[arin-ppml] Some data relating to IPv4 address exhaustion (or not)

William Lehr wlehr at MIT.EDU
Wed May 6 13:15:20 EDT 2009

That is a reasonable hypothesis, but I would not be surprised if there 
were no correlation at all because of the complex dynamics associated 
with address usage.

Basically, IP addresses are a small share of costs to run a network and 
even smaller share of corporate IT budgets so should not be closely 
correlated with it. Yes, there is presumably rough correlation between 
number of employees, corporate capital expenditures, and other such 
indicators associated with overall economy, but I would expect that to 
be very noisy. Issues like architecture reconfiguration could increase 
or decrease need for addresses and so direction of impact of business 
cycles on IP address demand would be ambiguous.

On other hand, since addresses are allocated in one-way process (from 
unallocated pool to demanders) and new allocations justified by need to 
meet expanded user-base, there is implicit linkage between business 
cycles and demand, and that seems likely to make it a leading indicator. 
But in some sense an artificial indicator that is partially due to 
current allocation mechanism rather than real "demand." (That is, does 
address utilitization correlate with demand? My earlier discussion 
focused more on address utilization.)

Interesting academic questions, but I am surprised it makes much of a 
difference in policy debate. Exhaustion is still pre-ordained 
conclusion, right? Do a few months one way or other make a big difference?

Marshall Eubanks wrote:
> On May 6, 2009, at 8:04 AM, Eliot Lear wrote:
>> Ted,
>> Here are some interesting data points for this group to consider.
>> According to the U.N., world economic growth dropped from 3.5-4% in
>> 2003-2007 to 2.5% in 2008, and the prediction is for around 1% growth in
>> 2009.  At the same time, Geoff Huston's numbers have been shifting to
>> the right.  In the case of IANA the number has shifted out 6 months in 6
>> months.  We have not seen quite the same shift for RIR numbers,
>> however.  Is world economic growth a controlling variable in the
>> equation of IP address consumption, or merely a coincidence, and how can
>> we tell?
> I would expect the RIR allocation requests to be a lagging indicator 
> of the economic situation, and
> that address usage would be simultaneous with or even a leading 
> indicator of the economy.
> Regards
> Marshall
>> Eliot
>> _______________________________________________
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> Regards
> Marshall Eubanks
> CEO / AmericaFree.TV

 Dr. William Lehr
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