Skip to main content

Internet Addresses: An Inevitable Shortage, but an Uneven One


As Internet authorities prepare to announce that they have handed over all of the available addresses, a USC research group that monitors address usage has completed the latest in its series of Internet censuses.There is some good news, according to computer scientist John Heideman, who heads a team at the USC Viterbi School of Engineering Information Sciences Institute that has just released its results in the form of a detailed outline, including a 10-minute video and an interactive web browser that allows users to explore the nooks and crannies of Internet space themselvesHeidemann who is a senior project leader at ISI and a research associate professor in the USC Viterbi School of Engineering Department of Computer Science, says his group has found that while some of the already allocated address blocks (units of Internet real estate, ranging from 256 to more than 16 million addresses) are heavily used, many are still sparsely used. "Even allowing for undercount," the group finds, "probably only 14 percent of addresses are visible on the public Internet."

Nevertheless, "as full allocation happens, there will be pressure to improve utilization and eventually trade underutilized areas," the video shows. These strategies have limits, the report notes. Better utilization, trading, and other strategies can recover "twice or four times current utilization. But requests for address double every year, so trading will only help for two years. Four billion addresses are just not enough for 7 billion people."

The IPv6 protocol allows many, many more addresses -- 1000 1000 trillion -- but may involve transition costs.

Heideman's group report comes as the Number Resource Organization (NRO) and he Internet Assigned Numbers Authority (IANA) are preparing to make an announcement saying they have given out all the addresses, passing on most to regional authorities.

The ISI video offers a thorough background in the hows and whys of the current IPv4 Internet address system, in which each address is a number between zero and 2 to the 32nd power (4,294,967,295), usually written in "dotted-decimal notation" as four base-10 numbers separated by periods.

Heidemann, working with collaborator Yuri Pradkin and ISI colleagues, produced an earlier Internet census in 2007, following on previous work at ISI -- the first complete census since 1982. To do it, they sent a message ('ping') each to each possible Internet address. The video explains the pinging process.

At the time, some 2.8 million of the 4.3 million possible addresses had been allocated; today more than 3.5 million are allocated. The current effort, funded by Department of Homeland Security Science and Technology Directorate and the NSF, was carried out by Aniruddh Rao and Xue Cui of ISI, along with Heidemann. Peer-reviewed analysis of their approach appeared in ACM Internet Measurements Conference, ”

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Top 5 Women Who Impacted Technology in 2010

Katie Stanton, International Strategist for Twitter Katie Stanton has impressively long names of companies in her resume. They include the White House, Google Inc, and her latest addition is Twitter. Her remit is working on Twitter’s international strategy and her experience in social media will be a key asset to the company. Katie has a history of working in technology, and her knowledge of departmental laws will help Twitter work alongside government agencies, as she’ll be spearheading the free information approach, especially after the Wikileaks incident. Stanton has been a key player in the techsphere for some time, and this extends to her private life. Following the Haiti disaster she worked with a group of engineers to create a free texting service to help those in need and she is constantly in demand as an expert in both social media and government policy.
Caterina Fake, Co-Founder of Flickr and Hunch Despite having a surname which sounds like a pseudonym for a spy (it’…

AT&T MiFi 2372 review

In the week or so that I have been testing the AT&T MiFi 2372 by Novatel Wireless, it has already saved no less than three lives. First, it saved my cable guy’s life. You see, Time Warner Cable provides the worst home Internet service I have ever experienced. I can’t even think of a close second. If providing terrible home Internet service was a sport, Time Warner Cable would be on its tenth consecutive undefeated season. Forget the fact that my upload speed is capped at 60Kbps and I’m lucky if I can get half that — it has been months since I’ve gone through a full day without at least one service interruption. Months. Unfortunately, Time Warner Cable has an exclusive contract with my building so I have no choice but to endure its abysmal service. Last week, as a Time Warner Cable technician entered my home for the sixth time in two months, I realized that this certainly would have spelled serious trouble had it not been for my trusty new back up device. Before the Mi…

Evolution Of Computer Virus [infographic]