The five Internet Registries now have just 16.8 millions IPv4 addresses left each, according to RIPE NCC – the Regional Internet Registry (RIR) for Europe, the Middle East and parts of Central Asia.
Axel Pawlik, managing director of the RIPE NCC, said, “The limitations of the pool of IPv4 address space became clear over time, and in the last few years we have been monitoring supplies closely, preparing ourselves and all stakeholders for the next stage of the internet. Reaching the last /8 underlines the importance of IPv6 deployment, which is vital to the future growth of the internet.”
He said there was still a long way to go before everyone migrates onto IPv6, but the next generation internet protocol (IP) would enable the internet of connected devices. “IPv6 vastly increases the amount of address space, helping to enable an exciting turning point in society as internet connected devices become increasingly more sophisticated and commonplace.”
With the limited number of IPv4 addresses left, organisations applying for IPv4 address space are subject to an IPv4 last /8 evaluation procedure. They will be able to get 1,024 IPv4 addresses but will need to prove that they are migrating to IPv6.
In June 2012, several companies switched their websites to IPv6, including Facebook, Google and Cisco.
Speaking to Computer Weekly earlier this year, Paul Lightfoot, managed services director at The Bunker, described IPv6 readiness as comparable with testing during the Millennium transition: “Everyone was worried about Y2K.
"With IPv6," he says: “You still have to test your applications, especially legacy software with hard-wired IP addresses."