Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Is IPv6 coming?

You might wonder, most of our Asian neighors have already deployed IPv6. Japan and South Korea have been running IPv6 for almost a decade. China, Malaysia, Singapore, Hongkong, Thailand and Taiwan are catching up too. Indonesia and Vietnam are not far behind. In the next two years, all of our neighbors will be running IPv6! Philippines? We can only hope for the best.

Internet Protocol (IP) in layman's terms is the language of the Internet. It defines how data is exchanged between network devices and applications. The language is described in protocols. There are more than a hundred protocols being used today (excluding those that are already decommissioned). When you surf the Internet, you will basically be using the HTTP protocol, over TCP and over IP. If your connectivity is DSL or WIFI, you will most likely be using the DHCP protocol to request for an IP address from your ISP.

The IP that we have today (here in Phils) is IPv4. That stands for IP version 4. A 30 year old technology. IPv6 or IP version 6 was designed as a replacement of IPv4. It is an upgrade to address a myriad of issues and limitations of IPv4. Make no mistake, IPv4 was a great success. It did right. It was a great invention that propels to where we are now. But a technology designed 30 years ago could not simply meet the demands today. Technology wise, IPv4 is simply outdated.

So why we are still left in the dust with IPv4? There are a lot of factors. But two things are clear. First, telco companies have neglected and completely shunned away from IPv6. They completely misunderstood the long term benefits of IPv6 technologies. Second, there is no government mandate for the transition and deployment of IPv6. Telcos and ISPs can simply do whatever they want without pressure from the government. Its always in the direction of their businesses. So why deploy IPv6 when IPv4 is still raking money? In countries like Phils, IPv6
deployment requires political will. In comparison, the US government mandated all of its agencies to transition to IPv6 by year 2008. Its now or never.

Let me summarize the benefits of IPv6 for average netizens. These would give us a jolt of awareness to rally and pressure telcos to deploy IPv6.
  • IPv6 has bigger IP address space than IPv4. This means there is enough IPv6 address to everyone around the world. Unlike IPv4 where most residential subscribers are allocated with private IP address. Everyone can have their own public IPv6 address. No more private IP addresses in IPv6.

  • Public means global and within reach. IPv6 IP address allows seamless end to end communication. Gone are the days of the dreadful NAT (Network Address Translation) and proxies. Residential subscribers can launch their own websites, file servers, etc from their homes. IPv6 appliances are very common in Japan this days. Yes, an IPv6 fridge!

  • IPv6 has auto address configuration. An IPv6 enabled device when plugged to a network can automatically configure its own IPv6 address. There is always a link-local address (auto configured) for every IPv6 enabled device. The link-local address can be used to communicate between devices on the same network segment. So if you have a single flat network, you wouldn't bother assigning IP address to every devices attached to the network.

  • An IPv6 enabled device is loaded with security suite in AH (Authentication Header) and ESP (Encapsulating Security Payload). AH and ESP are always available in an IPv6 enabled device. This allows you to deploy end to end security. For instance you might want to setup an encrypted IPv6 tunnel between your home and office. There are a handful of IPv4 devices that support AH and ESP. In contrast, all IPv6 enabled devices support AH and ESP.

  • IPv6 is the default IP in Windows Vista, no longer IPv4! And why would Microsoft do that?

Sunday, June 22, 2008

More Ideas needed to Jumpstart the Software Industry

A lot of the buzz coming from the IT industry was that more BPOs and outsourcing centers will be starting this and the coming years. This has been regarded as angelic news as not that it will only bring new jobs but invigorate the overall economy as well. Just pass by Salinas drive in Lahug, Mango Avenue in the uptown and Archbishop Reyes Avenue going to the north. The once empty and dilapidated structures has been replaced and lighted with commercial buildings, restaurants, bars, coffee shops, convenient stores and more. Those places has been completely reborn. Indeed, a sign of a growing economy.

This has been a success stories for much of the BPOs. The software industry on the other hand is still in a surviving state. With very small if stagnant progress in the last ten years. While BPOs include companies in software businesses (specifically doing outsourcing and customized solutions), the software industry are those companies who create and develop their own products, with their own trademarks. The number of these companies is decreasing for a lot of reasons (exodus of local talents, low number of technopreneurs, lack of business minded engineers, lack of innovators, etc). For Cebu and the country's software industry to be noticed outside, it should look more to doing more than an outsourcing outfit. We need to create more software products (a byproduct of an idea) instead of services. This is something we can learn from India and the software companies in the Silicon Valley.

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

UP Cebu Incubation Facility for IT Startups

Having trouble looking for angel investors or venture capitalist (VC) to unleash your business idea? Or simply looking for an environment other than your garage to start a potential business idea?

The University of the Philippines (UP) Incubation facility in Cebu has been open and actively looking for IT startups. Modeled after Ideafarm of Ayala Internet Venture Partners (AIVP), the facility is an ideal environment for startups and small-and-medium enterprises (SMEs) that don't have the machineries to go big in the technology arena. By tapping the Incubation facility, startups will have access to academe research, business support structures and use of its facilities such as computers, servers and Internet access. This increases the survival rate of startups in their infancy stage and make them grow into viable businesses without an initial big investment.

