Microsoft has spent $7.5 million on 666,624 IPv4 addresses.
The software giant purchased the addresses from networking firm Nortel. The figure works out to $11.25 per IP address. The deal is part of Nortel’s bankruptcy, according to court filings. Domain Incite reports that the cost for each IP address is more than you’d expect to pay for a .com domain name.
Microsoft was part of 14 potential purchasers for the IP addresses. Nortel held an auction for the addresses and Microsoft submitted the highest bid. The Next Web reports that ICANN looks down on the “grey market” selling of IPv4 addresses, but anticipates their future occurrence will be limited.
IANA, the international body responsible for distributing Internet addresses, completed its final allocation of IPv4 addresses in early February. IPv4 has been steadily approaching its exhaustion phase and the final five blocks of IP addresses were allocated on February 3. The IANA held a press conference and live webcast to mark the occasion and look to the future of IPv6. The final allocation means that blocks of IPv4 addresses are sought after commodities for hosting and cloud service providers like Microsoft.
Microsoft and other technology companies have been working behind the scenes to prepare for the next-generation Internet Protocol. “Although a complete migration will take years, we are hopeful that the vast majority of people will never notice the transition,” admitted Bing Program Manager Kevin Boske. Microsoft plans to enable world-wide IPv6 connectivity to Bing.com, for the purposes of a one-day test on June 8, 2011. “IPv4 traffic will continue to connect to Bing without any change. In fact, most Bing users won’t even notice that this transition is occurring,” said Boske.
Microsoft’s Windows operating systems have had IPv6 support for years and it’s now the turn of Internet Service Providers to future proof the Internet. Internet Protocol 6 supports 340282366920938463463374607431768211455 addresses (340 undecillion, 282 decillion, 366 nonillion, 920 octillion, 938 septillion, 463 sextillion, 463 quintillion, 374 quadrillion, 607 trillion, 431 billion, 768 million, 211 thousand and 455) addresses. “This is another step in the multi-year process to shepherd in a new Internet era, with billions upon billions of addresses representing billions of devices and users,” said Boske.