back to article World shrugs as IPv4 addresses finally exhausted

The central pool of IPv4 addresses officially ran dry on Tuesday after the Internet Assigned Numbers Authority (IANA) allocated the last remaining blocks of address space. APNIC, which provides internet addressing services to the Asia Pacific region, received two /8s (33 million addresses) on Tuesday in a move that triggered …

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  1. Vic

    IPv4 addresses not yet exhausted...

    7 /8s have just been released for allocation. That's 117 million addresses that are now available for release to users that weren't available a couple of days ago.

    So although things are obviously getting close, it is incorrect to say that the address pool is exhausted.

    And it would all last quite a lot longer if people would get the addresses they need, rather than just applying for a subnet because they can...

    Vic.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      RE: Pv4 addresses not yet exhausted...

      Well, 117 million is not a lot in relation to the world’s population – or world’s population of internet connected devices.

      But what I find shocking is the statement “only around 14 per cent actually been utilised”. That’s pretty appalling and shows dire inefficiency of companies sub-netting off their address range space - or, I suspect, just hoarding them. Why were such massive blocks given out in the first place?

      So does that mean ISP’s have actually got loads of IPs they’ve hoarded away, or is it a few big companies that have just hoarded address space they don’t actually need or use? Perhaps IP address space should be rented not just given out?

      I don’t really fancy my ISP NATing me off from the internet, that would smeg up my home web, email and probably gaming services somewhat.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: RE: Pv4 addresses not yet exhausted..

        Check the ownership of the Class A and B address blocks - many were allocated before the 1990's when Internet access become something that the general public wanted.

        Many of the large companies using these address blocks have them for internal address space or address space used for connectivity to third parties via private networks. It doesn't show up in Internet surveys yet it may be difficult to move to non-public address ranges (or at least there is a cost involved to do so in a timeframe where the release of these addresses would be usable).

        The question is whether creating a market for reselling unused address space (to allow companies to balance the costs they incur freeing the address space) and routing table bloat as small blocks are released would provide a cheaper alternative than migrating equipment to IPv6.

        We will soon find out :-)

  2. Charlie Clark Silver badge

    Germany is going IPv6

    Deutsche Telekom, the largest ISP, is due to rollout out IPv6 to all subscribers by the end of the 2011 with other ISPs likely to follow. IPv6 should in theory improve routing which is probably a more compelling reason for adoption by providers.

    1. Ken Hagan Gold badge

      Re: Germany is going IPv6

      That's splendid news for manufacturers of ADSL boxes (and similar). Last I looked, all the big manufacturers were deliberately not supporting IPv6 in their consumer ranges so that they could hit us all for new hardware when the switch finally took place.

      1. Christian Berger Silver badge

        Re: Re: Germany is going IPv6

        Actually, all German router manufacturers are already supporting IPv6 in many of their models. In fact you can get an IPv6 upgrade for many of their routers not older than 4 years.

  3. ElReg!comments!Pierre Silver badge
    WTF?

    "the interweb will become fragmented"

    Oh come on!

    There are plenty of solution to pass IPv4 over IPv6 and vice versa; it's a bit of a pain in the proverbial, so the laggards should really get said proverbial into gear and switch to IPv6, but no apocalypse awaits.

  4. Yes Me Silver badge
    Welcome

    Time to make plans

    Thanks for that sane story, world not yet ending, etc. But it is high time for everyone offering an Internet-based service to be making their IPv6 plans. How about it El Reg? Surely you can get yourselves IPv6ised before the Beeb, for example?

  5. grannybuttons

    Canals

    I'm not sure what you mean by "the 21st century equivalent of a canals and railways transport system". Speaking as a lover of the 18th/19th Century English canals myself, here's the strange thing - they are a hugely useful resource that has found a whole new use that was never envisaged by the original builders. I wonder if the internet will itself have a new use that we can't even begin to envisage now.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Thumb Up

      New Use?

      What, like looking at Pr0n?

      1. asdf Silver badge
        Flame

        of course

        The founders of the inet had to know pr0n was coming as soon as they got the universities involved. Pr0n studios usually end up deciding format wars as well (what good is Betamax if you can't get your favorite lesbo action on it).

