Times are changing and we all need to adapt. The internet has had a major impact on all of our lives and continues to be a growing force in all aspects of society; in personal interactions, in knowledge management and inthe way we do business.
In a whitepaper by the Atos Scientific Community, this evolution of ‘the net’ is described and put in the context of the additional functionality we now expect from our interactions on the internet. The authors challenge the current technology stack that is making up the many, many connections and network capabilities that have to be served to make the internet do what it is supposed to do.
“The topology of the Internet has evolved through economic and technological optimization decisions to a flatter structure where major content providers and distributors get as close as possible to the access networks used by their customers”
There seem to be good reasons to have a good look at this technology evolution and make some choices to continue to enjoy the internet:
- Because of the cloud computing trend, more and more traffic is concentrated between several internet powerhouses; Facebook, Amazon, Google and Microsoft. The distributed nature of the original internet simply does not exist anymore.
- Because of the huge increase in mobile internet usage, the way that information is accessed, changed and presented is different from the past models – the existing networking functionality is not optimized for this type of usage.
- Future scenarios predict that through the assignment of an IP address to about any device you can think of we will create a huge peer-to-peer network, where human interaction will be only a small portion of all connections; “the internet of things”. The current internet technology is not designed for this.
These changes raise some fundamental questions and these are described in more details the paper. Most noticeable the authors bring our attention to the fundamental nature of the internet as it is built at the moment, a decentralized web of processing and access points.
“On the long run, the question is raised whether the Internet will durably follow a concentration trend driving it towards a more centralized network or if we will see a new wave of decentralization.”
The whitepaper dives into the technology of the internet and shows where we are facing potential bottlenecks.
[This blog post is a repost of http://blog.atos.net/blog/2012/12/03/watch-this-space-three-reasons-to-change-the-internet-now/ ]