Friday, 26 September 2008

IP addresses to run out by 2010?

Thirty-one years after the first internet protocol structure was put in place, the internet is in danger of running out of IP addresses – at least according to Google’s chief internet evangelist Vint Cerf. The man often referred to as “the father of the internet” recently talked up the next-gen IP addressing scheme, IPv6, and the need for a transition from the current IPv4.

According to Cerf, out of the 4.2 billion possible IP addresses, there are only around 600 million left. While that may sound like an awful lot, with the amount of expected mobile devices logging onto the internet, he predicts that we will run out of IP addresses within the next year or two. As alarmist as that may sound, the fact remains that IPv6 has been ready for a decade but it has yet to take off in many portions of the world. IPV6 can provide up to 2^128 addresses (340 trillion trillion trillion), and Cerf is urging ISPs to inform customers of the upcoming switchover.