It used to be simple. If you were a regular Internet user, you used a modem to commandeer your telephone line and you called into a service provider. Once connected, you'd enter the Netscape address and Netscape's servers would send you information over the network of networks.
Nowadays, things are much more complicated. Every time you load a web page, it calls out to dozens of other servers, which often dynamically send content to that original page. Meanwhile, service providers like Akamai and Edgecast hold copies of many websites' content close to users to speed up the delivery of that information. Add it all up and you are a far cry from the relatively simple architecture of yesteryear. It's hard even for the big bandwidth providers to tell what's going on.
Today, we met a company that can map out this new world of the Internet; Deep Field can decode the tangled web.
"We're in the second era of the Internet as we're seeing this massive influx of money and new services," said Deep Field's CEO Craig Labovitz. "Most of it is happening underneath the hood, but we're literally watching the Internet be rebuilt. It looks completely different than it did four years ago."