The IPv4 situation is already known to geeks everywhere. This is the protocol version that has been used by IP networks everywhere since the year dot (approximately). The number of IPv4 addresses the world can use is fixed because these addresses use 4 Bytes of data. The growth in IP networks everywhere is consuming IPv4 addresses at lightning speed.
This is not new news but we are now getting very close to where the addresses run out. Fear not. We will all move onto IPv6 which uses 16Bytes per address. Timico has an allocation of 158,456,325,028,528,675,187,087,900,672 IPv6 addresses for its customers’ use – so plenty of room for growth there.
The industry isn’t quite ready to make the move yet – certainly not in Europe and North America. However the time is rapidly coming where action will have to be taken. This link to potaroo.net has a neat illustration of how much time we have left – currently 788 days according to their site.
Another interesting site is cidr-report.org which shows you the number of discrete networks that make up the internet. As the number of these networks grow an Internet Service Provider needs to add links into each new network as it comes online. Fortunately this happens automatically.
Finally another good read is the map of the internet from xkcd.com. There is an element of needing to understand what you are looking at but even for the layman it looks quite interesting (I think so anyway).
The end may well be nigh but don’t worry we are not doomed!