VeriSign today announced plans to expand the capacity of its global Internet infrastructure 10 times by the year 2010.
Charged with managing the critical infrastructure that handles registration and resolution traffic for the .com and .net systems, VeriSign manages around 24 billion Domain Name System (DNS) queries a day.
VeriSign's aim is to increase the capabilities of its infrastructure to manage the explosive surge in interactions taking place as e-commerce, social networking and Internet-enabled wireless devices place huge new demands on the Internet while at the same time protecting against cyber attacks that are growing in both scale and sophistication.
By distributing its infrastructure to many more locations around the globe, the .com and .net systems will have greater redundancy and reduced latency, which will improve the experience for users by reducing bottlenecks and increasing speed.
Dubbed Project Titan, it includes the expansion of VeriSign's critical infrastructure both in scale and location and investment in new engineering, monitoring and security systems to support the growth in Internet traffic.
Over the next three years, VeriSign will increase its daily DNS query capacity from 400 billion queries a day to over 4 trillion queries a day and will scale its proprietary constellation of resolution systems to increase bandwidth from over 20 gigabits per second (Gbps) to greater than 200 Gbps.
State of the art engineering enhancements to the system will also create increased capability to track, correlate and pinpoint security and network related events on a global basis.
VeriSign CEO and chairman Stratton Sclavos said with the emergence of consumer-driven services and the surge in Web-ready wireless devices, the Internet today is radically different than it was just five years ago.
Sclavos said infrastructure must be ready to support a new era of the Internet, the Any Era, where billions of users demand anywhere, anytime, any device access to communications, information and entertainment.
Project Titan will strengthen the Internet infrastructure to support the explosive growth driven by the emergence of next-generation networks as well as Web services and machine-to-machine interactions.
Industry forecasts suggest that growth will continue through 2010 as the number of Internet users is expected to nearly double to 1.8 billion, most of the 2 billion cell-phones will be Web-enabled and tens of millions of households switch to voice over IP (VoIP) telephony and IP television (IPTV) services.
"In addition to increased demand, these networks must be fortified and in some cases re-engineered to address the growing threats from new and increasingly sophisticated cyber attacks," Sclavos said.
Security vulnerabilities have increased 700 percent since 2000, according to Carnegie Mellon University's Computer Emergency Response Team and bandwidth requirements on VeriSign's infrastructure between 2000 and 2010 will have increased by a factor of 10,000.
"In 2007 and 2008 alone, cyber attacks are expected to increase in size and scope by 50 percent each year, creating new threats to economic and national security," he said.
"These include incidents that threaten governments, such as last year's attacks that hacked government and commercial Web sites, when a hacker used tens of thousands of hijacked PCs to launch denial of service attacks that systematically disabled over 1,500 Web sites including major Internet service providers.