The phrase "break the Internet" hit the headlines repeatedly during 2014 -- from Google Chairman Eric Schmidt warning in October that spying by the NSA would "break the Internet" to the unforgettable hype around "those" photos of Kim Kardashian. Thankfully, in spite of the speculation, the Internet survived and is still standing today. That is also a gargantuan sign of times to come.
The future of technology is here
I remember watching the sci-fi movie Minority Report and being awed by the future-reality. That movie was made in 2002. Today, a decade later, all those elements are part of our everyday existence: 3D TVs, motion sensor gaming, bio-metric scanners and drones! The pace of change has accelerated significantly.
Even traditional industries such as farming and agriculture have embraced technological changes with open arms. It took about 100 years for farming to transition from animal power to combustion engines. But in the last 20 years it has catapulted itself into the world of high-tech precision agriculture with autonomous machines, big data analytics and much more.
That's not to say it has been smooth sailing. Who can forget August 12, 2014 -- now known as 512k Day -- when, thanks to an outdated router, the Internet almost ground to a halt? It was triggered when a global communications company added 15,000 extra routes to the list of pathways around the Internet, but the outdated router hardware was unable to handle more than 512,000 routes. The extra paths were enough to cause widespread slowdown to zero Internet performance in services including Amazon, eBay and LinkedIn to name but a few.
Is the Internet really unbreakable?
512k Day shouldn't have happened but it did bring to light the important question: Could the Internet ever be broken and are enterprise networks fit for purpose?
A recent Tata Communications survey found that tiger economies like Singapore and India see Smart Cities as the most inspirational opportunity that the Internet will facilitate in the coming years -- great expectations from the Internet and even greater expectations from the network that delivers the Internet. However, underpinning the seamless connection consumers have come to expect in Internet-fuelled economies, is the Internet backbone -- its infrastructure.
If this complex ecosystem, delivered by Internet service providers, were to be compromised, the pressure on the infrastructure might jeopardize the connection so many people and businesses depend on. This is particularly worrying for enterprises, where fast and predictable connectivity is vital to maintaining a competitive edge and ensuring not only stakeholder satisfaction but also delight.
According to GSMA, half of the world's population now has a mobile subscription -- up from just one in five ten years ago. Conversations about services are no longer restricted to time bound SLAs but go all the way to M2M connections, tactile Internet, social media, analytics, cloud, bring-your-own-device and bring-your-own-access.
Tapping into the cloud to deal with the data deluge
Employees and customers require on-demand connected devices, mobility and higher bandwidth speed. This means that today's enterprise must have the right infrastructure in place to be able to deal with the specifications of their rapidly expanding technology upgrade list.
This is exactly why so many organizations have turned to the cloud to meet the needs of their customers and employees and to maximize the huge volumes of data generated every day in their business.
Businesses are realizing that from a capacity perspective, the pressure is undeniably mounting and their networks must keep pace. To adapt to unpredictable peaks in data traffic, they must either expand their on-premises solutions -- which could prove costly and difficult to scale -- or they must look to the cloud.
Cloud and mobility are set to underpin the global digital economy. They are undeniably changing the global business landscape at an accelerated pace. To be ready to support businesses' rapidly evolving requirements, Tier 1 networks have equipped infrastructures to be able to deal with the future -- in the here and now. They need to stay one step ahead of the device and data explosion and deliver an Internet fit for life and business, today and tomorrow.
— Genius Wong, President, Global Network, Cloud and Data Center Services, Tata Communications, special to The New IP