Tuesday, 14 September 2010

Long Term Stability Of The Internet Infrastructure

Internet is growing with enormous speed. Number of domains, IP addresses, routing tables, Internet users and the content size is increasing. Of course, not only the valuable side of the Internet is growing but also the dark side. Internet usage by organized crime and cross-border terrorist activities are also growing with at least the same speed as the bright side. More Internet presence and Internet penetration create more business and money related on-line activities. More ”on-line” economy creates more opportunity for the organized crime to act.

Crime is the one side. The complexity of the Internet can also create more problems with long term stability. IP exhaustion, BGP complexity, capacity exhaustion are adding problems to already non-efficient software and backbone infrastructure. A lot of resources in the Internet are lost just because of problems and bugs with software that is used in firewalls, switches, registry systems, communication systems, data storage solutions, distributed databases and so on. How many copies of the same file are stored in your company's servers. Tens, hundreds?

Additional, more and more complex Internet can not be monitored or checked against threats just by humans. Billion of web-sites and addresses, hundreds of thousands line of code in each software piece are impossible to be checked by humans. We need next generation of automatic tools for automatic monitoring and security checks. For example the complex software solutions need automatic analytical tools to identify security gaps and performance bottlenecks. Standards but also patterns and good practices should be enforced in core elements of the infrastructure.

Quite often instead of buying new servers and more gigabit-links we can just try to optimize the infrastructure. We need greener Internet, where we do not trade growth with energy savings. We can go more green and the same time with better performance.

The long term stability of the Internet is based on the automatization of the threats detection and the global cooperation for exchanging the results of such analysis as well as infrastructure efficiency. We do not see it now, but in next 10 years it will become more important.

Conference: Internet Governance Forum
Session: Long Term Stability Of The Internet

document prepared as an input for the panel discussion taking place during Internet Governance Forum 2010.

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