RealTime IT News

The Next Internet?

Unveiling an idea that combines the ubiquitous connectivity of the Internet with the assured performance and security of a private network, Sunnyvale, Calif.-based Juniper Networks today announced its vision for a new approach to public network infrastructure.

Dubbed the "Infranet Initiative," the plan addresses the problems inherent with today's Internet, what customers can expect from a network in the future, and how current industry players can change things for good.

According to the plan, the new approach to networks would be called an Infranet, and would be designed to unlock true multimedia person-to-person communication, facilitating the trend toward machine-to-machine applications such as grid computing. These networks would enable businesses and governments to reap full benefits of Web-enabled operations, and provide the levels of performance and security vital to the future growth of an online economy.

"The Internet has changed all our lives, but falls short of the requirements for a unified networking infrastructure and the assured delivery of important services and applications," said Scott Kriens, Juniper's chairman and CEO. "The technical and economic challenges of today's communications problems require an enhanced public packet networks."

Kriens said that he envisions Infranets to take a form entirely different from current Internet and private network infrastructures. As he explained, the Infranets would be built individually by service providers, and would all be interconnected to form a global "meta network." Under this construction, the networks will give each user a slice of the secure public infrastructure, and will enable users to select and be billed for the network experience appropriate for the applications they use.

In a prepared statement, Kriens added that he sees Infranets providing the underlying facilities for the extended enterprise, and for business and consumer applications such as utility computing, Web services, online gaming, rich content delivery, and real-time interactive services. "The technology already exists in large part to make this vision a reality," he said. "What is missing is broad agreement on common goals and industry collaboration to make it happen."

With this in mind, Juniper's "Infranet Initiative" lays out a charter detailing what customers should be able to expect from the public network in the future. This includes:

  • The ability to entrust mission-critical data and personal information to the network
  • Appropriate and assured levels of quality, security and bandwidth across the entire network
  • Access to high-quality, next-generation multimedia communications services.

The initiative also calls upon industry leaders to work toward realizing these building-blocks by enabling inter-carrier connections and developing the necessary specifications and sponsoring t hem before the appropriate standards bodies. To read the entire Infranet Initiative document, the .pdf file can be downloaded here.