How to connect anything, anytime, anywhere with identity-based networking

Breaking down address-defined barriers to connectivity with Host Identity Protocol (HIP).

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Once upon a time …

It was deemed impossible for man to fly. In fact, world famous nineteenth-century British mathematical physicist and engineer, Lord Kelvin—for whom absolute temperature is named after—once said,

“Heavier-than-air flying machines are impossible.” 

Then, of course …

In 1903, Wilbur and Orville Wright made history with the first powered flight over a four-mile stretch in Kitty Hawk, North Carolina. Decades later, not only did humans figure out how to get from New York City to London in less than seven hours, but we took it a step further and somehow got to the moon and back. I wonder what Lord Kelvin would have said about that?

The list of things once regarded as impassable, impractical or utterly impossible by world-renowned experts and legendary scientists of all fields, that have since been overcome by the ingenuity of the human spirit, is actually quite impressive. It includes: the electric light bulb, the telephone, the microwave oven, high-speed data transmission, driverless cars and computers that weigh something less than a metric ton.

It’s time for the networking world to check another “impossibility” off that list, which is connecting the un-connectible.

Previous barriers to connectivity

One of the challenges that IT personnel of today face is that the internet has grown far beyond what most people ever expected. Initially, it was a technology designed to allow the military to communicate from one potentially austere environment to another geographical location very quickly, especially if other forms of communication like the telephone were disabled.

Now, commercial applications are at a stage where the need to securely connect from one random endpoint to another has exploded.

Rather than showing up at elementary school with their superhero pencil boxes and notebooks, children arrive with smart devices virtually tethered to their secondary limb. The Internet of Things (IoT) has grown exponentially, and cloud services are adding ridiculous levels of complexity to our overworked networks and associated IT staffs every day. Therefore, keeping up with the demand for secure connectivity has become an overwhelming, if not impossible task.

Clever networking teams have since introduced tactics like network address translation (NAT), multi-NAT, and carrier grade NAT, as well as seemingly infinite firewall rules to meet the ever-increasing need for more secure networking. The problem is that these approaches have also served as additional barriers.

These barriers all trace back to the same weak link, which is address-based networking. No networking approach had yet eliminated the one key flaw—the IP address—that had been holding everyone back from being able to securely connect any endpoint to any other endpoint regardless of location, environment, or scheme, until now …

The catalyst: HIP technology

So, how did we break down those barriers to create a simple, secure, and scalable networking environment with wide area micro-segmentation?

To answer that, we first need to understand that anytime a feat previously deemed as impossible is accomplished, there’s a technological breakthrough that serves as the catalyst to achievement.

For instance, the Wright Brothers credit their development of the three-axis control system to breaking down the previous barrier to human flight. This breakthrough allowed the pilot to maintain proper equilibrium while simultaneously steering the aircraft. In fact, this system was such a revelation that it’s still used over one-hundred years later in many fixed-wing aircrafts of today.

IT personnel will someday (if not, now) point to the recently ratified host internet protocol (HIP) as the catalyst to connecting the previously un-connectible. HIP is the only technology that securely connects traffic through separate networks, machines, or devices with crypto-identities, rather than IP addresses.

Crypto-identities via HIP are unspoofable and invisible to hackers worldwide, so their security is unquestioned. When used in conjunction with an intuitive user interface, they’re also incredibly quick and easy to connect... anywhere. In other words, HIP is the technological breakthrough we’ve all been waiting for.

Breaking down the barriers

Wide area micro-segmentation is made possible with the advent of HIP technology. Because secure networking is accomplished via identity, rather than address, locations don’t matter any longer; neither does environment, network, or IP scheme. Network endpoints once deemed un-connectible are now … connectible.

Anything is now possible to securely route, including different cellular networks, wide-area peering and segmentation between on-premises resources, VPCs and communication between different clouds.

HIP technology is now breaking down all the barriers previously imposed by address-defined networking. Perhaps the best part is its scalability. No matter how big IoT or the cloud gets, HIP will be able to keep up. No other secure micro-segmentation model (native cloud controls, third-party firewall, nor hybrid) can accomplish what a HIP-based network does.

Additional benefits

  • Zero modification of infrastructure and applications is required to move the secure perimeter of your network, right down to the device level.
  • The simplicity and effectiveness of the HIP solution saves businesses time, personnel, and money.
  • IT teams are allowed to be more agile by prioritizing innovation over constant risk management, knowing their networks are more secure with less complexity.
  • HIP technology allows for instant connection, protection, and revocation of any resource in your network.

Anything is possible

Why live in a world filled with barriers to connectivity? HIP technology allows us to cast yesterday’s networking limitations aside, and securely connect the previously un-connectible, while saving valuable time, money, and frustration.

Now that we can fly, microwave bacon, and connect the un-connectible, what’s next, teleportation? Ha! Wait a second… check this out. Anything is indeed possible!

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Copyright © 2018 IDG Communications, Inc.

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