MIT Selling 8 Million IPv4 Addresses

FrgMstr

Just Plain Mean
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If you are a tech geek, you likely know that IPv4 addresses are getting in shorter and shorter supply as the internet has grown. IPv4 addresses are limited to about 4 billion in quantity. Nearly every new electronics device (and lots of "non-electronic" devices) requires an IP address and these devices now range from toasters to TVs to thermostats in your house. It seems that MIT has been sitting on just a few of these IPv4 addresses since the birth of the internet. OK, by a "few," I mean 14 million unused IPv4 addresses.


MIT is now looking to unload some of these addresses at a profit in order to fund its own IPv6 network upgrades. It is being reported that Amazon is snatching up many of these addresses.

While IPv4 is still the workhorse of Internet addressing, IPv6 is coming. All major operating systems and devices already support both IPv4 and IPv6. Many of the large Internet Service Providers are supporting IPv6, and major content providers are moving to support IPv6, and so it is time to upgrade the MIT network for the future and make our network IPv6-capable.

MIT’s excess IPv4 capacity As we plan our migration to IPv6, it is appropriate for MIT to consider its own stock of IPv4 addresses. While the Internet is running out of addresses overall, MIT actually has a large surplus. MIT helped lead the development of the Internet from the 1970’s onward, and David Clark, a Senior Research Scientist at our Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Lab (CSAIL) quickly saw the importance of these addresses and requested an early allocation of them, both to support research and eventually to support all of computing at MIT. We hold a block of 16 million IPv4 addresses.

Fourteen million of these IPv4 addresses have not been used, and we have concluded that at least eight million are excess and can be sold without impacting our current or future needs, up to the point when IPv6 becomes universal and address scarcity is no longer an issue. The Institute holds a block of 20 times 10^30 (20 nonillion) IPv6 addresses.

So if MIT has 14 million unused IPv4 addresses sitting around for 40 years, how many others are out there hoarding these...just in case? The good news is that IPv6 is now being adopted at a much higher rate than ever before. Hell, even HardOCP has IPv6 addresses now.
 

kju1

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One of my problems is that IPV6 is not easily memorized like IPV4. Another is that most places fail to properly secure themselves with IPV6. I.e. they dont understand that an ipv4 ruleset doesnt do jack for ipv6 thus leaving the entire organization effectively wide open.
 

bigdogchris

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IPv6 only has 340,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 possible addresses? Try to think a head next time, sheesh. ;)
 

Kelter

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To be fair, TVs, thermostats, toasters, etc generally aren't each taking up public IPv4 addresses. Most homes with a typical ISP get 1 external IP.. everything else gets NAT'd behind it. Even most companies for most networks NAT their systems to a few public IP addresses vs giving them all their own. Instead they use private RFC 1918 space which is specific for each private site.

But ya, there definitely is a huge waste of IPv4 space.. not just by MIT, but pretty much by every company that owns any of these blocks. Generally when you apply for some space, you have to show proof of 50% utilization.. by proof, you just need a list of what you plan to use each IP for. It's never verified. A lot of times when you apply for space, the smallest block you can get is a /24.. depending on where you are applying (ARIN for US, APNIC for asia pacific, RIPE for Europe, etc). A lot of places don't need the full /24, but they do need their own IP block so they can announce out via BGP, so there is a lot of waste.

Amazon is pretty nice in this respect since you no longer need to get your own IP block (think US/ARIN has been out of IPv$ for a few years now anyways). You only use what you need, and it's free.. they only charge you if you take a public IP and sit on it... so definitely helps promote efficient use of the space..

I believe in the early days of IP allocations, you did not have to provide any proof of use at all. Which is how a lot of the larger entities got /8 allocations. I think phone companies may be the closest to legitimately using them as each smart phone on their network does infact require it's own public IP.
 

Bigdady92

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HP and IBM are sitting on millions of IP's that they don't do a damn thing with.
 

damicatz

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To be fair, TVs, thermostats, toasters, etc generally aren't each taking up public IPv4 addresses. Most homes with a typical ISP get 1 external IP.. everything else gets NAT'd behind it. Even most companies for most networks NAT their systems to a few public IP addresses vs giving them all their own. Instead they use private RFC 1918 space which is specific for each private site.

But ya, there definitely is a huge waste of IPv4 space.. not just by MIT, but pretty much by every company that owns any of these blocks. Generally when you apply for some space, you have to show proof of 50% utilization.. by proof, you just need a list of what you plan to use each IP for. It's never verified. A lot of times when you apply for space, the smallest block you can get is a /24.. depending on where you are applying (ARIN for US, APNIC for asia pacific, RIPE for Europe, etc). A lot of places don't need the full /24, but they do need their own IP block so they can announce out via BGP, so there is a lot of waste.

