FIT – MGT5157 – Week 1 – Discussion Post

What is the internet2? What implications does it hold to the current internet infrastructure?

Super interesting question because while I may have heard of Internet2 years ago I can’t say I ever really knew what it was. I also think it’s interesting in given Tim Berners-Lee’s recent comments on his regrets (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site. about what he was so pivotal in creating, the Internet.

As I read about Internet2, I can’t help, but to think about how it parallels ARPANET and NSFNET. Rather than trying to create a network and pass the first packets like the ARPANET the Internet2 consortium has the goal of innovating new Internet technologies to meet the demands of the modern connected world.

Leonard Kleinrock does a fabulous job explaining what was the first router, a packet switch built by BBN (Bolt Barneck and Newman) and the first message sent across the Internet (the ARPANET then) between UCLA and SRI (Standford Research Institute). (Kleinrock, 2009)

I also highly recommend a documentary called “Lo and Behold, Reveries of the Connected World” (It is on Netflix).

If you have spare time and want to dig deeper Charles Severance has a great Coursera class called “Internet History, Technology, and Security” (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site. which I also recommend.

The Internet2 is both a research and development initiative, but it is a tangible domestic U.S. nationwide carrier class hybrid optical and/or packet network with the goal of supporting research facilities in their development of advanced Internet applications. (Wu & Irwin, 2013, p. 10)

Funny how similar these maps below look; the parallel between the Internet2 map and the NSFNET map is not a coincidence. The infrastructure required to build these networks is owned by few providers and these organizations invest heavily in lobbyists to block new entrants. It’s a game that undoubtedly slows innovation. Just read about the challenges that Google Fiber (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site. had trying to lay Fiber. (Brodkin, 2017)

The Internet2 backbone.

Source:  Wu, Chwan-Hwa (John); Irwin, J. David. Introduction to Computer Networks and Cybersecurity (Page 11). CRC Press. Kindle Edition.

Source:  Wikipedia. (2018, July 03). National Science Foundation Network. Retrieved July 6, 2018, from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/National_Science_Foundation_Network

 

Regarding what implications does Internet2 hold to the current internet infrastructure?  Internet2 seems to be focused on Research and Education, not all that different from the objectives of ARPANET, CSNET, and NSFNET.  Internet2 to is aiming to solve the problems of the modern Internet focused on innovating to enable research and education, these include innovations that aim to increase bandwidth, remove bottlenecks, and enable software-defined networking.

The one thing that concerned me is in my research I did not see the role of commercial partners like Netflix and Google.  This concerns me because we live in a time where these two providers alone are responsible for > 50% of Internet traffic.  This means that massive backbone providers like Level 3 and Cogent are carrying a ton of Netflix and Google (more specifically YouTube) traffic.  Unlike the days of ARPANET, commercial entities have a massive role in the evolution and innovation of the Internet.  While CERN is mentioned, I think we would be remiss in not realizing that there is a migration of data, even in research and education to the cloud, which means that Amazon becomes the carriers customer not the research or education institution.

Internet goliaths like Google, Facebook, Netflix, and Amazon are struggling to buy off-the-shelf infrastructure to support their massive needs.  All of these providers are building infrastructure and in many cases open sourcing the how-to documentation.  There is no doubt that we live in interesting technological times.

For example, here is what NASA JPL (Jet Propulsion Laboratory) did with AWS:

With all that said, implications of Internet2 on the current Internet, not much that I can see.  It would seem to me that Internet2 will need to focus on a niche to even remain relevant.

One final thought. Did the Internet2 consortium have something to do with us moving off that prehistoric LMS we were using, to Canvas, if so, keep up the great work.  The ability to create rich media posts, how revolutionary.  ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

References

Brodkin, J. (2017, November 24). AT&T and Comcast lawsuit has nullified a city’s broadband competition law. Retrieved July 6, 2018, from https://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/2017/11/att-and-comcast-win-lawsuit-they-filed-to-stall-google-fiber-in-nashville/

Brooker, K. (2018, July 02). “I Was Devastated”: The Man Who Created the World Wide Web Has Some Regrets. Retrieved July 6, 2018, from https://www.vanityfair.com/news/2018/07/the-man-who-created-the-world-wide-web-has-some-regrets

Kleinrock, L. (2009, January 13). The first Internet connection, with UCLA’s Leonard Kleinrock. Retrieved July 6, 2018, from https://youtu.be/vuiBTJZfeo8

Techopedia. (2018, July 6). What is Internet2? – Definition from Techopedia. Retrieved July 6, 2018, from https://www.techopedia.com/definition/24955/internet2

Wikipedia. (2018, July 03). National Science Foundation Network. Retrieved July 6, 2018, from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/National_Science_Foundation_Network

Wu, Chwan-Hwa (John). Irwin, J. David. (2013). Introduction to computer networks and cybersecurity. Hoboken: CRC Press.

 

FIT – MGT5157 – Week 1 – Discussion Response 1

James, good post and you make some very good points.  Five years ago most enterprises leveraged private MPLS (Multiprotocol Label Switching) networks to build their WAN (Wide Area Network) for things like intranet communication, unified communications, etc…  This reminds me of the Internet2 value proposition.

Source:  Maupin, 2016

Fast forward to today and MPLS is being supplanted at an alarming rate by technologies like SD-WAN (Software Defined WAN).  Proponents of MPLS argue that once your packets hit the public Internet, you will not be able to guarantee low levels of packet loss, latency, and jitter.  Sound familiar to any of the research on this topic?

OK, this might be somewhat true, you can’t guarantee QoS (Quality of Service) on the internet.  But, now let’s pause for a minute and think about the context of how the market is shifting, cloud-based computing has had a major impact on the industry.  Cloud-based communications companies like 8×8 (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site., where the CEO happens to be a Florida Institute of Technology graduate (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site. have challenged these notions and pushed technologies like SD-WAN to address the issues of packet loss, latency, and jitter that make public Internet circuits a problem in certain use cases.

I always ask myself, would Author Rock (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site. put his money here?  Based on what I know about Internet2, at this point, I would say probably not.

References

Maupin, R. (2016, May 24). Have I designed correctly my MPLS network? Retrieved July 6, 2018, from https://networkengineering.stackexchange.com/questions/30673/have-i-desiged-correctly-my-mpls-network

 

FIT – MGT5157 – Week 1 – Discussion Response 2

Hailey, good post, I enjoyed reading it.  I have to say I wonder how relevant a private research and education network can be in today’s age.  The project seems way underfunded to me given the dollars being put into Internet capacity from huge players in the space.  The other thing that makes me wonder if Internet2 is viable is the fact that it is a domestic network living in an increasingly flat world.  Will research and education institutions using Internet2 connectivity be able to ride the network to Microsoft’s submergible data center?

Just don’t know about Internet2.  Information and mission feel a little dated.  100 Gigabit connectivity is everywhere today, these speeds are no longer just for carrier interconnects, they are everywhere in the modern data center.

The private sector is moving pretty fast and they have to innovate for competitive advantage, the amount of cash being dumped into moonshot idea in the private sector is unprecedented which I think creates an even bigger problem for the long-term viability of Internet2.