At the age of 44, I am a fully paid up member of the "older generation" technology-wise. However depressing this may be, it does mean that I remember the Millennium Bug Panic; the apocalyptic chaos and disaster for our companies and homes that was being predicted when the clocks ticked over into the 21st Century.
I therefore can understand why, as the threat of "globally impacting" system challenges are raised around the company boardroom tables, they might get taken off the agenda - because of previous false alarms, lack of understanding, or the perceived greater threat of the next WannaCry attack!
But this is no false alarm, as the age old adage of Peter and Wolf goes; there is real and present danger and companies need to see it and be discussing it now:
What are we going to do when there are no more IPv4's addresses available?
As the IPv4 address pool depletes, some ISPs (Internet Service Providers) will not be able to provide globally routable IPv4 addresses to customers (this is the address that allows you to route on to the internet, but more importantly be found on the internet). Have you ever checked your CCTV remotely? Without a route in to your network you will not be able to do that!
The point is that most companies will not know, or don't care, how things work - they are too busy making their quarterly targets. We [Internet Service Providers] do not know how an end-user uses their network, so how can we make educated decisions as to how to help?
The alarming point is that customers are likely to require access to services on the IPv4 Internet whether they know it or not, and although several technologies have been developed for providing IPv4 service over an IPv6 access network, no one knows about them, or are not ready to on-board them into their networks.
Now for the technical bit: In ISP-level IPv4 NAT, ISPs may implement IPv4 network address translation within their networks and assign private IPv4 addresses to customers. This approach may allow customers to keep using existing hardware, but will not "guarantee" the services that need to find you.
In some countries it has been successfully implemented, e.g., Russia, where many broadband providers use carrier-grade NAT, and offer publicly routable IPv4 address at an additional cost.
Until the UK catches up and offers these carrier-grade NAT type solutions, we need to help customers safeguard their own networks and systems that they have. Many companies out there will just not be aware of this issue.
2 Circles is taking the initiative and is offering a selection of products launching in October to protect companies against becoming collateral damage in the war between IPv4 and IPv6. Feel free to get in touch on 03456 200 200 or firstname.lastname@example.org if you would like to talk to us about it.
OK, this time it's for real: The last available IPv4 address block has gone Now for the last time, will you all please shift to IPv6?! You may have heard this one before, but we have now really run out of public IPv4 address blocks. In April RIPE has told us that it has really, really run out. It has allocated its last /8 block. Europe's RIR (regional internet registry), Réseaux IP Européens aka RIPE, ran dry, followed by the Latin America and Caribbean Network Information Centre (LACNIC). Next, the American Registry for Internet Numbers hit an IPv4 drought.