This week APNIC delegated their last IPv4 address the conventional way. The remaining pool of IPv4 addresses in the APNIC region will be delegated in small chunks of 1024 addresses. There is in other words nothing left other than breadcrumbs in this region.
In contradiction to my very exact estimate of the IANA depletion date, my tool and the mathematics I have been using failed to predict the APNIC depletion date with good accuracy. The algorithms that I have been using were not very good at predicting how an over 300% increase in demand over the last 2 months affected the depletion date. I would have been better off just using a linear algorithm with the last 2 months of demand as my input.
I must say that I was very surprised how quickly the APNIC pool got depleted. It appears that a “rush to the bank” happened once the members in the region realized that they might not get any additional IPv4 addresses. As the graph below indicates, the APNIC average burn rate went from slightly below 400,000 IPv4 addresses per day prior to the IANA exhaustion to almost 1.2 million IPv4 addresses per day after the IANA pool was depleted.
The current burn rates and the sizes of the RIR pools suggest that RIPE will be the next registrar to run out of free IPv4 addresses. RIPE have had a quite modest burn rate of about 150,000 addresses per day over the last year. The peak in the graph below in November is from when both Orange and T-mobile in the UK allocated 2 million addresses each (T-mobile and Orange actually merged their UK operations, so it is somewhat strange that they both could get 2 million addresses at the same day, but that is another story).
A linear extrapolation based on the RIPE burn rate and pool size suggests that RIPE would run out of IPv4 addresses in May of next year. There is currently no indication of a “rush to the bank” in the RIPE region. The current burn rate is actually slower than the yearly average.
Modeling RIPE based on APNIC
We know that the demand in APNIC increased substantially when it was apparent that they would be the first RIR to be depleted. If RIPE is experiencing the same type of rush, when would then RIPE get depleted? Let’s do the math:
RIPE has 4.27 x /8 addresses left in their pool. This equals about 71,650,000 addresses.
The one year average burn rate in the RIPE region has been around 150,000 addresses per day. The rush experienced in APNIC increased the demand by 3.08 times. A similar increase in demand would get RIPE to a burn rate of 460,000 addresses per day. With such burn rate, RIPE would only be able to honor delegation requests for another 156 days.
Based on the calculations above, the RIPE depletion date could be as early as 19th September 2011.
The wildcard in this calculation is of course if “RIR shopping” will become popular. The fear is that members of other regions will start allocating addresses in regions with remaining IPv4 addresses. If this will become a reality, we could see an even earlier RIPE depletion date.