Six days to IPv6 Day; I couldn't care less

World IPv6 Day logo

It's World IPv6 Day next week: Wednesday, so just six days to go. Is it important to enterprises? Perhaps, but not for the reason most people believe. We're told that addresses are running out fast, but that's not really true. Let's think about this, in The Long View...

Conventional wisdom has it that the sky is falling and we're running out of IP addresses. That's why, the reasoning goes, we need to rush to switch to IPv6. To hear some people talk, you'd think we've already run out of IPv4 addresses -- back in February. But those saying that either don't understand how regional Internet registry (RIR) allocations work, or are deliberately being confusing, to try and scare us into "action". Other estimates have it that we're going to run out of IPv4 addresses in a year or two, once the RIRs run out of their assigned address space. However, a moment's critical thought tells me that's also pure bunkum. No, the sky's not falling. We still have plenty of time to gradually overhaul our computers and networking gear with IPv6-capable replacements -- without breaking the normal equipment replacement budget.

Read on...

Just buy some more addresses. We've already seen the emergence of an aftermarket for IPv4 addresses. It should have been clear that there's no immediate danger since March, when Microsoft bought a block of IP addresses from Nortel at $11.25 each (the sale was legally approved in April). Indeed, Microsoft was only one of around 80 bidders for interested parties in the Nortel asset -- part of a Chapter-11 bankruptcy fire sale.

Sure enough, the market has spoken. Several brokers have emerged, who will match-make organizations wishing to transfer unused IPv4 address space. Yes, in this realm, as in so many others, the market can step in and neatly solve this problem, without regulatory interference.

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