Amazon is pretty nice in this respect since you no longer need to get your own IP block (think US/ARIN has been out of IPv$ for a few years now anyways). You only use what you need, and it's free.. they only charge you if you take a public IP and sit on it... so definitely helps promote efficient use of the space..

I believe in the early days of IP allocations, you did not have to provide any proof of use at all. Which is how a lot of the larger entities got /8 allocations. I think phone companies may be the closest to legitimately using them as each smart phone on their network does infact require it's own public IP.

Before 1993, IP addresses were allocated by class. You either got a Class A (/8), Class B (/16), or Class C (/24). So if you needed a network with more than 65,536 addresses, you had to get an entire /8. As a result, a lot of organizations that were early adopters of the internet have really large addresses spaces. In 1993, the internet switched to using CIDR which allows for subnetting and granular allocation of addresses.
 

cyclone3d

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Nearly every new electronics device (and lots of "non-electronic" devices) requires an IP address and these devices now range from toasters to TVs to thermostats in your house.

Ummmm... unless you have a separate external IP address for each device, you are only going to ever be using ONE IP address, so that argument is an absolute moot point.

Some businesses use more than one external IP, but they are still never going to have a separate external IP address for every single thing hooked up to the internet.
 

toast0

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Ummmm... unless you have a separate external IP address for each device, you are only going to ever be using ONE IP address, so that argument is an absolute moot point.
Clearly, my toaster needs its own IP, or how am I going to start the toaster from work?
 

cyclone3d

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Clearly, my toaster needs its own IP, or how am I going to start the toaster from work?

It is called an application. The easiest way is for the device to be connected to a central server through routing and all that.. to put it very simply.

The toaster would send your external IP address and the ID (easiest is a MAC address, but there are other ways of doing it as well) of itself to the server.

Your app then contacts the server, which then sends the commands to your IP address with the ID of the toaster in order to operate it.

ZERO extra external IP addresses needed.

And of course it is going to have an IP address in your Local Area Network (LAN), but that is completely separated from the outside world by your router.
 

AeonF1

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It is called an application. The easiest way is for the device to be connected to a central server through routing and all that.. to put it very simply.

The toaster would send your external IP address and the ID (easiest is a MAC address, but there are other ways of doing it as well) of itself to the server.

Your app then contacts the server, which then sends the commands to your IP address with the ID of the toaster in order to operate it.

ZERO extra external IP addresses needed.

And of course it is going to have an IP address in your Local Area Network (LAN), but that is completely separated from the outside world by your router.

Woosh
 

cyclone3d

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HAHAHAHAHA. I noticed the sarcasm.. but was angry enough at the whole idea of everything being connected to the internet that I went off on a tangent.

And there is always the possibility of somebody that is clueless doing a search and coming up with this forum.
 

toast0

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It is called an application. The easiest way is for the device to be connected to a central server through routing and all that.. to put it very simply.

The toaster would send your external IP address and the ID (easiest is a MAC address, but there are other ways of doing it as well) of itself to the server.

Your app then contacts the server, which then sends the commands to your IP address with the ID of the toaster in order to operate it.

ZERO extra external IP addresses needed.

And of course it is going to have an IP address in your Local Area Network (LAN), but that is completely separated from the outside world by your router.

But then the cloud owns and tracks my toasting, and when big toast comes in and buys the cloud toast startup and shuts down the central toast server, no more toast for me. (Of course, my toaster is IPv6 enabled, so I'm good to go :)
 

nutzo

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To be fair, TVs, thermostats, toasters, etc generally aren't each taking up public IPv4 addresses. Most homes with a typical ISP get 1 external IP.. everything else gets NAT'd behind it. Even most companies for most networks NAT their systems to a few public IP addresses vs giving them all their own. Instead they use private RFC 1918 space which is specific for each private site.

This.

I only have 1 IP at home, but I have dozens of devices connected using NAT
Besides, only a crazy person would put everything directly on the internet.
I used to tell people years go to get a router, even if they only had 1 computer connected, just for the added protection.

At the Office I have 14 external IP's and use most of them.
I could do port level forwarding, but it would be almost impossible to get it down to 6 addresses, since we occasionally need a couple spares for testing.
We are currently use /16 internally since we kept running out of internal addresses when we just had /8
 

necrosis

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Oct 21, 2004
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My problem is, I cannot get an IPv6 address from my ISP even though my personal site supports it.
Get a tunnel broker. It is what I had to do.

FiOS for all its glory STILL does not have native IPv6 and their DNS servers STILL are not running DNSSEC.
 
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