Over the past few years there has been increasing concern about the shortage of IPv4 addresses. It’s now starting to grab the attention of the media, and for good reason.
At one point it must have seemed like the 4 billion IPv4 addresses would be more than enough but there are currently less than 10% left, and they’re going fast.
Exactly when they will run out is difficult to predict. The widespread usage of NAT has helped to prolong the availability of public addresses, but an interesting page here predicts only 86 days left at the time of writing. This will probably be extended as organisations hand back unused blocks, but they won’t last long.
What’s the answer? IPv6!
IPv6 provides 340 billion billion billion billion IP addresses so we really shouldn’t run out of those. However, IPv4 and IPv6 are incompatible. They do not work together, so soon we are going to have 2 separate Internets. There is going to be a huge demand over the transition period (which will take years) for people that understand IPv4 and IPv6 and how to make them work together.
So if you’re looking for something new to learn – start playing with IPv6! Your skills will definitely be in demand.
Here’s some reading to get you started –