Technology is never far from our lives, and we have high expectations for the digital experience. Consumers demand instantaneous connectivity to content on mobile devices and real-time performance from apps that monitor our kitchens and homes, and soon even our cars will be fully connected to the internet, not only navigating and driving but also offering new levels of connectivity via mobility assistants.
But there are still important questions to address when considering our present and future standards regarding connectivity and convenience if we expect to keep internet performance world-class and trouble-free:
How are internet performance thresholds measured and maintained?
Cloud-based assets are owned and operated on an inherently volatile internet where availability, reachability, and performance characteristics fluctuate even on the best-rated cloud networks. Performance cannot be gauged and improved without insight into external cloud networks — and these connections and performance levels need to be monitored to ensure network-wide digital experience is maintained. Our own Andrew Sullivan has addressed these considerations in several of his Network World articles — pointing out the intricacies of thorough measurement and monitoring of ever-evolving cloud networks.
As we move forward, cloud networks will be relied upon for increasingly mission critical – and life critical – systems and functions. As internet performance stakes rise so must our ability to meet and increase standards.
How are connected devices managed and secured?
As we’ve seen with the recent rise of IoT-driven attacks — including the one Dyn experienced in October — the ability to effectively track and monitor connected devices via IP address management and routing will become critical to maintaining and improving performance across the global cloud. The management and security of connected devices will be one of the greatest challenges facing our always-on, always-connected world.
However, as we’ve learned from attacks over the past decade, the players and playing field pertaining to security threats is always changing. It is not enough to build security protocols for the present set of risks; we must be vigilant in building technology that can evolve to meet the challenges to come. And a large component to building better security is to use tools that provide visibility, detection, and control over connected assets.
How is volatility of the internet mitigated to ensure and always-on posture?
The internet is inherently volatile. The underpinning of the modern internet was not built to support our present-day data loads. And it is not just hacks that cause internet disruptions. Service issues, fat-finger errors, BGP hijacks and other daily occurrences can cause end-user latencies and errors.
Dyn advocates for a multi-cloud, multi-CDN deployment to ensure resiliency, but it is equally critical to have monitoring and control tools that can mitigate risk when threats to internet performance are detected.
What will internet performance look like in the future?
Given the great advancements — and expectations — that have come as a result of fast, high-performance internet, it is not unreasonable to imagine a near future where the internet becomes several degrees more powerful and business-critical than it is today. How we prepare for such a future and how we continue to innovate in the internet performance space will speak volumes for how technology will continue to improve our professional and personal lives. Count on internet performance only improving from here – the technologies of today require IPM tools, but performance issues will only continue to become more crucial to business operation as new products/industries evolve that require even higher internet performance considerations.
To put the massive move to the cloud into perspective, experts predict that by 2017, four out of five new cars will have an internet connection and each of these connected cars will be sending 25 Gigabytes of data to the cloud every hour. Given these numbers, 130 Terabytes of primary data storage will be needed in the cloud for every car every year.
The stakes in just a few years in maintaining and improving internet performance in the cloud are high. If we take into account the storage parameters of just one car, imagine the data storage needs of billions of other complex, connected devices as our businesses and homes become parts of a vast, interconnected cloud network.