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The Internet Is Full

04.02.2011 00.00 - IT-ala 

So, finally it happened. The Internet is full. ICANN informed that they've allocated the last pieces of the IPv4 address space to someone. People have been talking about this for years and now it's reality.

This doesn't really mean that the IP addresses are exhausted. They're just allocated, but there are free addresses available. ICANN handles the upper level allocation, but there are local authorities (like RIPE, ARIN, APNIC) that handle lower level allocations. And then there are internet operators below that and their customers etc. So it's not as bad as it looks like.

Also, one might think that the allocations done by ICANN are probably not that sane. Let's check what can be found:

  • 240-255/8 is reserved for "future use"
  • 224-239/8 is for multicast, which still doesn't seem to be used that much

That's already 12.5% of the address space. If we really needed more addresses, we could probably take 240-255/8 into use. That'd give us 268435456 more addresses.

Also, there are some old company reservations, which seem a little odd. At least these companies have a /8 network just for themselves:

  • General Electric
  • Apple Computers
  • Ford
  • Xerox
  • HP
  • DEC
  • AT&T Bell Laboratories
  • AT&T Global Network Services
  • MIT
  • Eli Lilly
  • Halliburton
  • Merck
  • US Postal Services

Naturally I don't know what the companies use these for, but really. Does Eli Lilly or Merck (pharmaceutical companies) really need a /8 network? You know, even Microsoft doesn't have a /8 network for themselves here. They do have lots of IPs, I'm not saying that. And DEC, a company that I thought didn't even exist anymore. Apple? Ford? Xerox?

So, if we really needed, we could easily get lots of IPs for use. But the real question is why the heck isn't IPv6 already in use? It's been around for a decade. It's supported in all modern OSs, network devices widely support it etc. So let's just get on with it!


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