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Microsoft Depletes US IPv4 Addresses for Microsoft Azure

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Micrsoft Azure has run out of IPv4 addresses assigned to US regions.  The company responded to customer questions about why international websites accessed through Azure-hosted VMs were locating them in another country with a blog post this week.

Microsoft points out that the services are hosted where they are deployed, though the IP may not be registered there, meaning that there are no changes to legal status, data security or any other international data storage issue. Microsoft also points out that registration cannot be transferred from one nation to another as they are allocated by the Internet Assigned Numbers Authority.

The company does have some recourse. Blog post author and Microsoft Senior Program Manager Ganesh Srinivasan writes, “We are currently working with a few major IP geo-location database companies to update the location of these IPs which should help alleviate the issues this may be causing.”

The situation is more of a public relations and communication issue than a performance one, but it should have been easy to see it coming. Microsoft purchased a block of IPv4 numbers in the Nortel bankruptcy proceedings more than three years ago, and ARIN announced the final countdown in April.

IPv6 adoption doubled in its first few years, leading to predictions that it would run out of IPv4 addresses in 2018 or 2019. In the last year, IPv6 use has grown from about 1.3 percent of Google users to over 3.6 percent, according to Google.

The comments under the blog post indicate disagreement among users about the value of IPv6, particularly relative to adoption by network administrators and developers.

Regarding Azure IPv6 support, a Microsoft FAQ says: “The foundational work to enable IPv6 in the Azure environment is well underway. However, we are unable to share a date when IPv6 support will be generally available at this time.”

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