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Tell HN: Amazon now owns
565 points by STRML 4 months ago | hide | past | web | 313 comments | favorite

Wow. This is a significant slice of the IPv4 address space, and one of the few remaining uninterrupted /8s owned by the private sector. This is a 10-year old visualization, but it's still a good one to visualize the scale of this purchase.


It's a great purchase for them, and a shot at Azure and GCP - Amazon can now legitimately tell larger clients "we will have enough IPv4 space to be your partner for all your static-IP-dependent applications, no matter how much you need to scale."

Much larger and more readable version of this map:


Each pixel in the image is a /24 network.

It's really incredible how so many non-tech companies have /8s still. What is Prudential doing with all of that address space? Eli Lily?!? Who the hell is Cap Debis?

> Who the hell is Cap Debis?

Debis = Daimler-Benz InterServices, sold to T-Mobile (specifically T-Services) in the early 2000s

CAP Debis was a partnership with CAP Gemini.

Today it's mostly enterprise telecom/IT, though that maybe oversimplifies things. It's a big beast in Europe, Germany specifically.

I wonder if T-mobile is aware of that purchase. Sometimes these little known assets get lost by the big predator because they were interested in something very specific of the prey company.

I'm sure TMobile is intimately familiar with their networking assets. They pioneered squatting on MoD space for internal routing to avoid dual homed conflicts. (


I guess that one makes sense. I was having little luck Googling that name.

For the same reason some banks open so many branches. "Real State".

Waiting for the peak.

Gonna be a long wait.

Would love to see a more up-to-date version of this. I know MIT sold [1] a bunch of its address space not too long ago.

[1]: https://www.internetsociety.org/blog/2017/05/mit-goes-on-ipv...

Is there an up to date version of this? I wouldn't mind getting a poster of this on my wall.

seriously, me too. If no one can find one (I just tried to no avail), I'll make one myself and post it on here

Ha, I'd print it and put it on the wall too.

How come there are still unallocated spaces with the lack of free IPV4 addresses?

It's from October 2007.

" no matter how much you need to scale."

Sure its a big block, but its still "only" ~16 million addresses

They also previously bought half(?) of MIT's /8.

anyone have any good explanations of the image linked? like what are ARIN, RIPE, why is some unallocated, what is multicast?

that sort of thing would be cool to learn

Unicast is sending messages to a single peer. Broadcast is sending messages to everybody. Multicast is in between, sending to some arbitrary set of recipients.

On a Local network, multicast is very easy to do. Unless it's very, very old your computer almost certainly uses multicast on local networks already, for a variety of purposes. A dumb old network just sent all packets to all computers on the local network, so both broadcast and multicast were equally easy to do, your network card has a filter built into it, that autonomously weeds out messages your computer cares about, and ignores the others - so the Operating system is like "Hey, network card, my unicast address is, and I am also listening to multicast address" and it will just throw away any packets that aren't for those addresses. A smart modern network (e.g. the mid-range gigabit switch serving your desk at work) keeps track of which addresses are where and sends copies of messages only to where they seem useful, leaving more network bandwidth for everybody else.

The Internet can in theory do Multicast too. I've used this to, for example, watch television with a dozen other people without any copy of the TV picture data being sent over the shared data link to us more than once. That's what those addresses are for, you "Join" one of the multicast addresses and begin receiving, say, the Olympics live.

However making all this work is hard, and in most places, most of the time, nobody puts in all that hard work, so probably you'll find that although local network multicast works for you (as I said it's used in modern systems) you cannot use the Internet's multicast features. Which is a shame, but we can't have nice things.

The technical explanation of multicast is quite good. But the reason it isn't available on the internet has nothing to do with the technical hurdles.

It isn't used because of the economics behind the ISP business.

With multicast a single sender can have arbitrary many receivers but sends its data only once. The network infrastructure 'clones' than that data on its way to the receivers as necessary. But that's not in line with the economic interests of an ISP.

With unicast the sender has to use increasingly more bandwidth when he wants to reach more receivers, and the ISP gets payed for that additional bandwidth. The more bandwidth the sender uses the more money makes the ISP. With multicast on the other hand the sender needs to send everything only once no mater how many receivers are listening.

Imagine you could send an audio or video stream to potentially everyone with internet access in the whole world but would need to pay only for the bandwidth of exactly one stream. That would be very nice for you, or Spotify, or Netflix, but not such a good deal as the current one for your ISP.

That's why ISPs don't sell multicast connectivity. Technically it would be easy. The current network-infrastructure would be able to handle multicast (almost) without any additional effort on the carrier side. After all the technology is build in in almost every switch or router for years now. Live streaming of AV media would be possible for everyone with internet access. One would not need the bandwidth of say YouTube to reach as many receivers as they do. But that will never happen because ISPs just aren't interested in providing multicast connectivity!

> Imagine you could send an audio or video stream to potentially everyone with internet access in the whole world but would need to pay only for the bandwidth of exactly one stream. That would be very nice for you, or Spotify, or Netflix, but not such a good deal as the current one for your ISP.

This mostly happens with Akamai [1] and Netflix [2] CDN appliances on edge networks though (content caching boxes used to offload transit or peering fabric traffic). I'd argue Multicast didn't take off because of "tragedy of the commons" issues; ISPs don't want to support additional complex network routing technologies (at additional, substantial cost) when existing one to many unicast solutions (mentioned above) are sufficient.

[1] https://www.akamai.com/us/en/multimedia/documents/akamai/aka...

[2] https://media.netflix.com/en/company-blog/how-netflix-works-...

There's also the argument that few people want it, because multicast is only useful for synchronized streams.

Netflix, Spotify, and other services with on-demand content couldn't use it unless they made the service worse by forcing viewers to wait for a multicast.

