I am currently getting ready to write a “primer” whitepaper for my clients regarding the implications of IPv6. This has involved reading a lot of literature from a variety of different sources, all of which offer an explanation of what IPv6 is and why is its implementation is imminent. [is that too many “I"s for one sentence?]
These explanations can be summarised as “we are running out of old [IPv4] IP addresses and IPv6 offers more. A lot more.”
Each of these technical explanations then offers an analogy about how many IPv6 addresses there really are. Some have come up with various ingenious/improbable/crazy ways to express this really large number. I thought I would share a few with you:
To put this into perspective: there are currently 130 million people born each year. If this number of births remains the same until the sun goes dark in 5 billion years, and all of these people live to be 72 years old, they can all have 53 times the address space of the IPv4 Internet for every second of their lives. Let nobody accuse the IETF of being frugal this time around.
This extra character length allows IPv6 to produce 340 undecillion - that's 34,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 - IP addresses. Or, to put it another way, several billion addresses for each person on earth.
To help put this number in perspective, a 128-bit address space provides 655,570,793,348,866,943,898,599 (6.5´1023) addresses for every square meter of the Earth’s surface.
[Microsoft Corporation - Introduction to IP Version 6 - 2008]
If each IP address is the size of small drop of water....the IPv4 space is about the size of a telephone box...the IPv6 address space is about the size of the sphere of Mercury. [Nigel Titley (RIPE NCC Chairman, 6UK Chairman and also Easynet's Global Peering and Transit Manager) - Easynet Breakfast Briefing on IPv6 - 22nd September 2011 - London]
IPv6 addresses are being currently being allocated at a very fast rate, and with really large allocation size per applicant. If this contiues for the next 50 years....we will have used approximately 2% of available addresses. [Nigel Titley (RIPE NCC Chairman, 6UK Chairman and also Easynet's Global Peering and Transit Manager) - Easynet Breakfast Briefing on IPv6 - 22nd September 2011 - London]
If you have any more examples, please post them here. I find them vaguely funny.✴️ Also on Micro.blog