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Microsoft Buys 666,000 IP Addresses 264

RabidMonkey writes "Microsoft has managed to purchase 666,624 IP addresses from the bankrupt Canadian company Nortel for $7.5 million. This works out to $11.25/ip. An exact list of blocks isn't available yet. There has been a lot of discussion on NANOG about whether this allowed or not, and what the implications to the dwindling IPv4 pool may be. Is this the first of many such moves as IPv4 address space has run out? Will ARIN step in and block the sale/transfer? How long will such measures drag out the eventual necessity of IPv6?"
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Microsoft Buys 666,000 IP Addresses

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  • They are... (Score:3, Funny)

    by hotfireball ( 948064 ) on Thursday March 24, 2011 @05:52PM (#35605064)
    Fucking Devils...
  • by 93 Escort Wagon ( 326346 ) on Thursday March 24, 2011 @05:52PM (#35605076)

    ... I'll bet they're all in the 169.* block.

  • And I'll even drop the price down to $10/address.

    Muah ha ha ha ha... []
  • by Capt.DrumkenBum ( 1173011 ) on Thursday March 24, 2011 @05:54PM (#35605106)
    I always knew Microsoft was Evil. :)
  • by fantomas ( 94850 ) on Thursday March 24, 2011 @05:54PM (#35605110)

    Does this mean that companies will start selling IP addresses for increasing amounts of money? should I buy a block of 100 as an investment now? A bit like buying up domain names?

    • by ackthpt ( 218170 ) on Thursday March 24, 2011 @06:04PM (#35605306) Homepage Journal

      Does this mean that companies will start selling IP addresses for increasing amounts of money? should I buy a block of 100 as an investment now? A bit like buying up domain names?

      Not bloody likely. Most likely Microsoft will dump what they don't need. With IPv6 around the corner it's like buying 666,000 ice cream cones on a hot Summer day - better use them up before they are no use anymore.

      • by DriedClexler ( 814907 ) on Thursday March 24, 2011 @06:25PM (#35605602)

        Yes, adoption of IPv6 is coming along VERY smoothly; large corporations are being EXTREMELY cooperative about converting to the new standard, thereby ensuring that we will NOT abruptly run out of internet addresses -- in keeping with their usual policy of extreme foresightedness.

        *rolls eyes, jerk-off gesture*

        • they're hoping for the GP's scenario - they're speculating on the increasing value of remaining IPv4 addresses.

          soon the bubble will burst, there'll be a sub-prime IP mortgage bust and people will be kicked out of their IP addresses if they can't make the payments.

    • Yes, for the following reasons.

      1. There's money to be made of a scarce resource.
      2. It cost money to upgrade equipment and implement IPv6.
      3. Because of #2, it no longer makes #1 reliant, and thus will not drive a higher profit margin.
      4. They'll double NAT home user accounts to free up IPv4, and charge extra for a real public IP.
      5. Implementing #4 causes havoc with P2P and other server-side applications. They want to download anyways, not upload.

      In order for IPv6 to be rolled out, I fear the FCC will need to

      • by xiando ( 770382 ) on Thursday March 24, 2011 @06:21PM (#35605542) Homepage Journal

        In order for IPv6 to be rolled out, I fear the FCC will need to get involved (as with HDTV). And that's just for the US.

        I have no doubt the US will be among the last countries to get widespread IPv6 adoptation. Most major Swedish ISPs (Telia, etc) say they will start giving everyone both IPv4 and IPv6 in 2013, and drop IPv4 by 2015. They may delay, the IPv4 drop will depend on how the rest of the world are doing, but still: There will be no local market for IPv4 by 2014. Maby you can still sell address space to poor people like those in the US, who knows, all I'm saying is that the local market, and probably the whole EU market, for IPv4 will be dead soon.

      • Why would the ISPs care about playing havoc? NATing will break P2P (Which competes with the ISPs own television service), Video on demand (Same), VoIP (Which competes with the ISPs phone service)... they can screw over any potential competition, and in a completly deniable way.
        • but all the competition they're trying to squeeze out will just switch to v6...

          • by Myria ( 562655 )

            but all the competition they're trying to squeeze out will just switch to v6...

            And what competition is that?

            • read the parent post... i couldn't be bothered quoting a 1 sentence post directly above mine for reasons that should be obvious.

