Technology Trends Expected to Change the Game

Guest Author: This week’s blog was provided to us by Ramya Raju, a freelance writer from India. With over 8 years of writing experience, Raju discusses a variety of topics, such as data centre technologies, SEO, web design, and mobile. You can learn more about him by visiting his website. 

Whirlwind changes are happening in the world of business and organizations, and that has had an impact on IT as well. The IT sector will have to go through a major transformation in 2014 and that can be seen in cloud, mobile and social technologies. There is an increasing amount of focus and demand on access to information, and these technologies are quickly “coming of age” in order to keep up. As a result, it’s now necessary for companies, especially their IT, to reinvent themselves. And there are some major trends that will make their presence felt in 2014.

The Internet of Things will make things more interesting and challenging for IT

There are a large number of Smartphones and devices that are out there today. Bring your own device (BYOD) culture is also gaining ground to a large extent and that in itself can be a tricky proposition for IT. But things won’t stop at that because Internet Of Things will pose further challengers to IT masters. It involves different types of constituents including wearable personal technology and smart consumer and medical devices. There are sensors in different parts of the world and connected machines to deal with as well, and that doesn’t make the task of IT any easier.

IPv6 has been lapped up in all kinds of places and the addresses it comes with are endless. Thus there is going to be an explosion of data that will have to be handled very carefully. Thus there will be a growing emphasis on scalability and complexity. IT will have a task on its hands when it comes to these factors.

Analytics gains prominence

The industry has often focussed on connection and data movement. Immediate application functionality was another aspect that was given a lot of importance. But now Analytics will takes its place of pride. It will definitely move from being an add-on that often seemed like an afterthought for people till date.  There are several factors that have contributed to this sea change in approach. The major onslaught of large amounts of data is one factor and the impact of Internet Of Things is another. The importance of data is also observed and acknowledged a lot more today, which has made it necessary for people to incorporate analytics right from the beginning. Context sensitive and location aware abilities for IT will also become common place.

More attention on apps

People are paying a lot of attention to the performance and functionality of major projects, especially in the healthcare sector. But expectations from application delivery will be a lot higher in 2014 and things like model drives, user based development will be stressed upon. Thus IT has its task cut out as far as apps are concerned.

It means that the new age, fast development tools will be in the spotlight. People will also have to think about processes that will lead to speedy delivery, which will remain important. Other crucial aspects to think about will be predictability and reliability. To make things more challenging, people will have to think hard about meeting service level requirements and keeping the costs under control as well.

PaaS will be widely accepted

Platform-as-a-Service will get its due and wide recognition in 2014 and it will be one of the important trends of the year. This is a cloud layer that certainly has its advantages and they will be noticed by people, who are only going to lap it up. Some of its benefits include agility, analytics and faster development. Moreover it is more suited for scalability, which is something people will want. And of course, it has the cost benefits of cloud, which will be a huge bonus.

There are few other reasons why people will take to PaaS in 2014. It is known to offer structure and control for strategic needs of organizations. And that’s an appealing proposition for companies irrespective of their size. Once these advantages are noticed, the industry will be forced through a major change. It will lead to business specialists being in charge of data integration tools. Overall data integration will become omnipresent.

Budget Shift in IT

Now that cloud is becoming widely accepted and democratized, development trends seem to be the norm, individual lines of business will start getting more power. They will be in a position to start funding their own projects and wrest the initiative from IT.

As a result, companies and CIOs will have to come up with strategies to ensure that they cope with the evolving climate without losing information. They will also have to ensure that there are no security risks involved and they don’t get into technically dead-end situations. Things will change rapidly and they will have to learn to adapt quickly.

In 2014, one size fits all philosophy will become more redundant than ever before. It could mean different things and strategies for different people based on their requirements but they will certainly have to be worked on. In short, it’s all about making it possible to access information anywhere, anytime and wherever it’s needed.

TeraGo Network Presents: The Internet of Things

The Internet of Things has the potential to drastically change the way we do business. But what exactly is the Internet of Things (IoT)? The term is quite ambiguous, but IoT is quickly becoming a tangible technology that can be used to collect information on pretty much anything. In other words, it’s another aspect of the digital transformation of the world.

IoT

What is the Internet of Things?

