Friday, February 20, 2009

Net Neutrality and SaaS

When Google offered to ‘co-locate’ their edge / cache servers along with ISP locations, there was a big uproar saying Google is trying to violate net neutrality. The doubts raised were - The deal between ISP & Google may potentially lead to provision of ‘faster lane’ to Google Sites compared to Other Web Sites, And the ISP will have the liberty to prioritize Google traffic over others leading to discrimination!

Google then clarified there is no exclusive agreement in place that could lead to discrimination of Internet Traffic. But, with the advent of proprietary and commercial network Services [SaaS], the Net Neutrality would be subject to debate again in the coming future.

Already, Amazon bundling its Wireless services with its Kindle device is receiving enough criticism for providing exclusive network access to its customers.

In case of Enterprise SaaS consumers such as users of Amazon Web Services or, they would need to share the ‘Internet pipe’ along with other public users when it comes to consuming those services over the Internet. This would significantly impact the Quality-of-Service levels / SLAs of the respective SaaS providers.

Now, When SaaS goes mainstream and the adoption rate increases, the downtime and SLA violation may simply become unacceptable [because people would be paying for the SLAs] and that would force SaaS providers to adopt new strategies including a formal policy change in Net Neutrality and consequently the economics of SaaS consumption [who will pay for those prioritized pipe?. Amazon or Consumer? Will the policy be applicable to Global Customers and Global ISPs?]

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