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The Internet

IP Shortage In Asia Just Myth, Says APNIC 214

rekkanoryo writes "News.com is carrying a story in which the Director General of APNIC (Asia Pacific Network Information Centre) says that the "shortage" of IP addresses in Asia is a total myth. There's also some talk of IPv6 in this article."
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IP Shortage In Asia Just Myth, Says APNIC

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  • by carpe_noctem ( 457178 ) on Wednesday June 25, 2003 @11:42AM (#6294708) Homepage Journal
    Also, the Iraqi Information Minister has once again emphasized that there are NO American tanks or forces in the city of Baghdad.
  • What type of myth are we talking about here? A myth in the way that cellphone cancer is a myth, or a myth in the way the moon is a myth?
    • What type of myth are we talking about here? A myth in the way that cellphone cancer is a myth, or a myth in the way the moon is a myth?

      No, it's the third sort - it's FUD being spread by $CO (no doubt in conjunction with Micro$oft), who are claiming ownership of Asia's IP ... address space.

      Look, I spelt them with dollar signs, so it's satire!

    • by Anonymous Coward
      Well a myth is really supposed to be a story that supposedly is true (but probably isn't) and explains something about the world or a belief. An example would be the Creation Myth, Greek Mythology, etc. This is not to be confused with fables which are more practical and often involve animals, parables which are always religous or ethical, and allegories which use characters to represent things that are explicity stated (e.g. Animal Farm).

      Paraphrased from Bill Bryson's Dictionary of Troublesome Words.
      • An example would be the Creation Myth, Greek Mythology, etc.

        You shouldn't be so hard on the big bang myth believers. I'm sure God won't hold it against you too much. ;-)
      • Folk seem to be failing to see the wood for the trees here. The APNIC statement was actually a declaration that Asia is going to consider itself as having equal rights to IPv4 address space as the US.

        Under the existing rules the US has grabbed a lot of the potential space and allocated it to folk who don't use it very efficiently - take MIT for example which is sitting on a whole /8.

        Up till now a lot of folk have been thinking that this is not a problem for the US because it already has such a lot of sp

    • When talking about the Chinese governement, it's probably more like this: *BOOM* Myth as in there really *BOOM* isn't a god named Zues, *BOOM* or Myth as in tanks in Tiennamen square? *BOOM* there are no *BOOM* tanks in Tiennamen square.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday June 25, 2003 @11:44AM (#6294728)
    However, there is an overabundance of users.
    • (I know, I should be replying to one of the serious articles, not the funny one, but it really is the right connection....)

      Ths difference between business and dial and broadband home users is really critical here. Business users don't need a lot of IP address space - they're almost always behind firewalls, so a /29 group with 8 IP addresses can handle an office with thousands of people, using 1 address with NAT or proxy firewalls to initiate connections to the outside, and maybe another one or two for ser

  • article text (Score:3, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday June 25, 2003 @11:44AM (#6294729)
    Exec: No shortage of Net addresses
    By John Lui
    Special to CNET News.com
    June 24, 2003, 6:04 PM PT
    http://news.com.com/2100-1028-1020653.html

    The idea that there is an Internet address shortage looming in Asia or any part of the world is "misinformation," according to a senior executive at the body responsible for Internet addresses in the Asia-Pacific region.

    Paul Wilson, director general of APNIC (Asia Pacific Network Information Centre), which distributes and registers Internet address resources in that region, denies the shortage, saying that it will take one or even two decades before the current address system runs out.

    "The source of the rumor has been one I've been tackling for the last five years, since I started in this position at APNIC," he said.

    APNIC is one of four regional Internet registries currently operating. It provides allocation and registration services that support the operation of the Internet globally. The registry gets blocks of addresses from the Internet Assigned Numbers Authority, or IANA, in the United States before allocating these to Asia-Pacific Internet service providers and other bodies that ask for them.

    Some industry analysts have predicted that IP (Internet Protocol) addresses will run out in as little as two years, as more people get access. The experts also point to the historical imbalance in the way addresses have been issued, with the United States grabbing the most, leaving little for the burgeoning Internet masses of China.

    The sums just don't add up, Wilson said.

