The new year has barely started, but it’s already become apparent that at least one dire prediction about 2010 isn’t going to come to pass.
IPv4 address space will not be exhausted in 2010 as the Internet Assigned Numbers Authority (IANA) had once forecast. But that doesn’t mean that network managers or even consumer electronics vendors should sit on the sidelines. This week at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, the American Registry for Internet Names (ARIN) is advocating that vendors start making the move to IPv6 now.
IPv4 technology uses a 32-bit address space providing capacity for 4.3 billion IP addresses. The next-generation IPv6 system has a 128-bit address space, providing a capacity orders of magnitude larger (the number of addresses IPv6 could support can be expressed as: 34 x 10 to the 38th power, or 340 trillion trillion trillion).
The timeline for IPv4 address space exhaustion may not be 2010, but it is likely to be exhausted within the next two or three years at the present rate of IP address allocation.
“We’re at about 10.2 percent (IPv4 address space) remaining globally,” John Curran, president and CEO of ARIN told InternetNews.com. “At our current trend rate we’ve got about 625 days before we will not have new IPv4 addresses available. We’re still handling IPv4 requests from ISPs, hosting companies and large users for IPv4 address space, but that’s a very short time period.”