Net Neutrality Friday

Well, it has been relatively quiet so far this year. I know some folks that have started pushing an old idea again, trying to make it new. This is what is called Open Access. Access is good. Open is good. Open Access is not so good, at least in this new flavor.

Open Access is the idea to separate your services from your physical access and be able to have multiple service providers bid for your services on a network produced by someone else. The latest twist on this comes from the Metro Ethernet Forum (MEF), which is trying to find a reason to stay in business. The MEF built standards and got them adopted. The technology and standards are widely used and essentially won. The problem with winning is that there is no reason for your group to exist. So, the MEF is trying to create another battle.

Here is the problem. The old days of Open Access were all about different kinds of services. This is particularly true with video. The video is the one service that takes lots of bandwidths. If you go back 10 years, it was not common to find streaming services. In some places, you could have multiple video providers. That setup was not common, but Project Utopia was an example of that.

Here is the thing. Bandwidth has grown tremendously and all services are now becoming purely Internet Based. There are use cases for non-Internet Services in the Business World. But in the consumer market, we can all see the convergence of all services heading to being Internet Services. Yes, there are still a phone and video services that are not based on the Internet. We can all see that in the future this will not be true.

So, why would the MEF try to resurrect a model that is no longer relevant? I know they are trying to keep themselves around, but seriously the Internet is our common bandwidth utility. You can no longer build a service of any scale without it. So, making non-Internet Services for consumers makes almost no sense for the Service Owner.

I find this whole thing very odd and hope the MEF realizes that this is a battle that is already won and there is no point in continuing.

Jim Sackman
Focal Point Business Coaching
Business Coaching, Executive Training, Sales Training, Marketing

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Net Neutrality Friday

Well since we are experiencing a huge Internet kerfluffle today, I wanted to take some time to explain it a bit and help you with what you can do or might do in the future.

Today a company named Dyn was suffering what is called a DDoS attack. Dyn does most of its business on the infrastructure of the Internet. In this particular case, it was having its DNS service attacked. DNS stands for Domain Name Service and it is the software that translates the URLs that you type in (for example http://jimsackman.com) into IP addresses. Yes, there is more to it than that. But for most people that are a reasonable enough understanding of what it is. So, today you were probably seeing DNS failures for some websites. This was not on your end. Dyn was unable to translate your request into something your computer could use in a reasonable time.

The reason for this is what is called a DDoS attack. DDoS stands for Distributed Denial of Service. If you are older (like me), you might remember trying to call your mother on Mother's Day and getting an "All Circuits are Busy." message. Well, that is exactly what a Denial of Service attack is. The idea is to swamp the service with so many requests that very few, if any, get serviced. Since it is relatively easy to restrict access from a single server, people changed the attack to be distributed. This means that the attack came from many places at once and was started by some form of command and control action. Think of this as many computers being infected and they all send out attacks because a 3rd party told them to. That is a DDoS.

Why attack Dyn? Well, it is one of the more well-known companies in the Internet Infrastructure business and it has a business in cyber security. Dyn has published books on how to defeat DDoS attacks. So, this could make the hacker famous or more likely infamous. There are places on the Intenet where these people gather to share war stories about triumphing over evil or companies or just for the thrill of having done it. But it does point out a couple of more challenging issues with being solely dependent on the Internet.

One last note today for your evaluation. Many of these Internet-connected systems are what are called Embedded Applications. These are devices that sit on the Internet to do what you want them to do. These are devices from Connected Cars to that Ring Camera-Doorbell item to Webcams. All of them have a special vulnerability to hacking because nobody takes a look to see if they are infected. This means that hackers might have millions of more computers to go after to run these attacks. Something to think about.

Have a great weekend!

Jim Sackman
Focal Point Business Coaching
Business Coaching, Executive Training, Sales Training, Marketing

Change Your Business - Change Your Life!

Visit the FocalPoint Norcal Forum - We have many tools for helping your Business!