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Whatever happened to the IPv4 address crisis?

Lee Schlesinger | Feb. 18, 2014
Unallocated IPv4 address blocks are gone forever. However, carriers still have IPv4 addresses available for allocation, so IPv4 addresses will remain in use for some time to come.

Over the entire network ecosystem, including carrier hardware and networks, CDNs, corporate networks, home electronics, mobile devices, and content providers, there is steady progress in IPv6 implementation.

Bottom line
Unallocated IPv4 address blocks are gone forever. However, carriers still have IPv4 addresses available for allocation, so IPv4 addresses will remain in use for some time to come. And though there may be no immediate crisis for service providers, businesses, or customers, there is steady pressure to enable IPv6 in every segment of the network ecosystem as the best way to address IPv4 address scarcity.

No one seems willing to predict a date by which the last IPv4 packet will traverse the Internet backbone, but we are seeing clear progress toward IPv6 critical mass in the form of dual-stack implementations in enterprise, mobile, and home-based devices and operating systems.

Once it becomes clear we've reached an inflection point, when service and content providers can count on dual-stack users, and users can count on the availability of IPv6-enabled content, the pace of adoption should quicken. Just as no one needs to be the first to support IPv6, no one wants to be last either.

The reality is, Roberts says, "It takes a while to transition. After all this is done it would be a great graduate thesis for someone to see why it has taken so long."

 

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