Tag Archive for arpageddon

IPv4 Address Grey Market Emerges

IPv4 Address Grey Market Emerges

The UK’s Register reports that depletion of the world’s IPv4 address space is spawning a new development in the Internet address space, IPv4 address trading. According to the Register,  German Phython developer Martin von Loewis launched a site called Tradipv4.com in March. The site is offering IPv4 addresses for $3 for v4 addresses in American Registry for Internet Numbers (ARIN)  and $4 for those in the Asia Pacific Network Information Center (APNIC) region.

TradeIPv4IPv4 address trading, however, is still a grey market idea now. FireceTelecom reports that to make sure that unmanaged address transfers don’t compromise network operations or security, the Internet Society (ISOC) said that buyers and sellers should make sure any “transfers be affected per appropriate Regional Internet Registry (RIR) processes.” Citing its own estimate of prices reaching $11 per address, ISOC said, “We strongly urge that such transfers be affected per appropriate RIR processes.” Unmanaged address transfers will undermine network operations, and it could raise security issues since anonymous address spaces can be spoofed according to ISOC.

On their FAQ page, Tradeip4.com says its auctions can cover both the sale and lease of addresses, subject to RIR policies. Some of these policies, the site notes, have grey areas. For example, APNIC policy aims to discourage address transfer by applying what amounts to a 12 month embargo on the originating party receiving new addresses. However, Tradeip4.com dismisses this as irrelevant, since APNIC’s space is exhausted and no new blocks are being assigned according to FierceTelecom. Despite these concerns, Tradeip4.com, maintains that it can sell and lease IPv4 addresses and maintains that it follows RIR policies.

Internet Society logoThis is not just a SMB issue Microsoft (MSFT),  recently bought Nortel‘s IPv4 addresses (Which I wrote about here). Craig Labovitz, Chief Scientist for network security vendor Arbor Networks, told FierceTelecom that Nortel’s deal with Microsoft reflects how IPv4 depletion is becoming a more pressing issue, now that IPv4 is a scarce resource.

IPv4 addresses have not been a scarce resource and no one has had to pay more, but what really is starting to change is Microsoft spending money to buy Nortel’s IPv4 address space.  For the first time, there’s now a price associated with V4, and one you have a price you start having providers charge for it and start seeing people having a reason to care.

The Register article notes that the Canadian government, via its Industry Canada department, is also against the trade of IPv4 addresses, and it has weighed in on the sale of Nortel’s addresses to Microsoft. In a letter discussed on CircleID, Industry Canada expressed its support for the long-standing position that addresses are not property and therefore cannot be traded.


I see several problems with the  IPv4 grey market. Trading in IPv4 is just another sign of resistance to IPv6. Firms with a global view have to realize that reallocation of a handful of  IPv4 will not make a difference in an IPv6 world. Another issue could be the routability of an IPv4 address originally assigned to APIC and traded on the grey-market to RIPE. Right now there is no guarantee that these type of addresses will be recognized. There are also political issues, the Canadian government opposes the IP grey-market. Industry Canada has expressed its support for the long-standing position that addresses are not property and therefore cannot be traded.

The ISOC says IPv4 addresses are worth $11.00, MSFT paid $11.25 and ARIN addresses are currently (04-30-11) trading $7.00 per IP. on tradeipv4.com so MSFT appears to have overpaid for the Nortel address range. The bigger issue is the change in nature of an IP address.

What do you think?

Are grey market IPv4 addresses worth it?

Has your firm started its transition to IPv6?

Ralph Bach has been in IT for fifteen years and has blogged from his Bach Seat about IT, careers and anything else that catches his attention since 2005. You can follow me at Facebook and Twitter. Email the Bach Seat here.

Asia out of IPv4 addresses

IPv6The Asia Pacific Network Information Center (APNIC) has run out of all but a handful of IPv4 addresses that it is holding in reserve for start-up network operators. APNIC is the first of the Internet’s five regional Internet registries to deplete its free pool of IPv4 address space according to reports from Networks Asia. (I wrote about China’s IPv4 struggles here.)

