[arin-ppml] Change of Use and ARIN (was: Re: AFRINIC And The Stability Of The Internet Number Registry System)

Steven Ryerse SRyerse at eclipse-networks.com
Sun Sep 12 02:23:16 EDT 2021

In the 1970's when I was going to high school they told us we would run out of oil by the end of the 1990's.  Maybe that was possible then - based on the then known oil reserves - if no more reserves were found.  Its 2021 now and we know we didn't run out of oil in the 90's, and in fact have found huge amounts of new oil reserves around the world - that if used wisely will last for a long time.  

Now I assume there is still a limit on how much oil mankind can find on this earth and we could eventually run out depending on how fast we use whatever exists.  However, it is likely that we will never actually run out of oil, because if it truly becomes scarce then the price will go up.  As time goes on and as oil becomes more and more scarce, the price will keep going up and up - until eventually the price will become so high and prohibitive that mankind will turn to other cheaper sources of energy because of the super high price that oil will cost then.  

I'm not exactly sure what the price has to rise to before mankind switches to other forms of energy.  I paid $75 to fill up my pickup truck today.  If it cost $200 to fill your car/truck or $500 or $1000 or more - would that make most of us switch to something else?  $200 maybe or maybe not - $500 or $1000 or more - probably most of us will switch to whatever cost less than the then very high price of oil.  Certainly at $1000 or more per tank full of gas, the buyers for oil would mostly disappear since they switched to using something cheaper - and thus we never actually used up all of the oil reserves that exists on the earth.  

So in real life we won't actually end up running out of oil.  Whatever humankind switches to for energy will have to be manageable and accessible just like oil has been.  It is still not clear what the particular energy source will be that replaces oil.  

So we have Ipv4 which is the energy currently running most of our internet.  IPv4 has a known total of IP addresses.  The reserves of unused IPv4 are spread around the planet in an inefficient and uneven manner.  Every day more and more IPv4 addresses are put to work running services on the Internet which is slowly making them more scarce.  As the price rises over time per IPv4 address on the open market, a lot of this inefficient and uneven spread of IPv4 addresses will even out somewhat via the open market.  This will keep the price reasonably low for awhile ($75 Per tank full) but as these IPv4 addresses become more scarce the price will slowly climb until the day comes where they become very expensive by todays standards ($500 per tank full) and at some point ($1000 per tank full or more) and the organizations wanting to add more services to the Internet will look for a cheaper alternative.  

So it is likely that we may never actually run out of IPv4 addresses (especially because of the uneven spread of them).  The cost per address as it increases and becomes expensive and prohibitive will eventually drive organizations that want to add even more services to the Internet, to look for alternative IP energy to run those Internet services on.  The new IP energy will have to be manageable and accessible just like IPv4 has been.  It is still not clear what the particular IP energy source will be that replaces IPv4. 

Certainly IPv6 is a leading possibility and it may end up actually being the new IP energy that mankind embraces for future Internet services because it has had a head start.  However, some smart engineer(s) somewhere working in a garage (Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak) may very well develop an IPv4 compatible protocol that can be used along with IPv4 making the transition away from IPv4 easier and less costly - and if that happens maybe we end up with IPv8.  

Frequently what I read in this forum from some members makes me feel like I am back in high school being told we will run out of IPv4 (oil) very soon.  As we approached "Exhaustion" there was a steady drumbeat of various members wanting to update policies to somehow "save" IPv4 from running out. Some policies were changed to try and slow the run out but we still reached the point of "Exhaustion" (end of the 1990's) and its now 2021 and guess what - we haven't run out of IPv4.  This was easily predictable and some members shared exactly this perspective in this forum and were largely ignored for a long time.  Now the free market has taken over like it ALWAYS does and the reserves of IPv4 that were always there - have been slowly coming to market in one way or another as the scarcity of IPv4 is slowly increasing. This will continue and the price of IPv4 (oil) will slowly rise.  I suspect just like the oil predictions in the 70's, IPv4 may still have a long way to go before it is replaced with a new IP energy (2030's?, 2040's?, 2050's? or possibly later?). The other possibility of new Internet energy happening sooner is a killer Internet app that eats up IPv4 addresses so fast that the cost per address rises much faster than it is doing now.  VisiCalc and then Word Perfect were the killer apps that cemented PC usage throughout corporate America, Microsoft Exchange was the Killer app that cemented Microsoft Windows Server as the de facto server standard for corporate America, and so on.  

