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The IETF's *Other* Diversity Challenge

The Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) is the standards body for the Internet. It is the organization that publishes and maintains the standards describing the Internet Protocol (IP -- versions 4 and 6), and all directly related and supporting protocols, such as TCP, UDP, DNS (and DNSSEC), BGP, DHCP, NDP, the list goes on, and on... But how do they do that? How does the IETF produce documents, and ensure that they are high quality, relevant, and influential? more

Future of Cloud Computing and Why It's Here to Stay

Nowadays, everybody is talking about cloud computing. Fans say it's the future, the answer to every problem with computing as we know it; others say it's just a fad and will eventually die. Who's right? While nobody knows the future, the fact is, enough evidence is available that we can all reasonably predict what's coming. Consider these facts... more

Securing the Core

BGP. Border Gateway Protocol. The de-facto standard routing protocol of the Internet. The nervous system of the Internet. I don't think I can overstate the importance, the criticality of BGP to the operation of the modern Internet. BGP is the glue that holds the Internet together at its core. And like so many integral pieces of the Internet, it, too, is designed and built on the principle of trust... The folks who operate the individual networks that make up the Internet are generally interested in keeping the Internet operating, in keeping the packets flowing. And they do a great job, for the most part. more

How the NSA is Threatening the Future of Google, Facebook, Amazon and Others

When I read government arguments in defense of the NSA, an oft-repeated line was: We're not targeting Americans. We're targeting foreigners. Foreigners. I really dislike that word. And I'm sure companies like Apple, Google and Facebook do as well. Why? more

China Closing the Door to New Technologies

2013 may be a promising year for global trade in technology with the kick-off of the International Technology Agreement expansion discussions, the Trans-Atlantic Trade and Investment Partnership, and as the Trade in Services Agreement gets going. But China calls its own tune, and is now threatening to restrict its market for Internet-enabled technologies through a clever device that could cost its trading partners billions. more

How to Manage and Secure Big Data

Several developments are coming together in cloud computing that are creating shockwaves throughout society and in the economy. Over the last five years we have seen the debate about cloud computing hotting up. There was the hype around the new development at the same time as warnings regarding security and privacy, and for a while the market seemed subdued about the new development. However the economic reality of cloud computing meant that enterprises and government bureaucracies had little choice but to move ahead with cloud computing... more

The Bandwidth Bank

This is a topic that we have discussed on several occasions over the last decade, but it now seems as though things are slowly moving forward. A new company, Intabank, has set up a service whereby its enterprise customers can pool bandwidth that the intermediate company can then use to sell to other customers; enabling organisations to monetise their network connectivity assets. more

Don't Overlook the Network When Migrating to the Cloud

The success or failure of public cloud services can be measured by whether they deliver high levels of performance, security and reliability that are on par with, or better than, those available within enterprise-owned data centers... IDC forecasts that public cloud IT spending will increase from $40 billion in 2012 to $100 billion in 2016. To provide the performance, security and reliability needed, cloud providers are moving quickly to build a virtualized multi-data center service architecture, or a "data center without walls." more

Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) Industry Soon to Be Largest Source of Co2 Emissions

Although on the production side the tar sands are one of the biggest sources of CO2 emissions, the Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) industry, globally is the fastest growing and soon will be the largest source of CO2 emissions on the consumption side of the equation. ICT emissions are produced indirectly from the coal generated electricity that is used to power all of our devices. Currently it is estimated that ICT consumes around 10% all electrical power growing at about 6-10% per year. more

The Spamhaus Distributed Denial of Service - How Big a Deal Was It?

If you haven't been reading the news of late, venerable anti-spam service Spamhaus has been the target of a sustained, record-setting Distributed Denial-of-Service (DDoS) attack over the past couple of weeks... Of course, bad guys are always mad at Spamhaus, and so they had a pretty robust set-up to begin with, but whoever was behind this attack was able to muster some huge resources, heretofore never seen in intensity, and it had some impact, on the Spamhaus website, and to a limited degree, on the behind-the-scenes services that Spamhaus uses to distribute their data to their customers. more