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Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Do IPv4 addresses have monetary value?

Microsoft has agreed to pay Nortel some $7.5 million for 666,624 IPv4 addresses.  Now, blogger Bill St. Arnaud suggests that an IPv4 address could be worth $200.  I don't doubt that might be true.  What strikes me as funny, almost pathetic, is that ultimately the IPv4 address space will be worth nothing.  Today, it wouldn't be worth much if only we, in the IT community would have completed the migration to IPv6 by now. 

Please don't flame me with all the cliche (but true) arguments about the complexity and challenges of a migration.  I'm aware of all of that.  Some of the migration challenges are beyond our control.  For example, the last time I checked, Comcast was still not supporting IPv6 at my home.  Many, perhaps most, consumer IP devices don't support it.  At the enterprise level, many organizations have recently begun testing it, but the risks of any mass migration must be considered.

Regardless, eventually we'll all have to move to IPv6, but until we do, we run the risk of having to spend hard-earned corporate and private dollars on currently-expensive/eventually-useless IPv4 addresses.

Anyone want to bet on how soon IPv6 becomes the main transport protocol of the Internet?

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