The Internet of Things (IoT) is a system in which unique identifiers are assigned to objects, people, or animals. These unique identifiers then transfer the data they’ve collected about their assigned “thing” over a network, without the need for human interaction. IoT uses machine-to-machine (M2M) so that the objects, people, or animals are able to communicate with one another. So far, the Internet of Things has primarily existed in the manufacturing and power, oil, and gas industries. However, there is plenty of opportunity to expand into all industries.

For example, a “thing” can be a person with a heart monitor implant, a car that has built-in sensors to alert the driver when the tire pressure is low, or any other object that can be assigned an IP address and is provided with the ability to transfer data.

Why is the Internet of Things Important?

It’s no secret that we’re turning in to a virtualized world, but the development of Internet Protocol version 6 (IPv6) has increased the rate in which this transformation is taking place. IPv6 is an important factor in the advancement of IoT because it provides a seemingly endless number of IP addresses that can be assigned to objects, people, or animals.

Currently, we depend primarily on people to input data on our computers and upload information to the Internet. In fact, nearly all the information available on the Internet today was captured and created by people. However, the problem is that people can be impacted and influenced by outside factors, such as time, attention, and accuracy. By automating the process and allowing computers to gather information on their own without human assistance, we would be able to input and track everything while also reducing waste, cost, and loss of data.

Most importantly, IoT provides businesses with a vast amount of reliable information on their customers and products. Working with real time, digitized information that has been input directly from a “thing” (object, animal, or person) is a very accurate way of determining how your customers are interacting with your product.

Is your company ready to manage a significant amount of data? Your business should have a reliable, fast Internet service in order to obtain the data quickly, as well as place to store the data, such as a data center.

Next week, I will be discussing the security and privacy concerns of businesses and customers regarding the Internet of Things.

Blog Author: Vanessa Hartung

IPv6 Implementation Needs to Happen Sooner Rather than Later

It’s happening – whether you like it or not, IPv6 will soon dominate the Internet. For those who have been dragging their feet and haven’t started the process of implementing IPv6, it’s time to pick up the pace. Once IPv6 has taken over the internet, the IPv4-only users may find themselves “locked out” of the Internet.  IPv4 address users are not able to access IPv6 sites, which drastically limits the number of Internet resources that they’ll be able to view.

Let’s not forget, IPv6 was launched last June, and the hype surrounding IPv6 started long before it went live. Hundreds of studies, articles, and promotions about its inception were disseminated among industry professionals prior to its deployment. After which, the news of IPv6 began to trickle down to all internet users. However, not many users have been quick to initiate the transition to the new Internet protocol.

For those of you who running a little behind in adopting IPv6, here are some tips on how to get started:

1. Assessment: First, your company must identify its technical and business requirements in order to select the best type of cloud technology to implement; private, public, or hybrid. To learn more about the difference between the three different cloud variations, click here.

2. High-Level Deployment Plan: After reviewing the technical requirements, your IT department will need to devise a high-level plan to implement IPv6 while minimizing disruptions to employees.

3. Planning and Design: Once you have selected the type of cloud technology that your company will be utilizing, it is time to create a detailed implementation plan. This step includes the IPv6 addressing plan, physical connectivity considerations, and manageability. The detailed planning and design strategy should also include a security plan. IPv6 is not an update of IPv4, but an entirely new suite of protocols. This raises new security challenges, so businesses need to be adequately prepared to set up firewalls and intrusion prevention devices in order to protect company data.

4. Implementation and Testing: This is the time to employ and test your cloud technology. If your company has planned accordingly, then the actual implementation should be the low-risk part of the process. Initially, IPv6 should be deployed in a lab or pilot network, covering the complete set of network devices, applications, and desktops targeted as the initial candidates. This is an opportunity to gather feedback and eliminate any problems with the technology. Once testing is complete, the next step is extending the pilot in stages to a fully deployment.

5. Enhancements: Once you have fully deployed IPv6, you will be able to continually enhance your cloud experience. It is likely that you will end up with a list of improvements that add additional capabilities and value to your business. One of the main benefits of cloud computing is that you can make adjustments to better serve your company’s needs.

