What is the New IP?

Guest Author: This week’s blog was brought to us by Michelle Patterson – Michelle Patterson is excited with the new technologies that are threatening to change the way we stay in touch and communicate, particular in business. She works with companies that are introducing these technologies to make understanding them easy for regular people.

Have you heard a new term taking ahold of the telecom industry — “the new IP?”  If you’re anything like me, you’ve wondered what that was.  Intellectual property?  Information processing?  Industrial property?

Turns out it’s none of these.  It’s the same old familiar Internet Protocol.  But it’s simply viewed in a different way.  It’s viewed in a new, more user-centric way, as opposed to the older more IT-focused model.

When the web was first coming out, and people were first starting to use mobile devices, then it made sense for the old IT-focused model to be continued to be used.  After all, it had worked since the days when computer filled entire rooms; why should things change now?

Yet now with most of the world on mobile devices — some estimates say nearly 7 billion cellular contracts signed by the beginning of 2015, and that’s not even counting devices tethered to landlines — now the time has come to focus on the user’s part of the equation rather than the corporate part.  Providers and networks alike are being forced to tackle this progress straight-on, welcoming the change with the flowering of virtualized networks with a strong focus on both service and software.

Neglecting to include these new expansions in their overall model for business can mean a grievous death for providers and networks.  Their more progressive competitors will surely leave them in the dust.  Therefore, making sure both yourself and your staff are educated so as to make informed and intelligent decisions is crucial.  The future of your operations hangs in the balance, along with your software, services and networks.

How to understand “The New IP”

The way to understand the new IP is to take a deep and detailed look at the changes that are underway already.  In the old IT-centric IP structure, the majority of the focus was on the network and infrastructure.  The architecture was rigid and decisions were centralized around IT.

In the new IP, focus has changed to the user.  This has pushed other things such as BYOD, COPE, cloud applications, applications functions, content, mobility, data centers and virtualized networks into center stage.  The new IP seeks to scale to resources and clients on-demand by aiming its power at the user, using a cloud-like design.  Contrast this with the older way of doing things, with a rigid, IT-based architecture.

We see that it is now software that forms the backbone of what we call the new IP, changing the old mentality that “hardware is the center of the computing universe.”

So what does this mean for the wholesale telecom industry?

Early adopters will rush in to take advantage of the new IP.  In the face of this, there is an overall secret to staying ahead.  Overall, you should virtualize many of your network processes, especially those that focus on open-source, open-interface services, network function virtualization, modernized operations and simplified software defined networks.

There is potential in the new IP to save a great deal for a communication providers’ profit, especially regarding operating expenses and capital expenses.  This is while at the same time creating additional proceeds through content-driven services.  You might as how this is possible; I was skeptical as well.  But when I studied some more, I realized the answer lay with the virtualization of the network landscape.  Since with virtualization, you can limit unnecessary hardware purchases, this helps to create an environment where savings are promoted through effectively using infrastructure and personnel resources.  The same can be said for using automated on-demand services.

What about the end-users?

The new IP is very good news for end users.  The changes are bringing greater flexibility and control when picking applications and services.  As people advance their fluency with the Internet, the new IP is altering the landscape to fit their needs.  This “better fit” allows a more customized experience that’s shaped by the users themselves — altering, adding and removing services in moments rather than months.  All Internet-related operations are more simplified, resulting in both happier users and happier IT staff; usability and services are both propelled to the forefront as a result.

The IPv4 Well has Run Dry

It’s no secret that the number of available IPv4 addresses has been exhausted. It has been common knowledge for quite some time among industry professionals that the end was near. However, before we can begin to look forward, it is important to examine how we found ourselves in this current predicament.

Most of us are familiar with IP addresses, but for those of you who aren’t: and IP address can be compared to the address of a home. It’s a unique number that every device is assigned so that it can communicate with other devices on the Internet or private network. There are two major components to an IP address; the network portion, which is comparable to the street name where the house is located, and a host identifier for each person on the network, which is similar to a house number.

IP addressing is a protocol that has gone through multiple revisions. Currently, a majority of Internet users are operating on IP version four, or IPv4. This version has been in use since the early 1980s and has now been exhausted by the explosive rate of people and new devices connecting to the Internet.

