’m pleased that the IPocalypse is finally here. It’s been planned and predicted since 1992. Funding and budgets for Networking will get an enormous boost as business move to commence the migration.

Most importantly, Cloud Computing and Virtualisation will slow down while IT funds and budgets are diverted into essential infrastructure upgrades for the network that are not optional. It’s worth noting that Cloud and Virtualisation are significantly enhanced and more feature capable in IPv6 networks due to new features in IPv6 protocol. A little bit of cooling off of the rampant verbosity in these markets will be better for everyone in the long run.

Network Nerds – rejoice! The IPocalypse is here. It’s upgrade time and we are going party like it’s 1999 when we prepared for the Year 2000 bug. w00t!

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)