Scary Telecomm Stories
As Halloween approaches, it is tradition to tell scary stories to chill the blood. Let’s take this opportunity to tell a few scary telecomm stories – and explain why they aren’t nearly as scary as It.
The Clonus Horror: White box optical will kill optical vendors
In this story, mutant zombie optical systems built from disparate parts will rise from the depths to menace the heroic optical vendor community. Names like “Voyager” strike terror in the hearts of vendors who worry that their value will be destroyed as network operators turn optical into a commodity.
In reality, the white box optical experiment has largely failed. Unlike servers or switches which can be purpose-built for data centers, there is no clear benefit to building a custom-designed optical system. And, it turns out, there are still a lot of innovations to be developed in the optical market. These zombies are not nearly as scary as the Walking Dead.
Invaders from Mars: Chinese vendors will crush all opposition
From Maryland to Stockholm to California, network vendors are building staunch defenses to repel the invading low-cost Chinese telecomm vendors who are threatening to take over the world. The final battles will be fought in the Americas, the last remaining stronghold.
While the Chinese vendors have made a huge impact on the industry – indeed, have become the number one vendor in many areas – competition is generally a good thing. As the quality of Chinese equipment has risen, so have the relative prices of their equipment. Chinese vendors are no longer assumed to always be the lowest cost option, and there is plenty of business for strong competitors in markets both large and small. As with all supposed invasions, the best defense is a good offence. Innovation in the industry will keep everyone honest.
Outbreak: Our network security will fall to the viruses
The reports start small, with an attempted incursion at a power plant’s network. They build, with reports of hackers gaining access to citywide networks. Eventually the internet collapses as hackers take over all communications. Carrier pigeons become the new preferred method of communications and teenagers resort to exchanging duckface drawings in crayon.
The purpose of any presentation on network security is usually to scare the audience into action, but it’s not as bad as the worst case scenario pushed in the pop culture media. Network security is improving exponentially with the introduction of analytics and machine learning. The newest security measures can determine anomalous behavior even if no one else has every experienced it, allowing proactive security that can learn faster than the incursion tools can be developed. At least that’s the promise. Keep your carrier pigeons happy, just in case.