IP Address News

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IP Address News - Providing you with a single site about IP Addresses News and Usage

IP addresses in 2014

Geoff Huston has posted his 2014 version of his IP addressing report.  A few notes from within the report.

  •  Cisco, Morgan Stanely, & Gartner predicted that by 2020 there will be between 25 – 75 billion devices on the Internet as the “Internet of things” comes to life with embedded devices all requiring connections.
  • LacNIC, RIPE, and APNIC’s austerity address pools are slated to be depleted between 2017-2021 if current trends continue to hold.
  • IPv4 transfers increased quite dramatically in 2014 with APNIC performing 340 a 220% increase, and RIPE 919 a 600% increase.  RIPE’s increasing transfers seem to be clearly being driven by the lack of needs-basis requirements in the region.
  • LacNIC and RIPE continue to lead the world in IPv6 allocations with 1,208 and 2,218 respectively.

Addressing 2014 – And then there were 2!  (copy)

ARIN’s free pool moves below a /9

ARIN’s IPv4 free pool continues it slow march to depletion.  Recently, the pool passed the symbolic level of a /9. Today in mid-December 2014, Geoff Huston’s projection shows the depletion date of April 14, 2015, but a few large allocations could certainly cause the pool to be depleted much sooner.  plotvar-20141215plotend-20141215

ARIN also has an additional /10 which will be used for IPv6 transition technologies under a separate assignment policy (NRPM 4.10).

ARIN 34 & Nanog PPC Preview

arin34_logoNext week is the ARIN meeting in Baltimore.  There also will be a public policy consultation at Nanog 62 on Tuesday morning.  Here is my look ahead at the some of the nine policies being discussed at the meetings.  There is only one recommended draft that will be discussed, but lots of other draft policies are on the agenda and we will be looking for input on how to proceed.

2014-9 Resolve RSA & 8.2 Transfer Conflict

Policy Summary: This recommended draft policy removes two words (“aggregate” and “reclaim”) from the mergers and acquisitions section of the transfer policy.

Discussion: The current registration services agreement, the contract that governs the relationship between ARIN and resource holders, has language which prevents ARIN from reclaiming address space when it is underutilized.  However, the M&A transfer policy has language which prevents an organization from transferring their resource into their new name when they are underutilized.  Because of this, we end up with orphaned records which don’t really match the new organization who is the new resource holder.  Initially the draft policy had language in it which would have solved this problem, but this was removed because a number of critics of the policy believed that needs testing still should be performed and enforced for M&A transfers.

At this point, when IPv4 addresses are assets which can be transferred by sale to another organization, the limits in the M&A policy don’t make sense to me and only seem to create an environment where number resource records are not updated because current utilization rates may not be met across the new or combined organization.  Still this seems like a symbolic change that people have supported and will probably achieve consensus at the meetings.

2014-14 Remove Needs Test on Small Transfers

2014-20 Slow Start Transfer & Simplified Needs

Both of these policies are suggesting changes in the transfer policies due to the imminent run-out of the IPv4 free pool and the changing requirements of the transfer market.

2014-14 Policy Summary: This draft policy removes needs testing from blocks which are smaller than /16 and permits an organization to have one needs-free transfer per year.

2014-20 Policy Summary: This draft is a complex change to both the current IPv4 policy and its related transfer elements.  It seeks to significantly change how we look at the various aspects of obtaining addresses from ARIN or on the transfer market.

Discussion: I believe that changes are necessary for the transfer policy and the existing IPv4 policy as the free-pool is depleted.  How we address these changes is critical to the success of ARIN and its mission, but also the success of the transition to IPv6.  These two policies take different approaches toward the changes which are necessary after IPv4 depletion in the ARIN region.  I suspect there will be a lot of discussion about these two policies and the need to update the existing policy set in a post IPv4 depletion world.

2014-16 Section 4.10 Austerity Policy Update

Policy Summary: This draft policy creates a new subsection of the policy manual to provide an austerity pool of IPv4 resources for organizations which do not currently have any resources directly from ARIN.

I drafted this policy after a number of discussions at the last ARIN meeting in Chicago where it was noted that the current IPv4 policy has limitations inherent in it for new entrants.   This draft was modeled on the successful implementation of similar policies in the APNIC and RIPE regions.

