Internet Innovation Stack

The Internet Innovation Stack is a framework for categorizing, tracking, analyzing, and telling narratives about innovations impacting the Internet.

A summary of the stack is shown in Figure 1.

Internet Innovation Stack, V0.4, August 7th, 2020

The following provides a brief overview of each section of the stack, with links to more detail information, including timelines for mainstream adopting.

Devices

  • The equipment we use to access the Internet.
  • Already pervasively deployed: PCs, Laptops, Smartphones, Gaming Devices
  • On the ascendency: IoT. VR, AR

Networking

  • Approaches to moving information from point A to point B
  • Already pervasively deployed: IPv4, IP/MPLS, Ethernet, BGP, OSPF, IS-IS
  • On the Ascendency: EVPN, SR MPLS, SRv6, IPv6, pluggable optics, Netconf, Controllers, 5G, RIFT, SD-WAN, Quantum Networking,

For more detail, see: Internet Innovation Stack (Networking)

Compute

  • Approaches to inspecting and manipulating information
  • Already pervasively deployed: CPU, GPU, DSP, NPU
  • On the ascendency: ML-training silicon, ML-inference silicon, DPU, Quantum Computing

Storage

  • Approaches to information at rest / information storage and retrieval
  • Already pervasively deployed: Hard drives
  • On the ascendency: Flash

Information

Information is included in the framework even though it is not a technology per se, but because a) it is a distinguishable thing from the technologies that operate compute functions on it, move it, and store it, and b) it has a special importance in the information economy, and most especially in the age of AI/ML; it has been called the “oil” of the AI/ML world. What creates it, who owns it, who has access to it, are all essential issues in the modern digital economy. The Internet has been referred to as the “Information Superhighway”.

Operations

  • Approaches to provisioning and managing IT resources.
  • Already previously deployed: DevOps
  • On the ascendency: System Reliability Engineering

Development Models

  • Approaches to getting software code written
  • Already deployed: closed-source & open-source
  • On the ascendency: Not currently tracking anything

Software technologies

  • Approaches to specifying and organizing code
  • Already deployed:
    • OS, hypervisor, VM, Containers
    • C, C++, Java, Python, Javascript
  • Ascendent:
    • Serverless
    • Go

AI / ML / Analytics

  • Approaches to creating/executing models for autonomous action and decision making
  • Already previously deployed:
    • Statistical analysis, machine learning, narrow artificial intelligence
  • On the ascendency: General artificial intelligence

E-Everything

  • Approaches to providing consumers and business goods & services over the Internet
  • Already pervasively deployed: centralized social media, e-commerce
  • On the ascendency: blockchain, cryptocurrencies, distributed applications

Government & culture

  • The impact of regulation and social attitudes on the Internet
  • Already pervasive:
    • Information privacy laws, widespread mistrust of information & social media platforms.
  • On the ascendency:
    • TBD

Security

  • Approaches to obfuscating or protecting information & applications from unauthorized use

Business Models

  • Approaches to creating, delivering, and capturing value
  • Current:
    • Product, Service
    • Purchase, perpetual, subscription, usage-based
  • Ascendent:
    • Not currently tracking