I bet they'd still have significant savings if they made everyone wait in 5-second lapses.

Pausing and resuming elsewhere would mean changing to a different multicast stream or starting a new one if there weren't any before.

you make a good argument against usage based billing

Internode and iiNet (at least) in Australia did multicast IPTV for a while over ADSL2.


Because capitalism.


We have the technology! But capitalism.

not even. more like "we've got a model that making us lots of money, lets not change just because some people keep whining about 'efficiency' and 'democratization'"

Before there was YouTube, there was MBone, a way to syndicate multicast content across the web. With multicast, in theory millions of subscribers can watch a video streamed from a single laptop (as long as they all watch in sync).


ARIN and RIPE are two of the five regional internet registries:

AFRINIC: African Network Information Center ARIN: American Registry for Internet Numbers APNIC: Asia-Pacific Network Information Centre LACNIC: Latin America and Caribbean Network Information Centre RIPE: Réseaux IP Européens

multicast is like a broadcast except that it is authenticated, i.e each device that is authenticated against a certain multicast will get the content.

it's mostly used for internet television or other multimedia stuff.

(some stuff is/was unallocated, since some early users tought it's a good idea to actually use some unallocated stuff to do bgp..., testing or routing per se (especially cisco routers) or even login pages, exist nodes, i.e. was a problematic ip, but since cloudflare grabbed the I think people will stop doing stupid things)

It's nothing to do with authentication, it's simply indicating you want the data. If authentication or encryption is used it's nothing to do with multicast.

I thought google had 8/8

Coming soon: Amazon launches free DNS service on and

It's pretty crazy though that that huge range goes to Amazon in full. Wouldn't it have been better for the health of the internet as a whole to get them back to IANA for redistribution?

Best for the internet is encouraging IPv6. There aren't extre fees for that, so people with less money are equal.

Meanwhile, if Amazon is going to use all these in the medium-term future, that seems OK to me.

( and would be more memorable.)

While is a valid IP address, some users might experience problems with IP address ending in 0. It would not be a good idea to use if you want best compatibility with all available hardware/software on the market.

Cloudflare's work with has demonstrated not only that it's _possible_ to use a previously-unusable IP address, but that it's _valuable_ to do so because it compels reporting of – and repair of – broken hardware and software on the market.

The cynic in me thinks that inbound traffic on is "valuable" mostly to help balance Cloudflare's inbound vs outbound data flows. This balance is important in deciding whether their peering is settlement free.

They're a CDN and send out a lot of bits, so every last bit of inbound traffic helps. Or am I totally off base on this?

Yes, you are off base. We don't care at all about the traffic ratio with

I'm 95 percent sure that every dns response is bigger than the request, so it might not help much. Although if they're getting a lot of garbage in it might be helpful.

Pardon the ignorance, but I'm curious: why is it important for them (or anybody) to receive inbound traffic, given they offer for free? And also what does it mean "This balance is important in deciding whether their peering is settlement free."?

I wouldn't bet my life on it, but I've never experienced a problem with an IP address ending in 0, and I've been using them for over 10 years. Our primary VPN end-point used to end in .0 - so we had lots of opportunity to find chance for breakage. :-)

I have, actually. Most of our networks were /23s, and the syslog server was a .0 in the middle of one. An SMS sending appliance we bought would not accept IPs ending in .0. Fortunately, the check was client-side in javascript, and once overridden, everything worked.

IIRC, IPs ending in .0 or .255 were unreachable from some older Windows systems.

That's been my experience too.

Even in 2003, the network I was involved in was handing out .0s out of larger CIDR blocks in DHCP leases with no issues.

Anything that cares about the zeroth IP of a destination not on the local subnet is broken. Anything that caters to broken is worrying about the wrong things.

Catering to the broken is like 90% of every developer and data scientist's day.

I've spent the past two weeks just trying to fix some horribly wrong/invalid data that is absolutely positively guaranteed to always be correct due to certain standards and lots of money and one of the biggest best tech companies in the world stands behind it.

Guess what it's still broken they just refuse to admit it.

Jon Postel (who wrote an early specification) of TCP would like to have a word with you:

"be conservative in what you do, be liberal in what you accept from others"

I like the spirit of this, but the problem is that it only works if everyone operates at least somewhat in line with it. If you're liberal in what you accept, then people are going to start being liberal in what they send, and soon we'll have a proper mess on our hands.

And there's no takebacks -- once you start permitting something, you can't take it away later, or you'll break things. You're creating more legacy requirements that may cause you problems when you try to evolve in the future.

As a web developer, I can only dream of how clean web standards might be today if the browsers of yore were a bit more conservative.

Do you have an example? I could possibly imagine this being a problem on a local /24, in that after you apply the netmask the local part is all zero bits. But for a remote DNS server, I cannot fathom how this could be a problem.

r-really? What do people do with routers that use

To potentially clarify here:

Many home routers issue IPs using the follow netblock:

Network: Netmask: (/24) Broadcast:

Gateway: (the first valid IP in that block) or less often .254 (the last valid IP in that block)

So for the past thirty years, nearly _every_ network block issued by _any_ network admin used /24, to the point that some things simply refuse .0 and .255 as valid IP addresses.

The suggestion upstream is to set up the IP, within _any_ network block that can contain it legally. If you adhere to strict netmasking, that'd be (this is from memory, correct me if I'm wrong):

Network: Netmask: (/23) Broadcast:

Which would provide a contiguous block of valid IPs from through, _including_ the two perfectly valid IPs and

Those valid IPs end in .255 and .0, which is completely legal since they're in the middle of a /23, and the default gateway wouldn't be anywhere near them.

A lot of human-operated networks will blacklist issuing .0, .1, .254, .255 on the theory that it's simpler to just prohibit them and lose 4 IPs per /24 within a block, than deal with what's truly possible for a /23 or wider block.