  6. Friderick

    Internet history thang

    "Unwrapping the hairball that is IP address allocation on the net in order to make use of this untapped resource will be far from easy."

    Fuzzball, surely?

    1. Graham Dawson

      Dust bunny

      Would be more appropriate, surely?

  7. This post has been deleted by its author

    1. dave 81

      Demon suck

      Left them for BE over 2 years ago because of similar lack of respect for a 8 year loyal customer. Never looked back.

    2. David Hicks

      How would that help?

      Unless they're moving to IPv6 then you'll still need an IP address whether it's dynamic or static!

  8. Tom Maddox Silver badge
    Coat

    NOOOOOO!!!

    It's the Apocalypse! THE APOCALYPSE!

    1. Frumious Bandersnatch Silver badge
      Coat

      apocalypse?

      Surely that should be iPocalypse ...

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Joke

    Will this mean..

    ...that IPv4 addresses be scalped like concert tickets?

    1. The Fuzzy Wotnot
      Happy

      Don't laugh mate!

      Just watch the prices on the world's favourite tat market, eBay, when some video game or toy can no longer be obtained in the shops!

    2. david 12 Bronze badge

      Scalped like concert tickets?

      Scalping is the only way, because the rules prevent rational, open resale.

      Companies like Ford and GM are sitting on huge groups of unused numbers, but an objection to the 'commercialisation' of the internet means that the tiny value of an unused number is greater than the zero value you would get for returning it to the pool.

      As long as Ford or GM keep their number blocks, there is a small asset which could be realised by the sale of the company to an ISP. It would be senseless for them to just give up their number blocks.

      If IPV4 addresses ever get rare enough to have any actual value, expect to see law suits as tne companies try to spin out their IP number assests into independant companies, and the number authority tries to grab the numbers.

      But IPV6 is an attempt to make IP4 numbers worthless, so that the internet numbering is not tained by comercialisation.

      Now they are claiming that even if we used all the IP4 numbers, we would still run out. Well, they would say that, wouldn't they.

      1. Dani Eder
        Happy

        @david12

        Perhaps Ford & GM expect to use IP addresses for their cars at some point in the not to distant future? I could see a lot of uses for that.

  10. Dave Bell
    FAIL

    The ISPs don't seem to care.

    My ISP isn't officially giving any advice on IPv6. I'm not sure that the hardware it supplies to customers has any ability to handle IPv6. Not saying anything seems terribly short-sighted. Especially when Windows has supported IPv6 for most of this century.

    1. david 12 Bronze badge

      The ISPs don't seem to care...

      There was one that did: TrumpNET, the Tasmanian ISP brought to you by the people who gave you Trumpet Winsock, the original shareware TCP/IP implementation for Windows 3.x

      Peter Tatem was one of the early adopters of IP6, ran the IP6 backbone in AUS, and, of course, provided the IP6 implementation in Trumpet Winsock for Windows 95/98. Although MS did release a development IP6 stack for Windows 98, I think Trumpet Winsock was there first. The IETF Draft Standard was approved in 1998, so before that it wasn't really IPV6.

      Since IP4 addresses are expected to actually run out some time around 2016, there is still lots of time.

      1. Gerhard Mack
        FAIL

        2016?

        Every recent projection I've seen predicts that we will run out this fall and that's 2011 not 2016.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Unhappy

      The ISPs don't care here (in NZ) either

      None of the mass-market ISPs have any apparent plans for IPv6 in our market either.

      An anonymous spokesdroid for the largest (Telecom NZ) is quoted by ComputerworldNZ (near the bottom here <http://computerworld.co.nz/news.nsf/news/dia-pitches-ipv6-to-govt-agencies-as-ipv4-deadline-nears>) as saying "Although at some stage in the future end users will need to replace or update their home router (modem), this should not be reason for concern at this stage."

      This is good, because you cannot buy an IPv6-capable ADSL modem from any department store, electronics retailer, or telco outlet yet. Telecom have just started stocking a new Thompson ADSL modem which is rumoured to be IPv6-capable (not enabled, just capable), but if this is true, it's not mentioned anywhere in the sales literature they supply.