    He said that around five blocks of "slash eight," or /8, addresses are consumed worldwide each year. Each block allows for 16 million host addresses. There are 100 blocks still available in the current IPv4 (IP version 4) system--enough for 20 years, or perhaps fewer when 3G, or third-generation, phones take off, but certainly more than the two years predicted by doomsayers, he said.

    Wilson cites several reasons for the birth of the myth of the IP address shortage and the related idea that Asia is a latecomer to the IP address buffet.

    "There is a lingering perception that maybe APNIC has been difficult to get addresses from in the past, and people will simply look at the number of addresses allocated in different parts of the world and conclude that somehow things are different in the Asia-Pacific (region). Historically, they were different, but in today's world, they are not," he said.

    Today, any organization applying for addresses plays by the same rules, regardless of which country it is from, he said.

    "The blocks are allocated as they are required. So we don't have a set of addresses earmarked for the Asia-Pacific. There is no pre-allocation for the region which can run out. When addresses are not available, there will be no more addresses left for the whole world," he said.

    The shift to IPv6
    There are several good reasons to adopt IPv6 worldwide, he said, but he also hoped that there would be less lobbying from parties with a vested interest in pushing rapid adoption.

    He warned of the adverse effect that could occur if panicked companies spent large sums on IPv6 networking hardware.

    "The danger of doing that--if you promote that IP addresses are going to run out in a few years, then two or three years will pass, there will be no address shortage. Then what will people think about it?" he said.

    However, he added that in the last two years, due to the efforts of APNIC and other bodies, such messages of doom have grown fainter.

    In the last few years, the governments of Korea, China and Japan have been strong supporters of IPv6, their efforts strongly backed by domestic network equipment manufacturers and bodies such as the IPv6 Forum.

    Equipment makers naturally want ISPs and enterprises to spend money to upgrade to IPv6-compatible products, while Asian governments have felt the new numbering system, with its hugely expanded address space, gave them
    • Re:article text (Score:2, Interesting)

      by pnix ( 682520 )

      He said that around five blocks of "slash eight," or /8, addresses are consumed worldwide each year. Each block allows for 16 million host addresses. There are 100 blocks still available in the current IPv4 (IP version 4) system--enough for 20 years, or perhaps fewer when 3G, or third-generation, phones take off, but certainly more than the two years predicted by doomsayers, he said.

      Did they bother to think that every year we rely more and more on computers? Just like hardware speeds and capabilities a

  • Shortage (Score:3, Funny)

    by Lord Sauron ( 551055 ) on Wednesday June 25, 2003 @11:44AM (#6294731)
    "There is no IP addresses shortage. We have more than 300 spare class A networks." - Mohammed Saeed al-Sahaf
    • Re:Shortage (Score:3, Funny)

      by quandrum ( 652868 )
      Um, it's more like...

      "We have more than 1 trillion class A networks! All our citizens have their own private class A networks. Our IPv4 is superior to your silly dotted quad!"
      • Tell you what, I'll let you use my class A network. I don't use it anyways.

        10.0.0.0/8

        Go ahead, I won't even charge you for it.
  • Y2K (Score:5, Insightful)

    by RazzleFrog ( 537054 ) on Wednesday June 25, 2003 @11:45AM (#6294736)
    Sometimes I think it is ok to exagerrate the urgency of a problem. People were predicting that Y2K would be the end of the world which was probably a little extreme (picture Simpsons episode with plains falling straight out of the sky). Did it help get stuff done, though? Definitely. So now you tell the executives that the world will end if we don't go to IPv6 and see what happens. Who cares if the truth is 2 or 10 years away.
    • Re:Y2K (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Trolling4Dollars ( 627073 ) on Wednesday June 25, 2003 @11:53AM (#6294797) Journal
      Is this anything like Lintilla's "Crisis Inducer" in the Hitchhiker's Guide To the Galaxy radio series? After all, nothing but encroaching deafness could lead one to write such great musical masterpieces like Beethoven, correct? ;P
      • In certain circumstances, when time may be a factor, making a mountain out of a molehill can prove beneficial to everyone involved. The reason is that people think there's more risk involved than there actually is, and fix whatever problems there were before the "deadline" arrives.

