Welcome IPv4 user

Can you afford to wait?

Many system administrators seem content that if their IPv4 is working then there is no reason to deploy IPv6. The thought is that "IPv4 is not going to die any time soon so why should I bother with IPv6?"

Some predictions for the African region suggest that AfriNIC will continue to have IPv4 addresses available until 2014. "We have plenty of IPv4 space. We won't run out soon. Whats the point of putting IPv6 on my network."

The point is that its not about Africa. IPv6 becomes a requirement as soon as the first service launches that is IPv6 only and your customer wants to access that service. It is somewhat pointless having large amounts of IPv4 address space when the content that people want is not on the IPv4 Internet.

While it is likely that there will be much bartering and redistribution of IPv4 address space when the exhaustion phase happens in the next 100 days. Despite that, we can expect to see some IPv6 only services within quite a short period after the start of the exhaustion.


One year to go

It passed by without any fanfare. I don't think anyone even noticed.

According to Geoff Huston's mathematical modeling we are now less than one year away from the final depletion of IANA's pool of free IPv4 netblocks.

The current estimate is that this will happen on 10th July 2011. What is going to happen you might ask...

An agreement was reached in the Internet community that as soon as the IANA has only 5 '/8' prefixes remaining in their pool they will all be handed out in one go. One prefix each to the 5 Regional Internet Registries (RIR). The registries are then responsible for distributing those addresses to users in their region.

Most RIRs have put in place policies that limit the maximum allocation size and rate of consumption of the final '/8'. This is intended to prevent a run-on-the-bank type situation and also try and ensure that small blocks of IPv4 addresses are available for critical systems such as DNS for a while.

The reality is that after July next year you are unlikely to be able to get an IPv4 allocation from your local RIR that will be big enough to build an ISP.

Are you ready for that?