      "At some stage in the future" - IPv6? Never heard of it

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    The thing about IPv6

    Is the addressses are completley impossible to remember.

    It's going to be like having a fucking Microsoft Product key as your IP address. :(

    ...

    YES COMENTARDS, I KNOW WHAT DNS IS!

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Yah but....

      why would you choose a product ID for your subnet?

      If we're used to 192.168.0.X, surely banging a few extra zeros in the middle won't hurt?

      1. Vic

        Because...

        > If we're used to 192.168.0.X, surely banging a few extra zeros in the middle won't hurt?

        You don't exactly get that choice.

        The first address you'll get is a "link-local" address, which doesn't leave your LAN. It will look something like "fe80::204:23ff:fe65:9818". Quite a lot of that is defined in the spec, so you don't get too much of a choice about that.

        If you actually want to talk to other hosts on the Internet, you need another address - your link-local address is really only useful for acquiring your global address. The top bits of your global address are defined by your provider - you'll never get less than a /64, meaning you've got 2^64 addresses to allocate pretty much however you want, but you'll need to allocate a unique global address to each machine that wants IPv6 Internet access.

        Forget about having "private" LAN addresses and NATting at your router - NAT doesn't exist in IPv6-land. Every host that talks to the Internet is going to be globally routable[1]. So you need to do proper firewalling, not just rely on hiding behind NAT.

        There's complexity there, for sure, but it will be worth it in the end. But ISPs really need to get their shit together and start supporting IPv6. Until they do, you either ignore IPv6, or you create a 6in4 tunnel. Whilst not especially difficult, that does need some technical nous.

        My tunnel provider gave me a /48. That's over 10^24 addresses, and I have no idea how to use that many. Even if I split it down into /64s (minimum allocation unit) and passed then on, I'd still have 64k /64s. I don't know *that* many people...

        Vic.

        [1] I am deliberately ignoring RFC1884 site-local address scheme, which is deprecated, and RFC4193 private addresses, which cannot be used for communications with globally-routed hosts.

        1. Mark 65

          @Vic

          "Forget about having "private" LAN addresses and NATting at your router - NAT doesn't exist in IPv6-land. Every host that talks to the Internet is going to be globally routable[1]. So you need to do proper firewalling, not just rely on hiding behind NAT."

          Forgive my ignorance but couldn't you have a router holding the external IPv6 address and NAT the traffic to your internal network much like the router holds my external IPv4 address and NATs the internal traffic?

          1. Vic

            @Mark

            > couldn't you have a router holding the external IPv6 address and NAT the traffic

            The IPv6 spec doesn't allow for this - NAT doesn't exist in IPv6.

            But it wouldn't surprise me to see that change as people come to terms with the ramifications of globally-routable devices.

            Vic.

        2. Keith Smith 1
          WTF?

          Nice Soapbox

          "NAT doesn't exist in IPv6-land"

          Hate to burst your bubble. NAT doesn't exist in IPV4-land either. (N)etwork (A)ddress (T)ranslation and in particular the oft used IP Masquerading aspect of it is a construct of some nifty programming against the IPV4 stack on a router. The same nifty programming can be applied to pretty much any network protocol from raw ethernet packets to some high level esoteric custom stuff. NAT is a high level gimmick, not part of the IPv4 packet slinging specification.

          I can program my routing machine interface to sling packets any way I see fit as long as I present the proper IPvWhatever on the WAN side.

          Just because the plumbing pipe changed it doesn't mean you can't run your water thru an R/O, It just means you have to buy a few new fittings.

  12. Velv Silver badge
    Paris Hilton

    Technology Drivers

    If you want to get the ISPs and the World to adopt IPv6, all youve got to do is convince the Porn industry that it will benefit by moving everything to IPv6. I'm uessing selling the benefits of tracking unique devices, especially those breaching copyright, and they'll be off (quite literally).

    Paris - put the v in, well, just about everything

  13. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    my current $EMPLOYER is only now starting to think about doing something with ipv6

    Sigh - See title.