The clock is ticking, and time is running out for businesses that haven’t initiated the transition to IPv6. Internet services are critical for almost all companies, so it is very important for businesses to adopt IPv6 sooner than later.

Blog Author: Vanessa Hartung

IPv6 Inquiries

Recently, after reviewing our post Top 5 Reasons Your Business Needs to Adopt IPv6, one of our readers posted an excellent question regarding the implementation of IPv6. As a review, our Top 5 reasons to implement IPv6 are;

  1. Avoid Website Disruption: Companies who do not initiate the transition to IPv6 soon may risk accessibility problems.
  2. Prevent an Increase in Costs: If your business hasn’t planned for the transition to IPv6, it can end up costing more. Companies who do not adopt IPv6 early on will be forced to spend more money in order to deal with the scarcity of IPv4 addresses. These costs can include the implementation of      workarounds, the purchase of network gear, or attempting to purchase the few remaining IPv4 addresses.
  3. Business Growth: Certain parts of the world have already run out of new IPv4 addresses, which can be problematic if your company conducts business globally.
  4. Maintain a Competitive Edge: Many businesses have been prepared for IPv6 for quite some time now, and several other businesses have already begun to make the transition. In order to maintain a competitive edge in the marketplace, businesses need to be sure they are on the forefront to      technology.
  5. Maintain Business Continuity: IPv6 has been in development for over 20 years and it is now ready to be launched for broad adoption and permanent enablement. More than 1,500 companies, including websites, ISPs and router vendors, have committed to make IPv6 permanently “on by default” for their products and services.

Our reader asked:

“For a company that has a very good IPv4 address plan, reasons 1 to 4 are important only to external servers. In the future, reason 5 will be a problem for companies that don’t migrate to IPv6 (possible problem with software that will need a specific characteristic of IPv6). How can I show the CEO that it’s important to adopt IPv6 inside the company immediately?”

“Adopting IPv6 internally is just as crucial as enabling it for your externally facing servers”, replies Jose Robles, Network Technology Specialist for TeraGo Networks. “There are two main reasons for adopting IPv6. One of the main reasons is the fact that, internally, you are typically working on customized applications or hardware that will likely involve longer development time to ensure IPv6 compatibility. It’s not unheard of that a particular software application will never have IPv6 support, hence requiring the decision to be made on whether to migrate to a newer version or an entirely new application”.

“Full end to end connectivity is the second reason to upgrade your internal network,” continues Robles.  “IPv6 addresses are rendered useless if they can’t be utilized on the end devices that they were meant for. True end to end testing will help IT departments in determining any problematic issues that need to be resolved”.

“If none of this is taken in to account, then the only solution for that organization would be to traverse over some NAT46 setup, which is not a desirable option”, states Robles.

If you have a question about any of our posts, we invite you to email us at info@terago.ca or post your question in the comment section of our blog.

Blog posted by Vanessa Hartung.

TeraGo Networks Presents IPv6: Part 2

In our previous video, we discussed the exhaustion of the current Internet Protocol, IPv4, and how we have arrived at our current state. Part 2 of our informations video series, Jose Robles – Network Technology Specialist, will discuss the differences between IPv4 and IPv6 as well as the benefits that IPv6 offers.

If there is a topic that you would like to learn more about, please comment on our blog or email info@terago.ca

To discover how TeraGo Networks can help your business, click here.

Blog posted by Vanessa Hartung

TeraGo Networks Presents IPv6: Part 1

As discussed in our previous blogs, the supply of IPv4 addresses has been exhausted and no longer has enough IP addresses to support the growing number of internet users. IPv6 is the latest version of Internet Protocol being used to direct Internet traffic. However, before we can examine IPv6, we need to take a look back at IPv4 in order to understand how we have arrived at our current situation. Below is an informational video which explains IPv4 and discusses the need for IPv6 – hosted by Jose Robles, Network Technology Specialist for TeraGo Networks.

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

Blog posted by Vanessa Hartung

IPv6 Implementation

In previous blog posts, we have described what IPv6 is, the benefits it offers, as well as the reasons why businesses need to adopt it. In this post, I will describe how your company can prepare itself for the implementation of IPv6. Many companies may now be aware of IPv6, but are unsure of how to make the transition. Basically, there are two options for your company to consider; deployment of a fully enabled IPv6 only network or run IPv6 alongside IPv4.

