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Internet Perspectives May 2002 Geoff Huston Chief Scientist, Internet Telstra One View of the Internet “Moving from disruption to disruption” Characterization of the Internet as a disruptive technology Internet deployment is driven by a succession of disruptive events

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Internet perspectives l.jpg

Internet Perspectives

May 2002

Geoff Huston

Chief Scientist, Internet


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One View of the Internet

  • “Moving from disruption to disruption”

    • Characterization of the Internet as a disruptive technology

    • Internet deployment is driven by a succession of disruptive events

    • Market survival is characterized by adaptation to rapidly shifting models in the wake of each disruptive technology

    • Market leadership is characterized by advance identification of disruptive events

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Internet Disruption Events

  • The so-called “Killer -Apps” of the Internet:

    • Email

      • 1988

  • FTP

    • 1990

  • The Web

    • 1993

  • Portals

    • 1996

  • Instant Messaging

    • 1998

  • Napster

    • 1999

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    Contenders for future K-As

    • Mobility & Wireless

    • E-identity services

    • Music Distribution

    • Video Distribution

    • GRIDs

    • Telephony services

    • Appliances

    • ??

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    • The problem with this perspective on the Internet is that leading market players are forced into making investment decisions on likely directions in disruptive environments.

      • This predictive investment has a high risk

      • There is little tolerance left for high risk options in this sector

    • Players are looking for a more conservative approach to investment in this sector

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    Another View of the Internet

    • Packet carriage medium

      • Packet architecture

      • Address architecture

      • Flow control protocol

    • The so-called ‘hourglass’ model of IP as a generalized adaptation layer between the communications medium and the application

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    ‘Hourglass’ IP Objectives

    • IP is not an end in itself

      • It enables applications to work across a diverse set of environments

    • IP is not a panacea for all communications requirements

      • Some applications demand a higher level of service than IP can effectively deliver

    • But IP has a market role by levering off three major assets:

      • potentially cheaper than alternatives

      • flexible in that it makes few assumptions about application behaviour

      • scales into environments of high volume and high speed

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    Technology Phases

    • Innovation

    • Deployment and Adoption

    • Exploitation

      • The Internet is now at the stage where the initial phases of innovation and early adopter models are completed.

      • The current phase is one of exploitation of the technology to lever advantage in other activity sectors

      • This phase is typically a commodity phase

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    Internet as a Commodity

    • Deregulated market with competing suppliers

    • Open market price information

    • Uniform product with limited scope for bundled value add as a product differentiator

    • Price is everything!

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    Commodity Markets

    • Prevailing market price determined by the second most efficient producer

    • Market share determined by Producer’s

      • efficiency

      • scale of production

      • reliability

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    The Commodity Perspective of the Internet

    • Each supplier must drive down its cost of production in order to maintain market share

    • The drivers behind production cost for base level Internet services are

      • Technology innovation

      • Volume of production

      • Stability of customer base

      • Reliability of production

      • Maturity of offering

      • Complexity of offering

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    Looking Forward

    • Commodity markets are dominated by production efficiency

    • Producers are forced to create products that are:

      • Cheaper to produce and operate

      • Support a broader application base

      • Support a larger, more diverse client base

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    The Message to Providers

    • Bundling and complex solutions (value-add) should not be undertaken at the expense of base level efficiency of the product

    • Use simple architectures with basic functions

      • Complexity costs rise disproportionately to size

    • Use extensible solutions

    • Avoid excessive layering

      • Grand unified convergence is a myth

      • Everything over Something can become a tragic technology mistake

    • Manage cost

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    The Message to Vendors

    • Fewer features in base components

    • Simple, stable platforms

    • Component modularity

    • Longer active lifecycles for equipment

    • Reliable and predictable operation

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    Specific Concerns

    • What technologies are of interest to carrier-based public Internet Service providers at present?

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    Whats on our technology radar?


    VOIP and ENUM


    Identity technologies



    Zeroconf PnP

    (in no particular order!)


    Management Architectures

    Multi-Provider last mile access

    AAA and EAP

    TE and MPLS

    IP-based Technology Issues

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    IP-based Technology Issues

    • Provider-Provisioned VPNs

      • Cross-product impacts with circuit-switched VPN technologies

      • Edge-to-edge overlay and shared secret alternatives

      • Complexity issues of routing and topology maintenance, QoS control, VPN stacking, network management and use metering

      • There is a suspicion that the value of the provider role in supporting PP-VPNS is greater than the incremental cost of supporting various levels of differentiation within the host network. This has yet to be conclusively proved.