        On an off-topic note, has anyone heard anything about a live-action Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy movie (that doesn't suck like the BBC one from way-back)? I read a rumor about it a while ago, but haven't heard anything since
    • Re:Y2K (Score:4, Insightful)

      by Malc ( 1751 ) on Wednesday June 25, 2003 @12:36PM (#6295109)
      The difference between this and Y2K (and Euro adoption) is that there is no drop dead date. It will happen gradually. What I suspect will happen is that prices will gradually increase as demand outstrips supply. At some point, companies will start saying that it is more cost effective to go IPv6. When that happens isn't so easily predicted.
  • by swordboy ( 472941 ) on Wednesday June 25, 2003 @11:46AM (#6294751) Journal
    The US has no shortage of IP. Perhaps they could borrow some from us...

    Oh, wait - you meant *internet protocol* and not *intellectual property*...

    Nevermind...
  • For once I thought this was about Intellectual Property.
  • I didn't want to have to block mail from even more tainted subnets. ^_^

    • You don't have to block specific subnets. You just configure your
      MTA to do reverse lookup in DNS. If the IP addy of the sending MTA
      doesn't have a PTR record, you send a failure response and close
      the connection. This will block mail from pretty much 100% of Asia
      and just about none of North America or Europe. Problem solved.

      And if Asian ISPs ever gets with the program and enter some PTR
      records, then that'll make it about 500 times easier to trace the
      source of spam coming from there (because you can whois
      • Re:A myth? Good (Score:3, Informative)

        Nice plan, except for the fact that flawed MTAs like MS Exchange don't send a fully qualified domain name per default.

        Where a real MTA would send HELO/EHLO real.full.domain, Exchange only sends the hostname. Thus the reverse lookup fails miserably.

        If you're running a mail server for thousands of users, you would soon enough have thousands of disgruntled people. A lot, and I mean a lot of mail servers are running Exchange with the default settings. This means perfectly legit mail is dropped.

        And Exchange a

  • And they also claimed that SARS was not a problem in China until it blew up in their faces. They just refuse to admit that they have a problem.
    • hmmm, yeah....
      cept SARS really isn't a problem, tho...
      so, does that mean that the IP shortage isn't a problem in China, except on CNN??

    • RTFA. The world shares the allotment of IP addresses. Their can not be an Asian shortage without their being a world shortage...
    • We're talking about the policies of the Regional Internet Registry in the Asia Pacific region, which are decided by the consensus of the industry and implemented by the body (based in Australia) and the National Internet Registries (based on their respective countries), using exactly the same IP space which the rest of us use.

      That's an important one, people - we're all going to run out at the same time. I never got this "IP Shortage in Asia" stuff because their shortage is our shortage, whoever "we" are.

      A
  • Myths (Score:5, Interesting)

    by ciroknight ( 601098 ) on Wednesday June 25, 2003 @11:50AM (#6294776)
    I would certainly hope this is a myth, but this is seriously becoming a problem. With all those new wireless networks out there, I could imagine IP addresses drying up at a pretty incredible rate in the next few years. I dont like IPv6 either though, too many numbers to make it managable. The new network admins are going to have to carry around a phone book just to know where all the ip addresses are in their network. Speaking of phones, why can't we simply augment the current IP system with an Area code feature? Seems like it'd be a lot easier than adding a billion bits to the IP address and it'd be a whole lot more managable. Just my 2 cents... (under bush economics its not even that much :/)
    • nearsighted (Score:5, Insightful)

      by dollargonzo ( 519030 ) on Wednesday June 25, 2003 @11:57AM (#6294822) Homepage
      that is the same as adding another digit to the 2-digit representation of years. yes, it will solve the problem at hand, but while you are at it, you might as well redo the system, since you are going to have to change anyway.
    • Oh god no! (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Raul654 ( 453029 ) on Wednesday June 25, 2003 @12:00PM (#6294845) Homepage
      Adding area code features means now you have relativity playing a part in addresses -- 5.5.5.5 would no longer be unique, it could mean any one of hundreds of computers, depending on the area code. So unless you explictly use the area code every time (which, would be the same as using longer network names, which you want to avoid) you're going to run into problems. IN the tradeoff of short network address vs unqiueness, I'd take uniqueness every time.
    • Of course this is a problem, as evidenced by the old joke:

      Once upon a time there were two Chinamen - now look how many!
    • This is effectively what NAT and port forwarding provide. It allows everyone to reuse the same network addresses behind a single true IP address. It also supports exposing 64K servers behind that one address. You really don;t need a second IP address, until you need to expose more than 64K servers.

