Engineer internet ipv6

Transfers of IPv4 Addresses from /8s Held by One Organization

Guest post on IPv4 Address market by Sandra Brown

sandra brownSome interesting insights into the IPv4 address market by Sandra Brown who has been working this space for a number of years now. Read on.

In 2011, as Nortel’s Director of Engineering I started the orchestration of the sale of Nortel’s  Over time this undertaking has resulted in the sale of approximately 85% of the /8.  Something that has been discussed in the ensuing six years, is how many other “organization” or “company” owned /8s might ultimately be sold.  IPv4 Market Group has examined the before and after records in the Regional Internet Registry (RIR) databases, in addition to the RIR transfer logs, to see how many of these /8s have moved.  All data being analyzed is publicly available.

As shown in Figure 1 below, there are 26 /8s that fall into the category of “organization” held.  In this inventory, we ignore /8 blocks held by the US Defense Organizations, because there is no indication that the US Government has any intention of moving them in the future.  We do include the UK Government’s two /8s, as we have seen past movement by the Department of Work and Pensions.   We also include the US Post Office, as it seems likely this organization might desire a few million extra dollars at some point.

ipv4 address market

Figure 1: List of 26 /8s – organization or company owned

We are seeing that 10 out of 26 entities have “sold” a portion of their company held /8.  These entities are shown in Figure 2 below.  As of May 9 2017, 1076 /16s have been sold from the aforementioned /8s.  This implies that approximately 16.2% of the 26 entity held /8s have been transferred.

ipv4 address market

Figure 2

Some of the transfers from these ranges, including other large transfers not from a /8, are shown in Figure 3 below.

ipv4 address market

Figure 3

There are notable points to be made:

  1. We know that approximately 16.2% of the 26 /8s have been transferred. This means that organizations are interested in monetization and that the trend should continue as prices rise. 
  2. Most of the transfers from the /8s have been large transfers of /13 to /10. Big block holders are not selling their /8s one /16 at a time! (this is leading to a shortage in the /16 market) 
  3. Can we predict how many of these /8s might still transfer? Those entities that have already sold some of their /8 range will probably continue to sell more over time.  While 42% of the 10 /8s have already been sold, perhaps another 40% will move in the next five years, totaling 1024 /16s moved from these entities. 
  4. What about the 16 /8 blocks from entities that have not yet sold a /16? We can speculate that some companies will never sell because they don’t need the money, and having the IPs is more of a strategic advantage than selling them.  Or, they might not sell because even though the IPs may be sparsely used, it would take more work than they are prepared to undertake to free the blocks for sale. These could be the reasons why Apple, HP, and IBM never sell. However, other /8s may be available.  We can scan the list and predict that at least six of these /8s will be partially sold in the near future.  If they sell half of their holdings, it would total another 768 /16s in the IPv4 transfer market. 
  5. Who is buying the large blocks? There are 14 different buyers shown in Figure 3  Two entities in particular, Microsoft and Amazon, have received large portions of the transferred IPs.  Microsoft has bought from 4 of the 10 sellers (CSC, DuPont, Xerox, DWP) and Amazon from 5 of the 10 (Merit, MIT, Xerox, DuPont, Merck). 
  6. Is there a market for the large blocks of the future? IPv6 is still years away from a critical mass and we continue to hear about the costs and headaches of its implementation.  As long as IPv4 is the “best” and cheapest solution, we will continue to see a market.  The question then becomes, “what is the expected price for these large blocks?”  We are already seeing $13 to $15 per IP for large holdings, most likely because they are so rare.  Is there a price point where buyers walk away?  Yes, of course, as we are seeing some companies refuse to pay the market price already.  Microsoft and Amazon have deep pockets, so it would be speculation to put a number on their maximum.

This analysis of the 26 single-owner /8s has shown that these large blocks are being transferred in large sub-allocations, and the /8s are not filling the /16 market.  Ten of the 26 have already done some selling, and we expect this trend to continue, to more than double the large block sales made so far.  The IPv4 Market has some legs still!

Sandra Brown, IPv4 Market Group

ecommerce Engineer internet ipv6

NANOG 66 is in San Diego by the sea @LONAP

NANOG 66 – bring your shorts

One of the downsides perhaps of being in the internet plumbing industry is that your Facebook timeline constantly fills up with people  off to conferences in exotic places. Even when they aren’t off to a meeting people are still off to exotic places as they spend their air miles. This week it’s NANOG 66  in San Diego.

San Diego is one of the nicest places you can choose to go to a conference. The other popular destination is Hawaii. I’ve done San Diego but not Hawaii. In fact I tend to avoid conferences that involve long haul travel these days because it’s hard enough submitting your body to a week of conference talks, corridor meetings and the follow on eating and drinking without throwing jet lag into the mix.

Out of curiosity I took a look at the NANOG Facebook group and the NANOG website. The first thing that hit me on Facebook was a comment that told me there were 1002 people signed up for the conference. That’s a lot of people. So many people that you have to figure out how to make the most of the fact that they are all there. The value in these meetings tends not to be in the actual conference material but in the people that attend.

This brings me to my second observation. The list of Platinum Sponsors, organisations that have paid $100,000 to sponsor the three events in the year, includes a business called Addrex. Addrex are an IP address broker. That’s a serious chunk of change they have invested in marketing by becoming a NANOG sponsor. It just goes to show how much money there must be in the IPv4 address game.

internet traffic growthI am more familiar with Sandra Brown and the IPv4 Market Group who very generously sponsored the LONAP dinner last month. LONAP usually sends a couple of people to the NANOG meetings because they are very good recruiting grounds for new members. Most of our big members have come on board as a result of relationships developed at such meetings.

If you are in NANOG this week do take the opportunity to look up Will Hargrave and Richard Irving who will be there representing us.

Business ipv6 Legal Net Regs

No matter who you vote for…

James Blessing discusses technology regulatory issues he sees that should be addressed by the next government.

Since we have a potential change of government coming up, it might be useful to see how well the current one has been doing in the telecoms and technology space and where the next one might repeat the same mistakes. These are the random scribblings of an individual, and not a position paper by ISPA or any company that I work for (though the are probably people in those organisations who agree with the sentiment).

