Where the Internet Goes, so Goes Cisco
His new job starts with where the Internet is going, Tucker said.
"As we all know, the explosion of information is the main issue. I love the size of these numbers: from 5 exabytes of data a couple of years ago to 21 exabytes today, to 56 exabytes in a couple of years," Tucker said. "This obviously represents an enormous opportunity for Cisco, since we're in the networking business."
The burgeoning number of devices being used to access all that data is just as interesting, Tucker said.
"Going from half a billion to 35 billion to 50 billion in just a few years -- IPv6 [Internet Protocol v6] is happening just in time to cover these devices," Tucker said.
IPv6 is a much improved -- meaning faster -- version of the Internet Protocol that is designed to succeed Internet Protocol version 4 (IPv4). IPv4 is the first publicly used Internet Protocol and has been in operation since 1981; IPv5 is being rolled out now but is considered only a bridge to v6.
All these devices are going to be connected to networks, which are going to be larger then we can imagine, Tucker said. "One of the reasons I decided to go to Cisco is because that's where the network is, and that's where the action is," he said.
A trillion devices in the offing?
Tucker agrees that cloud computing as we know it is changing IT big time, but he believes there's going to be an even larger cloud made up of all these current and soon-to-be-added new devices that must be taken into account.
"We're not just talking about mobile devices, smartphones, and everything else, but smart meters and the like. Every camera, every parking spot -- like they're starting to do in San Francisco -- is somehow communicating through the network," Tucker said.
This new cloudlike network of which Tucker speaks also extends out to the massive numbers of personal, business and military vehicles that are adding more IT with each new edition.
"I really want all these to have network connectivity," he said. "We'll be seeing a lot more peer-to-peer mesh computing, so that cars can communicate to each other, say, about the traffic light a half mile ahead -- or about what those the flashing lights in the rear view mirror are trying to tell me."
This is what Cisco will be about as the world moves toward a trillion connected devices, Tucker said -- making networking systems for all those levels.
"The explosion in applications that we're seeing now for platforms like the iPhone and iPad, and for our Cius Tablet PC (scheduled to be released in Q1 2011) and others, are needed to handle all this new content -- perhaps a billion new terabytes (over the next few years)," Tucker said.
"This will all involve how we will move that all around, how we will handle rights and access permissions, and more. This will be the background for all our product roadmaps," Tucker said.
"I'd really like to be at the forefront of each one of these things."