ChinaAPNIC’s news is another sign that CIOs and other IT executives need to begin migrating to IPv6.”For anybody who hasn’t figured out that it’s time to do IPv6, this is another wake-up call for them,”  Owen DeLong, an IPv6 evangelist at Hurricane Electric and a member of the board of ARIN told Networks Asia. Any CIO who isn’t planning for IPv6 is “driving toward a brick wall and closing your eyes and hoping that it’s going to disappear before you get there,” Mr. DeLong says ignoring IPv6 “is not the best strategy.”

Paul Wilson, Director General of APNIC tells Networks Asia that , if a business is thinking of doing on the Internet, they need to have a plan to transition to IPv6 in place. “If you want to do business with China in the future for example, you will be to be on IPv6 or you won’t be able to reach your customers,” Mr. Wilson said.

Scott and Spock work on IPv6

The router is here Spock

The Asia-Pacific region has been gobbling up the most IPv4 address space in recent years; APNIC has apparently distributed more than 32 million IPv4 addresses to network operators in this region in the last two months alone. APNIC has depleted its IPv4 address space “dramatically faster than people expected,” Mr. DeLong says. “My guess is that a lot of operators in the Asia-Pacific region realized the time of IPv4 depletion was drawing near and they rushed to get their applications in.” But countries in the region are doing well with their IPv6 transition plans Mr. Wilson said.

But counties with developing markets also had the advantage where they could leapfrog any potential problems and move straight to greenfield IPv6 infrastructure Wilson said. APNIC is holding 16.7 million IPv4 addresses (a /8 in network engineering terms) in reserve to distribute in tiny allotments of around 1,000 addresses each to new and emerging IPv6-based networks so they can continue to communicate with the largely IPv4-based Internet infrastructure.

RIPE [the European Internet registry] is going to be the next one to run out. I wouldn’t count on them making it until July[2011],” DeLong says. “I think ARIN (which doles out IPv4 and IPv6 address space to companies operating in North America,)  will make it to the end of this year; maybe we’ll run out in October or November[2011].”

According to Mr. Wilson the move to IPv6 should be the last we will experience. “We should be afraid of a situation where we exhaust IPv6. If the move from Ipv4 was difficult, the next will be a disaster,” he said.


The regional Internet registries will have handed out most IPv4 address space by the end of 2011. Lots of organizations need to get on their transition plan. I have noted the need for IPv6 planning here, here and here.

What do you think?

Is IPv6 a real topic in your organization?

Has your organization even formed a team to discuss IPv6 addresses?

IPv4 Address Worth $11.25

IPv6Now that the last IPv4 addresses are gone, the Internet numbers are increasing in value. Microsoft is spending $7.5 million for 666,625 IPv4 addresses from Nortel (NRTLQ). As Google (GOOG) and Apple (AAPL) fight over Nortel’s 4G bones (which I noted earlier), DownloadSquad reports that Microsoft (MSFT) jumped all over Nortel’s stash of IPv4 addresses when they became available for purchase through bankruptcy proceedings.

NortelMicrosoft ponied up $7.5 million for the Nortel pool, which works out to $11.25 per IP address. There were 13 other interested buyers, but only Microsoft and three others actually submitted bids according to DownloadSquad. With the last block of IPv4 addresses already issued (which I wrote about when it happened), snatching up over 666,000 IPv4 addresses in one fell swoop is a smart move by Microsoft.


Steve BallmerCould Ballmer‘s boys be planning a cloud based IPv6 <–> IPv4 transition service?

Are they trying jump-start an IPv4 address space underground economy?

Like the authors say, we’ll just have to wait and see.

What do you think?

What is Redmond up to?

Ralph Bach has been in IT for fifteen years and has blogged from his Bach Seat about IT, careers and anything else that catches his attention since 2005. You can follow me at Facebook and Twitter. Email the Bach Seat here.

