Today's ARIN estimated depletion date:

Archive for April, 2009

ARIN meeting report


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ARIN is one of five Regional Internet Registries (RIRs) that manages the distribution of Internet number resources (IPv4 and IPv6 address space and Autonomous System Numbers) in Canada, many Caribbean and North Atlantic islands, and the United States.
ARIN just held their semiannual meeting. The meeting was held in San Antonio, TX. Interesting work was presented and new policies where discussed. The community had a chance to give their input on the suggested policies and ARINs work. This report highlights some of the discussed topics around IPv6 and the depletion of IPv4 addresses.

Creating an IPv4 market

Today the allocations of IPv4 addresses are on a “per need basis”. If you have a legitimate need for the resource you will get it. This model is not sustainable for a scares resource such as IPv4. As we are moving closer to depletion, this model will likely change. A idea is to move to a supply/demand model and create a market for IPv4 addresses.

Two new policies covered the topic of creating a market for IPv4 addresses. The proposal “Transfer Policy (2009-1)” suggested a way of how two organizations could transfer addresses between them and “IPv4 recovery fund (2009-4)” suggested a way of how ARIN could be the broker and handle the transfer of money between two parties what wishes to buy/sell IPv4 addresses.

Both policies were debated heavily and the meeting did not reach any consensus on either of them. These policies must most likely be rewritten before they can get adopted.

Delaying IPv4 depletion

As we are moving closer to IPv4 depletion several voices are raised about checking that the current IPv4 allocations are actually used. There is a fear that some space might be “stuck” with crashed dot com companies and other organizations that don’t use them.

ARIN has started a spring cleanup initiative where everybody in their database is contacted and has to confirm that they are still using the IPv4 addresses in question. There is also a stricter policy (2008-7) that would mark unresponsive contacts in the ARIN database and potentially delete them from the database.

Another discussion was how to how to handle returned addresses. A new policy (2009-3) suggested that the returned addresses in any region should be made available globally. This is of course a hot topic here in US as there are several large old allocations that might come back into play and delay the depletion. The US Department of Defense has for example about 100 million IPv4 addresses. If they decided to return some of those addresses, should they then be used in US or should they be available for other regions as well? All other regions in the world have adopted this policy and would like to see available space being return to the central pool and potentially used elsewhere in the world.

Jean Camp presented some of her work in the area of changing how IPv4 addresses are allocated to delay the IPv4 depletion date. She suggested three new ways of allocating IPv4:

  • Organization Threshold – Organizations about a certain threshold receives no additional allocations. This would clearly not favor the big ones.
  • Per organization annual threshold – Every organizations gets a yearly quota of addresses. Think of this as “one bowl of rice per person and day”.
  • Predetermine Exhaustion – A system much like the H1B visa system in the US. Addresses are allocated on a per need basis until we reach the total limit for the year.

The “Depleted IPv4 reserve (2009-2)” policy suggested a threshold of the size of allocations when only 8 million addresses are left in the region. Similar policies have been adopted in other regions in the world. The policy suggested that when that threshold is reached, ARIN should only allocate addresses in chunks of 1000 addresses at a time and that an organization have to wait for six months before requesting more space.

This policy was under heavily debate, in general the big IPv4 users (such as the national telephone companies and big cable operators) did not really care. 8 million addresses are just breadcrumbs that don’t make a difference for those companies. The small IPv4 users, such as small ISP and telephone coops were in general in favor of this policy as they could see that they could be served IPv4 addresses for a longer time. The companies that opposed this policy were mid size ISPs who argued that they were unfairly not favored by the policy.

Promote IPv6 usage

ARIN presented their current reach out efforts to promote IPv6. One initiative is to send a letter to C-level executives urging them to start adopting IPv6.

The Policy “Community networks (2008-3)” discussed a less expensive way for non for profit initiatives to get IPv6 addresses. This would include amateur radio networks and similar initiatives. This policy will most likely be accepted and implemented.