  14. tony trolle

    Finally all gone !

    Been hearing this for soooo long now.

    Finally its here and before 2012 aka the end of the great cycle.

  15. heyrick Silver badge

    Rails and canals? Or old and new?

    On my network I have an assortment of machines, some of which are older and not IPv6 capable (and probably never will be). I would hope somebody could come up with a clever solution like you want to visit www.theregister.co.uk which is at something horrid like 54:34:2d:ec:49. The router (Livebox, etc) will intercept this and feed you a packet from 192.254.1.3 (addresses assigned incrementally). When your machine tries to talk to 192.254.1.3 the router will see this and fudge it to be the correct IPv6 packet outgoing.

    Just an idea, might be technically bogus. The problem as I see it is you are IPv6 or you are IPv4, there's no "both" option. So it isn't quite the same as introducing colour TV (which still works with black and white sets). It is more like digital TV where you need a new one, or a plug-in box (plus hookup complications)...

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      both

      "The problem as I see it is you are IPv6 or you are IPv4, there's no "both" option."

      You can have both IPv4 and IPv6 addresses allocated to the same network interface. I remember first experimenting with this on Linux at least 10 years ago ...

      Since DNS can give out both v4 and v6 IP addresses for a domain name (being A and AAAA records respectively) any website (or other service) is accessible by either protocol.

      1. heyrick Silver badge

        IPv4 and IPv6

        I wasn't talking about the NIC, I was talking higher up. IPv4 capable software *cannot* talk to IPv6 sites. There is no transition, there is no 00:00:ip:v4:ad:dr.

        1. Vic

          Re: IPv4 and IPv6

          > There is no transition, there is no 00:00:ip:v4:ad:dr.

          Yes there is; it's the 6to4 gateway system. IPv6 address in the 2002::/16 range are reserved for just this use.

          So, if your IPv4 address were 212.100.234.54, you could also use the IPv6 address 2002:D464:EA36::/48.

          Alternatively, a dual-stack implementation can encode IPv4 addresses directly as IPv6 addresses - so 212.100.234.54 can be encoded as ::ffff:212.100.234.54 (note dotted-decimal notation of the last 4 octets, just to make things nice and clear... )

          Vic.

  16. Paul_Murphy

    Just think..

    When we are (even more) old and doddery we'll be saying to our grand kids 'you know, I remember a time when an IP address was a simple set of 4 numbers - just 3 dots mind! none of this modern colon rubbish, missing out sections that were all zeros' etc.

    Actually I wonder how I'd go about getting my Ubuntu, Win 7, Vista and XP clients set up with my Virgin 50meg service to run IP6 - though really it's only really my Virgin 'modem' that I would need to worry about since everything downstream from that can still be on v4.

    Does anyone know if the Virgin 50Mb service box had IPv6 on it?

    ttfn

    1. SImon Hobson Silver badge
      Go

      Go for it !

      >> Actually I wonder how I'd go about getting my Ubuntu, Win 7, Vista and XP clients set up with my Virgin 50meg service to run IP6

      >> Does anyone know if the Virgin 50Mb service box had IPv6 on it?

      IPv6 support on your Virgin box is not actually *required* but it would help.

      http://www.tunnelbroker.net/

      Hurricane Electric (a large international connectivity outfit) is offering free IPv6 tunnels. You sign up, they allocate you a /64 and away you go. Actually they allocate two /64s, but one of them is only used to route traffic between your router and theirs. Setup is fairly simple on Debian - and I'd expect your Ubuntu box to be virtually identical.

      Just add to your /etc/network/interfaces :

      iface eth0 inet6 static

      address 2001:xxxx:xxxx::1

      netmask 64

      post-up ip addr add 2001:xxxx:xxxx::d0/64 dev eth0

      post-up echo 1 > /proc/sys/net/ipv6/conf/all/forwarding

      pre-down ip addr delete 2001:xxxx:xxxx::d0/64 dev eth2

      auto he-ipv6

      iface he-ipv6 inet6 static

      address 2001:wwww:wwww::2

      netmask 64

      gateway 2001:www:www::1

      pre-up ip tunnel add he-ipv6 mode sit remote yyy.yyy.yyy.yyy local zzz.zzz.zzz.zzz ttl 255

      pre-up ip link set he-ipv6 up

      post-up echo 1 > /proc/sys/net/ipv6/conf/all/forwarding

      post-down ip link set he-ipv6 down

      post-down ip tunnel del he-ipv6 mode sit remote yyy.yyy.yyy.yyy local zzz.zzz.zzz.zzz ttl 255

      Just replace the ww,xx,yy,zz with the right addresses from when you sign up.