Discussion: Most of the discussion about this draft has been about how to divide up the current /10 and the IANA reclaimed blocks between the existing transition technology pool and the new pool created by this policy.  Hopefully, it will become clear during our discussions if the community supports creating an austerity pool and how they wish to divide up the currently reserved /10 and the IANA reclaimed blocks for new organizations which do not currently have address blocks from ARIN.

2014-17 Change utilization requirements

Policy Summary: This draft policy changes how IPv4 utilization is calculated to deal with limitations on subsequent allocation for some organizations.

Issues:  The draft policy currently changes the utilization definition for all organizations.  The side effect of this is that large organizations could obtain large new blocks just from the implementation of this policy.  A few options to change the draft policy text are being discussed to deal with this issue.

Discussion: This policy fixes a known issue for smaller organizations which has occurred due to the smaller 3-month allocation model that is currently in use for subsequent allocations.  While this policy lowers the utilization bar and has the perceived negative effect noted above for large organizations, this policy as written now could be beneficial for the transfer market as it would make it easier for organizations to meet the utilization requirements for future transfers.


NANOG 61 PPC Recommended Draft Policy review

NANOG 61 wrapped up yesterday in Bellevue, Washington.  It is always different attending a conference in your home town; this was also the largest NANOG ever.  On Tuesday morning, ARIN held a public policy consultation.  Since I didn’t get a preview out before the meeting, here is my review of the discussion around the recommended draft policies.

2013-8 Subsequent Allocations for New Multiple Discrete Networks

Policy Summary: This recommended draft policy fixes an issue with the current policy which was highlighted by ARIN staff at an meeting last year.  This policy describes how ARIN should allocate blocks for new sites for organizations which use the multiple discrete networks policy.

Discussion: Previous issues in the policy draft centered around how ARIN should test if/when a site should receive an allocation.  The new text uses the phrase “has shown evidence of deployment.”  There have been no negative comments about this new text and I suspect the AC will move this policy toward last call at their next meeting.

2014-5 Remove 7.2 Lame Delegations

Policy Summary: This recommended draft policy removes section 7.2 which was formerly used when ARIN was conducting DNS lame delegation testing.

Review: This policy has not been in use for some time and the current policy carries some risk to operational DNS should it be implemented as currently written. Furthermore, the operator community has not asked ARIN to reinstate this monitoring service.  I believe consensus has been achieved on this policy and it will move forward to last call.

2014-12 Anti-hijack Policy

Policy Summary: This recommended draft policy adds language to the experimental allocation policy to restrict overlapping assignments.  This policy was created after multiple RIRs allowed an IPv6 research project to proceed by allowing an organization to obtain letters of agency permitting them to use overlapping address blocks.  ARIN has acknowledged that this action was a mistake and will not grant similar permission in the future.

Review:  This policy has been widely supported by the Internet operator community since its introduction.  Some editorial changes were made to the policy just prior to the meeting and the AC must discuss those changes to make sure they do not change the intent of the policy when it was previously moved to its current recommended state.  It seems likely that this policy will also be advanced to last call.

2014-13 Reduce All Minimum Allocation/Assignment Units to /24

Policy Summary: This recommended draft policy changes changes the minimum IPv4 allocation size to a /24 for both ISPs and end users.  This policy was rushed through the policy development process after a few organizations reported that their upstreams would not assign them /24 address blocks and they also could not qualify for an address block under current IPv4 policies.  This policy also fixes issues that ARIN staff highlighted with the shortly upcoming exhaustion of ARIN’s IPv4 free pool.

Review:  While the textual changes of this policy ended up being more complicated that many hoped, I believe the issue which triggered this policy draft will be resolved by this policy and that the additional simplification will also be beneficial.  The staff review raised an issue about the maximum initial allocation size for new entrants.  Current ARIN practice relies on a set of examples which are being removed by this update.  Some discussion was considered about adding an initial maximum, but no agreement could be made on those changes.  In the end, I suspect ARIN will continue with their current practice for block sizing, but an actual maximum would not be enumerated in policy.  I believe this policy will be advanced to last call by the advisory council shortly.

LacNIC reaches /9, triggering IANA reclaimed block distribution

On May 20th, LacNIC announced that it has reached the equivalent of a /9 remaining in its IPv4 free pool which has triggered the IANA to invoke its reclaimed IPv4 address space policy.  The IANA received a number of blocks from various RIRs under the reclaimed policy over the years.  Under the global policy for reclaimed blocks, each RIR is allocated 1/5th of the total pool.  Now that the first initial allocation has been made the IANA reclaimed free pool will be reevaluated every six months and appropriate distributions will then be made to each RIR.

