According to a new Cisco study, almost 40% of IT decision makers would rather get a root canal, dig a ditch, or do their own taxes than address network challenges associated with public or private cloud deployments without the proper cloud migration strategy. However, as any number of other studies indicate, i.e., Forrester or Visiongain, cloud computing is coming and coming fast, so organizations need to get their cloud plans together.
The looming presence of the cloud was top of mind as I recently had the opportunity to talk with Bob Hinden of Check Point Software, co-chair of the IPv6 working group at the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF), and an early contributor to the development of the Internet. Long before the emergence of the cloud computing concept, and even the commercialization of the Internet from its academic roots, it was understood that connectivity demands were going to skyrocket, he said.
“We realized in 1991-92 that the use of IPv4 addresses was accelerating and knew we had to have a version with a larger address space. Steve Deering (currently at Cisco) and I led the proposal that evolved to become IPv6.”
The development of IPv6, the latest Internet Protocol, was made necessary because demand for IP addresses, each representing an IP resource such as a PC, tablet or smartphone used to access the Internet, a server hosting a Website or the Web site itself, was exhausting the supply of 4.3 billion IPv4 (32-bit) addresses. Demand has been averaging 250 million per year, but the ongoing growth of mobile connections is nearing 6 billion, while the machine-to-machine connectivity market is expected to add another 25 billion connections by 2015. In addition to offering more than 340 undecillion (340,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000) addresses, IPv6 (128-bit) can also increase Web application performance an average of 80%, and provides directed data flows, simplified network configuration, support for new services and much tighter security.
Now, the Internet and cloud computing are not one and the same, but much like the user and the use, it makes little sense to me to try and separate them. Whether the flood of applications, ease, power and flexibility of the Internet are increasing the number of users, or the number of users are driving the creation of the applications and infrastructures, the cloud holds the promise of bridging the two worlds with an affordable and scalable solution.
But that is putting incredible pressure on networks to handle the rapidly growing and changing mix of users and uses and what Cisco calls the chasm between IT expectations and network realities. The network giant reported that updating the network is one of the top focus areas for cloud migration and predicted that more than 50% of computing workloads in data centers will be cloud-based by 2014, and that global cloud traffic will grow over 12 times by 2015.