Public BGP requires /24 or wider, and /24 cannot contain .0 or .255 as a valid IP, so the next widest is /23, which can contain even-numbered .x.255 and .x+1.0. If you're doing this on an internal network that permits narrower subnets, the narrowest available would be a /30, based (irregularly) on either .1.254 or .1.255:

Network: (or .255) Netmask: (/30) Broadcast: (or .2)

With as the live IP and either or as the in-network gateway for that device.

> Network: Netmask: (/23) Broadcast:

In classful addressing it is a network with a netmask (/8). In a classless, it is whatever has been advertised to me.

> Public BGP requires /24 or wider, and /24 cannot contain .0 or .255 as a valid IP, so the next widest is /23, which can contain even-numbered .x.255 and .x+1.0. If you're doing this on an internal network that permits narrower subnets, the narrowest available would be a /30, based (irregularly) on either .1.254 or .1.255:

It does not. You can advertise whatever the hell you want. What matters is what the other side would accept. It used to be that no one would accept anything less specific than /24 in a class C address space, /16 in a class B address space and /8 in a class A address space because the internet ran on AGS and maybe AGS+ which just did not have enough memory to do real classless. That stopped around the time GlobalCrossing showed up (or maybe around the time Mr V did terrible things while running AS7007). But anyway, ten years ago /27s are definitely accepted routes by those that comprised over 80% of the gloabal internet by the single origin prefixes.

> Public BGP requires /24 or wider, and /24 cannot contain .0 or .255 as a valid IP

That requirement is about how you advertise your routes not how you subnetted the internal network. .0 and .255 of your advertised /24 can work fine as /32s on the server. Using the internet FW to NAT the network and broadcast addresses is another common trick to get more addresses, particularly when you only get an e.g. /29 from a carrier who is just routing that /29 to your specified next hop and 2 more addresses is a big bump.

It's probably less of an issue when you're on a local network with the device you're trying to connect to. That said, I think (ending in a 1) is much more common.

A /23 with the router in the middle of it? Surely that can't be common. If someone actually chose that (to be annoying or security through obscurity or whatever) then they know what they're doing

DHCP giving out a client address of in the middle of a lagre block sure, but a router?

Routers being the “bottom of the block” in a subnet is just convention. In fact I’d say someone with a router in the “middle” of a block probably knows exactly what they are doing.

I'd rather companies like Amazon or Microsoft has them, in a way that people can cheaply rent them along with compute power at competitive rates, than companies like "Prudential" or some giant bank sit on them.

I might be tempted to use, or, if you round. Or those could resolve to a Raspberry Pi AWS instance :)

I'd avoid the rounding by using double digits...

But instead I would want a webserver on there that just serves up digits of Pi.

Twist: it serves up digits of e.

It opens a stream á la websocket and just pipes digits down.

That would have a different answer based on whether you rounded or truncated. It would be if you truncated.

It probably wouldn't be better for the health of the internet.

At this point it seems like a desperate play by a company with deeply entrenched IPv4-only infrastructure (hi EC2) to eke out more time without major upgrades. Meanwhile IPv4 addresses remain scarce for small ISPs, and the (healthy, natural) push to IPv6 infrastructure continues apace everywhere else.

AWS is IPv4-only? Can you elaborate? It seems IPv6 is pretty well supported.


I wasn't implying it was IPv4 only, I was merely teasingly repeating rumors that a lot of low level infrastructure still has IPv4 assumptions that Amazon has had enough IPv4 addresses to date that they don't need fix those underlying assumptions in their data centers. It's mostly dumb rumor mongering, I suppose, as I'm not sure I have a citation for that off hand other than other HN jabs at Amazon/AWS. I'm sorry for that, it was an unnecessary jab/tease, that I will blame on pre-coffee brain.

They used to -- that's why IPv6 was so slow to arrive. But that's fixed now except possibly in some parts of "legacy EC2".

We have IPv4 and IPv6 public interfaces on our AWS services.

The people desperate to use IPv4 are not AWS themselves. AWS doesn't buy stuff just to have it. They buy it because customers are using it. AWS customers are moving stuff out of their data centres and don't know how to use serverless, load balancers, dynamic cloud capabilities (like spinning down instances when they aren't in use) and so on. Customers are doing lift-and-shift in vast volumes and they're doing it in the only way they know how.

This. A lot of those lifted apps will be legacy services built in 2000-2009 that must run 24/7 and only know about ipv4.

Why specifically -2009? What happened in 2010?

(I'm aware a lot of things happened in 2010, but (as someone interested in the industry but somewhat removed from it) I'm not aware of anything that specifically happened in 2010 that changed the landscape in a big way.)

AWS has heavy support for IPv4 because back-end stuff is all IPv4 and there isn't any push to change. IPv6 doesn't add any real value for servers that are all living in a private address space anyway, it adds an overhead to each packet, and learning off your addressing schemes is far easier with dotted quad.

IP isn’t supposed to have “private address space”. The only reason it does is because the address space is scarce. NAT does not make your network “private” or provide security, firewalls and good host software do that. NAT literally breaks IP.

RFC 1918 (Address Allocation for Private Internets) disagrees with you, and has done since at least 1996.

RFC 1918 describes space for entirely private networks, not “private extensions” to the public globally routable internet. There’s a subtle but important difference. The private addresses strictly aren’t routable on the public internet. NAT (which there’s also an RFC for) is what what allows packets to flow between private disjoint IP networks. IP is only scoped to work within a single network, whether it’s public or private or triangle.

That screws up when two private entities merge and discover that they're using the same RFC1918 block.

(or just want to interoperate, even)

End-to-end principle disagrees with you. As does my network. All routable IP space baby. Makes things a breeze.

