Unless you’ve been under a rock for the past few weeks, iPad, the latest and greatest device to revolutionize the computing experience, was finally introduced to the public. If predictions are right, millions of people will experience an entirely new way to work, share, communicate and access information.
So much focus on new devices, so little focus on the stress they are placing on the network.
Not coincidentally, TechCrunch covered a report released by UK-based research firm Coda Research Consultancy that forecasts that US. mobile handset data traffic will reach 327 petabytes a month in 2010. Most of that data growth will come from mobile browsing and mobile video. Coda estimates that if the carriers froze their networks today, they would reach 100 percent utilization at peak capacity by 2012, when 40 percent of phones will be smartphones. Keep in mind: this is the US forecast only.
These numbers confirm what many of us at Juniper have feared: The network as it is constructed simply can’t handle the demands being placed on it. In the last five years, the world has seen unprecedented innovation in computing, applications and devices. However, the basic approach to the network supporting this innovation has gone unchanged.
The old method of adding new hardware to make incremental processing capacity is a band-aid approach and one that won’t solve the coming problems of the next decade. Hardware alone cannot scale to meet the demand created by new devices and computing methods. It creates additional complexity, locks customers into a repressive upgrade path that benefits technology vendors only and merely delays meeting networking challenges head-on to another day.
This lack of innovation has also hurt the consumer experience and is negatively impacting the economics for service providers and enterprises. Customers expect instant access to data – no matter where they are. This demand for speed (and all-you-can-eat data plans many providers use to acquire customers) will bring the network to a grinding halt. Things need to change quickly and that’s why Juniper represents a different approach to networking.
If you follow Juniper at all, you’ve heard our vision before – The New Network, which focuses on Junos – a single source, open OS that sits at the heart of our innovative network solutions. This allows for innovation on a grand scale and provides the ability for networks to quickly react and respond to meet evolving customer demands.
Simply put: adding more boxes to the network can’t meet the exponential growth in traffic happening over the next decade. Only true innovation, and a new open approach, will allow service providers and enterprises to meet the demands of their customers while also improving the economics of running the network.
So while much of the media-driven attention over the next few weeks will focus on how new devices operate or the budding economy around developing new apps for those devices – it’s well worth examining the back-end infrastructure they operate on. For that hot new device, or the one after that or the one after that, think about ditching the legacy network approach and adopting the New Network.
Exploring the vision for the networking industry and the issues shaping its future.
Vice President, Business Strategy and Marketing
Software Solutions Division