      The real problem is that it's easier to be sloppy with IP management, and assign Internet exposed addresses for everything under the sun.

      I really belive there would be no IP address shortage if people managed
      • Except NAT screws with the packets... which shouldn't have to be done unless you explicitly need them screwed with for something other than routing.

        NAT has caused me no end of problems, all of which would be solved by real IPs on all the boxes (which for the trolls out there, isn't a security hazard... firewalls will still work).

        And out here in the real world, we put services on well known ports for precisely the reason they are called "Well Known" - I certainly don't expect people looking for a companies
        • If you are having problems with NAT, speak to your vendor. The only "Screwing with" it does is covered in RFC1631, and should be properly handled by all compliant equipment and software. If this isn't the case, your vendor either has some explaining to do, or your software configuration may be in error.

          In the real world, web sites are easily handled by URL redirection and framing, making NATed port number completely transparent to end users. They simply enter "http://www.mycompay.com" and are sent to th
          • I've not done it before, so excuse me if this sounds like a troll...

            If you're NATing from port 80 to port 1234... doesn't the user still have the ability to do whatever they wanted to do your web server, since they're connected now.
            • "If you're NATing from port 80 to port 1234... doesn't the user still have the ability to do whatever they wanted to do your web server, since they're connected now."

              Yes, that's the point. This discussion thread wasn't about using NAT for security, but rather to avoid allocation of excessive IP addresses. By using NAT and port forwarding, many servers can share the same Internet visible IP adddress.

              Whether NATed/port forwarded or with a unique IP address, a web server would be Internet accessible, and

    • by davew ( 820 )

      This is another troll, right? Oh ok, I'll bite.

      I dont like IPv6 either though, too many numbers to make it managable. The new network admins are going to have to carry around a phone book just to know where all the ip addresses are in their network.

      Um. Um. DNS? :)

      I'm a network admin. I'm damned if I try to remember the name and location, and IP addresses of several hundred devices in my head. :)

      Speaking of phones, why can't we simply augment the current IP system with an Area code featur

    • The new network admins are going to have to carry around a phone book just to know where all the ip addresses are in their network.

      How can you be in the IT industry and not have ever evaluated the utility of a PDA?

  • by woverly ( 223564 ) on Wednesday June 25, 2003 @11:51AM (#6294782)
    I was so saddened by this story that I have started taking up a collection in the office. So far I've collected more than 500 IP addresses to send not counting an entire block of 10.100.x.x
  • by Polarcow ( 526269 ) on Wednesday June 25, 2003 @11:54AM (#6294802) Journal
    APNIC is just a letter switch away from PANIC. Not exactly an organization I'd put a lot of faith in... :)
  • Not doom but problem (Score:5, Informative)

    by UnknowingFool ( 672806 ) on Wednesday June 25, 2003 @11:54AM (#6294807)
    Although the sky isn't quite falling, I think that a few years ago, the situation looked more precarious than it does today. Back then it was predicted that everyone would have broadband acess and a superfast computer and you could surf the web on your cell phone by now. With 22 million addresses, China alone has 1.3 billion people so the situation looked dire.

    The reality is that broadband adoption is slower than anticipated and not everybody in Asia wants or can afford a computer. Not everyone who gets a cell phone wants to surf on it.

    The implementation of IPv6 is to prevent the problem before it occurred.

  • by 91degrees ( 207121 ) on Wednesday June 25, 2003 @11:55AM (#6294811) Journal
    Asia is a hopeless lie made up by the governemnt to justify military spending. Have you notived that the majority of wars in the past 50 years have been fought in this mythological continent?

    It's quite obvious that it doesn't exist! Has anyone ever been there? Of course not! Do people come from there? No. We're meant to assume that all these Asians come from Asia. Hence the name. Well, these people are Asian-Americans! They come from America! Ask one next time you meet him. Ask where he is from. He'll say America (Unless you live in Europe or something that is).

