In a WSJ article Sunday, it was revealed that Google (GOOG) is seeking to place servers in ISP networks, to give itself a fast lane. The blogosphere quickly attacked them for abandoning net neutrality of course, and Google quickly responded with an explanation that boils down to the fact that they are building their own CDN just like Akamai, Limelight, etc – more detail on DataCenterKnowledge Really, it’s no big surprise to anyone who has been following the sector, everyone wants to build a CDN. But it does tie into my other post this morning on the evolution of the internet to incorporate CDNs. Put simply, just how many content providers can fit servers in every ISP’s closet next to Akamai’s before it becomes a really stupid solution?
If an ISP needs to manage its traffic by making private peering deals with dozens of CDNs, having dozens of duplicate and parallel infrastructures none of which talk to each other, doesn’t this arrangement seem inefficient and increasingly hard to manage? The whole point of the internet used to be robustness through interconnectedness, yet as we bypass all those transit and peering connections between ISPs and carriers with all this content, that interconnectedness is being bypassed and not replaced. No, I’m not predicting doom, rather I sense an opportunity somewhere in there for improving the design.
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Isn’t net neutrality a bit of a myth to begin with? – Well, let’s see if the WSJs Tuesday edition will have a correction of the story…