Jeff Doyle recently wrote a post about Carrier Grade NAT that I thought was right on the mark. IPv4 addresses are running out and could be expired as early as 2011. The main issue is that end points keep increasing and these endpoints need IPv4 addresses whether they are new broadband subscribers, electric meters, mobile phones, etc. As Jeff states in his article, dual-stack is one way to migrate to IPv6. However it provides a migration solution assuming you have enough IPv4 addresses to last while you migrate everything to IPv6. Unfortunately, we do not.
Instead, we have to rely on in-home solutions to the problems. Today’s broadband subscribers get a public IPv4 address and then typically have a wireless router in their home that does NAT44 (public IPv4 to private IPv4) which allocates private IP addresses inside the home. For example, at my house, my wireless router enables me to have discrete IP addresses for my windows laptop, home MAC, LG Netflix enabled Blue Ray Player, Sling Box, HP printer, etc. So it provides multiple private addresses while as a household I only consume one public address.
This is a small step towards solving a big problem, and obviously doesn’t scale beyond my home, or my neighbors who may be piggybacking on my wireless signal. This problem would certainly be better addressed centrally by service providers. But of course, that too is easier said than done. I’ll save detail on these technologies for another post, stay tuned.
However, if you CAN’T WAIT, our very own Fred Baker, the former chair of the IETF, will be available starting tomorrow for 3 days to answer any questions on IPv6 and more in our SP360 Mobility community. Please stop by!