Bigger, faster, everywhere! The measurement of how we rate technology in general, but more specifically data communications.
From the days of spending hundreds of dollars to upgrade from a 14.4 to a 28.8 modem, we have always wanted the data to arrive as fast as possible. More importantly, we have always wanted the user experience to keep improving as we breach new horizons and figure out how to make it bigger, faster and everywhere.
It’s in human nature to want to always make things wildly more impressive from a performance perspective. The car engines just kept getting bigger and bigger to make the cars go faster and faster. At a certain point, the realists had to step in and make it clear that an even bigger engine doesn’t do anything, because the rest of the car is not equipped for that power. The engine itself has to get more efficient with technology, not just bigger, and we have to start thinking about other things, such as stability, safety, efficiency and longevity. As nostalgic as some of us can be over the 1960’s vehicles, the era of the Prius and Tesla are here. Even the older style muscle cars are packed with much newer technology and safety features.
I remember the days of bragging about the bonded 128k ISDN line and when my friend got a 500k modem. The location to live would greatly be determined by what type of internet is available. Today, if I ask some of the savvies network engineers what their bandwidth is at home, they won’t even know, and if they check, it’s usually around the 50-100Mb. Meanwhile the less savvy will brag about their 300Mb or 1Gb fiber and will be upset if they are only testing at 700Mb.
Why is this the case? What changed? Are we just getting older and not caring about latest and greatest tech anymore?
After digging a bit deeper into this question I realized that we are those realist jumping and saying “do you seriously think you are using more than 100Mb at home?” The reason the internet is crappy is not because of the speed, but because it’s crappy!
So, what are the important applications of the internet?
Browsing, Voice, Email/messaging, Social media, Shopping, Video streaming (movies), Payments/banking
Of all of these applications, it seems that security, privacy, latency, quality and reliability would be the most important things. Bandwidth would really only come into play for streaming video. Netflix suggest 5Mb/s for every HD stream. That means at 100Mb, I can have twenty separate HD Netflix streams at the same time, and event that I’m sure happens never at any household or office. So why do we push for 200Mb, 500mb or 1Gb? Do we just love the sound of it?
I predict that there will be some refocus of how connectivity is provided. The main focus will not be bandwidth, but will be all the other parameters with bandwidth being one of them. Intel finally changed to model numbers to make it clear that the clock speed is not the only metric. (I3, I5, I7)
SD-WAN is becoming a reality for all businesses and it will soon become a reality for homes as well. SD-WAN provides reliability, quality, some privacy and latency/jitter prevention. It also opens a new way of doing security and making it more accessible for everyone. This is the beginning of a next evolution of how data will be delivered worldwide. The connection between LAN and internet has relied on the wrong metric and poor quality for long enough and the world is realizing it.
Along with realizations and new technologies, people will quickly retire the old metric and start looking at new metrics as the litmus test of connectivity.
Carriers have been building services bundled together with their unreliable connection. They are now starting to shift to provide those service OTP or on the top, which mean provide it on the IP layer and decoupled from the connection carrier layer. Long time ago Nortel made a big bet on services over layer 2 and they lost, because it wasn’t decoupled and couldn’t provide the level of integration that was needed. Meanwhile, other companies like Cisco put their services over layer 3 and quickly became the dominant player in the industry.
Connectivity will decouple from services to enhance the connectivity and provide the services separately on top of the enhanced connection.
Welcome to the future of always connect with quality, reliability, performance for it’s intended uses, not just making the gauge hit the red line!
About the author
Andrew Bagrin is the Founder and Chief Executive Officer of My Digital Shield (MDS), a leading provider of Security-as-a-Service (SECaaS) for small businesses. With more than 17 years of experience in the IT security industry, Andrew started MDS in 2013 to bring cloud-based, enterprise-level security technology to small businesses at an affordable price.