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IPv6: Circling the IPv4 Wagons for a Last Stand

The last remaining stocks disappear from the shelves more quickly than ever before . . . IPv4 addresses that is.

As the ARIN met in Toronto in April, an inordinate amount of time was spent yet again debating proposals on how to handle the dwindling stock of IPv4 addresses. I get the distinct impression that some people will still be tabling proposals and discuss the issue long after the last IPv4 block has been allocated by IANA and even the RIR’s themselves.

May 7th we learned that two /8’s had been allocated to RIPE, the European Regional registry, Rumour has it that APNIC is also getting a couple very soon as well as ARIN. If this materializes only nine ‘slash eights’ will be left to distribute. Depletion clocks are being adjusted; today May 12th Potaroo predicts September 9th 2011 to be the fatidic day for IANA depletion and that on april 8th 2012 the ultimate surviving little block living in liberty will be allocated.

Axel Pawlik, the CEO of RIPE who is also chair of the NRO provided following rather telling updates on IPv4 and IPv6 address depletion and allocations in a blog for the EGov Monitor:

• During Q1 2010, APNIC, the RIR for the Asia Pacific, allocated nearly 27 million IPv4 addresses to its members, more than any RIR has ever issued in a single quarter.
• APNIC issued 186 IPv6 allocations in the first quarter of 2010—that is more allocations in three months than it has ever made in any single year.
• For only the second time, LACNIC, the RIR for Latin America and the Caribbean, issued more IPv4 address space than ARIN, the RIR for Canada, many Caribbean and North Atlantic islands and the United States.
• Overall, the five RIRs saw an increase of nearly 30 per cent in the amount of IPv6 address space allocated in 2009, which is an encouraging sign that more organizations are preparing for the transition from IPv4 to the new addressing

At the ARIN meeting and yet again at the Canarie-BCnet annual conference in Vancouver we presented the final recommendations of the Canadian IPv6 Task Group urging all stakeholders to seriously start moving.

It was refreshing to see at least one of the Canadian ISP’s indicate that movement is afoot to start commercial deployment within months.

It will be interesting to keep an eye on NRO numbers during summer recess.

By Yves Poppe, Director, Business Development IP Strategy at Tata Communications

(Any opinions, findings, conclusions or recommendations expressed in these articles are solely those of the author and are not in any way attributable to nor reflect any existing or planned official policy or position of his employer in respect thereto.)

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