IPv6 got a private address space, even if we shouldn't run out of IPv6 addresses anytime soon.

Then what I need is a DNS client on my PC which can use all these major DNS services, but at random to provide incomplete DNS info to any given one, so it'll maybe query any random two, confirm they respond the same to verify nobody's playing unfair.

DNSCrypt-Proxy[1] already supports the randomized DNS resolver need[2]. It also supports DNS-over-HTTPS, providing assurance that even your ISP won't be able to snoop on all of your DNS queries.

While it doesn't support live comparison of DNS results, it can log out entries per DNS resolver and you can post-process those logs to validate their responses against each other, considering your queries will over time hit different resolvers. Not perfect since there are legitimate reasons to return different responses over time, but it's something.

[1] https://github.com/jedisct1/dnscrypt-proxy [2] https://github.com/jedisct1/dnscrypt-proxy/wiki/Load-Balanci...

DNS servers often return different results to different clients for load balancing, so checking multiple resolvers would lead to many conflicts.

On Linux (and OSX?) you could run a local resolver configured to do round-robin? Comparing answers would probably be new functionality though.

> Then what I need is a DNS client on my PC which can use all these major DNS services, but at random to provide incomplete DNS info to any given one, so it'll maybe query any random two, confirm they respond the same to verify nobody's playing unfair.

What kind of tricks are you afraid of these DNS services could get up to?

Well, DNS is both a significant way one could profile what types of information a given connection is used for and could be used to profile you, so I want to give a DNS provider incomplete information where possible. And as DNS is also a common way to redirect or censor traffic, I feel like there'd be value in a system that would double check that everyone's sending me to the same place. If I get inconsistent results, I could dump both and query two other ones in the pool.

The problem I have there is that Akamai and other CDNs seem to return different results if I'm using my ISP's resolvers vs any others. Getting good local nodes is important in a bandwidth constrained (and far away) environment like Australia.

> Coming soon: Amazon launches free DNS service on and

Do they then cover Seattle in stickers and chalking with

Wish it was


Nah, they'll assign that one to something python related. (Get it? pi-thon. I'll see myself out...)

It would get used up quickly and we'd be right back where we are.

Amazon rank up there just behind Google and Facebook in the list of companies i don't want harvesting any more data from me.

IP block allocation has nothing whatsoever to do with harvesting your data.

Gp was probably reacting to the dns idea.

Amazon is on the extreme end of the customer-privacy side. Wtf are you talking about? If you're going to put them in a bucket, they belong with Apple.

Amazon’s recommendation engine says differently.

Retail in general wants to know a lot about you.

PS: I don’t know about Amazon Echo, but it’s definitely on the creepy side of data privacy.

Why not or ? is the network address, and cannot be assigned to a host. is the broadcast address, and cannot be assigned to a host.

Both are valid addresses and can be assigned to hosts.

Network address is only really used for directly attached networks, non directly attached networks will route to any address in the block correctly.

Same for broadcast address, they're also relative to whatever block you're talking about at the time, so whilst is the broadcast for subnet it's just another "usable" address in the subnet and when you send a packet then you, and probably your router, don't know what subnets in use on the other side :) (unless it's directly attached)

There's no reason why you can't assign to a host, it'll work fine. Just make sure you don't put anything else there by convention. would be the default broadcast address, but not only can you use a different address (in fact, any address you want for broadcast, you just need to configure it), but this is also not a real /8... it's according to ARIN.

https://whois.arin.net/rest/net/NET-3-0-0-0-2/pft?s= is default broadcast for

They delegated to Singapore, out of the AWS block, which is adjacent to their block... which gives them all of

Broadcast addresses have no meaning outside of a broadcast domain / subnet. Nobody would use a full /9 as a subnet. It would be split into much smaller blocks...

I think your statement answers pretty well an observation made earlier: Why is IPv6 adoption so bad? I see little incentive for anyone as long as IPv4 is such a profitable business with IP addresses being traded as an asset. IPv6 and equality to the masses? Would be nice but economy took adifferent turn

I don't think this analysis is correct. Imagine Chrome started charging small amounts of bitcoin for each HTTP request but Firefox still allowed free access. I don't think you'd say "I'm now incentivized to use Chrome because I have to have an artificial scarce resource."

ISPs can basically get all the IPv6 resources they need, but IPv4 addresses are becoming scarce and costly. Amazon just spent a lot of money to get more IPv4 addresses: that's cost, not profit.

If Amazon owned all the addresses and they were making great profits as a monopoly seller, this would indeed be an incentive not to move to IPv6. Instead, it's really just driving up people's costs.

Adoption is slow because the extra costs of IPv4 addresses are still smaller than the costs of really getting every piece of infrastructure and software working correctly with IPv6. We're not that far away, but there's a bit of a chicken-and-egg problem until we're close enough that people can start to turn off IPv4 and effectively force stragglers to adopt.

That's fully backwards. The people with the incentive to delay moving to IPV6 are the ones selling IPs. Those buying - ISPs - are also the ones that have the incentive to move to IPV6 as in an IPV6 world, they wouldn't have the spend that money. And ISPs are the ones best positioned for further IPV6.

That IPV6 adoption is slow is precisy because buying ranges of IPV4 addresses is still cheap enough that people are doing it.

ISP are really the bottleneck for IPv6 adoption. Pretty much all the infrastructures of the internet (network, datacentres, clouds) support it now.

When an equivalent solution becomes cheaper that's a recipe for disruption, not the other way around.

Amazon's documentation shows it is already in use on AWS.

They also have, bought from MIT.


And here's a JSON of their IP blocks:


I wonder what they got it for? if just for more IPs for AWS stuff, or if it's for something like IoT stuff?