LacNIC received the block ( and will continue with its current allocation policies with some additional scrutiny until the free pool reaches a equivalent of a /10, then only blocks between /22 and /24 will be allocated.

APNIC has subsequently announced that they have received a /11 equivalent from the IANA as part of the reclaimed distribution.  Under APNIC policies, each APNIC member is eligible to receive up to a /22 of additional IPv4 address space from this specific block.

RIPE has sent an email to its member list which notes it has received from IANA and has added this block to its free pool.  Under the current RIPE policy each LIR can receive a single /22 block.

ARIN has not yet announced that they have received an additional block, but the IANA registry notes they have received  As ARIN does not have a specific policy for this block so it should be added to the available free pool.  ARIN’s current pool lists 0.86 /8s equivalent remaining on May 21st.

I have introduced a policy proposal (ARIN-2014-16) to the ARIN region which would designated IANA reclaimed blocks to be allocated under an austerity policy, but this policy is currently in only at the draft stage of discussion on the public policy mailing list.

ARIN & LacNIC close to the bottom of their IPv4 pools

ARIN announced this morning that they had reached the equivalent of a single /8 in the IPv4 free pool. (The ARIN countdown timer does not include reserved space for IPv4 blocks which are allocated under special policies.) With this level each request will be held under more review and will be processed in a first-in first-out basis. It could be only a matter of days or even weeks before the remaining free pool is exhausted depending on the outstanding demand already in ARIN’s queue especially if the request rate increases as organizations come back quickly for their last blocks from this pool.

Available ARIN IPv4 inventory

LacNIC is currently just above a single /9 equivalent in their inventory which includes a reserved /10 for an austerity policy. The Latin American region’s allocation of address space has really accelerated in the first 4 months of 2014 with the end of their pool drawing to a close. The LacNIC home page is currently predicting a runout by May 30th, 2014.

LacNIC’s IPv4 exhaustion policy

Geoff Huston’s IPv4 exhaustion prediction page

ARIN 33 Recommended Draft Policy preview

ARIN33_logoThe ARIN 33 public policy meeting is coming up next week in Chicago.  There are a number of substantive IP number resource public policy discussions on the scheduled agenda.  If you are unable to come to the meeting please consider the remote participation option to have your opinion heard.

Here is my short commentary on the policy proposals being discussed at the meeting.  I’ve limited this blog post to the recommended drafts which could go to last call after the meeting since there are so many polices up for discussion at this meeting.

2013-7 NRPM 4 (IPv4) Policy Cleanup

Policy Summary: This recommended draft policy cleans up a number of sections in the IPv4 policy which are no longer relevant due to policy environment changes.  For example references to RFC 2050 have been removed since that document has been moved to historical status.  The easiest way to look at the changes for this complex change is look at a redline copy of the changes.

Issues: I believe that the controversial elements of the policy have been stripped out from previous versions and all the changes are almost clerical in nature.  I expect there to be some discussion about this policy but for it to be supported widely.

2014-4 Remove 4.2.5 Web Hosting Policy

Policy Summary: This recommended draft policy removed section 4.2.5 which instructed ARIN to collect technical details about how organizations were using IPv4 addresses for web hosting.  It also instructed ARIN to analyze this data for future policy changes.  This policy is an artifact of a failed policy attempt many years ago to limit web hosting organizations from using an IPv4 address per host.   The data collection appears to not have really occurred and no data was ever analyzed by ARIN.

Issues: This policy section (4.2.5) was a stop-gap policy to completely removing the original failed web hosting policy.  It was thought at the time if data could be analyzed then a future policy could be crafted from this data.  Operational web hosting has changed in the decade since this policy was put in place and today this policy doesn’t appear to provide any value, especially after the IPv4 free pool has been exhausted.  I expect there to be little discussion about this policy and for it to move forward to last call.

2014-7 Section 4.4 Micro Allocation Conservation Update

Policy Summary: This recommended draft policy changes one word (“two” to “three”) in section 4.4 which defines the number of members which must be present at an Internet exchange point (IXP) for it qualify for a micro allocation. This policy is designed to prevent waste from occurring within the IXP micro allocations reserve block.

Issues:  Standard operating practice considers two parties exchanging routes to be a private peering. Since in a two party peering one of the two members could provide an IPv4 /30 block for the peering it doesn’t seem unreasonable to raise the limit from two to three to preserve the long term IXP micro allocation reserve block.  Some have argued that this policy will have little effect and amounts to another rearranging of the “deck chairs.”  Others have argued that that Caribbean economies benefit from the current policy.  The AC was quite split on moving this policy to recommended status and I expect there to be quite a bit of discussion about this single word change in the policy meeting.

