APNIC, the Asia Pacific internet registry, has issued a call-to-arms to Asian businesses, warning that they will need to act fast on IPv6 deployment before IPv4 exhaustion strikes.
The dwindling supply of IPv4 addresses will be one of the most crucial issues facing Asia-Pacific businesses over the next three years, according to APNIC chief scientist Geoff Huston.
Over this period, “IPv4 addresses will no longer be available for network expansion, and all organizations with any form of reliance on the Internet must be prepared to support IPv6,” he said.
He cautioned that APAC organizations must become better-prepared than their European counterparts, after an EC survey found that 16% of companies have not applied for IPv6 allocations claiming a lack of business case for the required investment.
Huston's warnings come just weeks after the Number Resource Organization (NRO) warned that the supply of free IPv4 address space has slumped to below 5%, and that the final 12 blocks of addresses will be fully allocated to regional registries by early next year.
“It has only been about nine months since the free pool dropped below 10%. The current rate of consumption eliminates any doubt about the IPv4 exhaustion timeframe,” Huston said.
Fortunately, APAC governments and major organizations - including ISPs, operators and data center suppliers - have come round to the necessity and started to lay out IPv6 roadmaps, Huston said. IPv6 allocations in the region have increased at least 300% over last year.
When only five blocks of IPv4 addresses remain free, NRO will distribute each one simultaneously to the regional registries. To ensure that Asia's final supply lasts as long as possible, APNIC will limit allocations to no more than 1024 addresses for a single organization.