This is why I have always advocated for furthering the Internet by making it reasonably easy and inexpensive for organizations to get IPv4 resources, especially small organizations.  My policy proposal several years ago to allow any organization in the ARIN region to easily get a /24 was shot down - or at least not supported by the members of this community and forum.  For those that think we should have switched to IPv6 (new energy) by now, "saving" the Internet from "Exhaustion" has actually had the opposite effect of delaying the day that IPv6 might take over as the new Internet energy. So not supporting my policy proposal to make /24 easy to get (we should still do it) as well as not supporting other members that promoted reasonable easier access to IPv4 resources have had the effect of delaying the day IPv6 might take over as the Internet energy.  Should we really have a limit on the size of an IPv4 block that ARIN can assign if the need can be demonstrated?  

I'm certainly against fraud of any kind, including in our community and region, but reasonable policies on leasing IP address space that are aligned with the free market make sense.  Again, I am for any proposal that furthers the Internet knowing the eventual scarcity in IPv4 will cause us all to switch to the next IP energy - whenever it happens and whatever it turns out to be.  (I think we should add that original phrase back into the ARIN Mission Statement even now.)  Our organization will be ready for the new Internet energy and we will embrace it as it comes.  All things considered, Excel was better than Lotus 123 which was better than VisiCalc and so on.  

I wonder what predictions they are teaching our children in high school these days?  My twenty-five cents.  😊  

Steven Ryerse

sryerse at eclipse-networks.com | C: 770.656.1460
100 Ashford Center North | Suite 110 | Atlanta, Georgia 30338


-----Original Message-----
From: ARIN-PPML <arin-ppml-bounces at arin.net> On Behalf Of Ronald F. Guilmette
Sent: Sunday, September 12, 2021 12:01 AM
To: arin-ppml <arin-ppml at arin.net>
Subject: Re: [arin-ppml] Change of Use and ARIN (was: Re: AFRINIC And The Stability Of The Internet Number Registry System)

In message <391242690.83333.1631416835397.JavaMail.zimbra at cameron.net>,
Paul E McNary <pmcnary at cameron.net> wrote:

>We are out of ipv4 IP's.

Not really.  It's just that the ones that we have are very poorly distributed and also very poorly utilized.

It is technically possible to host 100,000+ web sites on a single IPv4 address.
Is is also technically possible to provide email service for 100,000+ domains on a single IPv4 address.  Is anybody doing that?  No.  Because the incentives to do so just aren't there... yet.

If you think that we've run out of IPv4 addresses, talk to the U.S. DoD which just re-routed 175 million of their 221,971,968 IPv4 addresses, just to use them as one colossal and record-shattering honeypot.

If you think that we've run out of IPv4 addresses, talk to Comcast and ask them why they haven't moved to IPv6 and then returned their 79,419,720 IPv4 addresses to the free pool to help everyone out and relieve this artificial "scarcity" for the benefit of everyone.

If you think that we've run out of IPv4 addresses, talk to AT&T and T-Mobile and Verizon about the huge piles of IPv4 that each is sitting on.  Or better yet, talk to the Ford Motor Company, and The Prudential Insurance Comapny, the U.S. Postal Service, and to Apple, none of whom is a service provider, and all of whom are individually sitting on an entire /8 or more (i.e.
>= 16,777,728 addresses each).

Then maybe we could ask if Amazon really needs 23.3 million, if IBM really needs a whole 17.5 million, if Google really needs 13.1 million, if Eli Lilly really needs 11.5 million, and if Merck really needs 7.2 million, and if Bank of America really needs 6.2 million.

We're dying of thirst in the middle of Lake Superior.

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