The Internet is Awesome, Right?

by Adam Gervin

In our last blog, we asked a simple question: is the internet good enough? In fact, this is typically how our sales conversations start:

Mode Sales Guy: Hi VP IT, why do you use MPLS today when the internet is so great and cheap?

This question elicits two different responses:

Response 1:

VP IT: Oh, I don’t use MPLS at all. We don’t really use UC or VoIP, or have any sensitive applications that run in our data center or cloud. Basically we just pump everything over the internet.

Mode Sales Guy: Great. Have a nice day!

Response 2:

VP IT: Look, I hate the cost of MPLS. It’s also a real pain to work with — slow to setup, hard to change, cloud unfriendly. But I don’t have a choice. Any problem — video conference glitches, voice call dropouts, access or performance issues — it’s all my fault. Saving money over reliability isn’t worth it. So we use MPLS for mission-critical, and the internet for everything else.

Mode Sales Guy: What if I told you that you could save money and gain flexibility, without affecting reliability?

It's pretty common for IT departments to complain heartily about MPLS, but not believe that they can rely on the internet to replace it.

Remember that this question is the first in a series of three:

  1. Is the internet good enough for mission-critical business applications?
  2. If not, is there a specific part of the internet that’s the culprit?
  3. If so, can you isolate/replace the bad parts, and build a cloud connectivity solution that’s ready for mission-critical business?

Let’s assume for a moment that IT is just being conservative, and look for outside, broader answers to the first question beyond just businesses that use MPLS.

If you think about it, the entire CDN market came into being a while ago because the internet wasn’t good enough for delivering video. The persistence of CDN solutions like Amazon and Akamai suggests it still isn’t.

On the gaming side of things, companies like Riot Games spent millions of dollars to build their own backbone because the Internet isn’t good enough for their gamers. Imagine that — a gaming company becoming a network operator. That’s desperate. And they’re not alone. Nvidia built the GeForce NOW edge network because the Internet isn’t good enough for interactive streaming.

Finally, it’s pretty clear that the $40B+ MPLS market is evidence that the Internet isn’t good enough for mission-critical business applications. Here you’d have a ton of IT professionals nodding in unison about the need for global, consistent reliability with an SLA for mission-critical cloud access, unified communications, VoIP, etc.

It’s pretty clear that there are growing number of applications which require more reliability than the Internet can deliver. In this post-HTTP world, that trend is accelerating.

So the next logical questions are: why is this true? And, can we do anything about it?

If you think Mode might have something to do with the solution, let’s just say you’d be getting pretty warm right about now.

See you next week!