At $18 per IP: 2^24 * $18 = $302mm

At $14 per IP: 2^24 * $14 = $235mm

Price per IP estimated from:

In 2011, Microsoft paid $11.25 per IP to Nortel for 666k addresses

I bought a /20 in 2015 for $6.00/address. I am feeling very lucky.

(A /20 is 1,048,576 IPs, so this would have been $6,291,456. OP appears to be a small ISP.)

No, a /20 is 2^12=4096 addresses.

How does one buy one? I'm in the eastern Europe.

Very curious as well.

I'm not sure IoT is the best use of a contiguous IPv4 range... you're talking about less than 17 million addresses.

Depending on how much it actually cost I feel like it could be a number of things from simple branding to nefarious traffic shaping. If you're an AWS shop maybe they want you to be able to set simple bypass/static route for

you could make 17 million networks with it, entry point into aws vpcs has to be somewhere

What's up with IPv6, anyways?

Every time I deal with IPv6 it just strikes me how little the designers cared about migration from IPv4.

No clear prescriptions for legacy v4 <-> v6 translations, religious hate of NAT, unfortunate separator character (the colon) that is used for domain:port separation. Separate stack prescriptions.

I honestly think it would have been easier to do a rolling upgrade of the internet to support bigger numbers in the four coordinates of IP addresses and increase the number of ports.

I'm obviously not a deep networking expert, but as I've been exposed to IPv6 test conversions it's been painful.

IPv6 is a total mess; it was intended to be a clean break from IPv4 and do things more correctly. Turns out that they didn't really think it though; besides more bits anything from IPv6 was either easy to add to v4 or turned out to be a bad idea (like SLAAC).

It should never have been adopted in the first place but now it's the only practical option for moving forward.

Enough address space for every atom on the surface of the earth.

And I have a /64 from my ISP giving me about eighteen quintillion addresses, but no sane/supported/easy way to further subnet that locally. IPv6/rfc7421 is great ...

~~No, really. He's talking about the earths surface, the xkcd is about the earths volume.~~

Ok, the xkcd is about nanobots with a volume of "a few cubic microns"[1], whereas atoms are much smaller.

[1] https://www.explainxkcd.com/wiki/index.php/865:_Nanobots

Yet as far as I can tell no cloud provider is taking it seriously.

GCP only supports it on the edge for their load balancers for instance.

IPv6 works fine in AWS. I have several v6 only resources there now... no problems. No SSH scans, no elastic IP fees, no log noise from all the IPv4 idiots. It's heaven.

All rsync.net locations[1] have ipv6 addresses.

[1] Cali., Denver, Zurich, Hong Kong

Been a customer of yours for ten years. No BS. Just works.

So abundant, has no value.

I would say "no cost".

On the hosting service I use, you can rent an IPv6 only host and you pay less. Why would you pay for an IPv4 address if you don't need it ?

I'd love to use it, but honestly it's fairly complex to even understand if I can use it. From my home ISP to my compute provider(s), I've not even done enough research to know if I can use it.

Last I recall (years ago) my buddy was running some type of VPN through Comcast just to be able to use IPv6 properly. That's when I decided it was still too new for me.

Clearly I don't know anything on the subject, and I'm not claiming to. These are one of the areas where I don't know, don't desire to know, and want it to "just work". I am however interested in making my applications compliant asap, but until I can reliably use it, I've not even attempted.

So with that big pile of ignorance, are we "there yet"? Ie, could I build applications and run them on a IPv6 compatible host, with hit it with my home ISP with a reasonable expectation that everything will work? (assuming my code works, of course).

I feel like I need a "caniuseIPv6.com" site, similar to https://caniuse.com. From the outside, IPv6 implementation and support seems bizarrely cryptic.

I had an IPv6-only host last year, sucked that I couldn't clone my dotfiles from github - because they were IPv4-only.

Lots of things fail if you're IPv6 only, but it was a useful experiment and I'll try it again in a year or two.

Right now most of my hosts are dual-stack, and I have a /64 setup for my home network.

Adoption rate varies from country to country: https://www.google.com/intl/en/ipv6/statistics.html

It's interesting to note there's a definite variation on a 24-hour cycle... because there's a correlation between longitude and IPv6 adoption...?

Corporates. At work your network is IPv4 only, it passes through a badly made "anti-exfiltration" appliance, a "policy enforcement" appliance and half a dozen more, you have that six year old laptop that's missing some crucial patches because they were incompatible with the Java applet used to order coffee in the board room, and so on.

At home you've been using IPv6 passively for 18 months, it works and you never noticed.

Hence the big up spike on weekends and major holidays.

It's on a weekly cycle, with peaks presumably on the weekends. Maybe more home internet connections than workspace internet connections are IPv6, so there is an uptick in registered IPv6 connections when people are at home. (Note how the trough between Dec 24th and 31st is also significantly more shallow than the usual one.)

IPv6 adoption is approaching a big wall. Maybe the industry will finally start reconsidering it and doing honest research into something that can actually get wide spread adoption.

There is no magical ipv4 compatible protocol that is possible at scale that is simply being denied to the masses by the Ivory Tower IETF.

IPv6 is the future of IP connectivity, that is not going to change.

How so? There is unlimited amount of compatible protocols that can be made to run on top of IPv4.

And they all suck in various (usually non-obvious) ways.

How does that solve anything? If you still need an IPv4 address, what's the point?

We needed a few static ipv4 addresses for interconnects.

Customer <> us Office <> us Us @aws <> us @azure

With having so many customers there are probably enough with use cases which requires that ipv4 and having them is probably a necessity.

I haven't worked much in IoT but I kinda assumed devices get private IPs on whatever LAN and phone home to traverse NAT.

