In the same week that the NRO claimed that IPv4 address space has dipped below 5 percent remaining, comes a story that really makes me think that there is a lot more IPv4 address space yet to be found.
The Interop trade show announced that it is returning a portion of its /8 IPv4 address block allocation. A /8 block contains 16,777,216 addresses. That’s right, a trade show had nearly 17 million IPv4 addresses allocated to it.
Interop likely could have made do with 100 or less unique IP address and then used NAT and port forwarding to achieve full conference connectivity for any location in the world. Then again, back in the day, I remember provisioning real unique IP’s to every user in the various networks I managed (no I didn’t understand or need to understand NAT, IP space was cheap and plentiful).
How many other organizations are out there that have huge address block that they shouldn’t have?
When I asked ARIN about un-used IPv4 address space earlier this year. they told me that they’ve had some success in getting space back. What is unclear to me, is how much more they can get.
No doubt, even with reclamation, IPv4 has a limited life remaining for new address allocations. But I don’t doubt that this new very public return of space by Interop will get organization big and small thinking about how they can do their part to keep the IPv4 address pool alive for another day.