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Quantum supremacy is here, but smart data will have the biggest impact

While Google achieving quantum supremacy is undoubtedly an enormous milestone, the company still has a daunting task ahead.

Ron Lifton, NETSCOUT
December 4th 2019 | 1614 readers

Ron Lifton, Senior Enterprise Solutions Manager, NETSCOUT
Ron Lifton, Senior Enterprise Solutions Manager, NETSCOUT
Making fast and powerful quantum computing available through the cloud can enable tasks to be processed millions of times faster, and could shape lives and businesses as we know it. For example, applications using quantum computing could reduce or prevent traffic congestion, cybercrimes, and cancer.  However, reaching the quantum supremacy landmark doesn’t mean that Google can take its foot off the gas. Rather, the company has thrown down the gauntlet and the race to commercialize quantum computing is on.  Delivering this “killer technology” is still an uphill battle to harness the power of highly fickle machines and move around quantum bits of information, which is inherently error-prone. 

To deliver quantum cloud services, whether for commercial or academic research, Google must tie together units of quantum information (qubits) and wire data, which is part of every action and transaction across the entire IT infrastructure.  If quantum cloud services get to the big league, it will still rely on traffic flows based on wire data to deliver value to users.  This raises a conundrum for IT and security professionals who must assure services and deliver a flawless user experience.  On one hand, the quantum cloud service solves a million computations in parallel and in real time.  On the other hand, the results are delivered through wire data across a cloud, SD-WAN, or 5G network.  It does not matter if a quantum computer today or tomorrow can crank out an answer 100 million times faster than a regular computer chip if an application that depends on it experiences performance problems or a threat actor is lurking in your on-premises data centre or penetrated the IT infrastructure first and last lines of defence.  

No matter what the quantum computing world will look like in the future, IT teams such as NetOps and SecOps will still need to use wire data to gain end-to-end visibility into their on-premises data centres and cloud environment.  Wire data is used to fill the visibility gap and see what others can’t; to gain actionable intelligence to detect cyber-attacks or quickly solve service degradations. Quantum computing may increase speed, but it also adds a new dimension of infrastructure complexity and the potential for something breaking anywhere along the service delivery path.  With that said, reducing risk therefore requires removing service delivery blind spots.  A proven way to do that is by turning wire data into smart data to cut through infrastructure complexity and gain visibility without borders.  When that happens, the IT organization will fully understand with precise accuracy the issues impacting service performance and security. 

In the rush to embrace quantum computing, wire data therefore cannot, and should not, be ignored. Wire data can be turned into contextually, useful smart data.  With a smart data platform, the IT organization can help make quantum computing a success by protecting user experience across different industries including automotive, manufacturing and healthcare. Therefore, while Google is striving for high quality qubits and blazing new quantum supremacy trails, success ultimately relies on using smart data for service assurance and security in an age of infinite devices, cloud applications and exponential scalability.

Ron Lifton, Senior Enterprise Solutions Manager, NETSCOUT 


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