Some people were probably starting to wonder about the constantly predicted, but somehow never materializing exhaustion of Internet Protocol version 4 (IPv4) addresses.
Well, APNIC (The Asia Pacific Network Information Centre) has just announced the release of its last available batch of IPv4 addresses.
Of course, anyone who has been seriously following developments in the IP address realm will not find such developments unexpected in the slightest.
To be sure, IANA (Internet Assigned Numbers Authority) and ICANN (Internet Corporation For Assigned Names and Numbers) already made it known in February that they had just assigned the last IPv4 blocks to RIRs (Regional Internet Registries) such as APNIC.
Still, the fact that APNIC exhausted its last blocks so quickly is not something many would have predicted. Analysts had estimated the beginning of summer as the earliest time the addresses would run out for any RIR.
In an official statement, APNIC confirmed the remaining IPv4 addresses would be placed under limited distribution, primarily for network operators to use in facilitating integration with new generation IPv6 address blocks.
As such, the organization has placed a cap of 1,024 IPv4 addresses for existing and new members eligible for current allocation.
RIPE - which covers the Middle East, Europe and the former Soviet Union - is expected to be the next RIR on the chopping block before ARIN (American Registry for Internet Numbers).
At some point, it seemed like some RIRs would survive to 2012. But APNIC’s swift run on its IPv4 address block likely means the writing is on the wall for the rest.