Re: IPv6 and the "average user"

H. Peter Anvin (
20 Nov 1996 10:34:14 GMT

Followup to: <3h7mnhjs36.fsf@Q.Net>
By author: Bradley Ward Allen <>
In newsgroup:
> For instance, IPv4 has an address space of 2^32, or 4,294,967,296,
> addresses. That's a few billion less than there are people on the
> earth, or thereabouts, and we double every 60 years anyway (remember,
> half the people ever alive still are, or are dead, or however you
> prefer to look at two halves). At first glance 4,294,967,296 looks
> like a big number, but if your base is today's population, then it
> looks rather smallish (less than 1).

It is also important to point out that for various technical reasons,
the actual number of possible hosts turn out to be much lower than
that. Someone proposed a law saying that "the utilization of address
space is inversely proportional to the address length"; although I
personally think this law is overly optimistic, there is definitely a
strong effect: as the address space goes larger, the more hierarchial
it needs to become, and the less efficient the address utilization.

Either way, the results are the same -- 32 bits is just hideously
insufficient. Personally I think it was a bad move of the IETF to
pick a fixed-length standard for IPng (IP - The Next Generation), but
my understanding is that router manufacturers (read: C*sc*)


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