Practical Technology

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Are we really ready for IPv6?


I would love to believe the Number Resource Organization (NRO), the group that oversees the allocation of all Internet numeric resources, that 84% of ISPs and other major Internet groups are now using, or are about to use IPv6. But, I don’t.

Mind you, 84% of serious corporate Internet users should be at that point. We’re quickly running out of IPv4 addresses. Let me check right now. Yep, according to the IPv4 Address Report, we’re still on schedule to run out of all IPv4 Internet addresses on January 14, 2012.

I actually expect us to run out faster than that though. I strongly suspect speculators are already snatching IP addresses up the same way they did potentially popular domain names and for the same reason: to make money from selling them off in a seller’s market. In fact, I just noticed that in the week since I last checked the Internet IPv4’s drop-dead date, it’s already moved up from January 25th 2012. The buy-outs are already happening.

I don’t buy the most optimistic view of the IPv6 Deployment Survey (PDF Link) for several reasons. First, it’s a global, self-selected survey of the people and groups who work closely with regional Internet registries (RIRs) the group that issues Internet addresses to ISPs. In short, they’re the people who are closest to the coming Internet address famine. If they don’t get it, no one does.

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