I’ve made no blog posts for about three weeks now. Our annual meeting, and most importantly the state of the consortium presentation, really take that much time to prepare for.
Preparing the “state of the consortium” is a time of reflection for me. It’s when I pull together all of the numeric data I can, all of the anecdotes, freeze what’s on the table with our board and in my head and paint a picture of where KanREN is right now, the ground we’ve covered in the last year, and where I think we’re headed.
Right now, I think we will see a lot of changes in the next few years. KanREN has always struggled with quality vs. price when attracting new members. Sometimes I wonder if we already have all of the institutions as members who really are willing to pay more to get more, or have specialized needs that only an R&E network can provide.
All of that aside, it’s clear that we need to work on ways to become more cost-effective… Which has been a constant struggle as long as I’ve been the executive director.
The “Internet” continues to evolve. It was once a vast “any to any” world where content came from nearly any endpoint. Today, it’s becoming a much more tame place in many respects. The majority of content comes from more easily defined and located content delivery networks. The goal is to find more ways to get to that content that are less expensive and have better performance than commodity Internet providers. I can see a future where “upstream” is mostly coming from connections into exchanges and CDNs, and the actual “Internet” we buy is minimized… And when you think about that, think big. How does it impact things like security and DDoS when the majority of content isn’t coming over those generic connections anymore? The next few years will be an exciting time indeed!