Next-gen networks, next-gen apps

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As Ethernet marks its 40th anniversary, non-profit organisation, US Ignite, is calling for a revolution in the application and networking space.

"It is about time for some major reflections and some major change," said founder and CTO of US Ignite, Glenn Ricart, during the keynote address on the second day of the Ethernet Innovation Summit, in Mountain View, California, on Wednesday. "I think the changes are going to be profound in that they are really going to impact our lives."

According to Ricart, US Ignite is an example of government working with the public via a non-profit organisation that focuses on transforming new technologies into applications that benefit citizens of the world. "The organisation wants to see the introduction of next-generation applications that will make a difference," he said, noting that these applications will transform how we experience everything, from clean energy and education, to transportation and healthcare.

The non-profit organisation is looking to develop 60 transformative apps based on things people cannot do today and to make sure government and communities work together to ensure digital experience app concepts become a reality.

Ricart predicts several changes in the market will promote the creation of these community-centric digital experience apps. While today we think more bandwidth is better, in the future, we will seek more responsive applications, he noted. One way he believes the cloud industry can promote this responsiveness is to go local and move closer to the end-user.

He also predicts a movement to virtual networks for applications, with a unique configuration matched to each app, be it an online tele-health application, an interactive education app, or even a public safety application. In cases where the applications are life-dependent and require a highly reliable connection - like a dialysis control app, for example - virtual networks using network function virtualisation can provide multiple services into a single home reliably, said Ricart.

"I believe the issues and problems these next-gen applications and networks are attempting to address are universal, and these innovations have the potential to change lives."

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