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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

Internet Perspectives

May 2002

Geoff Huston

Chief Scientist, Internet


one view of the internet
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
internet disruption events
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
contenders for future k as
Contenders for future K-As
  • Mobility & Wireless
  • E-identity services
  • Music Distribution
  • Video Distribution
  • GRIDs
  • Telephony services
  • Appliances
  • ??
  • 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
another view of the internet
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
hourglass ip objectives
‘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
technology phases
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
internet as a commodity
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!
commodity markets
Commodity Markets
  • Prevailing market price determined by the second most efficient producer
  • Market share determined by Producer’s
    • efficiency
    • scale of production
    • reliability
the commodity perspective of the internet
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
looking forward
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
the message to providers
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
the message to vendors
The Message to Vendors
  • Fewer features in base components
  • Simple, stable platforms
  • Component modularity
  • Longer active lifecycles for equipment
  • Reliable and predictable operation
specific concerns
Specific Concerns
  • What technologies are of interest to carrier-based public Internet Service providers at present?
ip based technology issues
Whats on our technology radar?




Identity technologies



Zeroconf PnP

(in no particular order!)


Management Architectures

Multi-Provider last mile access



IP-based Technology Issues
ip based technology issues17
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.
ip based technology issues18
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
ip based technology issues19
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
ip based technology issues20
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
ip based technology issues21
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
ip based technology issues22
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
ip based technology issues23
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
ip based technology issues24
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
ip based technology issues25
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
ip based technology issues26
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
ip based technology issues27
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
ip based technology issues28
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