2 new blocks to APNIC


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Yesterday, IANA announced that 180/8 and 183/8 was allocated to APNIC. This allocation was much anticipated. The data and the results in the report, dashboard and tool might be a little bit skewed for a day or two before all underlying calculations catches up.

The IANA pool is now down to 25 blocks (after the N=1 policy block is removed). This equals less than 10% of the total IPv4 addresses available.

South Africa gets ready for soccer?


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Recently, the service provider MTN in South Africa allocated 1 million addresses from AfriNIC. This is the second biggest allocation Afrinic has ever made. MTN seems to be a mobile phone operator offering mobile broadband services as well as traditional cell phone services. According to their website, they are also official sponsors for the Soccer world cup 2010. Perhaps are they getting their network ready for the massive invasion of soccer fans next year? The network they just got assigned is

Note that the allocation has no effect on the IANA and first RIR depletion dates as AfriNIC have plenty of addresses and are not expected to make any additional allocations from IANA.

$1 dual stack webhosting


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One of the major obstacles for IPv6 adoption is that service providers have been slow to migrate their services to Dual Stack. A popular service is to outsource the web hosting. This can be done in several ways but for smaller companies virtual web hosting seems to be popular. Up until now, it has been hard to find any service provider that offers these services as dual stack.

Large companies face the same challenges. An expert from Microsoft was invited as a speaker at the Google IPv6 implementors conference about a month ago. He explained that the reason why MSFT external facing web servers can’t be reached over IPv6 was because their hosting provider (Akamai) doesn’t support IPv6.

MSFT’s environment and requirements probably look a little bit different than the requirement that the average reader of this blogs. Smaller companies typically only require a shared virtual web hosting where you get control of a chunk of a server. Companies like Godaddy are often used for this.  However those companies are typically only offering those services over IPv4.

I was invited to speak at the Rocky Mountain IPv6 summit this week. It was a very interesting conference with many good speakers. Martin Levy from Hurricane Electric talked about their network and the type of services they provided. He mentioned that they now offer dual stack virtual webhosting starting at $1. The price list and how to order can be found here . So now we have a hosting provider that offers dual stack web hosting for a very reasonable price! Thanks Hurricane Electric, I’m about to become a customer.

Denver IPv6 summit


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I’m invited to speak at the IPv6 summit in Denver. My presentation covers IPv4 depletion as well as DNS, DHCP and Security in IPv6 environment. The IPv6 Summit in Denver is free to attend and is organized by the Rocky Mountain IPv6 task force (

The presentation is now available Here.

More large allocations to Asia


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The combined burnrate of IP-addresses has been very low for a while. The RIR that is burning the most addresses right now is APNIC. During the last few days they have allocated some large blocks from the 110/8 network:

  • Telstra in Australia got 500k IPv4 addresses
  • Athome in Japan got 500k IPv4 addresses
  • Telekomnet in Indonesia got 250k IPv4 addresses

APNIC will most certain request more space from IANA during this week (they have likely already requested 2 blocks and are just waiting for approval).

Burnrate, China TieTongs /11


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During the last weeks, the total burn rate of addresses has been low. Only around 0.5 blocks per month has been allocated from all the RIRs. This can be compared to the normal burnrate of about 0.92 blocks per month. The low burnrate is because very few large allocations have been made by any RIR. This changed today when APNIC allocated a /11 (or about 2 million addresses) to China TieTong Telecommunications Corporation. The allocation bumped the burn rate to 0.68 and brings the APNICs pool of free addresses down to 1.78 of a /8. My models indicate that we can expect a new allocation of two blocks from IANA to APNIC very soon.

The IPv4 Depletion dashboard


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Please check out the new visual IPv4 depletion dashboard by clicking on the tab above. The dashboard is an effort to provide a short but concise overview over the current status of the IPv4 address pools. The dashboard is still in beta, I will add details of what every gauge represents. Please provide comments and suggestions.
- Stephan