4 votes

32 bit real estate

1 comment

  1. skybrian
    From the article: […]

    From the article:

    If you invested in IP addresses 15 years ago, you're doing pretty well. If you invested in IP addresses 15 months ago, you're also doing well.

    When we wrote the first draft of this post, the going rate for smaller IPv4 blocks was $45 per IP address. was the rate in September of 2021. We looked just now, and the spot price was $50. We give up quoting them; by the time you get to this sentence, they'll have gotten more expensive.


    VMs are mostly useful when they can talk to the Internet. Your developers need IP addresses. Say it costs $45 for a single IP address. That means it costs $23,040 to handle 512 virtual machines with IPv4 addresses. We've now doubled our costs.

    But hold up for a second.

    Servers depreciate; that's their job. That $20k server depreciates to $500 relatively quickly. But IP blocks are, at least for now, appreciating. Alarmingly.

    This is a hard market to time. Nobody believes the Internet will be IPv6-only within the next few years. There are credible people who believe IPv4 addresses will be scarce and useful indefinitely. We might put money on you getting away with an IPv6-only app 20 years from now. But we'd have said that 20 years ago, too.

    So, unfortunately, the smart thing to do if you own $1B worth of IPv4 addresses is to buy $1B more IPv4 addresses. Fortunately, everyone is starting to recognize this, so you have some flexibility in financing.

    1 vote