The IPocalypse is Nigh

ipv6forumThe IPocalypse will cause users with improperly configured computers to experience slowdowns, timeouts or other connectivity issues when the Internet moves to the IPv6 protocol unless they are ready. To see if you are ready to endure the IPocalypse ghacks points us to IPv6-Test.com.  The site has an Open Source script that runs using JavaScript. Just visit the website click and wait until the test has finished. The IPv6 test runs a series of tests including the browser’s IPv4 and IPv6 capabilities, IPv4 and IPv6 connectivity with and without DNS records and a test that checks if the ISP’s DNS server uses IPv6.

Don't PanicAccording to ghacks the most important test for users to run  is the dual stack test. There will be a transition period where websites and services can be reached via IPv4 or IPv6. The user’s computer needs to pick one of the protocols and use it for the connection which means that devices that only support IPv4 at this time can still connect to the websites. Connectivity issues occur if this is broken.

Major services and websites will switch to IPv6 for a 24 hour period on World IPv6 day on June 8. Among them Google, Facebook and Yahoo. That’s where the dual stack DNS record support can be tested in a life environment.

Is this really the IPocalypse or just marketing hype?
Have you tested your connection?

This gadget has been developed by Takashi Arano, Intec NetCore

Ralph Bach has been in IT for fifteen years and has blogged from his Bach Seat about IT, careers and anything else that catches his attention since 2005. You can follow me at Facebook and Twitter. Email the Bach Seat here.

U.S. Running Out Of IP Addresses

InformationWeek says IPv4 addresses will run out by the end of 2011. The plethora of mobile devices and an increase in Internet services to the home have led to a shortage of Internet addresses, which could run out by the end of 2011 according to InformationWeek. “We now face an exhaustion of IPv4 addresses,” Lawrence Strickling, administrator of the U.S. National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA), said in the meeting, Reuters reported.  There’s only room for 4.3 billion IP addresses and the U.S. owns more than 90 percent of public IP addresses globally. The U.S. has used about 94.5 percent of it’s public IP addresses.

DONT PANICThe recent surge in tablet computers like the Apple iPad and Research in Motion Blackberry smartphones are depleting the supply of available addresses.  The remaining 5.5 percent of the IPv4 addresses will be distributed among the Regional Internet Registries by next summer Reuters reported. New IP-based technologies such as LTE and WiMax have also contributed to the dwindling number of IPv4 addresses. M2M devices and smart technologies in consumer products like refrigerators, dishwashers and vehicles also decrease the number of addresses available. “Fortunately, IPv6 will support 340 trillion, trillion, trillion addresses,” Strickling is  quoted in Reuters, and appealed to businesses to widely roll out and integrate IPv6.

The reason is that IPv6 is a much longer address, but it makes up a lot more possible numbers, said Todd Day, industry analyst, Mobile & Wireless Communications, Frost & Sullivan. “It’s similar to a phone number with many digits, so it’s like having a longer phone number.” Switching to IPv6 could be costly for businesses and the technology might not integrate well with what they are using. “Ultimately you have equipment that has to be replaced in order to support IPv6, you have software changes and upgrades in other pieces of equipment and testing and actual implementation costs,” Day said.

In spite of the challenges, the new protocol has its advantages, he said. “There are definitely a lot of benefits to IPv6,” Day said. “In the bigger picture it allows for more security, video and voice streaming and better quality of service.”


This is not a U.S. specific problem as InformationWeek would have their readers believe. This is a world-wide problem. John Curran President and CEO of ARIN pointed out in the article, “some other countries have already set their IPv4 depletion / IPv6 adoption plans.” Of course not in the US, there are so many other important issues to for the Feds to worry about, like the noise level of TV commercials.

This gadget has been developed by Takashi Arano, Intec NetCore

Ralph Bach has been in IT for fifteen years and has blogged from his Bach Seat about IT, careers and anything else that catches his attention since 2005. You can follow me at Facebook and Twitter. Email the Bach Seat here.