Given that IP is a scarce resource, why aren't we taxing those large IP blocks similar to property taxes on land? If holding an /8 came with a hefty tax bill attached, it would 1) encourage companies that got them for historical reasons and don't have much practical use for them to sell them to those who actually need a lot of IPs, and 2) encourage IPv6 MIGRATION.

Who do you pay the tax to? Be warned that your answer will probably lead to a fragmented Internet, or encourage even less redistribution according to real needs

Isn’t there a misalignment between IPv6 adoption and scarcity of IP addresses? We rely on ISPs to adopt IPv6, but if they also own IP space, why would they lower the value of their holdings.

Does anyone mind sharing how IP addresses are allocated and bought in the first place? Like who did GE buy it from if it wasn't another company?

In the very early days no one understood that over half of all humans would be on the internet. It was just this ARPANet thing for the military and universities, then a few big companies.

So you got a /8 by asking for one; they handed them out for free.

Same goes for DNS. You used to request the name and it was yours. No yearly fees.

The IP blocks were never reclaimed because it was pointless. Even now clawing back the big /8 assignments only kicks the can down the road for a year, maybe two.

And oddly enough, this seems to be happening all over again with ipv6.

My company has a /32 ipv6 space. That's 79228162514264337593543950336 /128s. And we got it by... just asking for it.

I know everyone's shouting about "there are enough IPs for every atom on earth!" but just like "no one understood that over half of all humans would be on the internet", maybe we'll need more IPs in the future becuase of some unforeseen development... it seems silly to be handing out blocks like this just for giggles.

They thought of that; the current allocation scheme will be used for IIRC only 1/8 of the IPv6 address space. If that's ever exhausted, there's still the other 7/8 which can be allocated in a more conservative manner.

People start encoding information in IPv6 addresses because the address space is so huge. This however, could lead to address shortage.

There was an article about this recently on the German news site Heise: https://heise.de/-4196981

Translation: https://translate.google.com/translate?sl=auto&tl=en&js=y&pr...

Yeah, we can only give out 4,294,967,295 more /32s to large companies.

So to take a known scale, there is not enough to give one to each person alive. Which might seem crazy but then again, why would everyone not only need an ipv4, but need several (phone, computers, watch, tv,...)? Crazy

That seems wasteful, but that is the equivalent to getting a single IPv4 address by asking for it, and the IPv4 shortage wasn't caused by the distribution of individual addresses. It's a world of difference to getting a /8 by asking for it.

We would still have ipv4 shortage that way though, not enough to give one to everyone, let alone the several we need. Same here, this might seem a crazy problem to worry about, but they're handing out ranges of size large enough that there isn't enough to give one to any person alive.

Apparently not for every atom. The space is small enough to save us from grey goo scenario, at least until nanobots invent NAT.


I believe it's more like every atom in the universe. Which means that inherently it is enough. But indeed it is still best to be somewhat careful.

There were always yearly fees; it's just that prior to 1995 they were paid for by the US taxpayers instead of the domain owners.

Those literally weren't fees. The dictionary definition of fee is "a payment made to a professional person or to a professional or public body in exchange for advice or services".

Hence, there were no fees. Stop engaging in pointless (and even incorrect!) sophistry.

Definition 1.1: "Money paid as part of a special transaction, for example for a privilege or for admission to something." I'd say that applies.

Those literally were indeed fees.

The National Science Foundation paid Network Solutions a payment, per registered domain, in exchange for the service of registering it.

IP-Addresses and domain-names are only tangentially related. Just because you pay a fee per domain-name does not mean it's the same for network addresses.

The cost to run the DNS servers was fixed (and mostly still is, at least compared to the money raked in by registration fees).

That's both untrue and irrelevant to this discussion.

The IANA was responsible for assigning IP addresses back then. It was basically one dude, Jon Postel( https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jon_Postel ), until it was formalized as an organization in 1988.

s/basically one/one amazing/

The foundational work he did was definitely impressive. But the fact that it fell to one guy also spoke to how low the stakes were at the time.

I researched it, and I don't have the specifics in front of me, but it looked like a massive corporate giveaway.

Perhaps it didn't feel like it as much at the time, since only huge corporations had the need for so many computers.

Companies like Merck and Ford, Universities like MIT, don't appear to have paid a dime for them.

Back then I don't think anyone ever considered we'd use up the IPv4 address space and/or assumed that the migration to IPv6 would happen more more quickly, rendering IPv4 obsolete. It looks like most of the big blocks were all assigned prior to widespread consumer internet adoption.

Back then IPv6 wasn't planned at all. By the time the need for more address space was realized, v4 addresses were already a valued commodity and no longer given away on request.

It's worth noting that at the time for the value of an IP address block was pretty much 0.

IBM owns 9/8 - it's used for their internal network (really). They're mid-way through a 2y project to move everything to IPv6

The recent purchase of OpenShift may be a good answer to 'I wonder what they are intending to do with a /8 in a year'.

Can someone give an ELI5 summary on why this is important and has 360+ upvotes? Why would GE have had this? Why did Amazon want it?

3/8 or means the IP address range from to - this is 2^24 or 16.7M IP addresses.

Why does Amazon want it? - Amazon has a lot of customers who want EC2/ELB instances with their own IP addresses. IPv4 addresses are a scarce resource.

Why did GE have it? When the IPv4 address space was formed, various big US companies managed to get the initial IP address allocations. You can see more on these allocations here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_assigned_/8_IPv4_addre...

Why so many upvotes? It's relatively rare to see what is 1/255th of the IPv4 address space sold.

Does that mean Amazon has a lease from ARIN on those batches of IPv4 addresses for a period of time (in the same sense as a domain registry for x years) or actually own them?

Also, That Wikipedia article was particularly helpful. I knew the /32 was specific to my IP that I use but didn't realize the sheer scale of those blocks.

IP Address purchases one-time purchases, you don't pay annual fees.