However, not many companies are running with an IPv6 only network since IPv4 still has a strong presence. Also, several devices and applications may never be able to transition to IPv6, so running both protocols may be unavoidable. There are three ways in which IPv4 and IPv6 can run alongside each other; tunneling, translation and dual-stack.

Tunneling encapsulates IPv6 packets within IPv4, in effect using IPv4 as a link layer for IPv6. However, tunneling does not enable users of the new protocol to communicate with users of the old protocol without dual-stack hosts, which negates interoperability. Translation facilitates communication between IPv6-only and IPv4-only hosts and networks by performing IP header and address translation between the two address families. Although, it is important to note that translation is only meant to be a medium-term coexisting strategy, not a long-term permanent solution.

A majority of providers and vendors have chosen to take the dual-stack route. Dual-stack is a transition technology in which IPv4 and IPv6 operate in tandem over shared or dedicated links. In this type of network, both IPv4 and IPv6 are fully deployed across the infrastructure, so that configuration and routing protocols handle both IPv4 and IPv6 addressing and adjacencies.

Since IPv4 has such a strong presence, and so many users are currently utilizing IPv4, adopting dual-stack technology will allow users to access IPv4 and IPv6 enabled sites. Just because IPv4 has been exhausted, that doesn’t mean that it will disappear entirely. The transition from IPv4 to IPv6 will be gradual, but users need to be able to access both in order to experience full connectivity.

By fully deploying both IPv4 and IPv6 through dual-stack, users will have a seemingly full range of access to both IPv4 and IPv6 enables sites, applications, and devices. Once all regions across the globe have run out of IPv4 addresses, there will be no choice but to distribute IPv6 addresses. As more and more IPv6 addresses are distributed to users around the world, the migration to this new protocol will build up steam.

The first step in preparing for this worldwide change is to decide which type of communication technology your company will utilize. Whether it’s translation, tunneling, or dual-stack, a choice must be made soon in order to ensure that your business is able to seamlessly connect online.

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

Author: Vanessa Hartung

The End of IPv4 is Near

This shouldn’t come as a surprise, but on September 14, 2012, it was announced that RIPE NCC (Réseaux IP Européens Network Coordination Centre) was down to its last group of IPv4 addresses. It is now no longer possible to obtain new IPv4 addresses in Europe, the former USSR, or the Middle East. However, members of RIPE and those who are part of the Local Internet Registry will be given a final group of 1,024 IPv4. All other businesses and ISPs will be forced to make the transition to IPv6.

As you may recall, RIPE NCC isn’t the first one to run out of IPv4 addresses. APNIC, which distributes IP addresses in the Asia-Pacific region, exhausted their supply of IPv4 addresses back in May 2011. There are now strict rules in place around the distribution of the remaining IPv4 addresses in an effort to slow down their extinction. Many ISPs and businesses are not able to obtain additional IPv4 addresses without providing proof that they are preparing to make the switch to IPv6.

In response to the decline of available IPv4 addresses, a secondary market has developed. Companies have started to buy and sell unused IPv4 addresses, which first began when Microsoft Corp. purchased over 600,000 IPv4 addresses from Nortel during their bankruptcy proceedings. With an estimated 1.2 billion IPv4 addresses that are currently allocated and unused, there is the potential for a huge resale market to emerge. However, resellers of IPv4 addresses are likely to charge a premium price as the demand increases.

However, purchasing unused IPv4 addresses will only delay the inevitable. Eventually, as the supply from both resellers and legitimate distributers runs out, IPv6 will be the only solution. Economically, it is better to invest in the adoption of IPv6 instead of purchasing more IPv4. Soon, IPv4 will no longer be the primary IP address in use and switching to IPv6 will be the only option.

Investing in IPv6 is, in turn, investing in your business. In order to sustain growth, companies need to spend the time and money on upgrading their Internet connection. Since the Internet has become so critical to the overall success of a business, starting the transition to IPv6 is a highly beneficial investment. Companies and ISPs will need to make the change soon regardless, so taking the initiative and adopting IPv6 before it’s too late is good business practice.

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

Author: Vanessa Hartung

 

 

 

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.

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