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End of the IANA global pool (posted 2011-02-06)

And so it ends. With a ceremony in Miami. You can see the 13-minute video and also the press conference a little later here.

Also see my Ars Technica story: River of IPv4 addresses officially runs dry. Also see my story about World IPv6 Day on june 8 on Ars a few days earlier. Google, Yahoo and Facebook want to enable IPv6 for a day and then turn it off again. Not good enough.

With no more IPv4 addresses in IANA's global pool, and no policies for redistributing address space between the five RIRs in place (yet), each RIR is going to run out at its own rate. This will happen soon for APNIC, which is burning through address space at an unprecedented rate: 23.7 million addresses in january alone, about what APNIC used in a year in 2000 - 2002. As you can see on the statistics page, at this rate, they would burn through their remaining address space in three more months, and then one extra month for the legacy space administered by them. However, it's unclear who really gets to use the legacy space, and most RIRs have set aside their final /8 allocation or part of it for special purposes.

RIPE should have more than a year according to these numbers, but Geoff Huston and Tony Hain have different projections. Geoff's image shows bars that indicate the chance of the RIR in question running out that month. Tony also has a zoomed graph that shows the APNIC and RIPE NCC projected runout dates more clearly.

In the meantime, it's amazing to still hear tons of people say they see no need adopt IPv6. And there's the tired "IPv4 will be around for DECADES" predictions. I'm sure it will be possible to find stuff that can do IPv4 for many, many years, but I'm also quite confident that there will no longer be a meaningful IPv4 deployment on the public internet by the time the year 2020 comes around. In the 1990s, IPX, AppleTalk and DECNET disappeared pretty quickly after everyone connected to the internet. And these were protocols that were useful locally, regardless of external connectivity. Once you need IPv6 to connect to the rest of the world and your work stations are IPv6-enabled, there's really no reason to keep running an IPv4 network anymore. Sure, there will be some IPv4-to-IPv6 translators to allow access to legacy stuff, but routing IPv4 packets will no longer be a useful exercise.