Five days ago, the internet had a conniption. In broad patches around the globe, YouTube sputtered. Shopify stores shut down. Snapchat blinked out. And millions of people couldn’t access their Gmail accounts. The disruptions all stemmed from Google Cloud, which suffered a prolonged outage—which also prevented Google engineers from pushing a fix.
The growth of global Internet traffic has driven a drastic expansion of the submarine cable network, both in terms of the sheer number of links and its total capacity. Today, a complex mesh of hundreds of cables, stretching over one million kilometres, connects nearly every corner of the earth and is instrumental in closing the remaining connectivity gaps. Despite the scale and critical role of the submarine network for both business and society at large, our community has mostly ignored it, treating it as a black box in most Internet studies, from connectivity to inter-domain traffic and reliability.
Across the Internet ecosystem, people are busy doing things with IPv6. Mobile carriers have it, broadband carriers do it, content providers offer it, operating systems use it, the Cloud wants it, and IoT needs it. But all too often, and especially when we look at enterprises, what’s keeping the people pushing for IPv6 busiest, is convincing key stakeholders that they should invest in their own deployment.