Friday, September 25, 2015

Tabula Rosa Systems Special Blog - It Has Happened - IPv4 Addresses Are Exhausted!

After years of warning, zero day has arrived. There are no more IPv4 addresses. All netizens should be aware of this and understand the changes that will be occuring!



Editors’ note on Thursday, September 24, 2015: The American Registry for Internet Numbers announced today that it had given out the last of the IPv4 addresses it had in its free pool for North America. The article below is from 2011 and provides backstory on what that means.
The internet has run out of room.
Like a prairie with no more vacant land to homestead or a hip area code with no more cellphone numbers, the pool of available numeric internet addresses has been completely allocated as of Thursday (.pdf).
With that, the frontier has closed. The internet — in its current form — is now completely colonized. All that’s left is to divide the allocated properties into ever-smaller portions, or to start trading what’s already been assigned.
This change will have no immediate effect on ordinary people, but will eventually force any company that wants to be on the internet to reckon with a complicated and potentially expensive technology transition.
It could also introduce widespread delays and other strange behavior into the internet at large.
“In a sense the net’s going to get stickier,” says John Heidemann, a computer scientist at the University of Southern California who has done a survey of the distribution of internet addresses (shown above). “It’ll be harder to do things that used to be easy.”
The shortage of addresses could eventually slow down your favorite web services, make it harder for websites to verify your identity, and complicate the design of services that depend on computer-to-computer connections, like peer-to-peer file sharing, Skype and more.
The change is going to happen gradually, over a period of years, but it will happen, say experts who have studied the problem, and it starts today.
“This is 100 percent a real issue,” says Martin J. Levy, director of IPv6 strategy at Hurricane Electric, a provider of high-bandwidth data and collocation services that has been predicting the exhaustion of addresses for some time now. “We are dealing with a finite resource. We are going to run out. And we are going to have build a new system that gets around that issue.”
“It’s not really a shortage so much as exhaustion. It’s gone,” Kumar Reddy, a director of technical marketing at Cisco, says about the address space.
The data-delivery scheme used by the vast majority of the net, known as Internet Protocol version 4, uses a series of four numbers (each ranging from 0 to 255) to uniquely identify every machine that’s directly connected to the internet. That gives a total of about 4 billion possible IP addresses. These numbers, such as, underlie the more user-friendly domain name system, which uses URLs like
IP addresses are like telephone digits, in that there’s a finite number of them. Unlike the telephone system, however, there’s no equivalent to the 718 or 346 area codes to expand to when Manhattan’s 212 is full. It’s as if every possible area code from 001 to 999 had already been utilized or reserved.
In some cases those “area codes” are full of paying customers. In other cases the numbers are simply being held for future use or reserved for technical reasons. But the bottom line is no new addresses are available.
It will take a while for the effects to trickle down to your level.
The organization responsible for allocating these numbers is the Internet Assigned Numbers Authority, which delegates blocks of IP addresses to five regional registries. It is IANA that allocated its last available IP address blocks to the regional authorities on Thursday.
The regional registries, in turn, allocate their IP addresses to companies, ISPs and telcos. With no new blocks coming from IANA, they will start to run out of their address pools over the next several years, starting with the Asia-Pacific authority, known as APNIC, probably in mid-2011.
As regional authorities run out of available IP addresses, their clients will too. That means ISPs and companies will have difficulty assigning unique IP addresses to their customers, employees and servers as soon as this year, starting in Asia.
When that happens, those companies have a choice. They can switch to the next generation of the Internet Protocol, known as IPv6, which has 2128available addresses. That’s enough to give 5×1028 addresses to every human being on Earth — no danger of running out of addresses there.
But many popular sites, such as Wired’s website, don’t yet have IPv6 capability.  In fact, less than 0.25 percent of the internet is wired to work with IPv6, which means that if you’re using IPv6, there’s not a lot of web content to browse. 
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