2014-10 Remove Sections 4.6 and 4.7

Policy Summary: This recommended draft policy changes removes sections 4.6 and 4.7.  These two sections provided an aggregation & amnesty program for IPv4 addresses.  These sections were suspended in early 2014 by the ARIN board of trustees due to concerns that these sections could be abused by an organization to quickly drain the remaining IPv4 free pool.

Issues:  These two sections of the IPv4 policy were rarely used and have not been used in the past six years by any organization.  The developing IPv4 transfer market also makes these two policy sections less likely to be used.  While there have been some concerns about the removal of these sections, there does not appear to be any substantive use cases which would provide a greater public benefit than the risk of leaving the existing polices in place.  Furthermore, if the community desired a smaller amnesty or aggregation policy those could be proposed through the policy development process.  No such policy has been submitted by the community so far.

IPv4 Transfer Market pricing transparency

Since most IPv4 transfers so far have occurred as private transactions the price for the address blocks has generally not been known.  There are various economic methods and theories which could predict the value of the underlying IPv4 address rights, but those models may not bear much resemblance to the actual market due to the model’s inability to take into account all the factors effecting the IPv4 marketplace.

There are a few public exceptions to the pricing data, notably bankruptcy cases (Nortel @ $11.25/address & Borders @  $12/address) where the pricing was made public as a part of the court filings.

Hilco Streambank which is an ARIN registered transfer facilitator has started a new auction service which is openly posting pricing for the IPv4 blocks.  According to their website, six blocks ranging in size from a /17 to a /24 have been sold in the past couple of months through this site.  (Their site reports the auctions have closed, but the actual transfer may not have occurred.) (copy)

Looking at the pricing information that they have posted, there is a clear premium being paid currently for smaller blocks.  The /24 block sold for $ 6,225 or $24.31 per address whereas the larger /17 & /20 blocks sold for between $7.25 – $7.32.  The actual bid information is not released publicly on their site, so we do not know how many organizations were bidding for the blocks or if the blocks sold for the minimum listed price.

It will be interesting to continue to watch to see how pricing for blocks changes over time and if other trends develop based upon source or destination RIR region for the transfers.

Links to sites on IPv4 pricing models and theories:

Addressing 2013

Geoff Huston recently released his 2013 IP addressing report.  A few notable details from the report.

  •  Device shipments for 2014 are expected to reach 2.47 Billion, each of those devices will need at least one IP address.
  • The industry continues to show consolidation of Internet numbering resources into the largest service and enterprise providers.
  • Geoff’s exhaustion model has ARIN’s IPv4 exhaustion date occurring with a 80% probability between Sept 2014 – June 2015.  (I personally think it will be sooner rather than later)
  • IPv6 allocations continue to grow with the RIPE region leading the world with 2,149 allocations of 4,018 total allocations in 2013 across all five RIRs.

Geoff concludes with the following insights:

The past three years has been dominated by the mass marketing of mobile internet services, and the growth rates for 2013 perhaps might have been the highest so far recorded were it not for the exhaustion of the IPv4 address pools in the Asia Pacific region and Europe and the Middle East. In address terms this growth is being masked by the use of Carrier Grade NATs in the mobile service provider environment, so that the resultant demands for public addresses in IPv4 are quite low.

Unfortunately no such broad scale of deployment of IPv6 was visible in the address statistics for 2013. This points to a mobile Internet whose continued growth in 2013 remains, for the most part, highly reliant on NATs, and this, in turn, points to some longer term elements of concern for the continued ability of the Internet to support further innovation and diversification in its portfolio of applications and services.

We are witnessing an industry that is no longer using technical innovation, openness and diversification as its primary means of propulsion. The widespread use of NATs limit the technical substrate of the Internet to a very restricted model of simple client/server interactions using TCP and UDP. The use of NATs force the interactions into client-initiated transactions, and the model of an open network with considerable flexibility in the way in which communications took place is no longer being sustained.

Today’s internet is serviced by a far smaller number of very large players, each of whom appear to be assuming a very strong position within their respective markets. The drivers for such larger players tend towards risk aversion, conservatism and increased levels of control across their scope of operation.

Addressing 2013 – That Was The Year That Was  (Copy)