    As soon as we accept that Asia doesn't exist, we'll be able to free up all the IP addresses that have been assigned for use by the part of the world that does exist.
  • . . . the patent and copyright lawyers have all the IP tied up in court in the US!
  • by Salden ( 571264 ) on Wednesday June 25, 2003 @12:02PM (#6294865)
    China was about to impose a 1 IP address per married couple law.
    • I heard about that and what a disaster it was. IP addresses not being able to support their parents. Parents abandoning IP addresses along the side of the road because they didn't have the last bit set to 1. There have even been round ups of parents accused of getting around the system and NATing. *sniff*
  • ipv6 (Score:5, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday June 25, 2003 @12:04PM (#6294879)

    You could argue there's a shortage of IPv4 addresses everywhere as long as it involves more than the most trivial amount of effort or any cost to get hold of them.

    IPv6 is very easy to set up and run on top of ipv4. More and more people are doing it and the most effort you have to do it enable the option in your kernel.

    Running ipv6 on top of your existing ipv4 address is as simple as these 5 shell commands

    http://www.tldp.org/HOWTO/Linux+IPv6-HOWTO/configu ring-ipv6to4-tunnels.html [tldp.org]

    • It's easy to set up IPv6 tunnels over IPv4, but those don't change the problem - they're not much different than setting up RFC1918 10.x.x.x IPv4 tunnels over IPv4 (pick your favorite flavor of IPSEC, PPTP, L2TP, NAT, etc.) It may be a tastier, more interesting version of NAT, but it's still basically NAT until you can run native.

      The big difference between the 6-over-4 tunnelling world and RFC1918-tunnelled is that you _can_ interconnect different IPv6 islands into one big archipelago, if you're willing t

  • NAT (Score:2, Insightful)

    People in asia have NAT boxes too. That will keep them connected for a while, before the world moves to IPv6(if?). For phones and toasters with IPv6 addresses they can tunnel over IPv4 as I do today with my IPv6 network at home.
  • Allocations (Score:5, Informative)

    by gclef ( 96311 ) on Wednesday June 25, 2003 @12:04PM (#6294885)
    What people seem to be missing in this is that there's a lot of space still around (100 /8's if the Director is to be believed), which is not allocated to *anyone* right now. If Asias use of IP space grows more rapidly than the US', then APNIC will simply ask for new allocations more often than ARIN would.

    I can see running out of space being a concern during the 'net boom, since routing tables and IP space requests were growing exponentially during that time. But, the growth of the routing table has slowed down from that rate (see http://bgp.potaroo.net/), so the time when we'll run out has moved much farther back. We'll need to move to v6 eventually, sure, but I don't think it'll happen for 10 or so years.
  • by geekoid ( 135745 ) <dadinportland@ya ... .com minus punct> on Wednesday June 25, 2003 @12:06PM (#6294899) Homepage Journal
    "Here, in this remote village in China, some children only get 1 or 2 IP address. They can go hours without checking slashdot. The good news is, you can help, for as little as 1 or 2 IP address a week, this child could troll as often as any other child in the world."
  • Wilson cites several reasons for the birth of the myth of the IP address shortage and the related idea that Asia is a latecomer to the IP address buffet.
    I always thought of IP addresses as 'served' by waiters, not chosen from a smorgasboard by the people themselves.
  • we need IPv6 so that
    One day, every toaster, every toilet, wil have its own IP at last.
    • One day, every toaster, every toilet, wil have its own IP at last.

      Fine, you waste yours like that if you want. When I get v6 every atom in my computer is going to get its own IP.

  • Rubbish (Score:4, Interesting)

    by lpontiac ( 173839 ) on Wednesday June 25, 2003 @12:33PM (#6295084)

    (Disclaimer: I'm not a networks person, just a frustrated end user)

    This doesn't sound like the line APNIC peddles when people actually ask it for IP addresses. When I can get a real, routable IP for every computer on my home network, and my office network, without paying a notable sum per IP because otherwise my ISP wouldn't have any address space left .. then there will be enough IP addresses.

