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Net "out of IPv4 addresses by 2011" says Cerf

IPv6 will provide enough space for the cosmos. Or China
Fri Aug 31 2007, 20:43
LAST WEEK Google's Internet Evangelist and co-creator of the TCP/IP protocol told a packed auditorium at the University of Buenos Aires that the Net as we know it will run out of spare IPv4 addresses by 2011.

His talk, dubbed "tracking the Internet in the 21st Century" told colourful tales on how the Net was born out of the need to integrate three different networks, including a 400 Kbps packet radio network in San Francisco.

Cerf during Q&A session at Univ. of Buenos Aires

Mobile is the future
Vinton Cerf showed off his Blackberry - wake up Palm, you're losing all the mind share to the BB - and said that the Net's biggest expansion -and the biggest challenge will be moving into the mobile territory which Cerf sees as a way to also reach those who don't have or need a PC. Indexing geographical information will also be very important as more and more people start carrying around devices with Internet connectivity, he said.

Cerf shows off his BlackBerry

The coming migration to IPv6
But as more devices get online, there's also the problem of the coming IPv4 numbers shortage. Cerf said that by 2001 the will be no more spare IP addresses to use on the "IP version four" address space. He jokingly said that this problem was caused because when he started, he thought the Net was an experiment, but that not in his wildest dreams could he have imagined that "the experiment would last forever".

He said, however, that migration to IPv6 will proceed smoothly and that the 128-bit addressing used by IPv6 - in contrast to 32-bit in IPv4 - will provide enough addresses this time -although he'll never again do a sure bet on it because after saying IPv6 will provide enough addresses so "every electron in the universe" could have its own web page, a scientist wrote him a nasty letter correcting his figures and assumptions.

Other sources put the "exhaustion" date in mid-2010, depending on "gouging" of IPv4 land as the "D-day" approaches. In any case, chances are that your home router and broadband modem will have to be upgraded, specially if the manufacturer has EOL'd it, which will also mean lots of new e-waste and junk. But hey, when there's a crisis there's a business opportunity to flog new kit. Remember Y2K?µ

A Looming Shortage of IP Addresses
[Wikipedia] IPv4 address exhaustion
Lockeed Martin follows US govt in move to IPv6
The return of the IPv4 shortage

VIDEO: Cerf's 'Tracking the Int..' keynote in UC San Diego' (1h:05m)
Vinton Cerf, TCP/IP co-designer

See Also
Home broadband customers are crippled, Vint Cerf reckons
Google fires off warning to US telcos
Cerf asks for telco curbs
Earthlink releases hacked firmware for Linksys routers with IPv6
under GPL license


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