The second problem is caused by the rapid growth in the size of the
Internet routing tables. Internet backbone routers are required to main 
tain complete routing information for the Internet. Over recent years,
routing tables have experienced exponential growth as increasing num 
bers of organizations connect to the Internet. In December 1990 there
were 2,190 routes, in December 1995 there were more than 30,000
routes, and in December 2000 more than 100,000 routes. 
F I G U R E   2 .   G ro w t h   o f   I n t e r n e t   R o u t i n g   Ta b l e s
Unfortunately, the routing problem cannot be solved by simply
installing more router memory and increasing the size of the routing
tables. Other factors related to the capacity problem include the grow 
ing demand for CPU horsepower to compute routing table/topology
changes, the increasingly dynamic nature of WWW connections and
their effect on router forwarding caches, and the sheer volume of infor 
mation that needs to be managed by people and machines. If the num 
ber of entries in the global routing table is allowed to increase without
bounds, core routers will be forced to drop routes and portions of the
Internet will become unreachable. 
The long term solution to these problems can be found in the wide 
spread deployment of IP Next Generation (IPng or IPv6). Currently,
IPv6 is being tested and implemented on the 6Bone network, which is
an informal collaborative project covering North America, Europe, and
Japan. 6Bone supports the routing of IPv6 packets, since that function
has not yet been integrated into many production routers. Until IPv6
can be deployed worldwide, IPv4 patches will need to be used and
modified to continue to provide the universal connectivity users have
come to expect.
U N D E R S TA N D I N G   I P   A D D R E S S I N G






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