Contributed by C. David Chaffee, Chaffee Fiber Optics
We sometimes forget that the service providers need to stay up almost in real time with the varous iterations the Internet is going through. Forget getting over voice to accommdate data. The Internet has metamorphosed far beyond that and is changing almost daily.
"The super-aggregators are changing the way the Internet is configured," says Verizon's Stuart Elby, who spoke at the Service Provider Summit this morning. Up until recently the Internet was "well structured," and then the Googles came along and changed all that, he laments. "You and I used to be albe to connect to the Internet the same way businesses did."
These super aggregators now account for about 50 percent of Internet traffic, Elby calculates. "These hyper-giants are aggregating a lot of content." He calculates there are 30 or 40 main culprits.
One could say they are having a worldwide impact if one is following what is happening in China with Google. Indeed, they are changing the face of the Internet globally. Elby calculates that more than a billion people now use the Internet.
This has caused a big change from Verizon's perspective. "It also has changed how goods and services are paid for on the Internet," he observes.
"The result is that content is being higly consolidated by a small number of hyper giants."
Other changes have included flow from the premise through passive optical networking technology, which in some instances have caused the bottleneck to be pushed farther out into the network. And of course there is the advent of cloud computing.
"In the past we saw a simple number of devices, such as computers and MACs," says Stuart. "More recently we have seen thousands of different types of devices with different formats connected to the network. User content sometimes has to be transformed into hundreds or thousands of different flavors."
But those are not the only changes. Some time in the last two years it became clear that the Internet was being accessed more by mobile devices than fixed devices, according to Stuart. "This concerns me greatly," says Stuart. "Mobile IP which is what most wireless networks are based upon, MIP, are all about simplifying the control at the cost of the tradeoff of not optimizing the router." The result is Verizon is looking for companies to "optimize the routing. Please either optimize or take us away from mobile IP."
There is a good reason Stuart is almost pleading in this request. The company's FiOS fiber to the home build is largely closing down at least for now and the carrier is focusing on wireless technologies next year. It is in a battle with AT&T to build the best wireless network in America, a theme that is being played out in competing national ad campaigns.
With the prospect of bringing 1 gig to the home and potentially 10 gig to the home, Verizon is rapidly upgraiding to 40 gig in the metro space, says Stuart. This is going to the head end if a cable company a central office if a telco.
Is it any wonder that Verizon is the first company to go to 100 gig in its commercial network in North America? "We are quickly going from 10 to 40 to 100 gig all because end users at the bottom are trying to get to the clouds on top," he says referring to a viewgraph he shows.
The end result? "Lots of users are trying to get content from a very few sources," says Stuart. And the bandwidth requirements keep on heading up to the clouds.
2010-03 March, Fiber optics, OFC/NFOEC