How long before we run out of IP addresses

How long before the IP V4 Internet Addresses run outIn a recent report published at ReadWriteWeb.com, it was predicted that we will reach IP address exhaustion for IP addresses in version 4 format by next year (2011). The announcement came from Chief of ARIN (American Registry for Internet  Numbers - An organization responsible for distribution of Internet Addresses in North America). A massive growth in distributed computing architecture and exponential growth in volume of data due to social networking sites is a prime reason why we are reaching towards the 4 Billion IP addresses limit provided by the IP Version 4 format.

Why IP V4 is running out of IP addresses ?

IP Version 4 is the most prevalent format in networking, with 94% of major telecoms providers using this as their primary protocol. This threat had loomed over since the mid 80's , however the introduction of technologies such as NAT had mitigated the risk and slowed down the growth of IP addresses needed. Every public domain name and Internet enabled device that you see communicates using IP addresses and now we have so many public facing domains and devices that we are simply at the brink of reaching the limit.

So what happens when we do run out of IP addresses ?

To resolve the problem the next version of Internet Protocol (IP Version 6) was introduced, which can provide almost a limitless supply of IP addresses for the foreseeable future. However, the problem is that most Internet Service Providers are still not compliant and are not providing IP V6 services. In home and business computing environments, current operating systems such as Windows Seven are already providing users with IP V6 as the default protocol along with IP V4. This is why when you ping a WIndows Seven machine from a Windows Seven machine, you get your ping replies back in V6 format (See our article about Windows Seven and IPV6)

Move towards IP Version 6

A lot of big providers and service vendors such as Google, FaceBook etc are already offering V6 connectivity. You can check if your ISP is providing you with IP V6 facility by going to http://v6.google.com , if the page loads, you are well ahead of the curve :).

Do share your thoughts about the migration to IP V6 and if your corporations or work places are thinking about incorporating this functionality in !