    WAIX is possibly the largest peering point in the southern hemisphere .. pretty much every ISP in the state connects to it to exchange data with each other. Some people like to set up machines with IPs that will not be routed over anything but WAIX, for things like local mirrors where communication with the non-WAIX world would be an unwanted expense. WAIX has adopted the convention of using 172.16-31.* IPs (these are "local" addresses just like 10.* and 192.168.*) - my understanding is that they know this is an utterly broken approach, but the only way since APNIC won't give WAIX a "real" IP range to do it with!

    Not giving out portable IP ranges willy-nilly is understandable, since otherwise routing tables would balloon out unreasonably. But when rules on handing out IPs to established networks are as anal as APNIC's, the only possible explanation is that they need to strictly ration the too-small supply of IP addresses.

  • China and Japan will invest millions to develop IPv6.

    It will rely on Hitachi's own IPv6-enabled network equipment

    Excuse me? Am I understanding this right - Japan has yet to develop IPv6 systems, but when they do eventually make them they will rely on Hitachi's IPv6 network ... ?

    Ummm, Hitachi is a Japanese company. IPv6 is in wider use in Japan than anywhere else in the world.
    Is this the same FUD that told us European WAP is much better than Japanese imode??
  • by hesiod ( 111176 ) on Wednesday June 25, 2003 @01:07PM (#6295418)
    > When that final address is used up in a couple of years, the online world will grind to a halt. And perhaps, so will the economies of the three North Asian nations.

    I don't mean to downplay the seriousness of this situation, which I doubt, but the online world will not "grind to a halt." Will all of the existing servers fail when that happens? No way. The only thing that will stop is growth, which is still a problem, but won't bring down the 'Net.
  • My proposal (Score:5, Funny)

    by cr@ckwhore ( 165454 ) on Wednesday June 25, 2003 @01:15PM (#6295492) Homepage
    I still contend that Asia only needs one 1 IP address... then, NAT the entire country. This solves many problems ...

    1. They're all communists anyway and if all traffic went through one IP, they'd have better control over their people. Government wins.

    2. No more problems with reaching the limit of ipv4. Millions of addresses would be free'd from Asia for the benefit of the rest of the world. The entire world wins.

    3. Since most spam originates in China, and if they all go down to one big NAT box somewhere, then we'd be able to eliminate almost all spam by simply blocking Asia's IP address. We all win!

    Looks like a win-win-win situation to me... Lets get onto these metrics, shift the paradigms, and leverage the synergy we are presented with.

    Presented to you by psycho-babble 1.0.

    • typo ... asia is a continent, not a country. Sorry 'bout that.
    • I know you are kidding, but...

      NAT works by creating a translation table: The private network has lots of IP address, each of which are talking on a relative few ports. The external side has 1 IP address talking on lots of ports. Each PrivateIP+Port combination on the inside needs one PublicID+Port combination on the outside. Since there are only 16 bits of port and a 10.* network has 24 bits of private IP space, this system would collapse under moderate load.

      • No, only some NATs work in this way. Other NATs, on receiving a packet from outside, do examine the source (external) port and address and the destination source and port before deciding which internal host to route it to. While this could theoretically cause problems if ~2^16 people in China simulaneously attempt to access the same external IP/port, that is extremely unlikely. It is also theoretically possible for the NAT to monitor statefully monitor TCP connections and route accordingly (although I'm
      • The reason we're talking about NAT as a solution is that there aren't enough IPv4 addresses to handle everybody in Asia getting a broadband internet connection. A typical NAT system lets you put up to ~2**8-2**16 users per real IPv4 address (how many depends on how many open connections a given end user typically maintains to the outside world.) That means that one real Class A address could support 2**32-2**40 users if you managed it all with NAT, so China's taken care of. (There are about 100 spare Cla
    • You do realize that Asia is more than just China?
  • Was I the only one who saw shortage and reach Pacific Asia Network Information Center (PANIC)? If only slashdot has DON'T PANIC on the inside front cover... I think it would make my life a lot easier, plus, it would sell better, despite being completely inaccurate.
  • My company - you figure out who it is - now has two class A address, 15 and 16...
  • ...crack up laughing when they read the title, and immediately picture the Iraqi Information Minister saying this? (And may our stomachs roast in hell for wasting so many IPs!)

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