It wasn’t a lack of foresight, but no one could have guessed how many devices would be linked to the internet when the current Internet Protocol (IPv4) was implemented years ago.
Now, as everything gets linked to the Internet – from mobile medical devices to building sensors – it’s clear that the number of available IP addresses is limited, and they may be exhausted by as soon as May 2011.
IPv6 is on the way, and eventually, every device on the globe will be required to convert to the new Internet Protocol if it wants to maintain internet connectivity. This isn’t a bad thing as IPv6 has great promise and offers increased security and a more flexible architecture.
Oh yeah, the number of IP addresses possible with this 128-bit scheme is equal to approximately 3.5×1038.