Alan Spicer’s Comments: The meltdown of the Internet has been joked about for years. I was quoted back in the 90’s of making such a crack (joke) while working for a small ISP in South Florida. I’ve been writing articles recently on the current IP Addresses Running Out situation (IPv4) and the coming of IPv6. For the most part going forward into IPv6 is going to be seemless for most people. The Operating Systems like Windows, Mac, Unix, Linux – already have the support for it. And the Internet backbone systems also have it. “The Last Mile” as with anything in Telecom is always the problem. The connection to your home or business (your ISP) will have to switch you over one day soon. And a lot of end users might end up having to toss their routers out and get new ones that support IPv6 functionality both towards the Internet and towards their inside premises network (Local Area Network, or LAN.)
I really don’t think that users that get switched to IPv6 will have trouble getting to any web sites IPv4 or IPv6 nor do I think that anything will get “Black Holed” because the end users or the web sites didn’t switch yet. I think that The ISP and Backbone Routers will handled shuffling everyone across any such boundry just fine. That being said – IT and Networking guys – no doubt – need to be up on IPv6 … in other words knowledgeable and competent with it. This is why I have done my homework, and continue to do so, to be ready for any transition that my customers need.
So on to the article:
It is now a bit more than 18 years since Frank Kastenholtz first noticed that assignments of one class of IP addresses would soon outrun supply. This observation led the press to think that the Internet was running out of all IP addresses (it was not) and to the IETF initiating a process to develop a “next generation” Internet protocol that would have vastly more addresses so that it would, in theory, never run out.
A lot of things have changed in the Internet since 1992 but, finally, we are approaching the time when there will be no new IP addresses to assign to new Internet users. At least there will be no more of the kind of addresses the Internet has been using for most of its existence.
Kastenholtz’s observation led the IETF to develop IP version 6 (IPv6). It also led the IETF to recommend changing the way IP addresses were assigned to be more conservative of address space. Kastenholtz, along with other researchers, predicted in 1994 that we would run out of IP version 4 addresses in 2008 plus or minus three years. That prediction turns out to be quite good — the current prediction is that the repository of IPv4 addresses will run out next June (right at 2008+3) and the regional IP address registries will run out less than a year later.
The lack of IPv4 addresses to assign does not mean that the Internet will stop working or growing. Organizations that have unused IPv4 addresses will be able to transfer them to organizations that need addresses. But IPv4 addresses will become harder, and more expensive, to get. The better long-term solution is to migrate to IPv6.
Major operating systems and equipment vendors already support IPv6 but there are not all that many IPv6-enabled Internet sites or service providers in the United States. That is slowly changing. Google, Faceboo and other big service providers are bringing up IPv6 sites and some of the large ISPs can transport IPv6. My own site is not yet on IPv6 although my Mac-based systems have supported IPv6 for years. My ISP (Comcast) only recently started IPv6 trials. I expect to be IPv6-connected as soon as Comcast rolls out the service.
If you work for a company that has an Internet presence you should be thinking about bringing up your Web sites on IPv6, as well as IPv4, so that future IPv6-only customers will be able to access your services.
(More at the link above.)
Alan Spicer Marine Telecom
http://www.marinetelecom.net and http://www.wifiyacht.net
communications @ marinetelecom.net