It would be hard for our ancestors to imagine the world we live in today. In just two or three generations, we’ve gone from horse drawn carriages to network monitoring, network security, it solutions, it consulting and general it services that service a whole huge interlocked web of machines. There really has never been a leap like this in culture before. For most of human history, it was overwhelmingly common for people to live and die the same era. That’s just not a reality or a fact of life anymore. The baby boomers themselves are now living in an era so much different than the era they were born into and the pace of change is only accelerating. The world of the twenty first century is only getting started and, thanks to a whole host of inventions, it’s going to change so much and so fast that it’ll be hard for us to imagine what a decade from now is going to look like. If you don’t believe it, just think about a mere eight to ten years ago. Social media was still barely a thing and even cell phones were much cruder than they are today. That’s not exactly a long span of time. Your humble writer himself can very easily remember the days when cell phones were more playthings than anything. So, then, what is the future going to look like? What will be the future of network monitoring and networks in general? Well the answer to that question is both complicated and fascinating. It involves the possibilities of both people and machines. So let’s take a closer look at it from several different angles.
- The reality of quantum computing
The word quantum gets a bit of a bad reputation in scientific circles today and for a fairly legitimate reason. Quantum is often used by bad faith publications and armchair scientists as a catchall for any small or micro process in nature or physics with hard to understand implications. Essentially, it’s used as shorthand for science magic by a lot of people who don’t quite understand it. So, when we start talking about quantum computing, there is, of course, an instinct to be skeptical. Which is understandable. But the reality of quantum computing deserves so much more than that. While still theoretical constructs right now, there are several working designs for prototypes which might help service the very fundamental future of network monitoring. In fact, they might revolutionize network monitoring in a way that makes it unrecognizable. And they will do this primarily by helping us escape a certain problem that has arisen in recent years when it comes to computing. Specifically, a power that has to do with processing power.
Laws, machines and restrictions
There is an informal, or not so informal law anymore, in computing that is called Moore’s law. It was coined by Gordon Moore, a famous computer technician and entrepreneur, who stated that the speed of circuits and general computing doubles every two years. It started decades ago and has steadily been increasing ever since. While not perfectly accurate, it was accurate enough to follow through the late seventies, eighties, nineties, oughts and now into the present day. It was a reliable enough indicator to hang your investments and predictions about the growth of computers as a whole for a long while. But it has a problem that has arisen only in the past decade. The speed of computing is actually slowing down by a tiny fraction each year.
The ways out
Now, to be clear, computers aren’t getting slower. This reduction of Moore’s law just means that the rate of acceleration is slowing down a bit. Meaning that computer’s are not getting faster every two years. We’ve hit a wall and eventually the acceleration will stop altogether. The solution? Quantum computing. By relying on the interaction between specific particles and intricate machinery, it is theoretically possible to surpass this limit. It will require great deals of power at first but it might break through the degradation of Moore’s law caused by traditional computing. Only time will honestly tell the future and truth of computing.