In an attempt to delay the extinction of IPv4, Network Address Translating (NAT) was introduced. NAT is the process where a public IP address is assigned to a device, or group of devices, inside a private network. Referring back to our house example; a NAT will assign everyone on your street with the same IP address instead of assigning one to each individual house. However, this only slowed down the inevitable depletion of IPv4 addresses.

The solution to this problem is the implementation of IPv6, which is the latest IP addressing protocol. IPv6 provides a vast number of IP addresses which will last well into the future. However, the transition from IPv4 to IPv6 has been tedious. Although IPv6 has been available since the 1990s, not many ISPs or companies have implemented it. Now that the transition to IPv6 can no longer be avoided, many are rushing to make the switch. However, the likely consequence will be that IPv4 and IPv6 will co-exist until IPv6 becomes standard.

If your company hasn’t done so yet, now would be the time to prepare for the transition to IPv6. Whether your business hosts their website or uses an outside ISP or Web-hosting service, it is important to find out what the plan is to implement IPv6.

 

To learn more about how TeraGo Networks can help your business, click here.

TeraGo Networks Presents: What is IPv6?

Many industry professionals and organizations have been buzzing about the launch of IPv6, but those who are outside of the technical community are left scratching their heads. Businesses use the internet on a daily basis, but not many are aware that there is a major change on the horizon. Since most of the ground work for IPv6 has been conducted behind the scenes, everyday users do not have a concrete understanding of what IPv6 is and how it will impact them.

What is IPv6?

An Internet Protocol address, or IP address, is a number that identifies each sender or receiver of information sent over the internet. IPv6 (Internet Protocol Version 6) is the latest protocol being used to direct internet traffic. The current version, IPv4, has reached exhaustion and the remaining blocks do not have enough IP addresses to support the growing number of internet users. IPv6 is capable of providing 340 trillion trillion trillion IP addresses, while IPv4 was only able to supply 4 billion IP addresses to internet users. With the expansion of the total amount of IP spaces available, IPv6 is contributing to the continued growth of the internet by allowing many more devices and users on the Internet.

Why Make the Switch?

For many, the transition to IPv6 began last year when the Internet Assigned Numbers Authority (IANA) divided the last remaining blocks of IPv4 addresses amongst the individual Regional Internet Registries (RIR) in February. Currently, there are no longer any IPv4 addresses in the Asia-Pacific region, and industry observers have predicted that Europe will run out this year, North America will run out next year and Africa and Latin America will run out of IPv4 addresses by 2016.

Most modern operating systems, such as Apple’s Mac OS X, newer versions of Microsoft Windows, and major Linux distributions, have been prepared for the transition to IPv6 for several years. However, users who do not have access to more modern operating systems will be required to install software updates that will allow them to communicate with both versions until IPv4 becomes extinct. But, there will be some hardware out there that will never be able to have any kind of IPv6 connectivity and such legacy equipment will eventually be retired.

By implementing the tools necessary to access IPv6 enabled sites, users will be able to browse the internet without any limitations. Initiating the transition early can ensure that there is no loss in connectivity as IPv6 sites become the primary version in use. The switch from IPv4 to IPv6 is inevitable as more users and devices connect to the internet and exhaust the limited number of IPv4 addresses that remain.

The foremost advantage to IPv6 is increased address space, boasting a 128-bit long IP address. This is a significant gain over the 32-bit length of IPv4 addresses, which allows for a virtually endless amount of unique IP address configurations. As businesses and users throughout the world continue to connect online, IPv6 will provide the space needed to accommodate the growth of the internet.

To learn more about TeraGo Networks, please click here.

Invest in the Best

The adoption of new technologies by small and medium businesses is so important for their success, that even the Canadian government is supporting their implementation. On December 23, 2011, the Canadian government issued a press release outlining investment in their new Digital Economy Strategy.

The Digital Economy Strategy will be operating until March 31, 2014 as a means of increasing the productivity levels of small and medium sized businesses. By devoting financial support to the small and medium businesses of Canada, the government is contributing to the growth of the Canadian economy.

Not only are technical innovations important for businesses, but the government has also acknowledged the significance of technology by allocating funds to its adoption and use. If you are a business owner or operator, it is imperative that you take note of this trend. The use of technology by businesses is nothing new, but small and medium businesses don’t always have the funding to implement technological services. However, companies may not always account for the fact that their productivity levels may be hindered by the use of inferior technology.

