IPv4 Address Space Exhaustion: Where Are We Now?

27 Oct

Philipp Richter, PhD student, INET group, Technische Universität Berlin, Germany

External Presentation (External Speaker)

The Internet faces a fundamental resource shortage problem: We have run out of freely available IPv4 address space. Today, four out of five of the registries serving the global demand for IPv4 address space have exhausted their address reserves. Networks in need of IPv4 address space can no longer get more address allocations from their respective registries.

In this talk, we will first frame the fundamentals of the IPv4 address exhaustion phenomena and its connected issues. We show how the current ecosystem of IPv4 address space has evolved since the standardization of IPv4 back in 1981, leading to the rather complex scenario that we face today. We then provide a detailed study of global IPv4 address space activity, relying on server logs of a large commercial content delivery network (CDN), which serves more than 3 trillion requests on a daily basis. We observe that the number of globally active IPv4 addresses has stagnated since 2014, after years of constant growth. With this observation in mind, we study global IP address activity in detail, with a particular emphasis on address space utilization. We reveal that large portions of the IPv4 address space show little utilization, despite address scarcity. We next drill down into the root causes for this low utilization and find that this can be mainly attributed to how networks administrators configure their networks, i.e., the address assignment practice. We conclude with an outlook on how network operators can combat the depletion of the IPv4 address space.

About Philipp Richter

Philipp Richter is a fourth-year PhD student in the INET group at TU Berlin. He works in the field of Internet Measurement, advised by Anja Feldmann. In 2015, he interned in the Custom Analytics Group at Akamai in Cambridge, Massachusetts. In 2013 and 2014, he was a research intern at ICSI in Berkeley, California. In his PhD work, Philipp explores the phenomenon of IPv4 address space exhaustion and its consequences for the Internet and its stakeholders. In this context, he also studies the evolution of the inter-domain peering ecosystem at large.

Web: https://net.t-labs.tu-berlin.de/~prichter/

This event will be conducted in English


  • Location: Sala 1.1/2 IMDEA Networks Institute, Avda. del Mar Mediterráneo 22, 28918 Leganés – Madrid

  • Organization: NETCOM Research Group (Telematics Engineering Department, UC3M); IMDEA Networks Institute
  • Time: 01:00 pm
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