Technology KnowledgeBase

What IP address changes were made this summer (2012)?

Changes were made during July 2012 in how IP addresses are allocated to district computers, printers, phones, and other equipment. The changes were necessary in order to support the expected increase in wireless computing and changes in the types of devices that will be supported in the future. The new allocations provide many more addresses for wireless devices, as well as room for the possibility of devices we don’t even know about yet.

The Old IP Allocation
Previously, every building had a set of IP addresses allocated for wired computer connections that followed the pattern:
  10.schoolnumber .x.x
Using Bothell HS as an example, every computer on a wired connection would have an address starting with 10.171. If that computer was using DHCP to get its address, the address would start with something in the range of 10.171.234 to 10.171.249, which is a LOT of addresses.

However, if the computer was using a wireless connection, the IP address instead would look like 10.180.171 or 10.181.171 and those two networks only have a couple hundred addresses available each. With the move over the last five years from wired to wireless computing, and the anticipation of even more wireless devices in the future, that doesn’t meet our needs any longer.

The New IP Allocation
On July 3rd, a new IP address allocation was configured in all district routers. This provides a lot more addresses for wireless connections and keeps all of the addresses in the same "number plan", so both wired and wireless computers at a school are in the same network area.

Using Bothell as an example again, you will see the following patterns:
  • A computer on a wired connection using DHCP will be in 10.171.96.1 - 10.171.127.254.  This is still a LOT of addresses - far more than we are ever likely to use.
  • A computer on an NSDPrivate wireless connection will be in 10.171.193.1 - 10.171.223.254. This provides about 8,000 addresses per school building!
  • A computer on NSDGuest will also show up in the 10.171 network area, although guest computers use a separate part of that area so they do not tie up addresses needed for district computers.
  • Printers are still in 10.171.79.x, except for our few wireless printers, which have been moved to a new network.
What This Means for School Staff
For most school staff, this won’t be a noticeable change. Computers and phones will pick up the change automatically, as will most printers. If you have software that scans for computers, such as lab management software, those computers will now be in a MUCH larger range of IP addresses and the scans could take a lot longer. In that event, please contact Technology and let us help you work out a solution for your situation.
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