Web infrastructure for the 21st Century

author: Pablo Rodriguez, Telefonica R&D, Barcelona
published: May 20, 2009,   recorded: April 2009,   views: 371


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The Web success in leading the information technology revolution has relied on an enormous computing infrastructure. In recent years, both cloud computing as well as social networks are putting even more burden in such infrastructure. The cloud computing paradigm is creating a massive shift in computing – from PC-based applications to cloud-based applications. Cloud computing frees users from having to remember where the data resides, gives users access to information anywhere, and provides fast services through essentially infinite online computing. Social networks, on the other hand, emerge the social aspects of the Web where the social interactions put demands on Web applications, and in turn further demands in the Web's infrastructure. The Internet, which was mostly developed for interactive applications between humans and computers, has struggled to handle the necessities of a Web designed around content. For instance, as Web content moves from one place to another, Web pointers are broken and so do search ranking algorithms. Similarly, content is often not where it should be when you need it and routers waste capacity copying the same content millions of times. As a result, we have seen the emergence of Internet systems that were not planned for from the beginning, e.g. Web Caching, Content Distribution Networks, or P2P networks. In this talk I will discuss the challenges that the Web is posing in today's Internet infrastructure, and argue about various solutions to cope with them. In particular, I will argue how to re-think the Internet to do networking at the content/information layer, and the underlying architectural system design principles needed to guide the efficient engineering of new Web infrastructure services.

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