      Your Ubuntu box can then act as a router for the other devices in your local network, and your Virgin box. There may well be issues related to being behind a NAT gateway, but IIRC there is advice about handling that as well - they have both FAQs and a forum.

      A quick search

      http://www.google.co.uk/search?q=site:tunnelbroker.net+virgin+media

      suggests that there are people on Virgin's service using HEs tunnelbroker service.

      Also, they have quite a nice certification program which is both free, AND takes you through steps which give you some structure to getting stuff working - rather than just floundering around wondering what to do next.

      http://ipv6.he.net/certification/index.php

      1. Robert E A Harvey

        Just add to your /etc/network/interfaces.......

        ... simple as that, eh?

        I'll get me granny on it straight away!

        1. AndrueC Silver badge
          Thumb Down

          Don't panic

          That's just the Linux way. If you use Windows it'll probably be automatic - I suppose you might have to fill in a couple of fields on a dialog box but that's all.

          Of course the Linux implementation will be more secure. Especially if you're Granny can't get it working :)

        2. SImon Hobson Silver badge

          Well actually, yes !

          >> ... simple as that, eh?

          >> I'll get me granny on it straight away!

          I understand the sarcasm, but it's actually no easier in WIndows !

          > Copy and Paste the following into a command window:

          > netsh interface teredo set state disabled

          > netsh interface ipv6 add v6v4tunnel IP6Tunnel xxx.xxx.xxx.xxx xxx.xxx.xxx.xxx

          > netsh interface ipv6 add address IP6Tunnel 2001:yyyy:yyyy:yyyy::2

          > netsh interface ipv6 add route ::/0 IP6Tunnel 2001:zzzz:zzzz:zzzz::1

          Even using a GUI - you'd still have to enter all the same information, but instead of being able to copy and paste you'd have to be click here, click there, select this option, tick that, enter something there, click that, ...

          Oh, you weren't having a dig at LInux ?

          I agree, it's not exactly user friendly, but a big part of that is because it's setting up a tunnel that can't be done automatically. What **SHOULD** happen is that you get your router, plug it in, enter your ADSL (or whatever) login - and it will get both the IP4 and IP6 settings from your ISP. You might have to enter your routable network address into the router, but whether that's manual or automatic, your computers on the network should "just work" like they do now with IP4. Ie, it **SHOULD** be no harder to get online with IPv6 than with IPv4 - in fact it should be easier since IPv6 deals with some of the issues people get with IPv4.

          What's missing from this picture is : support from ISPs, and support from consumer equipment manufacturers. ISPs don't (generally) have IP6 support, and neither do most consumer routers.

          In a way it mirrors my early on-line experience back in the 80's/90's. For most people, getting online meant dialling up to something like Compuserve and America Online - both of which were closed communities. There was this thing called the internet that would get mentioned from time to time, but for most people it was "some network used by academics". For most people, TCP/IP would have been :

          >> ... simple as that, eh?

          >> I'll get me granny on it straight away!

          In the early days it was harder (or at least no easier) to get online properly (ie as a user on the internet with a proper IP address) than it is to get online with an IPv6 address now. The big problem is that most people don't see any great problem with IPv4, and of course there's a much bigger community to 'convert'. With no demand from "me granny", most consumer ISP aren't bothered (it'll cost money). With no support from ISPs, CE manufacturers won't bother (it costs money), and with "nothing using IPv6" "me granny" doesn't see any need. It's a vicious circle - and at least places like HE are doing something to help people get online.

          1. AndrueC Silver badge
            Gates Halo

            True but..