There is another comment here that said Amazon paid ~18/IP. They won't pay this next year.

Historically, 32-bit address space was large on the fledgling internet. It was relatively easy and cheap/free to get a /8.

Amazon probably wants it to sell to their customers who need ipv4 instead of v6

Amazon own the largest public cloud provider (AWS). Assuming they use it on this, it makes sense they'd want a bunch more IP addresses.

Can someone explain what /8s /16s etc. are? Or a link to a good explainer?

It tells you how many of the 32 bits in your IPv4 addresses are fixed. The rest belongs to your space.

In binary, a /8 netmask would look like this: 11111111.00000000.00000000.00000000 and a /16 would look like this: 11111111.11111111.00000000.00000000

So means only the first eight bits are fixed. Which gives Amazon 2^24 IP-Addresses to use (32-8 bit). That is huge because it's 1/256 of all available IPv4 addresses. It is small because it's only 16777216 addresses.

They are subnetwork masks! It's a formal way of expressing in which range you will find the addresses of a given network (for example: is like saying "3.x.x.x addresses"; or, for common home networks you will find something like, which means "192.168.1.x"). I'm not an expert on the subject, but this site seems to have a complete explanation: http://www.steves-internet-guide.com/subnetting-subnet-masks...

I believe it means that this block is 1/2^n of the total address space. Basing this off people discussing how this /8 is made up of two /9s. And there seems to be 256 of the GE sized blocks in the map someone posted above: https://www.caida.org/research/id-consumption/whois-map/imag...

Go to http://cidr.xyz Try out different combinations

When we were hp we used to own all of and (formerly DEC) but now we're down to only 15 and hpe has 16. It's weird how these blocks move around, should really be more of a shared resource.

As an individual, I own an entire /24, registered back in 1993. The people who got in early got a disproportionate amount of address space. New ISPs / companies have to beg and borrow just to get a small slice.

This is happening with IPv6. People think there's so much address space that wasting several trillion isn't going to matter.

The issue is that when you have 95% of your address space allocated and unused you can't reap individual sections, and if you could then you'd bloat the BGP tables to epic proportions.

IANA/RIPE need to be more reserved when they have abundance.

Actually, that goes for technology in general; just because most of your users have 8G of ram doesn't mean you should think that using 5G is acceptable. (looking at you skype/slack/chrome)

Perhaps the visualization here would show you just how huge IPv6 space is.


By the way, I always wondered what if companies start acquiring large IPv6 space chunks, and it will become the same problem as with IPv4. For example in hand, if AWS bought, cannot they buy 03::?

And once enough companies buy huge ranges of IPv6, we would come to the same scarcity as in IPv4, no?

PS: I understand that largest CIDR block that can be allocated in IPv6 is /20, not /8. But they could buy 4096 blocks of size /20 to get the whole of /8.

No, because all global unicast allocations are done out of 2000::/3 This means even if we screw up all these allocations, we have many other chances to get it right.

See https://www.iana.org/assignments/ipv6-address-space/ipv6-add...

You don't just buy blocks. You get assigned them, based on evidence of need.

Evidence of need for an IPv4 /8 is plausible for any large organisation, but how would you show you need an IPv6 /8? "Oh, our colonies in Orion's Belt are all expanding very quickly now so we need more space" ?

Now your next question might be, hang on, if you can't buy IP addresses, how does Amazon have ? Well, lots of companies can show evidence of need in IPv4 but space is exhausted - so what happens is that if somebody _else_ gives up their address space to someone who have evidence of need that's fine. And a financial inducement to give up your space to somebody else is also fine.

So in a sense you _can_ buy IPv4 addresses, just you aren't allowed to buy them if you aren't going to need them. Hoarding, speculative trading, etcetera are (in principle) not a thing.

I owned a couple /24s around then as well, but I'd completely forgotten about them until now. I never even used them because it was a hassle to get them routed. I assume they've been reallocated by now, but I'm not sure. I don't have access to the [email] domain I registered them from (nor am I even sure what it was at the time).

It is likely they were not reallocated... Any idea what the ranges were or the names you registered them under? You might be able to dig them up with brute force whois or some google searches...

I believe just under my own full name, although I may have specified an organization. If there's no ongoing maintenance requirement to retain IP allocations (like an annual fee), then maybe they are still floating out there attached to me in some way. I'll have to do some research.

For "legacy" space, meaning anything predating ARIN (before 1997-ish), no fees are required unless you chose to sign the registration services agreement. I refused to sign it and my /24 has remained free for the past 25 years.

Have you ever looked into what you'd get from selling it?

Probably $5K/ish. I have it routed... I have a couple of personal machines off of it.

That's a really cool fun fact to share about yourself. I'm jealous!

I'm think if you can reasonate with a hosting provider (big name ones), you can have a /24 block for yourself. You better have a great reason, and be prepared to pay ~$3/ IP.

I am curious, can you rent it?

Yeah, I could. I'd rather use it myself though.

I worked for Halliburton as a sysadmin for 12 years.. during that time they owned 34/8 and 134.132/16.

Looking now:

134.132/16: still LGC/HAL

34/10: HAL

34.64/10: Google

34.128/10: HAL

34.192/10: Amazon

So I guess they decided to make some hefty profit...

Re: IPv6

Would love for each AWS account to have it's own IPv6 range out of the box. I feel like this solve the pains the AWS Lambda fans (like myself) have when they need to access a whitelist only service.

Disclaimer: Board strokes, I don't really know what I am talking about

If AWS ever implements IPv6, that's totally possible. The standard IPv6 distribution model calls for end users to be given a /64.

According to their usually up to date json[0], the IPs are already in use and all 17+M have been assigned to the Singapore region (ap-southwest-1). According to the json they are available for both EC2 and other infrastructure as well (ELBs, API gateway, etc).

