Much as individual web sites such as “amihotornot.com” suffer from their success do to their inability to meet demand, so the web in general is having difficulty meeting the scaling requirements of its own popularity.
If you believe this (and I do) then you ought to run out and purchase shares in companies like Akamai (distributed service technologies), EMC (network-based file storage) and of course Cisco (what do they do again?).
The significance of this article is that the Internet is no longer an effective one-to-many medium… Just like in broadcasting, content has to be distributed from a more local point-of-presence than a simple server cluster in a machine room somewhere.
What does this mean?
There are too many people on the Internet.
On the web nowadays, your success is your failure. The “Slashdot Effect”, when your really cool site gets headlined on Slashdot and everyone comes to visit, will overwhelm most individual sites on single servers.
Of major concern to me, this means that the goofy “free” sites that are maintained by individuals on University equipment and which gave the Web most of its early character are a thing of the past.
Hosting companies must now become distribution companies, and the costs of providing web services are skyrocketing.
In all of this, there is cost. And that cost is significant. As the whole advertising business model circles the drain, how do web companies pay for the distribution cost of their content and services?
The answer will likely be the pay-per-view web. Frightening, isn’t it?
—— Forwarded Message From: Mike Masnick
I’m sure some of you knew about this already… The rest of you may recognize some company names:
The Two-Way Internet 18 January 2001 by: John Robb
The Internet is undergoing a transformation to a new system that scales better, costs less and provides better end-user performance than the Web. Gomez calls this new system the 2X (two-way) Internet.
We believe the arrival of the 2X Internet is as momentous an occasion as the arrival of the Web and is what?s necessary to achieve global customer adoption of the Internet as a means of doing business. Here are characteristics of the 2X Internet.
Local. The 2X Internet relies on the ability of desktop PCs to do much of the work necessary to actually assemble and serve a complex Web site. Contrast this with how the Web squanders PC power by only retrieving and rendering pages that are pre-masticated by large corporate servers.
Global. Rather than interconnect with singular large corporate sites, the 2X Internet will rely on customers to connect to a global network of servers that run highly distributed applications. In this model, all interactions are made with local servers that are part of a global network. No more will customers be forced to interact with services that are time zones away.
Metered. All interactions on the 2X Internet will be metered, analyzed and charged to customers. Due to the infrastructure needed and the complexity of the interactions, business models based on free interactions will be cast aside in favor of a fee-for-service model. How The 2X Internet Will Fix The Web
The 2X Internet has the power to transform the mediocre experience of the Web into a vibrant, rich experience that drives customer adoption of the Internet as the preferred way of doing business. Here?s what went wrong with the Web and what the 2X Internet will do to correct it:
It?s slow. Customer productivity drops dramatically when response times are longer than a second. Times are 7 to 10 seconds on the Web, and structural issues will prevent all improvement. The 2X Internet speeds response times by using a server located on the customer?s PC to connect to XML-enabled data services provided by local servers in the 2X Internet global “cloud.” The short distances traveled and the power of dedicated local resources will radically improve customer productivity by making interactivity sub-second.
It?s expensive. Monster clusters of servers and oversized switches costing tens of millions dollars (with huge staffs to match) run most corporate Web efforts. By distributing applications and data across a global network of small, inexpensive servers and allowing the customer?s own desktop PC to share in the burden of computation, costs drop radically.
It can?t scale. Web sites scale horribly when faced with hundreds of thousands of users doing complex tasks. By dividing the task of enabling the transaction over a global network of servers and the PC resources of millions of customers, the 2X Internet solves the scalability problem.
The 2X Internet Rises Over the next three years, the infrastructure of the 2X Web will explode onto the Internet, accompanied by rapidly expanding bandwidth (particularly in the all-optical core) and plummeting storage costs. It will serve as the basis for the next great technology companies that will push aside the aging PC world players and will breathe life into the moribund, financially strapped, online content world. Here is a taxonomy of the 2X Internet:
Global backbones that provide XML dial tone, desktop servlets and highly distributed applications will emerge and begin to play the same role to customers as the telcos did in the pre-Internet world. These backbone providers will not arise out of the telco or hosting world but will be new names, such as Neoplat.
New innovative software from companies such as Centrata, Know Now and Applied MetaComputing will enable independent software vendors to rapidly develop, globally deploy and easily manage their software. Microsoft will play a very large part of this revolution too, with its .Net infrastructure, but it will likely be late to the party and a ferocious competitor when it arrives.
Applications engineered for the 2X Internet will quickly dominate. Web-enabled apps will be quickly outgunned in all the major areas of evaluation: functionality, ease of use, cost and performance by the 2X Internet apps. Names such as Groove, Userland and Rotor may become commonplace in the delivery of these services. Gomez president John Robb has followed Internet technology for as long as it has existed.
—— End of Forwarded Message