Traffic Optimization with Teridion

In August, I was privileged to be invited to attend Networking Field Day 12 in Silicon Valley. As a first time attendee, I can say that the phrase “drinking from the firehose” is an understatement to what this event is all about. One of the companies that presented to us was Teridion who bill themselves as the Waze of the Internet. Their platform takes an overview of the Internet and finds those pesky traffic jams in order to routes around them delivering content at much faster speeds than through traditional means.

The underlying premise (dear god I hope I’m using the correct one) is that the Internet is full of traffic jams that are disruptive, and there’s nothing you can do about it. With many businesses moving to cloud-based services for things like e-mail, file storage, and other mission critical applications, we’ve moved from housed- in localized server rooms to massive datacenters around the world. While this looks good for the bottom line(who wants to spend thousands of dollars a year just on heating, cooling, and electrical bills to keep these servers running?), it has moved the backhaul of information from the intranet to the Internet. Enter Teridion.

Teridion’s platform, as I understand it, essentially places virtual routers all over the cloud provider’s network in order to learn traffic patterns and see how to better optimize flows. For me, it was frustrating that we didn’t get to learn exactly how Teridion accomplishesd this.  I can understand that Teridion wants to protect their intellectual property, especially in an environment that is known for corporate espionage, but simply telling me that it just works then giving a demonstration of file transfers with and without its platform running isn’t enough to sell me. It is, however, enough to pique my interest.

The way it seems to work is that their virtual routers essentially create an optimized tunnel between their devices to give the best performance possible, even if the routing would be considered sub-optimal, because it looks deeper than the standard metrics that protocols like OSPF and BGP look at. Just because one path may be 15 hops away doesn’t necessarily mean that it would be slower than a path that is 4 hops away, and their platform appears to look deeper so that it can route traffic over the path that is the fastest, regardless of routing metrics. Again, this is a simplified understanding and I apologize if I’m completely off.

Though I don’t completely understand it, I’m excited by it. As a network engineer in the service provider world for more years than I care to mention, I like to see a company that seems like it’s thinking outside the box. Finding methods to optimize traffic flow using non-traditional means, it’s interesting. I’m interested in seeing how their product will evolve, as I think this would be something that I would enjoy seeing take off in the ISP space, with services running at edge points of SP’s to give a truly global optimization of the Internet. I’m not sure if this is a space that they’ll venture into, (or if it’s even possible) but technologies like this have the potential to change the landscape of how we view traffic engineering.

I admit- I’m still optimistically skeptical about Teridion. The concept is really cool and something that I think has a niche, and possibly a much larger potential than I’m aware of. Optimizing traffic is important as we keep placing more importance on the cloud and viewing data storage and transfer as a utility. There is a premium in improving the delivery of data, especially on a global scale. I’ll be keeping an eye on this company to see where it goes. One last thing: be your own company. That is, be the Teridion of the Internet.

Link to Teridion videos @ #NFD12: http://techfieldday.com/appearance/teridion-presents-at-networking-field-day-12/

Disclaimer: I was a delegate at Networking Field Day 12. I received no compensation for writing this, these words are my opinion and not that of my employer or anyone else.

 

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