There is a fine line that people in business need to tread when trying to get the government involved in something. Whilst there is often a space for government involvement, there is also some risk that they will try to dominate the process and move it from being a good idea to something that actually would have been better for all of us if they’d never been involved.

Let’s start with the biggest heffalump in the room, BDUK. Whilst the idea of government injecting funds into various projects to make sure the country’s infrastructure is the best in the world and no region gets left behind, most of the people in industry recognised that BT would win most (if not all) of the contracts. This isn’t because of the evil machinations of the government or BT (much though people would like to believe that) but rather because the “scheme” was designed by civil servants with a paranoia that Eurocrats would jump on any project that thought outside of the most convenient box.

The “good” news is that the third round of funding seems to be focusing on more creative solutions, but I fear for those communities that are going to be left with solutions that will leave them far behind their dense cousins in the cities. The bad news is that BT’s obsession with copper (which they have a lot of) rather than fibre (which they have a lot of too) seems to be continuing with In an ideal world, someone in government would recognise that fibre is the way forward, but it seems that only the smaller altnets are the ones who are delivering it.

Moving on from infrastructure, we have the fun that is monitoring and content. The two largest parties seem to have developed an unhealthy obsession with “out-nannying” each other (and many individuals in other parties have agreed with them on occasion). The last two governments have both tried (and failed for different reasons) to introduce widescale, automated watcher programmes that keep an eye on all internet activity using potential terrorism threat and “think of the children” as their rallying cries. If I were a betting man, then I’d put money that without the more liberal elements in the next government, we’ll see the same legislation in a new format raise its head over the parapet. It’s as if Sir Humphrey’s spirit lives long around the echelons of Whitehall.

Indeed, by using the “think of the children” approach, we also appear to channelling the late Mary Whitehouse in terms of restricting access to “objectionable content”. Whilst I agree that children shouldn’t be exposed to it, the approach being used where end users get no choice in the matter removes “parental” responsibility in terms of their own media, literacy and educational development; as well as teaching an entire generation to bypass security settings to get to the things they want to. For one, I pity the IT admins of the future, who have to deal with a generation who have been conditioned that the only way to source content is to bypass access control.

But what of looking forward? What should we be pushing our government (and politicians) to do from their ivory tower? Personally, I think it comes down to number of (relatively) simple steps that they could promote, and then leave the market/society to work out:

Education – So much promise has been shown with the Raspberry Pi and the maker community when it comes to what can be done when you set the mind free, but schools’ curricula have become so restricted to focusing on “now” and not encouraging “future”, that teachers are prevented from exploiting these developments purely for the ability to create. Not everyone wants to be a web developer, software designer or network engineer but letting kids run wild with technology is the only way new things happen. We need another generation of hackers – in the original sense of the word, meaning people who want to play around with things to find out how they work rather than emo kids who hang around in basements with green characters on a black screen. In fact we should probably just clone Tom –

Infrastructure – Many new different technologies are being predicted as being “just around the corner” (the cynic inside says that they’ve been just around the corner since the 80’s but hey…), the Internet of Things, Driverless Cars, 5G, 4K, TLAs, Virtual Reality, Distributed Energy – all of which will need underlying infrastructure to ship control data. Whilst there are frequently voices raised exclaiming that we’re in the top N countries in the world for XYZ, and that we should be proud to be there, surely we should be setting our sight and goals higher? Rather than settling for 25mbps to 90% of the country, we should be looking at delivering 1Gbps in the next 5 years to everyone, and then how we move from 1G to 10G 5 years later. We might decide we can’t quite make it on that time scale and lower the goals a bit, but, at the moment, we’re shooting too low. In 2000, broadband (when it was still called DSL) managed 512k maximum to less than 20% of the country, 10 years later the average was 5Mbps and the coverage was 71%. Our minimum goal should be 50mbps average by 2020, and to hit that, we should be pushing infrastructure capabilities and formats now!

IPv6 – Whilst the previous two are rather grand sweeping topics that need lots of things to happen and a longer period of time before we see the greatest benefits, rolling out IPv6 everywhere is a much more pressing issue. The IoT is going to consume vast amounts of address space, address space that we’ve already run out of. The security services are demanding traceability of end users, and more networks are hiding them as they cope with a lack of space. In both cases, deploying IPv6 now, where ever and when ever possible, will help. It’s painful to watch clever people come up with more and more crazy schemes to share address space when IPv6 would solve the problem. For politicians, this is a great thing to jump on, its easy to measure success and government involvement is pressure on organisations rather than central financial investment – just include it as a requirement in all government tenders (preferably pushed up to an EU level as well) and see how fast suppliers start adapting.

Open data – The other easy win, the data exists, people want the data – make it available. Okay, you’d lose some revenue from the postcode database but everyone’s life will be slightly better as there is no longer a reason not to include postcode lookup in applications (other than laziness, and we can let market forces deal with that). “Publish and be damned” I say, and its great to see already taking baby steps, but a change of government is an opportunity to push this issue forward at all levels.

And with that I’ll get my coat, take my soap box away and find another crowd to harangue.

James Blessing is currently CTO of Keycom PLC, a managed services provider. He has over twenty years of experience in internet technologies. Previously he was Strategic Relations Manager, EMEA at Limelight Networks, COO at Entanet, technical support manager and technical development manager at Zen Internet; senior project manager at Eunite; senior producer at Kiss102 and Kiss105; and a technical director at Net Nannies. James is also chairman of the trade body ISPA.

Other political week posts on

James Firth on why government should stop looking to big corporates for tech innovation
Gus Hosein on Data Protection Reform and Surveillance
The Julian Huppert crowd funding campaign here
Paul Bernal suggests government should hire advisers who know what they are doing
Domhnall Dods on Electronic Communications Code reform

See all our regulatory posts here.

Business ipv6

Business case for IPv6 #UKNOF29

Participants at UKNOF29 in Belfast were unconvinced that there was a business case for IPv6

It’s over three years since the UK networking industry got together to celebrate the end of the internet as we knew it. The “Move over IPv4, Bring on IPv6” party in the London Transport Museum in Covent Garden had almost 400 people sign up.  Every man jack of them there to dance on the grave of the old internet, drinking deep of the heady draught of IPv6. At the time the business case for IPv6 was simply that there would be no more IPv4 address blocks available.

