ipv4 addresses

February 3, 2011

I’ll get back to fudcon recap in a bit – but I wanted to ask a silly question about ipv4 addresses:


Why are people worried about address exhaustion in ipv4? If you take a look through the class-a allocations you’ll notice that 6 of the class As are allocated to the US department of Defense in one form or another.

So I’ve got to ask: why does the military need to have 96 million public, routable, ip addresses?

96 million seems like a largish number to me.

It is, in fact, 1 ip for roughly every 3 americans.

If they are giving an ip to every device they have, I could sorta understand it – but I really don’t want them giving public, routable, ips to everyone of them, especially the weapons. 🙂

in the same vein – someone could explain to me why mit needs  16 million addresses? What do they have 1000 public devices per student/prof/staff? Somehow I doubt that.

boggles my mind.



7 Responses to “ipv4 addresses”

  1. Steffen F. Says:

    As always it comes down to money and childishness, I guess.

    They don’t want to spend money to reallocate the addresses.

    And I guess MIT and the DoD just say: ‘Nu, nu! Those are our addresses, we don’t use ’em but we don’t give ’em away either, they’re ours, my precious!’

  2. 96 million really isn’t that big a number these days. It is about as much as what is currently left unallocated in total. But ipv4 addresses are being allocated at a rate of more than a million a day: https://secure.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/wiki/File:Rir-rate.svg

    There might only be 300 million USA citizens, but there are 7 billion people on earth.

    So even if you would take all those ipv4 addresses away from the DoD that would only be enough to keep allocating extra ipv4 addresses for three more months…

  3. Matěj Cepl Says:

    I don’t know about DOD (and it is hard to argue with somebody who could use nukes as an argument ;)), but in case of MIT, I think the point is that it would give us much. Stanford gave up one of its two class As [sic] and the estimates were that it gave us one month of life with IPv4.

  4. Peter Says:

    The allocation is historical. There’s no requirement for them to hand them back so it then comes down to if they want to be community minded. If you look through the allocations have a look at what the likes of HP have via mergers and acquisitions its also interesting. I suspect it comes down to the time and effort to clean up random devices running on little used ranges so as to be able to properly free them.

  5. timlau Says:

    96 milions is equal to how much $$$ they spend every minut 🙂

  6. conrad Says:

    maybe they want to help force ipv6 adoption

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