IP registry goes to Defcon 1 as IPv4 doomsday nears
APNIC activates draconian rationing
The provider of IP addresses to the Asia Pacific region has activated a major change in the way it allocates them after becoming the first registry to deplete its number of older addresses to fewer than 17 million.
APNIC said the depletion of all but its final /8 block of addresses was a “key turning point in IPv4 exhaustion” meant that it was no longer able to meet current demand for the older addresses. As a result, the registry has immediately instituted a draconian rationing plan that will limit both the number of IPs issued and the organizations that are eligible to receive them.
Under the new policy, established organizations may receive new numbers for the sole purpose of helping them transition to IPv6, the net's next-generation addressing scheme. And even then, organizations will be eligible to get no more than a /22 block, which comes out to just 1,024 new addresses. New entrants to the internet industry will still be able to receive IPv4 addresses to use natively, but they'll be subject to the same /22-block cap.
“Agreed on by the Asia Pacific internet community, the Final /8 Policy conserves the remaining IPv4 address blocks to support the region’s transition to IPv6,” APNIC officials wrote in a release (PDF here). “Without that block of IPv4 space, new network operators would find it difficult, or impossible, to connect to the internet, even with large IPv6 address allocations available from APNIC.”
The move comes two months after the Internet Assigned Numbers Authority depleted its remaining pool of IPv4 addresses by dividing it up among the various regional registries. Under that move, APNIC received two /8 blocks, suggesting that the Asia Pacific registry has burned up at least 16 million addresses in just eight weeks.
The 32-bit IPv4 system yields some 4 billion unique addresses, a number that seemed large enough when the internet was conceived. With the advent of smartphones and internet-connected security cameras, cars, and other everyday devices, the depletion of older addresses has been forecast for more than a decade. The road to the newer IPv6 system is paved with pain for IT administrators and the end users who depend on them. That in turn has prompted widespread reluctance and procrastination in making the transition.
Already, the pain of APNIC's rationing is being felt. Chinanet Fujian Province Network on Thursday received almost 500,000 IP addresses that were spread into 1,102 separate prefixes. Organizations prefer to have large blocks in as few prefixes as possible so the addresses are easier to organize and identify.
The shortage recently forced Microsoft to spend $7.5 million for 666,624 addresses, which the company purchased from Nortel. ®
Take IPv4 addresses away from (mostly) American Universities
An astronomical number of IP addresses were grabbed by American Universities in the very early days, hogging them way out of proportion to actual need. As a consequence, American Universities (and Universities in general) don't run NAT'd LANS like corporations and most governments do. Which is also why Universities have rampant virus/zombie issues. ARIN-RIPE-APIC should take back most of those IPv4 blocks from all of those Universities and make them connect their campuses to the Internet through NAT routers.
Uni not only players
Also remember that it is not just universities that have big IPv4 allocations, some US companies and gov also have more than far more than is needed.
Are those addresses well used? It is true that some new projects could use them and justify a student block per uni, but most PCs are just for office admin and lab work, and would be best behind NAT anyway.
It's a widespread problem...
> grabbed by American Universities
It's not just them. I've recently been working for a well-known multinational company with huge IPv4 allocations.
All machines have globally-routable IPv4 addresses, which are then firewalled to the very brink of usability. The company would actually benefit from a transition to private addressing and a NAT setup. An enormous number of IPv4 addresses could be returned to the pool.
That's not going to happen, though. Said company have outsourced their IT support, so such a move would cost them a fortune :-(