In the meantime what has happened? Not all that much. According to Nathalie Kunneke-Trenaman of RIPE NCC, the organisation that dishes out IP addresses in Europe, the UK is 40th in the global rankings for IPv6 adoption. From personal experience network operators have been getting more efficient at using their existing IPv4 ranges. Recovering addresses no longer needed, moving small allocations around to free up bigger blocks for bigger projects. Stuff like that.

The thing that struck me from the talks at UKNOF29 was the seeming lack of urgency for IPv6.  Dave Wilson of HEANet, the Irish national educational research network (equivalent of our told the audience that they had IPv6 running in production for over ten years but the number of IPv6 enabled devices connecte to the network was so low that the HEANet management had questioned whether they should bother maintaining it. The business case for IPv6 just didn’t jump out of the page and scream “use me”.

This seemed to be the general feeling at the conference. “It’ll get there but there is no urgency”. There was also the feeling that equipment vendors that quoted their kit as IPv6 enabled had not done nearly enough testing and their gear was often bug ridden. This is really down to the lack of use of the features. If people were using IPv6, bugs would get found out and fixed.

Jumping ahead slightly in my timeline the subject of IPv6 came up at the ITSPA (Internet Telephony Service Providers’ Association) board meeting yesterday. In the VoIP space the attitude of vendors seems to simply be “we’ll do it when we need to do it”. I doubt that there are any IPv6 enabled VoIP networks/systems anywhere. I’d certainly be interested in hearing about them if there are.

Whizzing back to Belfast it is worth finishing with some positive news in the space. BT are reportedly going to announce a roll out of IPv6 in their own network in 2015. This should be transparent to the end user and BT didn’t really consider it to be news. In reality it shouldn’t be. It should “just work”. The workings of the internet are hugely complicated and Joe Public doesn’t really need to know.

The business case for IPv6 is something Cisco are trying hard to push. Cisco Systems Engineer Veronika McKillop is leading an initiative called the UK IPv6 Council. Check out their LinkedIn page here. The last such initiative was called 6UK. 6UK foundered due to lack of interest and finance. At the time a very rough poll by me of large UK enterprise networks suggested that everybody had it on their list of things to do but there was always something more pressing that took up the resources.There was they said no business case for IPv6.

I think this time Veronika McKillop has a better chance of succeeding. The constitution of the board is as follows:

ISPs – BSkyB, BT, Virgin Media
Enterprise – Cisco, Glaxo Smith Kline UK,and  “a large financial organisation”
Academia – University of Southampton, JANET
Industry body – Institute of Engineering and Technology

The “large financial organisation” is going through an internal approvals process. I guess they really need more Enterprise participants – sticking Cisco in there is just making up the numbers as they should really be in a vendor category even though they are a large enterprise in their own right. The business case for IPv6 really has to come from the Enterprise.

The UK IPv6 Council’s first initiatives include a webinar entitled “The Business Case for IPv6” – you can sign up here. There is also a council meeting on 16th October at IDEALondon. I suspect that getting the UK up to speed with IPv6  is still going to be a long slow job but at least with the big ISPs on board they should be able to get some momentum/have some staying power.

More as it happens on You can also check out the live blogs from Monday and Tuesday at UKNOF29

dns Engineer engineering ipv6

UKNOF29 live day 2

UKNOF29 live day 2 – as it happens straight to your connected device wherever you are.

Welcome back to a beautiful late summer’s day in Belfast. Or is it early autumn? Anyway it’s a nice one and we have another great day in prospect. UKNOF live day 2 action is again brought to you from inside the Presbyterian Assembly rooms in downtown Belfast.

Today we have UKNOF in the morning with DNS action followed by a feast of IPv6. After lunch the ION conference kicks in. Stay with us for all the action throughout the day.

Don’t forget you can also follow the action on Twitter at #UKNOF29 and watch the live webcast on the UKNOF website.

btw if you missed UKNOF29 day 1 you can catch up here.

Engineer engineering ipv6 Net

UKNOF29 live blogging

UKNOF29 live blogging from Belfast – stay tuned for live updates as they happen – the best snippets brought to your desktop from inside the room

UKNOF29 is co-located with The Internet Society ION conference at the Assembly Buildings in Belfast. follow the conference on Twitter at #UKNOF29 or #IONConf and watch the live webcast over at . Alternatively stay with the  UKNOF29 live blogging action by following the frequent updates here.

datacentre Engineer engineering internet ipv6

Live blogging from #UKNOF29 and Internet Society ION Conference in belfast next week

Look out for live blogging from UKNOF29 and the Internet Society ION conference in Belfast next week.

UKNOF, or the UK Network Operators Forum have really interesting conferences three times a year. I’ve often thought one could fill the blog for  week or two with posts based on the content. The problem is that it takes a long time to write a post based on an individual talk at a conference and at the same time you need to be listening to the talks. it is therefore impossible to write enough posts in a timely manner to do justice to the job. Getting the speakers themselves to turn their talk into a post is also like getting blood out of a stone. Next week at UKNOF29 I’m taking a different approach.

One of the things I’ve noticed about conference talks over the years is that you can probably choose one or two decent slides from each talk and get the gist of what it is all about. The rest is mainly filler. If you had a digest of all that was good at the conference it would save a lot of time and effort. I’m not suggesting that you shouldn’t go to conferences because a big chunk of their value is in the networking opportunities the bring. However there must be a way to summarise the conference, an exec or engineering summary maybe.

The answer I think is the live blog, The live blog is what they use to provide updates for sporting events.

GOOOAL  1 -1.

Davies strikes the back of the net after a great cross by Evans from the corner post.

Penalty missed – still 1 – 1

You get my drift. Next week therefore at UKNOF29 in Belfast I’m going to try out  new plugin that provides this functionality. I’ve had it since the design of was changed, around the time of the Pissup in a Brewery, but not used it yet.

