Movements in networks....

Concepts such as net neutrality, and SOA Network Enablement are starting to pop up, and people are starting to take notice…

That being said, i'm not entirely sure that the 2 concepts have been linked together, and they likely should, you can't have one discussion without the other, and there are some mighty big players fighting for and against net neutrality. But if net neutrality wins out, what impact is that going to have on all these nifty soa enabled networks and service offerings that bigwhigs are toiling on?

If net neutrality means that carriers have to have blinders on, with regards to what sorts of bits are passing along their network, what sort of impact could that have on SOA architectures? Architectures that rely on bigger, faster, better network connectivity?

Of course, right now, the fight is between carriers and content providers, and the fact that content providers are using more bandwidth (though the mere action of their internet visitors), than what they are really paying for at their hub end… In theory, this is simply the cost of doing business, and the cost of creating a network that meets consumer and corporate requirements. Carriers shouldn't really be whining - they created the pricing model. They created the demand for more bandwidth. They just happened to create a model with very little margin, and too easy to commoditize. (For a really good read on the importance of net neutrality, check out Vint Cerf's Letter to Congress)

Being in telco, and seeing both the carrier and the content provider sides, and also having the luxury of having broadband access at home, the challenges are interesting. My gut says that, in theory at least, that content providers should pay for "premium" connectivity, and boy, they better buy ALOT of it, from many different carriers. Google would/should pay inflated prices for bandwidth from the tier 1 providers, and if tier 2 providers wanted to offer "private peering", they could do that to enhance their own customer's experiences on the 'net. That makes sense. That's likely what is not happening now, Google likely has the volumes to demand dirt cheap bandwidth. They can throw their weight around.

The alternative, which is sort of nasty, is that carriers charge their customers, not the content providers, for what data is transferred…. thereby creating a different, user=pay mentality. This drives up the cost of consumer internet connectivity, and simply increases the divide between who can and who cannot use the internet. We would end up with an ugly hybrid of the PSTN service in the UK, where every call costs.

Now, flip the coin…. if there is no differentiation between content, and all bits are created equal, we are going to find outselves in hot water when we want to start adopting SOA services… services that are going to DEMAND QoS, and reliability, and availability. Services that aren't going to be very forgiving about latency and jitter. Skype comes to mind. Vonage, Microsoft Live Office. Anything internactive in Web 2.0

There has to be a happy middle ground between blind bits and visible bits. I want my Skype traffic to have QoS. I don't want to pay for QoS for my google searches. Make sense? I can't possibly have been the first person to say out loud that QoS and the need to have it as a nice paying option is a good deal for the internet.

Say it together everyone - MPLS for all!!! I'll gladly pay for that. So would content providers, so would carriers… you can discriminate - in a good way.

Oh yah, while we're at it - I also want to be able to tag my own bits, and some days i might want to have QoS on my Google destined bits. Some days maybe I want it on my shockwave gaming bits ;-)

See, easy. No more fighting about net neutrality.



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