The UP Cebu Incubation facility will help mold the technopreneural spirit, vision and aptitude of Cebuanos or anyone in the region. Soon the facility will become an arena for VCs and investors looking for potential startups to invest into (reminds me of an NBA bootcamp where scouts lurk for promising picks). Successful companies that thrive in this model are Google, Yahoo
to name the few. Dream of yours? Do now.

For inquires, contact UP Cebu campus
Other links:
UP-Ayala TBI, Ayala TBI

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Good times ahead

New high-rise IT and commercial buildings sprouting inside Asiatown IT park and reclamation area in Cebu are one of the many indicators that the future of IT (Information Technology) and related businesses is good, confident and promising. Physical infrastructure such as buildings, parks and econ-zones serves as the foundation for businesses to grow. These latest developments are reminiscent to the famed Hsinchu Science Park in Taiwan which the government helped put up in the late 80s. Hsinchu Science Park today houses around 200 companies mostly high-tech laboratories, electronic and semiconductor manufactoring plants and wafer/chip fabrication companies, generating an staggering billions of dollars in revenue every year.

It won't be so long when Cebu will be in the same position. All it has to do is move forward, put more developments on its infrastructure and become a magnet for businessmen, software engineers, scientists and technopreneurs to set up their own companies. Not Silicon, its Mango Valley rising up in the east.

Sunday, February 24, 2008

No parking area no business policy

"THIS ESTABLISHMENT IS CLOSED", the bold sign taped over the iron grill fence of the main entrance of Goodah.gud grill and restaurant along Salinas drive in Lahug. Just adjacent to it, construction workers are busy putting the final touches of the renovated AA's, with a noticeable parking area fronting the restaurant. A year ago, the mayor of the city sent a message requiring business establishments with parking area or a joint facility for its customers as pre-requisite to issuance of business permit. More, the mayor threatened to revoked or cancel renewal of business permits for those existing establishments that will not comply. The reason is plain and simple. Without a parking area, customers will be forced to park along public roads leading to traffic congestion and other problems. Aside from being uncomfortable, free parking is a value added service that every establishment should provide (Ayala Mall just increased its parking fee from P20 to P25, argh! They should have increased the capacity of their free parking area instead. This is something somebody with authority and responsibility should look into).

If enforced and implemented consistently, its the general public that will benefit from this policy. I can't wait to go to AA's and Gooduh.gud, should be open in a week or two.

Friday, February 15, 2008

Catching up the world leaders in IT Industry

It was like 10 years ago when the nation's trailblazers in the IT (Information Technology) industry have predicted that the Philippines would become one of the top software producing nations in the world, just second if not first to India in Asia. Government officials then touted the IT industry as a major force in bringing more revenue to the nations purse and as a catalyst in erasing the negative image that maligned the country as a survivor based on dollar remittances by DOH abroad. Schools and universities were once tasked to carry the huge burden in producing skilled graduates that will mobilize and drive the IT industry. Soon, varying IT related courses were offered, with some indistinguishable from the others, up to the point where the industry is flooded with unskilled, incompetent and lost workforce.

Now, a quick and honest assessment is, we haven't lived up to that billing. We lagged behind other countries who joined the race of late. We are witnesses of the constant exodus of skilled software engineers, programmers, system administrators and analysts who in no offense seek for greener pasture abroad. We still haven't seen or heard of a killer software application or a revolutionary thing that came out of the Philippines. In fairness, a lot of IT related jobs has been created since and the number is steadily growing every year. Thanks mainly to foreign IT companies who setup and relocated their branches and offices here due to cheap production costs, tax perks and availability of local talent (which of late has become a concern). The emergence of outsourcing has also helped where local IT companies offer and sell cheap services to foreign markets like BPO (Business Process Outsourcing) and call centers. But these are not enough to carry the stagnant economy (largely due to rampant corruption in the government), not enough even to move us an inch closer to the world leaders in the IT industry.

Moving forward, we should have a realization that for the local IT industry to jumpstart the economy and catch up the world's IT leaders, it must produce and create products. Products that can be sold and marketed abroad. Look around, we have Nokia mobile phones from Finland; Sony Ericson mobile phones of Japan; Cisco, 3Com network equipments of the US; Samsung consumer appliances from South Korea; Acer computers from Taiwan; IPOD Nano from the iconic Apple of the US; Microsoft software, Google adsense, Yahoo email, Intel and AMD processor, all these of foreign origin. The same applies to consumer goods. Look again, everyone is sipping and loving their coffee at Starbucks (US); we associate facial tissue to Kleenex (US) and the iconic of all, Coke soda. The list is very long. After all, we have Bananas and Del Montes. We just need more. No more cheap services and outsourcing, just products.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

2008: A rat race for IT practitioners

This must be the year for IT practitioners. In the recent forecast posted at Yahoo HotJobs, IT related jobs are in the Top 5 promising and high-demand jobs in the US for the year 2008. This brings a very good news to everyone not just limited to programmers (specially those who possess skills of the latest technologies in .NET, Web.2, C#, Java, Oracle), lead application developers, web designers, system administrators, system architects, computer security experts and technology specialists.

With the future so bright, you can't face it without wearing a shade! Get a cool one now...

Top five high-demand jobs in 2008