When people go to these engineering events a lot of the action is on the IRC back channel. I don’t user IRC because it gets too busy although it can provide some interesting insights. I can only cope with so many means of communication. Also I’ve not identified a suitable plug in for the the chromebook yet. The other channel, which is pretty constrained due to its character limitation is Twitter but hashtags don’t seem to have that much effect at these technical conferences. I think it is more the domain of the marketing luvvie.

So I think the live blog could well work for this sort of event, if properly done. The beauty is that It almost only needs a line or two about each talk. Maybe cut and paste of info from twitter, an occasional pic of a slide etc.

It must be said there’s some great looking stuff being talked about next week:

“What went wrong with IPv6” by Dave Wilson of HEAnet (Ireland’s Janet)

“IPv6 only data centres” by Tom Hill of Bytemark

“Broadcast editing and delivering over IP” by by our old friend (he’s knocking on a bit:) ) Brandon Butterworth of the BBC.

Just a snapshot really of what is on offer. UKNOF29 is colocated with The Internet Society ION conference. There is more IPv6 stuff in their agenda which you can check out here.

At the time of writing there are 142 people registered to attend UKNOF29 . This is pretty good going considering you have to get to Belfast to be there.

More UKNOF blog posts here. Check em out. See you at UKNOF29? Come up and say hello.

Engineer ipv6 scams

IPv4 leasing & IPv6 penetration into networks

IPv4 leasing offer from broker but uses gmail address.

Got an email at my LONAP address yesterday asking if we had any spare blocks available for IPv4 leasing. I used to occasionally get them when at Timico as I think did most of the industry. This time it’s prompted me to look a little deeper into the issue. After all it is over 3 years since the exhaustion of the IANA IPv4 address space – you may remember the Move over IPv4 Bring on IPv6 party which was a huge success even if I say so myself.

I looked at the google keyword stats for “IPv4 leasing”. The UK averages only 10 searches a month for this term. Doesn’t really smack of an industry getting desperate. The “brokers” of IPv4 addresses do appear to exist in somewhat of a twilight zone. For example the email I got was from an Adam Green with an address of [email protected]. If he was kosher he would use a proper business address. It isn’t a kosher business model anyway.

These guys swipe email databases from the likes of RIPE. The one I got didn’t address me by name which in the gmail world normally leads to automatic spam labelling. In November we have RIPE69 coming to London and I’ll be looking for guest posts on the subject of IPv6. The subject of IPv4 leasing will almost certainly come up at the meeting although to be honest people should be focussing on moving their infrastructure on to IPv6, something that still isn’t particularly mainstream.

It would be interesting to hear from anyone with an IPv4 address space problem although I doubt anyone would put their hand up to admit it.

Taking a look at some LONAP stats, out of 152 connected networks 113 or 74% of them have registered IPv6 blocks with the IXP.  At the LONAP AGM we ran a little exercise with prizes for those who registered using an IPv6 address. Of the 50 or so attendees and excluding LONAP staff we had 8 people register using an IPv6 address. Suggests that use of IPv6 is still somewhat limited even amongst the network engineering community you would think would be early adopters.

Taking the exercise a little further we looked at the websites of LONAP members. Of the 149 checked 74 of them have no IPv6 enabled site. If you have no idea what I’m talking about with IPv6 this info will be of no interest whatsoever. However those in the game should find the stats v interesting and probably not a surprise.

That’s all for now. Stay tuned for more IPv6 stuff as it hits my screen…

fun stuff gadgets ipv6 mobile apps

Kitchen of things – the connected juicer #IPv6 #internetofthings

The connected kitchen, made possible by IPv6 and the internet of things is something oft discussed. Fridges that remind you when you need more milk or when the milk is about to go off is one “useful” and habitually touted suggestion that springs to mind.

I was recently chatting to my mam and dad about the coal fired range that used to be in my Welsh grandmother’s stone floored kitchen. The tone of the conversation was how technology has moved on. It came as a total surprise to hear that the range was a step on from my mam’s childhood in Ireland where all they had was an open fire with some bricks around it to prop up the saucepans. juicer

We now fill our kitchens with more gadgets than we really have room for. At our house we have a food mixer, handheld liquidiser, pasta maker, slow cooker, George Foreman Grill, orange juice squeezer (hand held lever job) orange juice squeezer (electric), garlic press, two fondues, a tandoori oven (clay pot), scales (electric and with counter weights) as well as the usual microwave, kettle toaster, dishwasher, fridge and rangemaster double width cooker.  I’m sure there must be more. Just can’t think of any and Mrs Davies ain’t around to ask. The (cheapo) bread maker was rubbish and was thrown out years ago. It’s been replaced by the fair hands of Mrs Davies who kneads an excellent loaf.

Imagine if all these gadgets were “connected”. For one thing we would need a very robust Wireless LAN. What sort of data would they provide?

The orange juicer would be able to let me know how many oranges I’d squeezed in its lifetime, average number of oranges squeezed per day, volume of orange juice provided etc etc. I could probably associate a google account with juicer username – multiple usernames of course to accommodate profiles for the whole family.

This would enable google to sell my data, anonymously of course, so that  I could benefit from great deals on  fresh oranges, spare juicer parts (these metal squeezing bits don’t last forever you know) and even juicer servicing contracts where the bloke turns up to fix your juicer just before it is about to go kaput (or whatever juicers do at the end of their life).

We would need the juicer to automatically recognise users – logging in would be a faff. This would generate a hugely lucrative new wave of internet enabled juicer sales. This isn’t the kind of thing that can be retrofitted.

And then there’s the app. Downloadable from the Play Store, App Store, Marketplace or whatever your phone or tablet uses. It’s all good stuff for an economy emerging from the worst recession since the bubonic plague.

I’ve only mentioned juicers so far. Yer juicer would be integrated with the fridge to coordinate stock level of oranges. You would have to keep the oranges in the fridge even if you don’t do that now. It’s the only way of keeping track of stock levels. Whoever heard of an internet connected fruit bowl! Doh!

And don’t forget to let your fridge know when you are off on holiday. Last thing you want is the Tesco van turning up to deliver automatically ordered oranges and you not being in. Think of the growing pile of increasingly rotting oranges on your doorstep. What a waste. What a pong!