        • The only reason NAT is a problem for VOIP is because the standard VOIP protocol (SIP) was designed as a peer to peer system. This gives lower costs and slightly better performance but it also makes it very fragile in the case of NAT.

          It's perfectly possible to implement VOIP as a traditional client-server protocol (for example IAX) which should work fine with NAT. Downside is that all calls have to be routed via a server but often that is desirable anyway.

      • by mug funky ( 910186 ) on Thursday March 24, 2011 @07:15PM (#35606232)

        i need to see proof! i'm not investing my money in a more expensive "renewable" IPv6 pipe dream!

        i doubt that we're even running out of IPv4 addresses. the world doesn't work like that, and i'd be damned if i'm going to give up my net-enabled gadget way of life in the name of your flawed science!

        IPv4 depletion is a MYTH perpetrated by left-wing pinkos trying to cripple the free market and personal freedoms.

    • Fuck yeah, I'm going to park on this Comcast DHCP assigned address for the next 10 years then sell if for a fortune!

    • by Ron Atkinson ( 546834 ) on Thursday March 24, 2011 @06:37PM (#35605748)
      Sales of IP addresses have been common place since about the late 90's or so. I had a class C block for 15 years and had offers many times, but I turned my block into ARIN about 1.5 years ago (yes, it was assigned to me for personal use before the Internet was commercialized, they used to do this). Microsoft has done nothing different from what many other companies have been doing for years. I bet Google has bought IP addresses from companies and individuals. This story only exists because it's "Microsoft".
    • Bah, there's an easy solution anyway.... just talk to the creators of CSI and see if you can get in on the 427.x.x.x block.

      Quite obvious if you ask me...

  • by Xtravar ( 725372 ) on Thursday March 24, 2011 @05:54PM (#35605114) Homepage Journal

    What are your intentions with this block of IP addresses, Microsoft? To whore them out, or help speed the adoption of ipv6 by sitting on them, or neither?

    • I would imagine their new datacenter expansions might require a bit of addresses(no idea how many would be actually needed without seeing their network design)
      to support windows phone 7 and related apps.

      600k+ addresses is a bit much though, unless they have plans to offer natting/tunneling services for windows 7 phones, perhaps to ease ipv6 issues on the part of their partners?

  • How horrible (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Bizzeh ( 851225 ) on Thursday March 24, 2011 @05:55PM (#35605126) Homepage

    it is so horrible that microsoft are bailing out a bankrupt businss buy buying assets from them for more than what they are worth... allowing the company to pass the money down to employees that have lost wages... i cant think of anything worse

  • So what you really mean is 667, 000 not 666, 000. But that's not quite as fun :P
    • by Xtravar ( 725372 )

      If you round up to the nearest evil number, 666,666.

    • Either way, it really should be enough for anyone.
    • Not unless they're going to add the word 'about'. Microsoft DID buy 666,000 addresses. They did NOT buy 667,000.

      It would also be accurate to say that Microsoft bought 1 IP address. Because they did. It just happened to be in a bundle with 666,624 others

      Of course, since they used '666,000' rather than '666k' or even '666 thousand', there's absolutely no reason they couldn't have just put '666,624' in there instead of just zeros....

      • Yeah, and in such reasoning you could say they missed the golden opportunity to say Microsoft bought 655,360 IPs (+11, 264)

        • Certainly, that would be correct. But it would be inaccurate. The problem with 667k is that it is accurate, but incorrect. 666k is both accurate and correct.


  • by dave562 ( 969951 ) on Thursday March 24, 2011 @06:00PM (#35605212) Journal

    They are hemorraging assets left and right. By this time next year I doubt there will be any employees left at "Nortel". It's too bad because they were a major player for so long. That NT-1 switch is a real work horse.

    • by fat_mike ( 71855 )

      We had their 0x32 hybrid switch. Bought it back in 1994 and it was the perfect phone system for small to medium sized companies. **266344. I smile every time I walk into a place and see the phones cause I know that code.

      We donated it to a church/school in 2000 and other than the HD dying in the voice mail unit, it is still chugging along today. Funny thing is we paid $197,000 for it in 1994. When the HD died in 2007 I was able to buy a release 4 (with OS/2!) voice mail for $259.

      Its a shame, they had so

    • Nortel is being broken up and sold off to various other companies. So far chunks have gone to Avaya, Ciena, Ericsson, and GENBAND, and probably others as well.

  • This is it. When real companies pay real money for IP4 addresses, it is the beginning of the end.

