There may be nothing more ear-splitting to the modern telecom professional than the sound of a dial-up modem trying to connect to the Internet. It sounds like the past. It sounds like something that didn't always work. It sounds like an element of networking you need to get better at if you want to survive.
So, it was an effective wake-up call on day two of the Big Telecom Event for the crowd that listened to opening keynoter Christine Heckart, CMO and senior vice president of ecosystem at Brocade. Heckart opened with a visit to the world of 1995, when the sound of a dial-up modem was almost as common and ingrained in our minds as the ping of a text on a smartphone is now.
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The point of revisiting the past was to evoke the future at our doorstep. "Innovation in this industry moves in 20-year cycles, and we're at the beginning of one now," she said.
That future is all about the New IP -- building networks to be dynamic, rapidly scalable, open and automated, rather than static, proprietary, slow to scale and manually operated. It's a point that Light Reading founder Steve Saunders made in his BTE opening address, and that Heckart built upon, talking about the new sort of network under another name -- "The Third Platform." (See BTE 2015 Day 1: Steve Saunders's Keynote Speech.)
The Third Platform is about building a network for ease of use -- eliminating the network edge because in a mobile, cloud-driven world, the edge is everywhere and nowhere. It means rethinking security to be built in to networks. Yet, it still means being able to handle the weight of today's communications world— 3 billion Internet users, 1 billion websites, 3 billion searches per day and 7 billion mobile devices.
The State of the State
"This is our world today," said Christine Heckart, CMO and senior vice president of ecosystem at Brocade.
All this makes the concept of a network built for data transport -- one that it seemed we built just yesterday, even though it has happened over the last two decades -- sound as quaint as the sputter of a dial-up modem.
— Dan O'Shea, Managing Editor, Light Reading