            >Even using a GUI - you'd still have to enter all the same information

            But a GUI is self-documenting. It's a lot easier to just fill in the fields on a form - especially with pop-up hints. Of course Linux can have a GUI as well if it wants.

            Command lines and config files are good for repetitive things but in this case so much of the information needs to be entered that they become cumbersome.

            Both OSes support either method but I'm guessing that Windows will be GUI-based and as near plug-n-play as possible sooner than Linux. I don't have a Granny any longer but I do have ageing parents and being their default tech-support guy means I've made sure they stick with Windows :)

      2. Paul_Murphy

        Thank you.

        I'll read through that tonight and try it over the weekend (unless my wife has plans anyway).

        ttfn

  17. Mage Silver badge

    No Unallocated but plenty unused

    "In reality, the exhaustion of IPv4 has long been predicted but has remained a distant prospect until recently thanks to the use of Network Address Translation (NAT) technology, which meant banks of corporate PCs all sat behind small ranges of IP addresses. Many units of internet real estate are still sparsely used, with only around 14 per cent actually been utilised, according to a study by the University of Southern California, published on Tuesday."

    In reality we may not need IP6 for 10 years.

    Existing IP4 won't stop working.

    How does someone with ONLY IP6 address IP4?

    They need to rethink IP6 interworking and security.

  18. Steve Evans

    Typical!

    Egypt comes back online just when we could have done with their addresses!

    1. Vic

      Hmmm...

      > How does someone with ONLY IP6 address IP4?

      Typically through a 6to4 gateway, which has a prefix 2002::/16.

      > They need to rethink IP6 interworking and security.

      No. Both internetworking and security are just fine in IPv6. But a lot of people will need to learn quite a bit more about networking when IPv6 becomes prevalent - lots of people are suddenly going to be globally routable.

      It would not surprise me to find IPv6 router manufacturers incorporating something akin to NAT so that internal networks can use RFC4193 addresses only, But AFAIK, that's not in the standard at present...

      Vic.

      1. Yes Me Silver badge
        Paris Hilton

        Re: Hmmm...

        >> How does someone with ONLY IP6 address IP4?

        > Typically through a 6to4 gateway, which has a prefix 2002::/16.

        Slight confusion there, Vic.

        6to4 (RFC3056 and RFC3068) is how people with IPv4-only service can get through to IPv6 sites in certain cases; in other cases it doesn't work too well. Windows will use this if you press the right magic buttons, but it's really not a general-purpose solution.

        A user who only has IPv6 service but needs to access IPv4 sites will need to use some other magic - maybe an IPv4-in-IPv6 tunnel, or maybe a method called NAT64. But that is not today's problem, since as others have pointed out, there are still some millions of IPv4 addresses in stock around the world - it's simply that the central registry is out of stock for ever now. The techie geek nerds are getting ready for this, which is why NAT64 has recently been defined, but you can KEEP CALM AND CARRY ON for now.

        Paris, because I assume that she too will carry on.

  19. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    IPv6

    Does that mean that retro browsers and web servers will no longer be able to use the new 'nets?

    I'm talking Commodore 64s, Mac Pluses and 386s - Win3.1 with a TCP/IP (IPv4) stack.

    And a million database references to 2001:0DB8:AC10:FE01:::1521 will break.

    1. Charlie Clark Silver badge

      The Great IPv6 Experiment

      Still some way to go but most bugs seem to have been worked out:

      http://www.h-online.com/features/The-big-IPv6-experiment-1165042.html describes a dual-stack approach.

  20. Russ Tarbox
    Unhappy

    IPv6 is a pain in the arse

    Yes, arse, sorry American readers.

    Why? IP addresses are easy to remember, especially within a corporate environment. An (up to) 32 digit hexadecimal string is going to be far harder to memorise :(

    1. PT
      Grenade

      Decimal is a pain in the arse

      I for one welcome our new 16 fingered overlords. Using decimal numbers in a binary system is an offense against nature - a fact implicitly recognized in IPv4, otherwise 192.168.0.1 would be expressed as -1062731775.

