By Bill Graham
Although we knew this was coming, the U.S. (and really, everyone else) is running out of IPv4 addresses. According to Information Week, 94.5 percent of the public IPv4 addresses that have been allocated to the U.S. are already used, the remaining addresses are expected to run out within a year. Moreover, the U.S. has been assigned 90 percent of all available IP addresses, effectively making this a global problem.
As you may know, IPv4 address are the normal a.b.c.d numbers, represented by 32 bits that we are used to seeing on our computers and other Internet-connected devices. The rapid growth of mobile and Internet connected devices has greatly accelerated the use of IPv4 addresses. In fact, machine-to-machine (M2M) growth predicted in the next few years means that solving this problem is an imperative – there simply will not be any IPv4 addresses left to assign. IPv6 uses a 128-bit addressing scheme that should suffice for the foreseeable future.