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by Justin Ellingwood
Amazon and Linode have the same problem, but they found a way to deal with it.
The way that IP allocation works is that you first receive an initial block from ARIN (US) or RIPE (EU) and then begin to utilize it. When you have 80% of it utilized you can request an additional block.
Usually the next block assigned is double the first, and most initial blocks are 1024 IPs, so as you begin to grow the next assignment doubles each time. Unfortunately we launched our services in the beginning of 2012 when the total pool of available IPv4 addresses had already been largely depleted, as a result, without growth we are unable to request more IP addresses and as we grow faster we need larger blocks.
In the case of Europe RIPE ran out of IPs a month ago so there are no more IPv4 addresses that can be assigned as the entire pool has run out. For some of the older players in the space that have had 6-8 years to grow each new allocation that they received would be double their last and provides a much longer runway, unfortunately we are not in that position since we so recently launched our service.
There are several things we are looking into such as providing private or IPv6 only virtual servers for the smaller plans and also buying IP space directly from other entities that currently have an excess.
Unfortunately it looks like RIPE is not stepping into this, since if you aren't using the IP space it should be returned back, and instead of requesting that companies that currently have large blocks that aren't being used return them to RIPE so that other companies can follow the standard request procedures to get more IP space they are instead facilitating the direct transaction of selling IP space, where the price continues to go up rather drastically as more and more companies start to hit the wall and realize there are no easy answers.
America is set to run out of IPv4 space next year followed shortly there after by Latin America. So overall this problem will accelerate over the next coming months. The good news is of course that IPv6 provides a tremendously larger volume of IPs however not all service providers support it, including ourselves (at least not yet).
Hopefully this provides a bit more clarity on the situation.
Thanks for the detailed reply Moisey.
Is there a rough time period for when you expect to have more IPs available? Months? A Year?
From your response it seems like the latter and this is far from being resolved.
Do IPs became available when people destroy their droplets?
I am very interested in joining DigitalOcean but the lack of AMS location is holding me back. It would also be a good idea to mention this on your site.
IPs do become available when virtual servers are destroyed but since daily we are creating more servers than customers are destroying the total pool still decreases.
We have progressed far in some negotiations around IP space and we are hopeful that perhaps we may have a contract as early as Monday or Tuesday but after that there is still a bit of process in the way before we'll be able to get the net-block assigned to us if all goes well.
Currently our best estimate, and this is a best case, is 2 weeks and that depends on several third parties keeping the timelines that they've reported to us and like any negotiation there are always bumps in the road that arise.
But right now it seems very likely that we will be able to reopen the plans in the future, but unfortunately I can't provide any clearer of an ETA than simply 2-3 weeks.
Thank you for responding so quickly, that is actually a lot sooner than I was expecting (in regards to the IP issue).
It was unexpected for us as well, but since everything is a negotiation and it's not dependent on us I would prefer not to get customers hopes up just yet. But we did want to provide an update so everyone would at least have a general idea of where we stand at the moment.
Unfortunately, for my web apps, the smaller instances are usually the ones which need a public ip address, because i place load balancers on them. I do not generally need public addresses for mysql machines and app servers, which i put on larger droplets, but the 5$ droplets are perfectly suited for load balancers. Thus, these small (and cheap) instances are very important to me, ...
For my use (development, primarily) I'd be more than happy with accessing the server over IPv6.
I'll share my thoughts. I'm possibly a minority (and I'm not a terribly profit-generating customer for you guys, except when it comes to shouting about the best virtual hosting service to everyone I think needs hosting).
IPv6-only would be enough? Surely I'm joking!
Sure, I have no direct access to the IPv6 network, but I have another shared server, and am most interested in DigitalOcean because of fast rollout of a blank machine, snapshots, low ping and (of course) low prices. Direct access via IPv4? It's not as important.
In fact, SSHing into a "shared" address provided by DO, picking a server, and configuring tunnelling via SSH would be more than enough for my uses.
Largest issue with hosting in the US are -- legal issues. I recently had to send a US tax form where I had to pick the form type based on the fact whether I have any property (including web hosting, surprisingly) located in the US.
Saying I have no hosting means I don't have a weird form to sign forced upon me by a foreign government (the US).
Having to use DO's US hosting changes the legal situation in this case. I don't persistently use a server, but it still makes me uneasy.
Moisey Uretsky: Nice explaination about the IPv4 ran out... Maybe DO can work on so thay can handle IPv6 ... then there are enough ip numbers.. to give every droplet 100 numbers :)
We've requested and received our first allocation of IPv6 this along with private networking are the highest priorities in our network deployment and we'll have some big announcements next week.
So there will be a couple of large projects that will finally be finished and then we'll be able to review the roadmap and re-prioritize things as necessary.
And we will also look to document a bit more of our company internals on the Blog as well to highlight some of the lessons that we've learned as we are fast approaching our second anniversary as well.
Ivan: Thanks for the write up - I think at the end of the day we are going to provide a couple of options and just let people spin up what they need and hopefully with private networking and IPv6 we'll be able to fill at least a couple of gaps that were unfortunately created with the IPv4 shortage.
I'd like to profusely congratulate DigitalOcean on finally getting an IPv6 allocation. I very much look forward to the updates. :)
You should post this on the status page until the issue is resolved.
That's a great suggestion Roland we'll get that added monday.
we'll, monday is a little bit too late for me... -.-
Is it not possible to broadcast different IPs from a region ? CloudFlare does it to distribute data. Though they own them in a different region, they are routed to the nearest datacenter from a customer.
So, there was a comment on 4/19 from Moisey, confirming that DigitalOcean has received a block of IPv6. Is information about the block (specifically the size and customer allocation plans) going to be released soon?
Announcing IPs from a particular region elsewhere breaks the agreements that providers have with the governing bodies responsible for assigning IPs and as a result those IPs that are "transferred" aren't counted as part of the 80% utilization and as a result it will become difficult to request new blocks.
And even in RIPE where there are no more blocks that can be assigned when IPs are purchased from someone else the transaction is still processed through RIPE and buyers are required to provide IP justification for usage of over 80% of their current allotment for the transaction to be approved and the IPs to be transferred.
Still no news on the IPv6 or IPv4?
Please make them available. We don't need big instances for all projects and customers.
Voted +3 on this
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