In Dominate Unified Communications by Thinking Small (go read it now) Ken Camp advances the viewpoint that distributed communications networks composed of many small players present fewer single points of failure than the traditional telco model of a few big monopolies. Ken’s argument is that the big players – Google, Microsoft and others – have the most to lose in this environment because of the way that they concentrate traffic.
From a network architecture point of view, Ken is absolutely right. Networks composed of many nodes that route traffic are much more robust than networks with choke points, or a small number of potential failure points. The interoperable world of open standards should produce a much more robust system than a closed proprietary network.
From a business perspective, however, it seems intuitive that the big players could choose to adopt the same architectural principles and thus eliminate Ken’s objection. After all, content delivery networks like Akamai exist solely for the purpose of distributing network content to avoid bandwidth costs and single points of failure. Moreover, it’s well known that Google has multiple data centers globally, and that Microsoft is in the process of emulating Google’s approach.
Did I miss something, Ken?