[0] https://ip-ranges.amazonaws.com/ip-ranges.json

It's definitely not all assigned to Singapore or to ap-southwest-1, the ip-ranges.json file reports assignments to other regions, i.e. ap-southeast-1 EC2 (Singapore) eu-west-2 EC2 us-east-2 EC2 eu-west-1 EC2 us-east-1 EC2 ap-southeast-2 EC2 ap-northeast-1 EC2 eu-central-1 EC2

Considering GE's downward spiral (www.google.com/search?q=nyse:ge), I wonder if Amazon managed to get a good deal out of it or if GE managed to actually extract some value out of this sale.

I can't imagine why sales and values of IP blocks would be publicly tracked (beyond just IP blocks trading hands), but is anyone aware of the sale price?

Both. IPs should appreciate in value because of the limited allocations.

Won't widescale addition of IPv6 crash the price? It's coming any minute now!

I has similar thoughts about the price of ipv4 addrs going down.

so , some smart finance people at GE may have calculated that now is a good time to put them on the market vs wait.

And some smart finance people at Amazon may have calculated that now is a good time to buy them and wait.

I'm sure they've been out hounding the owners for quite some time :)

So what you're saying is this is good for bitcoin?

Amazon should buy GE.

Order a locomotive, or 5MW Wind Generator with free 2 day shipping with your prime membership..

Fine print would say free locomotive offer only applies to 1435mm territories.

Aaaand, your locomotive will not move unless your CBTC reports to Alexa network, enabling precise location tracking of these trains

I would rather have my nuclear plant to power my crypto farm. :o

Better dig gold, according to the last news.

They wouldn't get all that much out of that, I think. It'd also be a lot of work.

They would get the expertise to build their own dams to power datacentres ;).

Just a thought but why hasn't Multicast or Reserved sections been sliced up further and added back into the pool? I'm guessing going back and making those addresses Internet routable would be very difficult at this point. Since MBONE[0] is gone I feel like even a /16 would be sufficient for reserved multicast in private networks. A /4 just seems ridiculous to me. I suppose at this point the path of least resistance is to just go to IPv6 though.

[0]: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mbone

If you're going to have to hack every single router to support using these addresses for regular unicast traffic you might as well just switch to IPv6.

Much like Class E space, too many systems would black list these IP's for them to be widely usable.

And GE sells another valuable asset. (Previously: appliances to Haier, property portfolio to Wells Fargo)

As you pointed out, they own 2 /9's. While this covers the entire 3/8 space, they cannot have ROAs signed for the /8 nor can they submit route objects for the /8 until the 2 /9's are consolidated into a single /8.

How much does cost to own those kind of DNS resolvers?

The cost for a "vanity/memorable ip" like, or the cost of a global anycast redundant recursive resolver setup?

Yeah, i'm curious, so what does it cost for a "vanity/memorable ip like"?

You're not going to be able to have a single IP address globally routed. Practically speaking, you can't own anything smaller than a /24 network.

A /24 is probably in the ~$4k range. No idea what a netblock with a cool/vanity IP might cost. Pretty sure all the single digit ones are impossible to buy, but there could be others that would be a premium above regular pricing.

AWS already runs private resolves in each AWS Region. This would be a minor overhead for them, if they wanted to do it.

What's next? Rent seeking on IPv4 address space?

It's already a thing, usually called leasing.

Do they own them, or is that a figure of speech? Probably should be rented so that the unused eventually come back to the pool.

Given General Electric's dire straits lately, it doesn't surprise me they would sell it.

The xkcd map will need an update.


"ham radio 44" (!)

They deserve it more than Amazon.

Is this whole list of unallocated blocks still relevant ? I though there was a shortage of IPv4 adresses ?

No, it's a map from 2006

A lot happens on the web in 12 years.

How much would something like this cost Amazon?

Meh, I have 2 /8s.

10 and 127.

Eventually Amazon is going to rule us all.

No doubt. While everyone is looking at Apple, Google and FaceBook, Amazon is back there plotting their take-over.

"Eventually", ha.

Not only that, Amazon's HQ2 now covers more of the US than MetroPCS.


(This is a tech humor blog/email I follow - they have been vicious with Amazon this week)

The shortage of IPv4 addresses is "self-inflicted". If the internet didn't follow this stupid libertarian approach of selling and buying addresses, we could have addresses for everybody.

Population of Earth > 7.5 billion and growing.

IPv4 Addresses < 4.3 billion.

It was just a matter of time before IPv4 was insufficient, no matter how you allocate it.

Edit: wow I have no idea how that got so garbled.

How exactly do you fit 7.5 billion unique identifiers into a 32 bit address space?

And that's ignoring population growth, multiple devices per person, infrastructure addresses and overhead.

Not everyone needs a public IP, right? Especially with the advent of carrier grade NAT.

From earlier in this thread "NAT literally breaks IP". NAT is a workaround. Yes, it's our solution to IPv4 shortage in light of not being able to force the world over to IPv6, but it's not ideal.

CGNAT will hopefully drive people to IPv6 because it's really quite bad. This talk is really interesting in explaining why it's so bad: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fbk4H6EmZzI

Edit: Changed likely to hopefully... as let's be honest, we'll probably still be using IPv4 in a few decades.

Wow that was a very good, if scary, summary of the situation. Whenever my phone browser drags now I'll just say: "thanks CGN".

If this is your take, why are you replying to me?

I'm not arguing there is (or isn't) a shortage, I'm pushing back on a point premised on the existence of a shortage. Go reply to that other guy.

Your point seems to be that a shortage is not possible because carrier grade NAT. I'd argue that the deployment of carrier grade NAT is proof that one is actively in existence.

True, but more often than not you don't have a choice.

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