[LINK] millions of Internet addresses allocated but remain unused

Karl Auer kauer at biplane.com.au
Mon Oct 20 16:53:56 EST 2008

On Wed, 2008-10-15 at 20:05 +0200, Kim Holburn wrote:
> http://www.technologyreview.com/web/21528/
> > "People are very concerned that the IPv4 address space is very close  
> > to being exhausted," says John Heidemann, a research associate  
> > professor in the department of computer science at the University of  
> > Southern California (USC) and the paper's lead author. "Our data  
> > suggests that maybe there are better things we should be doing in  
> > managing the IPv4 address space."

It's hard to tell whether the actual researchers are incompetent, but
the article itself was very misleading. For a start, allocations have
not been classful for years. And millions of addresses will stay "dark"
*by design* - you can't reasonably squeeze every address out of any
allocation. The pain is noticeable at 50% utilisation and extreme by
about 80%. Seen that way, and in admittedly extremely broad terms, the 4
billion addresses we have are really only 2-3 billion anyway. The
smaller we slice and dice the space, the more of it we waste. Not to
mention the processing power, routing table space and administrative
overhead (people) that it takes to manage all those teeny weeny subnets.

The basic premise of the article, though unarticulated, was that we
could solve the address scarcity problem, or at least delay the crunch,
if we could only recover those hidden/wasted/underutilised addresses.
This is not true. There are not enough IPv4 addresses now, there have
been too few for most of a decade, and there is no way *at all* that the
needs of the networked world can be shoehorned into the ill-fitting clog
that IPv4 has become. Doubly so with NAT, our erstwhile saviour, gumming
up the works.

Regards, K.

Karl Auer (kauer at biplane.com.au)                   +61-2-64957160 (h)
http://www.biplane.com.au/~kauer/                  +61-428-957160 (mob)

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