The introduction of large-scale quantum computers would render almost all currently used key-exchange protocols useless. For optical fibre networks, quantum key distribution (QKD) seems to be the natural answer to this challenge, but it too has its limitations. On the other hand, there are alternatives that potentially could provide a relatively seamless replacement to current key-exchange algorithms.
If you think practical quantum computers arriving within 5-10 years means you don’t need to worry about their impact on communication network security yet, you’re in for a nasty surprise. That’s according to Jane Melia, vice president of strategic business development at Canberra, Australia-headquartered quantum security system vendor QuintessenceLabs. Adopting new security technology takes at least two years, and that protection must often continue for more than five years, so ‘this deadline is actually very close indeed’, she warns.
Cloud services have burst upon us like a supernova, simultaneously expanding and changing network traffic patterns. The light of a supernova is also a metaphor for freedom. Like clouds floating in the sky, the internet cloud frees users from old restraints. Business users and individuals can access cloud computing and applications on-demand, at any time, from anywhere, for as much as they want and as long as they want, and pay only for what they use. It also frees IT departments from maintaining a physical infrastructure and dealing with software updates and bug fixes.
As data demand ramps ever higher, researchers are looking to innovative amplifier designs to help transport a broader light spectrum through optical fibres, finds Andy Extance
Duncan Ellis shares his views about the increased focus on automation from network operators, and how the physical layer has so far stubbornly resisted the move
Switching off copper networks where fibre has been deployed is the end game, so why are so few operators doing it, wonders Pauline Rigby
With demand for fibre to the premises increasing, Keely Portway looks at the role training plays in ensuring installation skills remain available to meet this growing demand