I’ve only really mentioned the juicer but each gadget would have its own unique set of data. The GFG would tell you how much fat it had extracted from your diet, the breadmaker, should you have one could tell you how much fat you had put back in to your diet. The GFG could obviously hook up with the breadmaker to tell it to go easy on the portion size. The toaster would also connect with the breadmaker to tell it that more supplies were needed. This is all such useful stuff. Innit. Reality is that we probably would find uses for a connected kitchen but won’t know what they are until we’ve tried a few of the connected apps and gadgets. Just like some apps on our phones strike a chord1 and some don’t and are discarded contemptuously or just clog up your screen never to be used.

Me old gran would be turning in her grave. Suspect a connected griddle wouldn’t have made her Welsh Cakes come out any better. Lovely they were:)

In the meantime I’ll just have to stick to asking the butler whether cook has finished making the bread for the day. Lovely smells wafting up from the kitchen to the East Wing.

1 I have the guitar tuner app, actually

Engineer ipv6

The barcode tattoo

First day in the office for over a week and on the way in had to wait at the railway level crossing because the barriers were down. A bloke stood in front of me had what appeared to be a barcode tattooed on the back of his neck, just below the hairline.

I wanted to take a photo or maybe have a go at scanning the barcode but I didn’t think this was a sensible thing to do with someone who was capable of having his neck tattooed in this way. Especially with 60 or so people stood around waiting.

Still, it leaves me wondering what the barcode format used was and what it said. I guess he probably thought it might come in handy in the event of him being rendered unconscious through of overconsumption of snakebite or special brew. A passer by need only scan his neck and tell the taxi driver where to take him. We shall probably never know:)

PS In future it would make more  sense for everyone to have their own ipv6 address/subnet and have that tattooed somewhere discretely. Far more useful.

broadband dns Engineer engineering internet ipv6 media Net peering

Experiences of Launching a Broadband IXP in North America #peeringweek @LINX_Network

LINX Head of Marketing and Business Development Ben Hedges shares his experiences launching a broadband IXP in a Peering Week guest post.

The opportunity to co-host the 24th Euro-IX forum in the UK has come along at what is a very exciting time for LINX. It’s our 20th year and this event comes shortly after us opening two brand new IXPs; IXScotland in Edinburgh and LINX NoVA in North Virginia, USA.

With LINX NoVA being our first overseas exchange there has been a lot of attention worldwide for what we’ve been building in the States. In this blog I will look to explain the background as to why we’re doing what we’re doing and why we believe this is an important development for LINX and its members plus the peering industry as a whole.

Engineer internet ipv6

Lightning fast IPv6

Sometimes the world presents you with random facts that you just can’t quite get your head around. Then you talk to more people about the same thing and they say they see the same thing too but thought it was just them. The final stage is a NANOG conference panel about that topic because it seems to be happening to every one… (actually stage three might be different depending on what the topic is).

The fact is that it appears as if IPv6 gives you a boost in terms of performance compared to IPv4, not just in the lab but in the wild. A number of ISPs and researchers have been tracking the performance over the last couple of years, not as an explicit test to see if its faster/better but rather to make sure that their deployments aren’t broken or to measure to see how widespread deployment is.

Their key findings…

  • 2% of end users are using IPv6 globally
  • IPv4 with a single NAT performs 20% worse than native IPv6
  • IPv6 connections fail 10x more than IPv4 connections (0.2% as compared to 2%)
  • Between 2012 and 2013 there has been an increase in the difference in performance
  • Both latency and throughput are better on IPv6
  • IPv6 tunnels are bad

So everyone should get out there and make sure their ISP is going to support IPv6 so we can all benefit. As with most of the NANOG presentations you can watch it online  (and its really very interesting if you have 4omins free at some point today)


More on IPv6
IPv6 hits 2% of traffic on Google
UK IPv6 usage lagging behind global competitors

Engineer internet ipv6

Nest Labs – tax benefits and the internet of things? #IPv6

Google has bought Nest Labs for $3.2Bn. Nest Labs is into smart home devices and the internet of things. This we all know because it’s splattered all over the tech pages this morning.

I’d never heard of Nest Labs. I suspect it’s a by product of living in sleepy old Lincoln, somewhere in the deepest sticks of Engerlund and not in Silicon Valley. I live with it every day and I love it.

Ok it is interesting news and it focusses the mind on the growth of the internet, the further pervasion of technology into our every day lives and yes, IPv6 even. Google knows its stuff when it comes to IPv6.

A few things particularly spring to my mind re this acquisition. One is that Nest Labs was founded with over $80m of VC money. If you want to sell your business for $3.2Bn you have to think big and place big bets. Nest Labs will have spent its cash on an expensive team of people able to deliver.

I saw somewhere recently that startup had offered a Google employee $500k to move jobs. Unfortunately that Google developer was already earning $3m! I wonder whether there is the environment in the UK for this kind of activity. It needs both investors and entrepreneurs to be fully embedded in emerging technology cultures.

Secondly if this market is going to be as big as the size of the bet suggests then it has to be the demesne of huge businesses. Global businesses. This is somewhat dispiriting. There must still be room for small entrepreneurial organisation who can make things happen quickly.

Finally one presumes that Google has a huge cash pile. You hear about it occasionally, usually when MPs whinge about the ways large multi-national corporations are able to avoid paying tax in particular countries. All perfectly legal.

A quick “Google” shows that US Corporation Tax is 40% whilst Capital Gains Tax is anything between zero and 15% or 20%. One of the investors in Nest Labs is Google Ventures, fair play. Now I’m not an accountant but might there be huge tax benefits for Google in only paying Capital Gains tax rather than Corporation Tax on the $3.2Bn? Don’t get me wrong. Nothing improper going on I’m sure. Perhaps it all comes out in the wash so to speak.

It would be interesting though if someone out there was able to drill into the taxation specifics of such a transaction. I’m sure it wouldn’t affect the Google business case for the Nest Labs acquisition but an interesting by product nevertheless?

Answers on a postcard or via the comments section.

See ya, buddy…

PS Internet of things. IPv6. Very exciting.

