Running Out of IP addresses. What does it mean for games?

Discussion in 'Indie Business' started by Adrian Lopez, Dec 19, 2010.

  1. Adrian Lopez

    Original Member

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    You may have read that we're quickly running out of IP addresses. Once these addresses run out, having a new website will only be possible via shared hosting. Dedicated hosting will not be an option for new websites, and existing websites with dedicated IPs will be stuck with whatever ISP holds that particular address (good luck finding a new IP should your ISP kick you off for whatever reason).

    What does this mean for game developers? I can think of several problems:
    1. A shared IP address means you can't run nonstandard protocols (the ISP won't know where to forward the data), nor can you run any standard protocols that do not include the server's domain name as part of the connection request. Unless you can write your game so it only communicates via HTTP (or some other supported protocol), this means you won't be able to run your own game servers.
    2. Once IP addresses run out, IPSs will have to start placing users behind ISP-wide NATs, which means your users won't be able to open any ports your game might depend on for online multiplayer support. Your users will have no option but to play your game on private networks.
    3. Your website may be affected by the actions of others on your server. Your server could be blacklisted due to somebody else's misbehavior.

    Anything else to worry about?
     
  2. Bad Sector

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    We'll just switch to IPv6. Yes it will be costly but it will be forced on people because basically there is no other solution. There will be a painful period until everyone switches (all modern OSes and systems support IPv6, but it is the older stuff that will have problems with it) but it is inevitable.
     
  3. Applewood

    Moderator Original Member Indie Author

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    Nope, nothing to worry about. There is a protocol in hand to deal with this as Bad Sector points out.

    I espect the back-end boys will have some fun and games to sort out, and I'm sure that old apps might have a problem if they can't be munged. But with our short lifecycle products and the ability to quickly recompile and patch if needed, I think the games industry is probably more immune than any other.
     
  4. Adrian Lopez

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    The switch to IPv6 is inevitable, but it's also costly. ISPs that have been holding out on IPv6 and will continue to do so for as long as they can get away with it. Things will work out eventually, but the problems I've enumerated are those I'd expect to see during the transition.
     
  5. Bad Sector

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    The thing that people forget about IPv6 is that it has a network effect: ISPs do not work in isolation. They are connected to somewhere else. So if this "somewhere else" switches to IPv6 they'll need to switch too and in turn whoever is connected to them will also need to switch.

    I think a lot of the IPv6 story is similar to the Y2K problem: might be a problem for those relying on older stuff but globally not as big as some people make it sound. Possibly even less, since apparently there isn't any movie about it yet :p
     
  6. Adrian Lopez

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    Only if they drop IPv4 altogether. I think what will drive IPv6 acceptance is IPv4 customers not being able to reach IPv6-only servers. The more of those there are and the more there are people who care to reach them, the greater the pressure on ISPs to provide IPv6 connectivity. It's just a matter of critical mass.
     
  7. princec

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    It's also a matter of upgrading 20m broadband routers owned largely by complete idiots :S

    Cas :)
     
  8. meds

    meds New Member

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    We've been running out of IP addresses since 1998, I'm sure it will all work out.
     
  9. Nexic

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    I've got like 30 IP addresses stockpiled so I'm covered :p
     
  10. electronicStar

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    Things such as "civilization" and "the stock exchange" will crumble and there will be riots in the streets.
    I'm stockpiling food and ammo and gold RIGHT NOW.
     
  11. Bad Sector

    Original Member

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    @princec:
    Doesn't that mean that the internet will be idiot-free, at least for a while? :D

    Don't forget bottle caps!
     

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