The Evolution of the Internet: And Why It Isn’t Cut Out for All We Want to Do

25 Nov 15

Internet – The Early Years

The origins of the Internet can be dated back to the 1960s and grew out of government agencies and academia needing to share information across multiple locations and countries. During the late 1980s and 1990s its use expanded to allow light weight documents, authored in a then-new language called Hyper Text Markup Language, to be accessed from any other connected computer. It allowed lists of these documents to be browsed and to be fetched and viewed from anywhere in the world and although networks were relatively slow, worked well enough for the numbers of people using it at the time.

The private sector and general public quickly picked up on how easy it was to share information worldwide and have a global presence, so it quickly became more and more congested as its popularity took off. Networks were upgraded, with faster and faster wire level protocols, routers, cables and proxies, but demand kept growing as more and more people “went online”.

Very quickly, people wanted better web pages and started adding images, graphics, styling and animations to their pages and allowing complete documents, applications, videos and music files to be downloaded to give better user experiences. Once businesses saw the potential of instantly reaching customers anywhere in the world, things got really interesting. Online shopping, payments, advertising, banking and libraries worth of information quickly meant the internet became the first “go-to” place for virtually everything that could possibly go online. This placed even more load on the Internet infrastructure…

But the real step-change in bandwidth demand came with online streaming.

Live Media and Streaming Media

As soon as the Internet became fast enough to support reasonable quality streamed video and audio, it did! The ability to instantly start watching or listening (like TV or radio) had huge appeal to consumers compared to waiting for downloads that often took hours to complete, and having to manage huge media libraries. But fundamentally, the Internet just wasn’t architected to move massive amounts of data in real-time. Unpredictable and variable bandwidths, inefficient protocols, and frequent disconnections and reconnection meant developers of streaming solutions had to handle all these issues themselves.

The streaming media industry had to define new, more streamlined standards and players to automatically handle variable bandwidth to try and maintain a decent user experience – especially as demand grew for media streaming over mobile networks where networks speeds are still several years behind consumer broadband.

In parallel to this revolution in the way we consume entertainment media, the world of mobile apps exploded.

The Explosion of Mobile Apps

Compared to web apps running over constrained mobile networks, apps offered a much faster and more responsive user interface, allowing the games market to explode on mobiles. Marketplaces and easy installation and payment mechanisms meant it was easy for both developers and consumers to create, sell, buy and install apps.

Apps really took off and consumers started to rely on them and use them more and more for shopping, news, transport updates as well as productivity and entertainment.

But with the limited storage available on mobile devices, apps increasingly relied on being online and connected in order to offer the service they provide. Real-time services such as live news and traffic updates, navigation, live train departures, online gaming, live betting, stock trading and so on means the demand for real-time data is skyrocketing – just as streaming media has.

Real-Time Apps and Streaming Data

Data streaming has all the same challenges as media streaming – unpredictable and variable bandwidths, inefficient protocols, frequent disconnections and reconnections, multiple device types, operating systems and versions, massive numbers of simultaneous users and unpredictable impact on back-end business systems, means developers have a lot to think about when offering fast, reactive and profitable apps.

If only there was an out-of-the-box solution for developers that handle all these challenges in an easy-to-use SDK and SaaS solution…

Introducing Diffusion Cloud

Diffusion Cloud, the only enterprise-class Internet Messaging service delivered via the cloud to power business critical Internet apps, tackles these hard problems. The limitations of business systems, the unknowns of the Internet, and device complexity—to stream data at extreme scale and speed, to and from millions of concurrent connections in milliseconds.

Diffusion Cloud helps you build reactive applications faster – delivering data at extreme speed and scale. It’s designed for a broad set of Web, mobile and IoT developers. Try it out today, click here, and you’ll be taken to the Diffusion Cloud website where you can access Diffusion Cloud through IBM Bluemix or IBM Cloud Marketplace.

The Diffusion Intelligent Data Platform manages, optimizes, and integrates data among devices, systems, and applications. Push Technology pioneered and is the sole provider of real-time delta data streaming™ technology that powers mission-critical business applications worldwide. Leading brands use Push Technology to fuel revenue growth, customer engagement, and business operations. The products, Diffusion® and Diffusion Cloud™, are available on-premise, in-the-cloud, or in a hybrid configuration, to fit the specific business and infrastructure requirements of the applications operating in today’s mobile obsessed, everything connected world. Learn how Push Technology can reduce infrastructure costs, and increase speed, efficiency, and reliability, of your web, mobile, and IoT application.

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