Engineer ipv6 ofcom

IPv6 usage in UK lagging behind our major global competitors

ipv6_usage_headerThis graph of  percentage IPv6 adoption by country as of today, 14th October 2013, was extracted from It shows the percentage of internet users in each country using IPv6. You can get the exact numbers from potaroo. The UK’s 34th place suggests we are seriously lagging behind. OK we can look at it in terms of actual numbers of users – see the next chart below.  We are 13th one this one but take a look at the top 5 – all major competitors in the global commercial stakes.



These charts don’t show us how IPv6 adoption is moving with time for each country but I don’t get the feeling it is proceeding with any pace here in the UK.

Whilst we are on the subject of UK competiveness it is also worth noting that the annual Cisco Visual Networking Index is forecasting an average global broadband speed of 39Mbps by 2017. Ofcom reports that in May 2013 the UK average broadband speed was 14.7Mbps. This does fit with the Cisco forecast but to keep up with the game there is a lot of work to do to hit the 2017 number.

The base technology roadmap is there in the UK – you can now get FTTP on demand at 330Mbps. It’s going to take ultra high def TV delivery over broadband to drive the market. I think we are still relatively early days in this space. Fibre To The Premises with a performance of 1Gbps and up is still the end game.

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IPv6 traffic hits 2% of traffic at Google

IPv6 came up in conversation over lunch this week. Google reports that up to 2% of traffic to its servers are IPv6. It took about 4 1/2 years for IPv6 to hit 1% which it did around February of this year and I guess another 7 months or so to then double (timeframes are imprecise because I’m interpreting a graph rather than looking at the numbers behind it).

Traffic to Google isn’t necessarily representative of what is going on generally on the internet and I’m not sure there is one single source of data on this subject. However you can look at specific internet exchanges to see the trend on their own networks.

DE-CIX in Germany is the world’s largest internet exchange (IX) and a peek at the statistics on their website show a growth trend. As of today, 29/9/12 the 2 day average IPv6 traffic at DE-CIX is at 6.7Gbps which compared with the overall traffic level of 1,430Gbps is still a relatively small proportion.

Anecdotally different ISPs are at different stages of the game with IPv6 with some having to look at Carrier Grade NAT as an interim solution. Equipment aside the main issue is often the fact that automated provisioning and back office systems need redesigning to make IPv6 a scalable proposition. Whilst IANA stocks of IPv6 ahem IPv4 addresses are exhausted this is not necessarily the case within individual ISPs which is perhaps why we aren’t hearing more scare stories in the media.

Check out this paper on IPv6 readiness written back in 2010.

Chart below is the Google IPv6 traffic growth – links to Google’s own page.

Google IPv6 traffic stats

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Disturbing news re internet traffic growth forecast – prefix exhaustion

I’m doing some prep for a talk next week and just discovered a disturbing fact. I’m sure all of you will have read Cisco’s annual network traffic forecast. I covered it here.

What you need to know about is that Cisco reckons that by 2017, global IP traffic will reach an annual run rate of 1.4 zettabytes, up from 523 exabytes in 2012.

Somebody asked me what a zettabyte was and it made me wonder what comes after it in the big number naming or prefix stakes. I looked it up on Wikipedia and the answer is (of course !!) yottabyte.

The real problem comes when internet traffic outgrows yottabytes, which, dear reader, I assure you it will. I couldn’t find the name for the next one up. Wikipedia stops at yotta (1024 )! The world is facing prefix-exhaustion.

This is a problem akin to IPv4 exhaustion although the fix is far simpler. We have enough warning. We simply have to run a naming competition on this blog. It just won’t be acceptable to have more and more yottabytes. I could have a special mug produced as a prize.

I’m not going to bother with it yet (unless you really want to) but as we get nearer name exhaustion date we will have to give it some thought. It will also be a good excuse for another party like the end of the IPv4 bash I held a couple of years ago.

I would think it will happen sometime in the next decade – ie the 2020’s.

You heard it first on…

PS I’d have put an image of the Cisco traffic forecast up but their flash code didn’t work and neither did the link to generate a jpg! We won’t get to yottabytes if we have errors like that now will we Cisco, eh? Probably just a glitch.

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A few observations on the Cisco Annual VNI Report 2012 – 2017

Trefor Davies thumbnail pictureI live in my own little world. It’s a connected world but relatively contained. I have a modest 2,461 followers on Twitter, 455 friends on Facebook and over 5001 connections of LinkedIn.

All this comes in to perspective when you read Cisco’s annual Visual Networking Index, a body of research that charts the growth of the internet and forecasts traffic patterns over the next five years. The latest issue is just out and comes with a ton of data. I’ve distilled a few points that jumped out of the router at me and shared them below.

Connected people and IPv6

According to the forecast by 2017 3.6 billion people will be connected to the Internet, up from 2.3 billion in 2012. Also by 2017 there will be 19 billion networked devices, up from 12 billion last year.

That’s a lot of people and a lot of devices. The fact that there are around 5 times more devices than people is a reflection of the growth of machine to machine connectivity. Nobody is going to be carrying around five networked devices, although having said that I carry four but don’t use me as an example of Mr Average.

It’s interesting to note that the number of IPv6 connected devices is forecast to grow from 1.6 billion in 2012 to 8 billion in 2017. On the face of it this suggests that most of the growth in connected devices is going to come from IPv6 which shouldn’t come as a surprise.

Metro versus long haul

Cisco reckons that metro traffic will surpass long haul traffic in 2014 and will account for 58% of total IP traffic by 2017 and will grow nearly twice as fast as long-haul traffic from 2012 to 2017. This is not something that your average man in the street will have to think about but it does help us to understand the trend towards regional peering exchanges.

Historically most ISPs connect to the internet at a few major hubs. London is one such hub. However as more and more traffic is local traffic it makes more sense to connect this traffic near to where it originates. For example the traffic between two servers “taking to each other” in Leeds would historically have been tromboned to London and back. It obviously doesn’t make sense to pay to cart data hundreds of miles and back if it can be done more directly. Now ISPs with a reasonable density of customers in Leeds can connect via the IX Leeds Peering exchange. The same applies for Manchester. In time as traffic levels grow the business case for smaller metropolitan areas will work we will see other locations appear on the connected map.


