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21 Experts Give Their 2014 Predictions on Internet Performance

Last week, we started an email thread (old school!) amongst a large group of our tech leadership and thought leaders from all aspects of web traffic management and message management. There was a simple question we wanted to know in a few sentences or less:

“In 2014, what do you think the big trends will be with Internet performance?”

What follows are 21 very unique, and some very similar, answers. Without a doubt, there are challenges ahead for the Internet as we know it, but the rewards for accomplishing goals are massive.


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Cory von Wallenstein, Chief Technologist – More users will be demanding faster experiences and buying more online than ever before. Downtime will not be tolerated. To rise to this challenge, web architects will continue to push content close to users by leveraging multiple CDNs and cloud regions for both performance and resiliency, making traffic management more important than ever.

Chris Gonyea, Product Manager, Traffic Management – I expect to see more movement on taking advantage of geolocation technologies, so that companies can pick the right hosting/CDN/cloud provider based on end users’ location, ensuring the most optimal performance no matter where in the world the end user is currently located.

Mike Veilleux, Director of Product, Message Management – The role of an email specialist will continue to shift to one of owning responsibilities that we’ve looked to traditional ISPs and mailbox providers to do in the past. Everything from reputation management to aid in reaching your users’ inboxes to fighting phishing attempts on your brand to protect your users will need to be focused on.

Mikel Steadman, Manager, Sales Engineering & Implementation Services – The world will continue to shift to be mobile ready with mobile support taking a bigger role. Real time data analytics will drive better decisions. It is all about connecting customers at the speed of now.

Effie Tsiopras, Director of Corporate IT – Mobile device management and BYOD (Bring Your Own Device).

Scott Hilton, EVP, Product – My big trend is around the proliferation of connected devices. The hype cycle of “Internet of things” is giving way to real growth in devices, applications, and technologies that will both solve real-world problems and create real value. 2014 will be the year of accelerated investment and deployment of solutions, and the first signs of the strain on the current Internet architecture.

Chris Griffiths, VP, Technology – With the proliferation of lower power Bluetooth and Zigbee enabled devices, which all utilize low power IPv6 routing, you should see an explosion of connected devices. Guess how you will find all of these devices? DNS is going to be needed in control nodes for all of these implementations.

Joe Abley, Principal Architect – I expect the continued mainstreaming of Internet services to non-technical users, more of whom are mobile (and perhaps are not even aware that their smoke alarm is a network device) every day. The services that will survive and prosper are those that are simple and robust, since troubleshooting a tsunami of uninformed complaints is largely impossible and for many of these users, the concept of sending a trouble report to a service provider is foreign.

Alexander Kasyanov, Director of Software Development – One aspect that will not directly drive Dyn business, but is worth mentioning is security and privacy on the web. I can see more providers offering a less exposed Internet experience.

Andrew Sullivan, Principal Architect – I think it may be an important driver. Browser developers and many site operators are responding to the pervasive monitoring issues by using TLS (SSL) more widely. Browser developers are also getting even pickier about TLS validation. This means increased latency (for the cryptographic operations) and that http caches will be less effective (because in general they don’t work very well with TLS, and the browsers are going to be more likely to notice if caches try to MITM the connection). The greater latencies that will come from even wider use of TLS mean that low DNS resolution times will be more important than ever, just to keep page load times where they have been.

Phil Stanhope, Distinguished Engineer – We’ve all seen what happens when local networks overload. I lived in a congested, dual income, technology and “Internet of things” neighborhood (less so after my move 3 months ago). I’d been seeing the wifi connectivity and reliability problems years ago that we recently experienced in the office. This will become more common, and many will come to understand that this is actually a problem. The winners will be those who excel in delivering performance while making it seem easy and second nature.

Larry Concannon, Director of Product Marketing – While performance in email has been traditionally measured by inbox success rate and reputation, the increase in phishing attacks (a four fold increase in 2013) has elevated phishing prevention to a top of mind issue for email performance.

Matt Larson, Chief Architect – Until recently, concerns about privacy on the Internet for most people haven’t gone beyond worrying that their credit card number might get stolen. But with Edward Snowden’s revelations exposing the extent of government data collection, more organizations and individuals will be increasingly concerned about keeping the details of their everyday online activities private. We’ve already seen the impact start with Google announcing it will encrypt data center-to-data center traffic, and Yahoo enabling SSL by default for its web mail service.

Mike Kemp, Director of Platform Engineering – Big Data and Big Data as a service (BDaaS), replicating data over the network, real-time, providing additional insight into customer behavior, trends and enabling real-time intelligent decision making.

Kyle York, CRO – The Internet performance space encompasses all facets of user experience: security, speed, reliability, redundancy, and control of your website and application stack for both the DevOps community and the end users of these properties. 2014 will be the year that the business side truly converges with the technology side and will DEMAND consumable performance insights and metrics on how service delivery impacts revenue, customer retention, conversion, growth rates, and inevitable success.

Dave Connors, VP, Technical Operations – As more critical enterprise services are moved to the cloud core, the cloud edge becomes the key to assure resilient service availability. The edge, or distributed cloud, is able to detect service delivery anomalies early and take intelligent steps before the cloud core service is compromised. Examples include mitigating service provider issues and fending off DDoS attacks.

Dave Lemaire, Sr. Director, Data Center Operations – To the proliferation of Internet connected devices, I would add there are two ways of treating connectivity to all those endpoints: centralized or distributed. In either case, management of that traffic will be critical to ensure good customer experiences.

Chris Baker, System Guru – Real time, granular performance metrics by component of the layer which we control and manage. If we still follow the assumption that users report a perceived lag at a delay > 100 ms and context switch at 300 ms, insight into the components of that delay are what helps clarify the problem, as well as identify opportunities for improvement. In short, the summary metric of delay is no longer adequate.

Nate Meyer, Director of Product, Traffic Management – Online services are now critical elements of everyday living and increasingly become better targets for mischief and malevolent attacks. As automated attack tools and reflection attacks now make it much easier to perpetuate a distributed denial of service attack on DNS, and there are few cost effective ways to mitigate DNS DDoS, service providers must always achieve ever higher levels of performance and efficiency.

Brian Brady, Director of Business Development – The trends we have been watching indicate an increasingly smarter network connecting smarter users everywhere. I believe an informed consumer will not tolerate outages and failures due to weak commitments to uptime, scaling, availability, speed, and network insight. In 2014, the Performance Internet (PI) will clearly separate the winners and losers.

Todd Heath, Head of Business Development, Message Management – Challenging market conditions and continuous improvement requires more technology transparency than ever. 2014 promises to be a critical year for measuring and communicating key Internet performance metrics. Knowing what levers are driving those metrics compared to your industry provides a valuable opportunity to accelerate innovation, strengthen brand awareness and sustain customer trust.

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