[e2e] end of interest

Keith Moore moore at cs.utk.edu
Fri Apr 18 19:40:36 PDT 2008

Seems to me like the biggest barrier to deploying new L3/4 end-to-end 
functionality isn't host stacks, but rather middleboxes that don't know 
what to do with new IP packet types or protocol extensions.   If you can 
define a new e2e feature in such a way that it traverses those, and 
which doesn't need explicit support from the existing IP network, it's 
still possible to deploy it.

Granted you won't see widespread use of the new feature unless the 900 
pound gorilla ships it in product, but Linux is used widely enough that 
it's possible to use it as a vehicle to prove that a feature is 
valuable.  If you could come up with an enhancement that, say, improved 
HTTP performance and you could get it in the Linux kernel (which is much 
easier than convincing the gorilla to ship it), the gorilla would feel 
the need to follow suit or improve on that enhancement -- to avoid 
embarrassing itself further.

Though I do think there's a place for the 'almost' e2e middlebox, 
particularly in implementing layered defense against security threats 
and wasted bandwidth from unwanted traffic.

> In fact there seems to be pushback from both ends --- we can't deploy 
> end-to-end protocols because major companies own the end-host stacks; 
> and we can't push mechanisms deep into the network because ISPs and 
> router companies own the network. Arguably the latter source of 
> pushback played a major role in the emergence of the e2e philosophy; 
> but now we have equally powerful commercial forces on the other side.
> So effectively the only practical mode of deployment seems to be the 
> 'almost' end-to-end middlebox --- one hop away from the end-host but 
> not quite into the network (and the Maelstrom work I presented day 
> before yesterday at NSDI would be one example).
> - mahesh
> --
> http://www.cs.cornell.edu/~mahesh <http://www.cs.cornell.edu/%7Emahesh>
> -----Original Message-----
> From: end2end-interest-bounces at postel.org on behalf of David P. Reed
> Sent: Fri 4/18/2008 9:13 AM
> To: Jon Crowcroft
> Cc: 'end2end-interest at postel.org'
> Subject: Re: [e2e] end of interest
> I personally think that the network community has become frustrated with
> the inability to explore end-to-end protocols because the endpoint
> stacks are "locked in" by vendors in proprietary code.
> <snip>

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