      • There is also the belief that private data networks will continue to be valued as a premium offering by enterprise customers as a surrogate to effective distributed security solutions. This has yet to be contradicted.

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    IP-based Technology Issues

    • VOIP and ENUM

      • Cross product impact with telephone revenue streams for value-added services

      • Ability to integrate enterprise private voice environments with the PSTN

      • Ability to create further value-added services that leverage telephone services

      • The concentration of interest is not so much in the carriage of voice over IP as the integration of switching control systems with IP-based distributed applications

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    IP-based Technology Issues

    • QoS

      • Today - largely an enterprise approach to resource rationing

        • No large scale adoption within the public network environment

      • Issues with service management, metering, application interaction, inter-provider interaction, routing, complexity control, and viability of outcomes

      • It would be wonderful to charge disproportionately more for some packets. It would be a mistake if the costs associated with this functions are greater than the incremental revenue opportunities

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    IP-based Technology Issues

    • Identity technologies

      • Most forms of e-commerce architectures rely on robust authentication and adequate privacy

      • Most forms of network abuse leverage off the weak level of authenticated identity that exists within the public IP environment

      • There is a view that a widely deployed trustable authentication service would enable wider adoption of online transactions across a larger client base

      • Shift the emphasis away from a trusted device to that of a trusted user of the device

      • The base technology is largely available – the regulatory and business models to support such a framework are still formative

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    IP-based Technology Issues

    • V6

      • Any day now

      • Really

      • Trust me!

      • The incremental deployment model of NAT technologies is well-suited to the current collection of deployed applications and weak authentication

      • Large scale public deployments are increasingly based on private address space and NAT / ALG edges with limited capability provided to the end client

      • Requirements for stronger authentication and peer-to-peer applications drive a need for end-to-end coherency

      • But provider push is not enough – the actual driver is based in client pull, and to date the application base that drives client need for end-to-end coherency (V6) remains elusive

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    IP-based Technology Issues

    • DNS

      • One of the most alarming cesspits of the public Internet infrastructure!

      • The distributed nature of the application requires strong authentication and security to operate with any degree of integrity

      • The distributed nature of the application ensures that this remains an elusive objective

      • A visible need to use advanced DNS technologies (DNSSEC, DNS IND, PKIX) to address the more overt weaknesses in this application

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    IP-based Technology Issues

    • Zeroconf PnP

      • Broader deployment models encourage the use of self-configuring arrangements where a device establishes its address, routing and identity context using a model of trusted configuration agents

      • DHCP-based solutions have been effective in particular environments (dial and enterprise). Some further refinement of solutions appear necessary in the area of LAN-based connection services found in DSL, 802.11 and similar

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    IP-based Technology Issues

    • Mobility

      • Recognition of high value solutions in the area of nomadic and roaming IP environments

      • Issues of differing technical solutions, differing transport characteristics, identity and location ambiguity, differing tariffs in the mobility domain, inter-provider roaming arrangements

      • Leverage of current mobile telephone infrastructure vs deployment of data-specific nomadic technologies

        • 3G vs 802.11b,a,g

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    IP-based Technology Issues

    • Management Architectures

      • Current element-by-element view of management is ill-suited to an overall view of network integrity

      • If service management is an increasing topic of interest in enterprise overlays then management tools need to monitor the end-to-end delivered outcomes

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    IP-based Technology Issues

    • Multi-Provider last mile access

      • Requirement to provide switching solutions that operate on policy-based constraints rather than header-based directives

      • A morass of competing technologies including various forms of PPP, L2TP VCs, LSPs coupled with policy-controlled aggregators

      • Highly complex switching environments with poor scaling properties

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    IP-based Technology Issues

    • AAA and EAP

      • Desire to separate the access mechanism from the billable end user

      • Support of a variety of inter-provider roaming arrangements that allow efficient use of access infrastructure

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    IP-based Technology Issues

    • TE and MPLS

      • Intended to allow for more efficient use of network resources through managed load dispersal

      • Current routing-based approaches to TE suffer from uncontrolled feedback loops leading to network instability

      • The area of interest at present is not MPLS per se, but the ingress control systems which assign traffic into LSPs