  21. Keith Smith 1
    IT Angle

    BFD. Film at 11

    There are plenty of IP addresses. Too many outfits own huge blocks they don't use. Only 10 to 20 pct of addresses are actually used. This will simply change and ISP's will simply take control of the numbers.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Unused IPv4

      My previous employer has 4 Class Cs (of which, 2 have never been used) and quarter of a Class B (unused for 5 years). The remainder of the Class B is allocated to a company which has not existed for over a decade, so the entire Class B has been unused for 5 years. I'm sure there are plenty of similar cases. Maybe the registries concerned should invite owners of apparently unused blocks to indicate their ongoing need for these allocations and revoke allocations for which they do not receive a response within reasonable timeframe.

  22. Anonymous Coward
    Grenade

    IPv4 = 32 bits. Add 16 bits for port number.

    The truth is all UDP/TCP traffic is addressed using 48 bits. Thirty-two for the IP address and sixteen for the port number.

    Port number allocations are, in truth, a smokescreen. There's NO REASON for HTTP to traditionally be served from port 80, or FTP from port 21. That was an artificial construct and is largely unnecessary.

    NAT has been able to expand the virtual address space by better utilising that last 16 bits of addressing - spreading utilisation of a single IP address over the range of available ports.

    What NAT doesn't solve is the requirement for servers to use "well known" ports - a construct that came about because of firewalling and because DNS doesn't provide any hints about what port a service actually uses. Just think, if DNS told you what port to use for HTTP to a particular domain you could have hundreds of web servers on the one IP address.

    1. Vic

      Too much momentum

      > Just think, if DNS told you what port to use

      What, like with a SRV record?

      Vic.

    2. BioTube
      Boffin

      Already doable

      There are already sites sharing IP addresses. Not sure of the mechanism, but it's out there.

      1. Mister Cheese
        Boffin

        HTTP/1.1

        HTTP/1.1 has the 'Host:' header which the browser/client used for the server-name in the original request. A load-balancer/content-inspector/unspecified-network-device can read this and redirect traffic to the relevant real server. In case you were wondering.

  23. Youngdog
    Joke

    Just do a massive pingsweep...

    ..and take all the unused ones back!

    Or let ISPs NAT and have two levels of IPv4 addresses - call it IPv4^2!

    1. This post has been deleted by its author

  24. ForthIsNotDead
    Joke

    Anyone wanna buy some...

    Egyptian IP4 IP addresses?

    I've got millions of the buggers going spare here... Volume discount for large orders!

  25. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    CONFIDENTIAL INTERNET TRANSACTION

    ATTN: MANAGING DIRECTOR /C.E.O.

    SIR,

    REQUEST FOR URGENT BUSINESS RELATIONSHIP.

    FIRST, I MUST SOLICIT YOUR CONFIDENCE IN THIS TRANSACTION. THIS IS BY

    VIRTUE OF ITS NATURE AS BEING UTTERLY CONFIDENTIAL AND TOP SECRET. YOU

    HAVE BEEN RECOMMENDED BY AN ASSOCIATE WHO ASSURED ME IN CONFIDENCE OF

    YOUR ABILITY AND RELIABILITY TO PROSECUTE A TRANSACTION OF GREAT

    MAGNITUDE INVOLVING A PENDING BUSINESS TRANSACTION REQUIRING MAXIMUM

    CONFIDENCE.

    I AM ADEIL AKPLOGAN, CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER OF AFRINIC WHO ALLOCATE

    INTERNET ADDRESSES FOR AFRICA. AS YOU MAY BE AWARE, NO

    MORE INTERNET ADDRESSES ARE AVAILABLE. HOWEVER OUR LATE PRESIDENT

    AWARDED HIMSELF A SECRET ALLOCATION OF 16,777,216

    (SIXTEEN MILLION, SEVEN HUNDRED AND SEVENTY SEVEN THOUSAND, TWO HUNDRED

    AND SIXTEEN) ADDRESSES WHICH ARE ON SALE FOR $10 (TEN

    DOLLARS) EACH.