The utilization of innovative technology ensures that small and medium companies are able to operate seamlessly by limiting slowdowns and interruptions. Having an internet connection provided by a network that is only available to businesses eliminates the slowdowns cause by sharing a connection with residential customers. The implementation of a redundant internet connection provides companies with peace of mind by ensuring that they always have internet access. If their primary connection is compromised, a redundant connection is able to take over and provide internet service until the primary link is restored.

These types of services are able to support business operations and provide them with the capability to maintain a consistent productivity level. This is important because a predictable productivity level allows for businesses to set standards and expectations. One of the goals of the Digital Economy Strategy is to improve the understanding of the link between digital technologies and productivity. TeraGo has previously acknowledged the importance of technological advances in 2010 by writing a paper in response to The Consultation Paper on a Digital Economy Strategy for Canada, which was presented by the Government of Canada. To review the document submitted by TeraGo, click here.

Small and medium businesses have been given a great opportunity to utilize innovative technologies through this government funded program. The fact that the Canadian government has an invested interest in the use of technology by small and medium business is an indicator of its importance. With the support of the government, and competitive pressure, it is more important than ever for small and medium businesses to take the necessary steps towards success.

To learn more about TeraGo Networks, and to view our current promotions, just click here.

To read more about the Digital Technology Adoption Pilot Program, click here.

Sharing is Bad

TeraGo Networks Inc. is providing businesses with a facilities-based network that is completely independent from all other providers. This high capacity bandwidth connection gives businesses a predictable internet connection, which allows for businesses to remain productive throughout the day without experiencing slowdowns.

With most internet providers, peak period internet slowdowns can hinder the productivity of their business customers. This slowdown occurs when residential customers connect to the internet and engage in activities requiring high bandwidth, such as online gaming, music, and video downloading.  Consequently, important and time sensitive files that a business needs to upload or download through the internet take much longer to transfer at certain times throughout the day.

This is a direct result of a practice that other Internet Service Providers (ISPs) instigated called “Overbooking”. Overbooking occurs when an ISP has sold more bandwidth than what it makes available to its customers. The practice of sharing an internet connection with more and more customers seriously impacts business productivity and performance.

This issue has had such a huge effect on Canadian businesses that the Canadian Radio-Television Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) has stepped in to assist with the regulation of traffic management policies. Specifically, the CRTC has been investigating how Internet Providers assign priority to certain file types at any given point during the day.

Other ISP companies service millions of users at one time on a single network. However, TeraGo only makes its network available to businesses, so there are no residential customers slowing down the connection. Creating a network that is exclusive to businesses means that business users are not sharing the network with potentially millions of residential customers. TeraGo is driven to provide quality service to businesses instead of trying to meet the needs of a large spectrum of customers, unlike the other ISPs. Since TeraGo does not offer its service to residential customers, the type of congestion experienced by many other ISPs has been prevented.

 TeraGo Networks offers both a traditional burstable Internet as well as “dedicated” bandwidth. Having a dedicated bandwidth service means that the speed you sign up for is the speed that’s always available to you. With the dedicated service, your business is guaranteed to have a consistent Internet speed which allows for uninterrupted productivity.

Overall, a slow and ineffective internet connection can directly impact the revenue of a business. A sluggish internet connection prevents your company from competing with larger businesses and can limit growth opportunities. Since TeraGo Networks is specialized in serving businesses, and only businesses, they are best suited to meet the growing internet demands of Canada’s commercial market.

To find out more about how the TeraGo business-only high capacity bandwidth connection can improve your business productivity, click here.

TeraGo Networks

Broadband. Only for Business.

IPocalypse- by Jose Robles

It’s been called the IPocalypse.  The catastrophic event where the world will run out of traditional IPv4 addresses once we exhaust all of the available unused blocks.  It’s a funny tongue in cheek term which is used to try and instill a sense of foreboding about the looming work and changes required to move onto the next version of the protocol known as IPv6.

So how did we get to this point where we feel that we’re scrambling to keep the internet alive?  To be clear, the internet is not going to shutdown on the day that IPv4 space runs out.  This is not like the Y2K scares from 10+ years ago even though it has been compared to that mess.  All will continue to route fine and things like Google, Twitter and Facebook will continue working.  In fact, it’s been discussed many times by experts that IPv4 and IPv6 will coexist for a great number of years.  Even decades!  But I get ahead of myself…

[Read more…]

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