By now most of us know that the IPv6 address space is 128-bits. That’s 96-bits larger than the 32-bit IPv4 address space. By now most of us also know that the IPv4 address space has (on paper) 4,294,967,265 possible address.
So just how big is the IPv6 address space? Well, it’s 2128 (2 raised to the 128th power). If you do that math on that it works out to 340,282,366,920,938,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 possible IPv6 addresses (again, on paper). That number, 340 undecillion, is so large that it’s hard to really wrap your head around. In order to try and get some perspective, consider this:
If you had a job that paid you 390 trillion dollars per hour (US) you would have to work 24 hours per day, 7 days per week, 365 days per year for a just a little less than 100 quadrillion years to earn 340 undecillion dollars.
So, yeah. It’s a really, really big number. The original IPv6 architects wanted to put the whole address shortage issue to bed once and for all. They wanted to live in an IP-enabled world where nobody would ever again complain about running out of address space. In my wildest imaginations it seems that they have accomplished their objective. And to modify a quote from Forrest Gump:
“So then I got a call from him, saying we don’t have to worry about [addresses] no more. And I said, that’s good! One less thing.”