Wi-Fi and mobile-connected devices will generate 68% of Internet traffic by 2017. It wouldn’t surprise me to see this number upsided. The only fixed internet connections in our house are the Xbox and my home office VoIP phone and the XBox is likely to go wireless when the new one comes out later this year. I would guess that most wired internet connectivity is going to be business based.

There’s more info on the Cisco blog here together with links to tools that allow you to play with the numbers. It’s well worth a browse.

Returning to my opening lines and the number of people I connect with, all these statistics do highlight the changing nature of our world. We are going to have to continue to adapt as more and more of our daily lives become electronic and connected.

I think these are exciting times from both a personal and business perspective. Exciting because of the wave of change sweeping across our personal lives that will hopefully enrich and enhance the quality of our lives. Exciting from a business perspective because there is money to be made out of all this growth.

That’s all folks…

1 no idea actually how many because it only tells me 500+ and I couldn’t figure out how many and I wasn’t prepared to spend any time finding out how to do it.

Engineer internet ipv6 ofcom

#WorldIPv6day marked with industry summit in UK

Just come out of committee room 19 at the House of Commons where a “summit” was held to discuss the state of IPv6 readiness of UK plc. The summit was chaired by Ed Vaizey, Internet minister and together with Timico had representatives of the other top network operators aka BT and Virgin. The mix was enhanced by Cisco, Nominet, Ofcom and other stakeholders.

Reality is that most ISPs have IPv6 covered, or at least a plan in place. The issue is that the rest of UK industry doesn’t. There has been extreme apathy in the corporate sector to push this technology forward.

This is completely understandable. Currently there is no problem. Considering this given a choice between spending money upgrading the corporate network or investing in a revenue generating service the former is a difficult sell for a CIO.

Businesses do need to guard against complacency though otherwise they might find themselves with a problem that will either cost a lot of money to fix quickly or take years of planning.

Neither is government prepared, as far as we can see. This compares with other parts of the world where governments are either mandating IPv6 (eg Malaysia) or are cracking ahead with full blown implementation projects (US Navy/NATO apparently).

In the UK it would appear that IPv6 is seen as a more expensive short term option for projects, at a time where cost control is clearly important. There was a general consensus amongst the 15 or so attendees that the Government should lead on this and that this would spur industry into action.

I agree with this. The cost argument is not a real one but the complacency is. Also we run the risk of other countries being ahead on the innovation curve as they think of ways of exploiting the huge number of IP addresses that now become available with IPv6.

There isn’t a desperate panic here but UK plc does need to get a wiggle on.

Check out the DCMS press release on the summit here

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APNIC starts to ration IPv4 addresses #ipv6

The Asia Pacific Regional Registry APNIC has, as of today, begun to ration IPv4 addresses. Down to its last /8 block (around 16 million addresses) APNIC will now only be issuing  existing users with /22 blocks of 1,024 addresses and is urging its customers to accelerate their adoption of IPv6.

European registry, RIPE, is expected to be down to its last /8 sometime this summer. In the UK around 60% of LIRs (Local Internet Registry) have yet to even apply for their allocation of IPv6 – check out the stats here.

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testing your endpoint for ipv6 readiness

IPv6 is very much in vogue at the moment. is a useful site you can visit that tells you how prepared you/your connection/your ISP are for IPv6.

I’ve run some tests on two connections for you to compare the results. One is IPv4 only and the other dual stack IPv4/IPv6. The difference is self explanatory.

The site itself will tell you that the most important test is the Dual Stack DNS. If this one fails or takes too long then you will have problems once people start rolling out IPv6 only sites. Clicking on each image will bring up a larger version. Both sets of tests come from Timico connections  – the one on the left is dual stack and the other IPv4 only. Also click on the header of this posts if you want to see more of the successful test results.

ipv6 test screenshot

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The Day The Routers Died – official video #ipv6

This is the official video of the song “The Day The Routers Died” sung by Gary Feldman at Last week’s “Move over IPv4 Bring on IPv6” event in Covent Garden, London

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The day we nearly lost the internet #ipv6

Euphoric from the success of we hit the town in London last night. Adrian Kennard of AAISP had brought along his “internet in a box” as a laugh.

For those of you not in the know the TV programme “IT Crowd” have a box with a flashing LED light on top of it that they tell their manager is “the internet”.

So we went out to a pub with an identical copy of this box. Plonking it on the bar we asked the barmaid if she knew what it was. The completely unprompted response was “it’s the internet”.  Result!!!

Of course this was a huge responsibility. Having just left a party to celebrate “the end of the internet as we know it” imagine the furore had we actually gone and “lost” the internet due to carelessness in a bar. Brings back memories of the FA Cup…

Thanks to Adrian for the photo – click to see more of it.

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bringonipv6 event London Transport Museum #ipv6

last /8 block handover by Leo Vegoda of IANA to Nigel Titley of RIPE NCC at

We have moved over IPv4 and brought on IPv6. Last night’s event at the London Transport Museum turned out to be a raging success.

300 or so people queued around the Piazza at Covent Garden to get in. Many more were watching the IPv6 twitter hashtag which had 1,235,715 impressions with exposure to 250,000 people. That’s a huge reach. Thanks to @lesanto for his most professional help here.

I’m not going to try and relive the whole evening in a blog post but I will be publishing videos of the event as soon as the film comes back from Boots the Chemist (only joking – but this high quality video takes a lot of rendering).

Photos are available here thanks to @Paul_Clarke. They are worth a look – this isn’t point and shoot stuff – it is art.

I’ll be thanking all the sponsors and speakers individually but you can see who they are on the event website.

I’m sorry for those of you who couldn’t get tickets or make it to this sold out event – you missed a cracker. More anon.

Engineer events ipv6

Final lineup for Bring on IPv6 party

click to register

I am pleased nay thrilled to announce the final line up for the Bring on IPv6 bash.

Opening remarks Trefor Davies CTO & co-founder Timico

Introductory speech Ed Vaizey MP,  Minister for Communication, Culture and the Creative  Industries

IPv4 retrospective UK internet pioneer Prof Peter Kirstein UCL

IPv6 scene setting Simon McCalla, IT Director, Nominet

IPv6 Panel Debate “Should industry worry about IPv6?”

