In the 1990’s, the world was shocked by the report about the depleting ozone layer in our polar caps. Many panicked and today, we managed to slow the destruction by elimination certain chemicals we use like cfc’s or chlorofluorocarbons. Before the new millennium hit the clock, the world anticipated a total wreckage of all systems involving analog devices and that computers had been prepared to record the numbers or units will be displaying wrong digits; this happens while the whole world rattles in the conquering of the 2k Bug. All fortunately has been resolved before the actual expected destruction or impediments took. In fact, many of the anticipated signs never happened. By 2009, there had been spreading rumors that within a year, there will be a catastrophe that will again affect the world computing system. This time, it has something to do with the internet. The talks were about the increasing usage of IP addresses. Many reports states that the IP (Internet Protocol) addresses will come short by the end of 2011 depending on the number of people using it. Many people are panicking about the issue as there might be a real catastrophe when IP addresses are no longer available. Not too quick though, tech people and other engineers have been so patient enough in explaining the range and the possible effects of this online phenomenon. To begin with, they started by explaining what is IP and how it works. IP addresses are unique combination of numbers in binary form. This serves are the individual number assigned to every unit or computer in comparison with the phone number. This also serves as a unique access point to the hardware that uses internet. The current version of IP addresses we use these days (in fact since the 80’s) is known as IPv4. The IPv4 can handle exactly 4,294,967,296 of unique IP addresses annotated in dot-decimal notation in four octet form. Reports said that almost all of that 4 billion plus IP addresses had been already in use. When all IP addresses provided through IPv4 has been used there can no longer be any movement as it has reached the limit. But late 90’s, this problem has already been foresaw thus the conceptualization and eventually creation of the IPv6 paved way. Contrary to IPv4, IPv6 is in dotted hexadecimal notation also in four octets. Because it is annotated in hexa, IPv6 can handle 4 times more addresses than IPv4 or 2128 as the former is represented in 128-bit while the latter is 32-bit. The problem however is that the IPv6, according to many articles including this, is still in the infancy period and is not yet totally implemented in all systems and hardware units. IBM is one of the big companies famous to have retained its IPv4 notation for their units. But big companies such as Google and Apple are already implementing IPv6 in their system. When IPv4 addresses become used up, the problem is that many will no longer be able to use the internet when IPv6 is in full utility already. There are things ISPs are doing right now; like serving dynamic IP addresses so they can save up with the static ones. Many companies are doing a sharing scheme wherein an IP address is shared in two or more units – that is when one unit is not in use for the internet then the other one can. In conclusion, there is nothing so destructive with IPv4 depleting as there are already present solutions laid. It would just take for some adjustments that we hope would be available soon. Joseph Glenn Austero Jr. JGlenn Austero

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