[e2e] Time for a new Internet Protocol

John Day day at std.com
Thu May 17 15:14:37 PDT 2007

If I were to characterize how we arrived at what we have I would have 
to say it was not done by looking for a solution that benefited 
particular vested interests and we certainly weren't trying "to truly 
enable end user innovation (driven by the true belief that this would 
benefit everybody)."  It was the furthest thing from our minds. (That 
view is revisionist history written much later.) In fact, if the 
truth be told, the only time there was any inclination in that 
direction, ARPA nipped it in the bud very quickly.  (If they hadn't, 
it might be a very different Internet today.  I believe that that 
event halted innovation in the Internet.)

It always seemed that we were doing what we understood the problem 
was telling us was the right solution and let the chips fall where 
they may. I believe this is what is called "science."  This is what 
we must return to.

I have always thought that the weakness of telephone company 
strategies over the past 35 years was that they first looked out for 
their vested interest and tried to contort the answer to fit them. 
Some would call this engineering. I don't but some do.  When this 
approach is taken, the problem generally has a way of asserting 
itself at great cost unless external regulation (appeal to 
governments for protection) is used to keep it at bay.  In this 
situation, I have always recommended to forego the vested interest 
and back the problem.  It is far cheaper in the long run and leaves 
you in a better position.

I would disagree with the statement here that the fundamentals of the 
Internet have changed.  They have not.  The technology definitely 
has.  But the fundamentals that governed networking in 1970 are still 
the same.  Hopefully our understanding of them has improved.  Our 
problem as I alluded to above is that the fundamentals we built on 
were basically what we understood at the time of the ICCC demo in 
1972.  We have been band-aiding ever since and relying on Moore's Law 
to make us look good.

We have to go back to fundamentals and be prepared to question 
everything we know.  We have to be willing to do it and throw out 
whatever is in the way.  We may be pleasantly surprised by how much 
we got right, but we have to do it.  We can't do, as I have heard so 
often recently, "call for a revolution as long as it doesn't touch 
what was already done." That isn't much of a revolution. At least not 
in science. We have to be willing to destroy the Internet we know to 
save the Internet we need.

Noel has remarked that when a theory or architectures solves problems 
you hadn't designed into it, it is a good indication that it is right 
or close to it.  The more often it does it, the more right it is. 
The converse is also true.  Every time you want to do some thing 
different or accommodate a new requirement a new work-around is 
necessary, a new kludge; then you know what you have isn't right. 
This discussion about using source-routing for mobility has been a 
wonderful case in point, as is the current discussion in on the RAM 

Noel also remarked that we need to learn the lesson of v6 to ensure 
that there is an economic reason to change.  I am afraid there is an 
even harder lesson from history that we have to learn from:  The 
lesson of OSI which was don't invite the legacy architecture to 
participate in the revolution.  They will destroy it.  Don't be 
accommodating.  Go it alone. They have too much vested interest in 
maintaining the status quo.  We are going to have to learn to let go 
or be supplanted by people who look upon us with as much disdain as 
we looked on the phone company guys in 1975.  ;-)  It was clear that 
they just didn't get it.  ;-)  (Some of you will think the lesson of 
OSI is something else.  Believe me, those lessons are all a 
consequence of this one.  Remember OSI was started by the computer 
industry to create network standards that weren't done by ITU.)

It really saddens me, but the behavior of the Internet community 
today has more in common with the phone companies of 1975 than the 
ARPANet/Internet/NPLnet/CYCLADES of 1975.  They were out to foment 
revolution, we seem to be more out to preserve someone else's 
revolution.  We seem to be making more rules about what you can't do 
than what you can do.  We seem to want to protect desires that serve 
our interests whether capitalist or utopian, rather than do science 
and let the chips fall where they may.

I apologize for the screed, it wasn't suppose to be this long.  ;-)