Adrian Kennard, MD AAISP, Andy Davidson, VP EMEA Hurricane Electric,  Jim Reid, Director, 6UK, Cisco Technical Staff Member


Local handover of final IPv4 address block from IANA to RIPE – Leo Vegoda, IANA, Nigel Titley, Chairman RIPE NCC

Celebrity star guest – we are keeping the identity of this guest quiet but this will be a great finale.

Party time

Over 300 guests have signed up but thanks to the generosity of the sponsors we can still accommodate a few more. Drop me a line if you want to come and I will get your tickets sorted. Otherwise if you know the registration password you can do it yourselves at


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Move over IPv4 Bring on IPv6 event sold out but more sponsorship secured – expect more tickets to be available

click to register

The first tranche of tickets has all but sold out for this event. If when you register there are no more spaces don’t worry – just get your name on the waiting list. I’ve been able to secure additional sponsorship and expect to be able to increase the number of partygoers.

The demand for tickets has been amazing and I think reflects the fact that there is a lot of interest in both celebrating the exhaustion of the IANA IPv4 address pool (the end of the internet as we know it) and wanting to see what progress is being made re IPv6 implementation.

I am also pleased to say that we have a special star guest signed up for the event. I’m keeping his/her identity a secret for the moment but it will be worth the wait 🙂

I am just waiting for confirmation of one more panelist in the IPv6 debate before publishing the final lineup.

More anon. Click on the icon in the right hand column of this blog to go to the event website.

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Moveover IPv4 Bring on #IPv6 Party

click to register

We are marking the end of the internet as we know it with a celebratory event on the evening of 22nd March at the Highly Prestigious London Transport Museum in Covent Garden.

This gig isn’t just to bury IPv4 though. It is also a serious look at where the world is at with the roll out of IPv6.

If you are a techie in the internet community, a tech journalist or just as importantly an IT manager/CTO/CIO who might want to understand the relevance of IPv4 exhaustion to your business then you need to be here.

We have a nice little retrospective look at the history of the Internet in the UK by early Pioneer and colleague of Vint Cerf, Prof Peter Kirstein.

Also on stage will be speakers discussing the actual state of IPv6 rollout, the practicalities of implementation and the problems yet to be overcome.

Then we will be peering into a crystal ball and taking a look at the future of the internet and the www!

Finally there will be a ceremonial bit of fun whereby IANA will do a re-run of the handover of the last block of IPv4 addresses to RIPE.

Bring your camera. You will want to remember this one

What: Move Over IPv4 (Bring on IPv6)
Where: The London Transport Museum, Covent Garden
When: 18.30 – 21.30 Tuesday March 22nd (ceremonials commence 19.00hrs)
  • A brief history of the internet and the www by internet pioneer Prof Peter Kirstein.
  • What next? Is the world ready for IPv6? What are the problems?
  • The future of the internet!
  • Ceremonial repeat of formal handing over of the last IPv4 blocks by IANA representative to RIPE representative.
  • Party Time!
Cost: This is a free event but entry is by invitation only.

Registration (click here to go to the event site) for “bringonipv6” requires a password as attendance at the event is invitation only. The password is freely available from industry sources or will have already been mailed to you. If we have missed you out you can contact Trefor Davies at [email protected] with your details.

Many thanks need to go to the sponsors that have made this event possible. These are Nominet, LINX, Timico, ThinkBroadband, NewNet, AAISP, Brocade and 6UK.

Engineer internet ipv6

Significant IPv4 announcement to be made in Miami tomorrow #IPv6

Those of you who have been following the countdown to exhaustion of the IPv4 address space will want to tune in to a webcast coming out of Miami tomorrow at 9.30 EST (GMT+5hrs). It is an open secret that this will be the IANA handover of the last 5   /8 blocks of IPv4 addresses.

We in the UK will be marking this important milestone in the history of the internet at a date in March. Look out for an announcement very soon. In the meantime you will be able to watch the ICANN ceremonials and press conference here.

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Last 2 IPv4 blocks allocated – STOP PRESS

The last two available /8 blocks of IPv4 addresses have been allocated by IANA to APNIC.  This takes the remaining total down to 5 which means the IPv4 address pool is effectively exhausted. The last 5 are spoken for. There are no more. That’s it :).

I’m holding off crying “history, history” until the remaining 5 are allocated.  This was, I’m told, originally planned for a ceremonial handover at the ICANN meeting in San Fransisco in March but will now happen much sooner than that. Keep reading this blog for updates.

I’ve written plenty about this so if you need to understand more do a search for IPv6. It is worth noting that this isn’t the total exhaustion of all IPv4 addresses. That will happen in dribs and drabs as people use up those held by Regional Internet Registries (RIRs – expected to be streched out in ever decreasing block sizes) and then use up their own.

You need an IPv6 strategy. For a quick overview on how it might affect you read this.


IPv4 exhaustion likely to happen this week

Word on the street is that APNIC will ask IANA for two /8 blocks of IPv4 addresses this week.  The IPv4 exhaustion counter (embedded here) suggests that there are 8 days to go – we are pretty much at the end.

This will effectively bring the IPv4 saga to a close – once these two blocks are taken then that’s it. All that will remain to do is the release to the 5 Regional Internet Registries of the last 5 blocks – likely to happen during the ICANN meeting in San Francisco in March. There are no other blocks available.

We in the UK are planning our own event in March, post ICANN, to celebrate what really is a historic milestone in the history of the internet. I’ll post more as details firm up.

internet ipv6

The end of #IPv4 and the coming of #IPv6 – exclusive interview with The Young Journalist Academy

Over the past few days I have had a flurry of media interviews on the subject of the exhaustion of the IANA IPv4 address pool and the advent of IPv6. This is increasingly going to be a talking point during 2011. The biggest problem in linking to these interviews is that they are usually on the BBC and typically only accessible via iPlayer, and then only for a week after the event.

It would be nice to be able to link to something that should stay up for a more usable period of time. On this occasion I was pleased to spend some of Saturday morning (pre golf 🙂 ) talking to some budding young journalists in my hometown of Lincoln. They (Jonathan and Robert from Year 8, Carre’s Grammar School, Sleaford) have written a story and posted it on “The Young Journalist Academy” website.

The podcast is here.