According to consulting company Frost & Sullivan, the Web will be out of IPv4 addresses by the year 2012. The company streesed that the growing number of portable devices and smart phones connected to the internet, there will not be enough room left in the next 6 years.
At the moment, IPv4 has a capacity of 4.3 billion IP addresses, with almost a third of it is now already used up. The company suggests moving up to IPv6 soon:
Compared with IPv4’s 32bits, IPv6’s address reads 128 bits long. Imagine the number looking something like this ““ 360,382,386,120,984,643,363,377,707,131,268,210,929. Although few have made the move, challenging companies migrating to IPv6 are migrating application, network management and performance, and educating staff to make the transition.
And how much will this migration costs — $25.4 billion between 1997 and 2025 ($1.4 billion of the burden remains on infrastructure vendors, $23.3 billion for users, $593 million for application suppliers, $136 million for Internet service providers).
I’m not completely convinced about moving to IPv6 but I don’t know if the study took into consideration that most networks right now uses routers and with NAT and DHCP, a single public IP can serve up to hundreds of terminals or computers.