On Friday 14th September, RIPE announced that it had allocated the last address blocks from its available IPv4 address pool. No more IPv4 addresses are available to be allocated under the old policies.
This is a momentous occasion for the Internet community residing in the region covered by RIPE. No longer will it be relatively easy to obtain IPv4 address space. Today the largest IPv4 address space an organisation can obtain from RIPE is a final allocation of 1024 addresses (a /22). For organisations that consume large numbers of addresses or those who wish to deploy new IPv4 based services this has very serious implications.
The solution is IPv6 with its vast address space. With IPv6 there will be no shortage of addresses. All of the problems we have in IPv4 that result from the address space limitations will cease to exist.
Unfortunately, today’s Internet is still largely based on legacy IPv4 and many services and clients are not yet IPv6 enabled. This means that there will still be a need for IPv4 connectivity for the foreseeable future. That means an on-going need for IPv4 addresses. This will impact some organisations more than others. There will be winners and losers. Those with IPv4 address space will have an advantage over those without. Those that consume few IPv4 addresses will find it easier than those in businesses that consume large volumes.
This announcement should be a call to all organisations to review their IPv6 deployment plans and to prepare for the future of an Internet based on a mix of legacy IPv4 services and IPv6 services.
September 18th, 2012