WANs, tunnels and tags are things of the past

It is probably safe to assume that private networking has been an afterthought. In fact, the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) document (RFC 1918) that created private network addresses that are “un-routable” was released years after BGP-4 and IPV6 were codified into standards.

In order to join private networks to each other, wide area networks (WANs) emerged. Initially, the benefits obtained by WANs were just pure connectivity. Subsequent benefits accrued, including the belief that private networks were secure because addresses of servers and clients in the private address could not be reached from the public network unless a “translation” or rule was established. This, however, may no longer be the case.

Here’s a look at WAN deployments through the ages:

The WAN before now

WAN 1.0

Nearly every use of the Internet is a bi-directional packet flow that originates or terminates in a private network. Early WAN deployments were physical. Wires, pseudo wires, dark fiber, microwave, lasers and other schemes were used to connect buildings and properties. The WAN was truly a single managed network spanning geographic areas. These WANs used routers and switches, yet never shared or connected any information with the public Internet.

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