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Michael Hayes CTO B-4-U Inc.: DEFCON 2010 – So the Aztecs got it right 2012 is the End of the World

August 2010 by Marc Jacob

So the Aztecs got it right 2012 is the End of the World as we know it. Well not wanting the world to end, we need to talk about the transition from IPv4 to IPv6. What is making this so critical? The answer is address space; we are quickly running out of IPv4 address spaces in a world that still has the Internet growing at an incredible pace.

The American Registry for Internet Numbers (ARIN) predicts that we have an adequate supply of address to last us until mid 2011, but somewhere between the summer of 2011, and the beginning of 2012, there will be a real shortage. To help us understand this better, some basic facts from John Curran, the President and CEO of ARIN: “Internet Protocol version 4 (IPv4, or just “IP”):
1. First developed for the original Internet (ARPANET) in spring 1978.
2. Deployed globally with the growth of the Internet.
3. Total of 4 billion IP addresses available.
4. Well entrenched and used by every ISP and hosting company.
5. Connects customers to the Internet.
6. Allocated based on documented need.

Internet Protocol version 6 (IPv6):
1. Design started in 1993 when IETF forecasts showed IPv4 addressed would be exhausted between 2010 and 2017.
2. Completed, tested, and available for production since 1999.
3. Total of 340,282,366,920,938,463,463,374,607,431,768,211,456 IP addresses available, lots of growth potential”.

So what’s the problem? Ipv4 is down to its last 6.25% of addresses, with an average of 5% consumption of addresses a year. This clearly gives us 12 months as of June 2010, before some sort of rationing takes place of the last 1.25% of internet address across the world. The impact to the public may be only another 6 months later, landing us in mid 2012, when consumers and businesses, will have their hands out with no addresses to give.

Source: ARIN DEFON 2010

So what do I care as an Executive and as a Technical prime in a corporation, or even more so what do I care as an average consumer. The key from a revenue perspective is that somewhere in the next 18 to 24 months I may have a customer, who cannot join me in internet ecommerce at my Web site; this customer may be a small individual or a large customer. The reasons they may not be able to reach me may be as simple as I am hidden by a tunnel ling, due to my carriers double “Nat ting” of my internet traffic, or a carrier cannot supply an address for them to join in internet commerce.

So what is the bottom line, John Curran stated:

• We’re running out of IPv4 address space now.

• IPv6 must be adopted for continued Internet growth.

• IPv6 is not backwards compatible with IPv4.

• We must maintain IPv4 and IPv6 simultaneously for many years (Double Stack), ten plus.

• IPv6 deployment has begun now.

This means like Y2K, the world is not ending, but preparation is needed to begin now. The good news is IPv4 and IPv6, function the same, and many of the appliance, routers and firewalls are IPv6 ready today. We will need to start obtaining our own IPv6 addresses from carriers or ARIN soon, so we can put it in our labs and start transitioning our organizations over the next 18 to 24 months. Of course the issue will be the Applications, those 100’s of functions that so enrich the internet, logging activity, providing information on who is visiting our web site, and allowing technicians to trouble shoot the network or customer. Our challenge will be to harness this group of applications and plan our transition and not wait for the Big Bang. Vice President Gore may have designed created the internet , but why did he wait so long to tell us he created a major addressing problem, when he did it.

Contact Michael Hayes
(+1) 214 315 5607

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