New Solutions for Scaling the Internet Address Space
As we enter the 21st century, the problems of IPv4 address shortages
and expanding Internet routing tables are still with us. The good news
is that CIDR is working. The bad news is that recent growth trends indi 
cate that the number of Internet routes is increasing at an exponential
rate. The Internet must find a way to keep the routing table growth lin 
ear. The IETF is continuing its efforts to develop solutions that will
overcome these problems, enabling the continued growth and scalability
of the Internet. 
Appeal to Return Unused IP Network Prefixes
RFC 1917 requests that the Internet community return unused address
blocks to the Internet Assigned Numbers Authority (IANA) for redistri 
bution. This includes unused network numbers, addresses for networks
that will never be connected to the global Internet for security reasons,
and sites that are using a small percentage of their address space. RFC
1917 also petitions ISPs to return unused network prefixes that are out 
side of their assigned address blocks. 
Address Allocation for Private Internets
RFC 1918 requests that organizations use the private Internet address
space for hosts that require IP connectivity within their enterprise net 
work, but do not require external connections to the global Internet.
The IANA has reserved the following three address blocks for private
Internets: (10/8 prefix) (172.16/12 prefix) (192.168/16 prefix) 
Any organization that elects to use addresses from these reserved blocks
can do so without contacting the IANA or an Internet registry. Since
these addresses are never injected into the global Internet routing sys 
tem, the address space can simultaneously be used by many different
The disadvantage to this addressing scheme is that it requires an organi 
zation to use a Network Address Translator (NAT) for global Internet
access. However, the use of the private address space and a NAT make it
much easier for clients to change their ISP without renumbering or
 punching holes  in a previously aggregated advertisement. A benefit
of this addressing scheme to the Internet is that it reduces the demand
for IP addresses so large organizations may require only a small block of
the globally unique IPv4 address space. 
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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