    HOWEVER, DUE TO OUR POSITION AS CIVIL SERVANTS AND MEMBERS OF THIS

    PANEL, WE CANNOT SELL THESE ADDRESSES IN OUR NAMES. I HAVE THEREFORE,

    BEEN DELEGATED AS A MATTER OF TRUST BY MY COLLEAGUES OF THE PANEL TO

    LOOK FOR AN OVERSEAS PARTNER INTO WHOSE ACCOUNT THE SUM OF

    US$161,000,000 (ONE HUNDRED AND SIXTY ONE MILLION UNITED STATES DOLLARS)

    WILL BE PAID BY TELEGRAPHIC TRANSFER. HENCE WE ARE WRITING YOU THIS

    LETTER.

    WE HAVE AGREED TO SHARE THE MONEY THUS:

    1. 70% FOR US (THE OFFICIALS)

    2. 20% FOR THE FOREIGN PARTNER (YOU)

    3. 10% TO BE USED IN SETTLING TAXATION AND ALL LOCAL AND FOREIGN

    EXPENSES.

    IT IS FROM THIS 70% THAT WE WISH TO COMMENCE THE IMPORTATION BUSINESS.

    PLEASE NOTE THAT THIS TRANSACTION IS 100% SAFE AND WE HOPE THAT THE

    FUNDS CAN ARRIVE YOUR ACCOUNT IN LATEST TEN (10) BANKING DAYS FROM THE

    DATE OF RECIEPT OF THE FOLLOWING INFORMATION. A SUITABLE NAME AND BANK

    ACCOUNT INTO WHICH THE FUNDS CAN BE PAID.

    THE ABOVE INFORMATION WILL ENABLE US WRITE LETTERS OF CLAIM AND JOB

    DESCRIPTION RESPECTIVELY. THIS WAY WE WILL USE YOUR COMPANY'S NAME TO

    APPLY FOR PAYMENTS AND RE-AWARD THE CONTRACT IN YOUR COMPANY NAME.

    WE ARE LOOKING FORWARD TO DOING BUSINESS WITH YOU AND SOLICIT YOUR

    CONFIDENTIALITY IN THIS TRANSACTION.

    PLEASE ACKNOWLEDGE RECEIPT OF THIS LETTER USING THE BELOW TEL/FAX

    NUMBER. I WILL BRING YOU INTO THE COMPLETE PICTURE OF THIS PENDING

    PROJECT WHEN I HAVE HEARD FROM YOU.

    YOURS FAITHFULLY,

    ADEIL AKPLOGAN.

    TELEPHONE +230 466 6616

    TELEFAX +230 466 6758

    EMAIL AFRINIC@GMAIL.COM

  26. Anonymous Coward
    Boffin

    Extend NAT

    I've always thought extending the NAT protocols to allow nesting of NAT routers would help a lot.

    1. JohnG

      Nested NAT

      I am using nested NAT now. I have one router NATing from my ISP and another router NATing from the first, connected via a long Ethernet cable.

      My mother-in-law has a broadband connection in Ukraine where she receives a private NATed address (10.*) from the ISP - this is then NATed again by her router.

  27. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I can see the term...

    ...eminent domain being used in ways never thought of before.

  28. TRT Silver badge

    Was

    IP'ing myself over nothing then?

  29. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Egypt !

    Hey, surely now that Egypt has no IP's working we could use theirs as well ??. Then when/if they come back online they can switch to IPv6 ?.

  30. Tom 13

    I smell a new source of cash flow for MS and IBM

    as they sell off some of their IP addresses to companies in desperate need of them.

  31. Anonymous Coward
    WTF?

    "Although MS did release a development IP6 stack for Windows 98..."

    Ok, that one got me by surprise. So MS *potentially* supported this thing all the way back then.

    HW manufacturers that get to blame for not supporting this in ubiquitous manner then? Like cutting two digits from the date-year storage to cut costs?

    On another note: didn't UPX/IPX protocol use hexadecimal already? Hint: I couldn't remember its addresses either. Hint: I didn't care which address was being used as well, because it ran together with TCP/IP. Third hint: I was not routiing this sucker anyway, the only purpose to keep it active was actually old multiplayer games, including but not limited to Counter-Strike.

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