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The Current State of IPv4

September 11, 2014  |  Written by Damion Lackamp, Director of Interconnection Services

IPv4—Internet Protocol version 4—is the name for the IP addressing/numbering scheme currently holding the incumbent status in the IP world of 2014. IPv4 has been the de facto IP address-numbering scheme since its introduction in 1981. Unfortunately, however, IPv4 has seen better days.

The developers of this scheme never could have imagined that IP address needs would balloon to levels that would cause a global depletion of the available (and previously, free) IPv4 addresses. However, in these days of mobile phones, tablet computers, and the up-and-coming Internet of Things, IPv4 is no longer able to keep up due to a limited number of addresses in the global pool.

Based on current use (and historical) data, it is estimated that all addresses in North America currently provided from the “free” IPv4 pool may be depleted by December of 2014. Organizations will then need to begin paying for addresses needed to maintain services as they become available on the open market. Needless to say, the current state of IPv4 isn’t great.

But don’t despair! IPv6 is here to pick up the slack. With a seemingly infinite number of possible addresses, IPv6 will take us into the new era. As more and more people adopt IPv6 for their networking needs, you will begin to see your customers request IPv6 blocks so that they can run “dual stack” networks—which essentially means running IPv4 and IPv6 networks at the same time. But as more and more people adopt the IPv6 standard, IPv4 will eventually fade away.

To help support our customers’ needs, Telx currently offers IPv4 at minimal cost. We also offer IPv6 at no cost to the customer as part of our Dedicated Internet Access service. We understand that we’re currently in an important time of transition, and want to make sure we address all of our customers’ needs to the best of our abilities.

Interested in learning more about IPv4 vs. IPv6, or have more questions about the current state of IPv4? Contact Damion Lackamp at dlackamp@telx.com for more details, or reach out to the Telx team through the contact page of our site, or by Facebook or Twitter. We would love to answer any questions you may have.