The pioneers that thought out the architecture and protocols of the Internet roughly fifty years ago probably never anticipated the immense scale and growth of their inventions. PCs, the World Wide Web, smartphones and other connected devices were still hidden in future.
The Internet of Things that is now taking shape will increase the numbers even further. The number of smart devices connecting to the Internet is reaching an unprecedented level. Estimates are predicting that as many as 75 billion devices will come online by 2020, which means Internet traffic routing is going to get a lot more complex.
The founding fathers of the Internet developed the blueprint for an infrastructure that proved to be robust and resilient to the present day.
The Internet is largely a physical thing, consisting of cables that run for hundreds of thousands of miles, many of them underground or on the bottom of the ocean. That is one side of the story. Equally important are the core protocols of the Internet such as BGP (Border Gateway Protocol) and DNS (Domain Name Services). They are the documented, collective agreements on how the Internet and its protocols should function, and the provider companies who pledge to make them work the way they should. BGP plays a major role.
What exactly is the importance of BGP? On the OpenDNS website, blogger Owen Lystrup has posted a comprehensive two-part series about BGP, what it is, how it works and what global components are involved. This series also covers the technical and security issues surrounding BGP, and why they often have a drastic effect on a global scale. Certainly a good read…