Take care,

At 10:25 +0100 2007/05/16, <dirk.trossen at bt.com> wrote:
>[RESENT - this time without signature - my apologies, still had to find
>the off-by-default setting]
>I wonder if such almost revolutionary tone is both helpful and effective
>in reaching the goal (or anything for that matter) you're promoting.
>Not only do I believe (more hope) that the intention back then, when
>constructing IP, TCP, UDP, ..., was not 'to beat Mother Bell's control
>ambitions' but to truly enable end user innovation (driven by the true
>belief that this would benefit everybody), I would also argue that times
>do have changed since then. Change of fundamentals in the Internet is
>today more of an educational process than ever. It might be driven by
>technology, certainly not only though, but it certainly includes more
>than ever proper education beyond the pure technology community and the
>consideration for the concerns of everybody involved. It isn't a
>technology exercise anymore within a governmentally funded research
>community that, over the course of some twenty years, will then turn
>into a fundamental piece of societial life. It IS part of the societal
>life. So advocating changes needs to take into account the different
>concerns, also the ones of the 'routerheads' and the 'control freaks',
>if you will, in order to be successful.
>So it is not the goal that I'm questioning (you know how much I
>subscribe to end user driven innovation), it is your, to me, ineffective
>and confrontational method that I fear will turn out to be wasteful
>rather than fruitful. What the technology community CAN provide is the
>ammunition for this educational process, the proof that end user
>innovation is indeed enabled, for the good of everybody involved (and
>point our alternatives for the ones that seemingly will need to change).
>BTW, as you know I recently have joined a company you might characterize
>as being on the 'controlling end' of the spectrum, coming from an end
>user type of company. But believe me that I would have not joined if I
>didn't believe such education is possible. It isn't all black and white
>(us - whoever that is - against them).
>>  -----Original Message-----
>>  From: end2end-interest-bounces at postel.org
>>  [mailto:end2end-interest-bounces at postel.org] On Behalf Of
>>  David P. Reed
>>  Sent: Tuesday, May 15, 2007 3:57 PM
>>  To: end2end-interest list
>>  Subject: [e2e] Time for a new Internet Protocol
>>  A motivation for TCP and then IP, TCP/IP, UDP/IP, RTP/IP,
>>  etc. was that network vendors had too much control over what
>>  could happen inside their networks.
>>  Thus, IP was the first "overlay network" designed from
>>  scratch to bring heterogeneous networks into a common,
>>  world-wide "network of networks"
>  > (term invented by Licklider and Taylor in their prescient
>  > paper, The Computer as a Communications Device).  By creating
>>  universal connectivity, with such properties as allowing
>>  multitudinous connections simultaneously between a node and
>>  its peers, an extensible user-layer naming system called DNS,
>>  and an ability to invent new end-to-end protocols, gradually
>>  a new ecology of computer mediated communications evolved,
>>  including the WWW (dependent on the ability to make 100 "calls"
>>  within a few milliseconds to a variety of hosts), email
>>  (dependent on the ability to deploy end-system server
>>  applications without having to ask the "operator" for
>>  permission for a special 800 number that facilitates public
>>  addressability).
>>  Through a series of tragic events (including the dominance of
>>  routerheads* in the network community) the Internet is
>>  gradually being taken back into the control of providers who
>>  view their goal as limiting what end users can do, based on
>>  the theory that any application not invented by the pipe and
>>  switch owners is a waste of resources.  They argue that
>>  "optimality" of the network is required, and that any new
>>  application implemented at the edges threatens the security
>>  and performance they pretend to provide to users.
>  >
>>  Therefore, it is time to do what is possible: construct a new
>>  overlay network that exploits the IP network just as the IP
>>  network exploited its predecessors the ARPANET and ATT's
>>  longhaul dedicated links and new technologies such as LANs.
>>  I call for others to join me in constructing the next
>>  Internet, not as an extension of the current Internet,
>>  because that Internet is corrupted by people who do not value
>>  innovation, connectivity, and the ability to absorb new ideas
>>  from the user community.
>>  The current IP layer Internet can then be left to be
>>  "optimized" by those who think that 100G connections should
>>  drive the end user functionality.  We can exploit the
>>  Internet of today as an "autonomous system" just as we built
>>  a layer on top of Ethernet and a layer on top of the ARPANET
>>  to interconnect those.
>>  To save argument, I am not arguing that the IP layer could
>>  not evolve.  
>>  I am arguing that the current research community and industry
>>  community that support the IP layer *will not* allow it to evolve.
>>  But that need not matter.   If necessary, we can do this
>>  inefficiently,
>>  creating a new class of routers that sit at the edge of the
>>  IP network
>>  and sit in end user sites.   We can encrypt the traffic, so
>>  that the IP
>>  monopoly (analogous to the ATT monopoly) cannot tell what our
>>  layer is doing, and we can use protocols that are more
>>  aggressively defensive since the IP layer has indeed gotten
>>  very aggressive in blocking traffic and attempting to prevent
>>  user-to-user connectivity.
>>  Aggressive defense is costly - you need to send more packets when the
>>  layer below you is trying to block your packets.   But DARPA
>>  would be a
>>  useful funder, because the technology we develop will support
>>  DARPA's efforts to develop networking technologies that work
>>  in a net-centric world, where US forces partner with
>>  temporary partners who may provide connectivity today, but
>>  should not be trusted too much.
>>  One model is TOR, another is Joost.   Both of these services overlay
>>  rich functions on top of the Internet, while integrating
>>  servers and clients into a full Internet on top of today's Internets.
>>  * routerheads are the modern equivalent of the old "bellheads".   The
>>  problem with bellheads was that they believed that the right
>>  way to build a communications system was to put all functions
>>  into the network layer, and have that layer controlled by a
>>  single monopoly, in order to "optimize" the system.  Such an
>>  approach reminds one of the argument for
>>  the corporate state a la Mussolini: the trains run on time.   Today's
>>  routerheads believe that the Internet is created by the
>>  fibers and pipes, rather than being an end-to-end set of
>>  agreements that can layer
>>  on top of any underlying mechanism.   Typically they work for
>  > backbone
>>  ISPs or Router manufacturers as engineers, or in academic
>  > circles they focus on running hotrod competitions for the
>>  fastest file transfer between two points on the earth
>>  (carefully lining up fiber and switches between specially
>>  tuned endpoints), or worse, running NS2 simulations that
>>  demonstrate that it is possible to stand on one's head while
>>  singing the National Anthem to get another publication in
>>  some Springer-Verlag journal.

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