Internet Papa Ponders ‘Inter-Cloud’ Development

hybrid cloud multi cloud computing in the cloud

Vint Cerf, Chief Internet Evangelist at Google and widely acknowledged as one of the “fathers” of the Internet for co-designing the TCP/IP protocols, said today he believes that technical issues preventing creation of “inter-clouds” between cloud networks are solvable.

Interviewed today at the ACT-IAC Imagine Nation 2019 conference by Teresa Carlson, vice president-worldwide public sector at Amazon Web Services (AWS), Cerf reviewed his role in the development of the internet from the early 1970s up through today.

Notable in 2019, he said, is “significant cloud activity,” but not enough work on ways to link different cloud systems (both Google and AWS are large cloud service providers).

“They are largely separate from one another,” he said of cloud services, which inhibits the ability to “move things to run in more than one cloud.” Noting ongoing work with containers, and Kubernetes open-source container orchestration technology, among others, Cerf said he believes that problems currently keeping cloud services separate are “solvable.”

“Inter-cloud may be part of our future,” Cerf said, adding that “the idea is to give consumers freedom and flexibility.”

Asked about Internet security, Cerf said, “this is the part where I get beat up” because of his early successful advocacy of open architecture to allow interoperability between disparate systems. He said “there’s still a huge amount of work to be done” on security, and “to get people comfortable” with encryption, two-factor authentication, and other security measures.

Under the heading of “next big things,” Cerf included better satellite technology for internet service delivery to the roughly half of the population of Earth that still lacks connectivity. In particular, he said he is personally involved in finding ways to get better internet service delivery to rural areas of the U.S., and to Native American populations.

“I am spending a lot of my time on how to fix that problem, if I can,” he said.

Cerf also sounded a cautionary note about the development of artificial intelligence (AI) technologies, and particularly the pitfalls of data bias. “We could be programming in all the wrong things” with biased data, he said, adding, “that’s something to be very concerned about.”

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