    Suddenly IP6 day seems a lot more interesting.

  • In other news, MIT [] just gained $189 million dollars worth of assets.

  • by KingRatMass ( 1448233 ) on Thursday March 24, 2011 @06:09PM (#35605354)
    Only 1 address will used by MS, the other 666,623 are for Northwind Traders.
  • I used to ask managers how much our unused IP addresses were worth and they used to give me a blank stare.

    In hindsight, I probably should have taken that as a bad sign.
  • I am the IT manager for a smallish company, and we recently purchased another block of 128 addresses even though we only need some of those right now, since we want to be in a position to accommodate for future growth over the next several years.

    • So, we have reached the point in the supply curve where the remaining supply suddenly evaporates due to hoarding.
  • by ajmcello ( 663424 ) on Thursday March 24, 2011 @06:13PM (#35605434) Homepage
    It is pre 1997 and pre-ARIN, which is not subject to any of the transfer restrictions or guidelines ARIN as since imposed. Since it is grandfathered in, it is not subject to the annual maintenance dues. Let me know if anyone is interested.
  • Maybe we should tell them that they do not purchase the IPs, they only purchase a license to use them...

  • They have two /8s [] and change. ;-)

    015/8 Hewlett-Packard Company 1994-07 LEGACY
    016/8 Digital Equipment Corporation 1994-11 LEGACY

  • MS isn't even trying to hide it anymore.

  • This has to go before the judge, etc., so it hasn't actually happened yet. No word as to whether or not ARIN will contest it (as IP addresses are not supposed to be property; they are assigned by ARIN, which reserves rights to take them back) or, if it does, whether or not the judge would pay attention.

  • The only real way to ensure that we don't run out of IP space is to rent them, not sell them. Charge a "property tax" of $1 per IP a month and you'll see tons of organizations with class A blocks give back IP space that they weren't using anyway because they can't afford $16M a month. No organization should ever need more than a few class Cs of publicly routable IP space.

  • Seems like a pretty stupid investment to me. When we run out of IP4 addresses, then we'll just move to IP6. The IP4 addresses will become worthless obsolete abstract allocations. That's what happens when you try to hoard a completely artificial resource.

    • by Sir_Sri ( 199544 )

      They may be figuring that during the transition (or after) that having a big block of them, especially for legacy services would be worthwhile. There's probably a lot of infrastructure out there that won't ever switch to IPv6 gracefully (if at all), but might be important. Sort of like IE6 that won't die. I suspect there will be a lot of custom equipment/servers that will need to keep plugged into IPv4 long after the rest of us have moved to IPv6.

      It's not like 7 million dollars is a lot of money to MS, a

  • It was 666624. And that's one (excellent!) way to write out the number.

    You can say that as 6.66624*10^5 or (for computer people) 6.66624E5 and that's just as good, if weird-looking.

    You can also round that off, and say 6.66*10^5 or 6.66E5 and that is perfectly correct, if imprecise.

    You can even say 666 thousand and that's right, too. Think of that as a shorthand Englishy way of using scientific notation. Or use a "k" suffix. (*)

    But 666000 is wrong, just as 6.66000*10^5 would be wrong. You're pretending yo

    • by praxis ( 19962 )

      I agree that 666,000 is not the best way to represent the number, but it's not really wrong. They did buy 666,000 IP addresses.

    • by Shados ( 741919 )

      Thanks for the 10th grade (if that) science lesson. Too bad you missed out on the critical thinking lessons.

      666000 still gets the point across. An article isn't a scientific document and doesn't pretend to be.

    • Strictly speaking, "666000." would be wrong. "666000" is merely ambiguous; without the trailing period, or another equivalent mark, it could have between three and six significant digits, inclusive. (See also Identifying significant digits [])

  • ... how much of Apple's /8 block is still unused? There were advantages to being there at the dawn of time [].

    That's 2**24 or 16 million addresses.

  • I am for anything that makes the IPv4 resource situation more desperate: Desperate enough that mid-sized derp-a-derp MCSE sysadmin-lead companies will actually have to move to IPv6.

    IPv6 won't go mainstream until people start getting desperate. I WANT people desperate and fearful. Fear drives people do things their lazy asses would not otherwise get around to doing.

  • Nortel is still in business? And still has an asset worth $74 mil?

...there can be no public or private virtue unless the foundation of action is the practice of truth. - George Jacob Holyoake