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Wireless: Interview

The Future of ISPs and the Internet

Martin Levy takes another look at the value of a strong IPv6 strategy for Internet Service Providers

This is the third part in an interview series with Martin Levy, Director of IPv6 Strategy at Hurricane Electric. In this segment Martin discusses the future of Hurricane Electric, IPv6, bandwidth, and global Internet development.

Pacific-Tier: Can you cite one defining moment that really makes Hurricane Electric stand out as a company within the Internet industry?

Martin Levy: There are a couple of different moments.

From an internal operations point of view the company was able to migrate to a new IP backbone about four years ago. That took us from the pre-IPv6 native mode, into pure IPv6. That fundamental point done well in advance of a lot of other companies.

It may well have gone unnoticed in the industry (at the time). But it is not unnoticed at this time.

We have taken that base, taken that moment and have been able to run this extremely stable, and extremely reliable IP backbone for v4 (IPv4) and v6 (IPv6) support.

So you go back to that point in time, and you (think) of having a ceremony and a toast at that point. As quiet as it was, and a very engineering moment as it was, it really redefined Hurricane Electric. That was an event really about four years ago.

The second one is a totally different measure. The second one which will be talked about at just an anonymous level for obvious reasons was when we brought in our first core v6 customer at a major wholesale level, and the details are (they were) a much larger company (than Hurricane Electric).

We were able to do that because the customer requirement was v6. The customer purchase was for v4, paying 99% of the bill, v6 maybe 1% of the bill. That's the reality. We have no way of saying v6, from a bandwidth point of view is a massive issue at the moment.

But when that occurred, that was the moment that we knew it wasn't at the bandwidth levels v6 was operating at, it wasn't about the number of eyeballs that were enabled, or the number of servers, it was about the fact the enterprise and the wholesale market had realized why v6 was so important.

When that event occurred, which is now a couple of years ago, we knew that we had the right product at the right time for the marketplace. And the test of time has proven that since then.

Pacific-Tier: One final question. Anything you would like to share with us about Hurricane's vision for the future, or where Hurricane may be going this year, next year, or after?

Martin Levy: We have a plate full!

We have expansion in Europe. We have additional bandwidth into Asia, because there is nothing slowing down in Asia whatsoever.

We have a new data center that we've opened in California, a new phase of a data center we've opened in California about two or three months ago. And it is quickly filling up.

So I would say it is growth in most measurable directions. The geography is an obvious one. We are looking as we did last year at additional cities in Europe – that's an ongoing project. In Asia it's more about more bandwidth into the same cities, and on the network we are just looking at more and more customers who take v6 seriously and are looking for a provider that has that solution at hand without it being a special.

Pacific-Tier: Any final points?

Martin Levy: This Internet thing – it may catch on!

Its not that we are going to see a new Internet. It's that we are going to see with v6 an Internet that has truly matured, and we're going to see even more accelerated growth. Whether it be within the mobile wireless world, or other worlds, we're going to see enormous growth.

If we have this interview again in five years we are going to laugh at how little bandwidth was available in 2010. And we are just going to blow the roof off bandwidth-wise.

Pacific-Tier: Thank you for your great counsel!

Previous segments of Martin's Interview:

  • Part 1 – Martin levy Discusses the Global Urgency to Deploy IPv6
  • Part 2 – Martin Levy Explains Hurricane Electric's Success in a Tough Economy

More Stories By John Savageau

John Savageau is a life long telecom and Internet geek, with a deep interest in the environment and all things green. Whether drilling into the technology of human communications, cloud computing, or describing a blue whale off Catalina Island, Savageau will try to present complex ideas in terms that are easily appreciated and understood. Currently focusing efforts on designing data centers, telecom, enterprise architectures, and cloud computing strategies in developing countries, including Palestine, Indonesia, Moldova, Egypt, and Vietnam. John Savageau is President of Pacific-Tier Communications dividing time between Honolulu and Burbank, California. A former career US Air Force officer, Savageau graduated with a Master of Science degree in Operations Management from the University of Arkansas and also received Bachelor of Arts degrees in Asian Studies and Information Systems Management from the University of Maryland.

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