Currently Internet operates on IPv4 (Internet Protocol Version 4) which has a pool of about 4 Billion IP addresses, out of which only 232 million addresses are currently remaining.
Thanks to surge in Internet on various devices ranging from PCs to Mobile phones to even refrigerators, the IP addresses are being snapped up at such a fast clip that remaining ones are expected to be mopped up in next 340 days (this number is according to Geoff Huston, Chief Scientist of the Asia Pacific Network Information Centre (APNIC).
For people who do not know what an IP address is – It is basically a unique 32 bit number (xxx.xxx.xxx.xxx) which can be said as the computer (or any gadget’s) address on Internet. For e.g: This blog is hosted on the server which has its own IP address, or the machine your are browsing on has its own IP address as well.
Now, these IPv4 addresses are coming to an end and most entities on Internet need migration to IPv6 addresses which can accommodate trillions of such numbers. However, adoption to IPv6 has been quite slow and due to this, we are now in a situation similar to the Y2K problem. If evasive steps are not taken, Internet could actually see a complete breakdown.
Indian Government seems to be quite proactive about this fact, and have laid down a detailed roadmap for migration to new IPv6 addresses. The “National IPv6 Deployment Roadmap” was released last week by A.Raja, Minister of MOC & IT. [ Click here to download National IPv6 Deployment Roadmap]
However, the implementation of IPv6 is expected to be completed by March 2012 and the existing IPv4 address space may be over much before that – We will probably have to wait and watch on how this pans out.