[e2e] end of interest

George Michaelson ggm at apnic.net
Fri Apr 18 20:57:38 PDT 2008

I think the meme has forked. Into a three-legged trouser.

One trouser-leg is about 'purer' network architectures where e2e is a  
feature, and requires no bumps in stacks, or cute tricks. In the moral  
spirit of the other great contribution from the late 20th C.. KISS, if  
you can have it, this is much nicer for the end/edge user. But the  
clear signal from the profit-centres-formally-known-as-telco is that  
you make less money in the apparent short term, by being nice. Many of  
us believe that both the social goodput, and the
long-term profit would be better from structural-separation models  
without a need for bumps. This implies regulation. Despite many  
people's antithesis to regulation, some regulation appears useful,  
especially if you want to have structural separation and avoidance of  
e2e hindering bumps.

The other leg is about the bumps and tricks (which probably would have  
made more sense as bumps and grinds..) you have to do, to work through  
NAT and other nasty intercepts on a 'pure' e2e network. The lesson  
from this side of the fork is that nothing is impossible, but the cost  
in packet and delay terms rises. At the crossing point where the cost  
exceeds some variable <n> which depends on context, people either more  
to another supplier or give up.

(ie 'live' video over tunneled SSH over HTTP over ICMP is of course  
always/sometimes possible, but gets un-rewarding. OTOH, if you were  
willing to wait for a torrent to download anyway. then
almost nothing a network puts in your way will actually GET in your  
way, if you are sufficiently persistent.)

The third trouserleg is where people observe that e2e birthed p2p, and  
find reasons to want to use it. At the point where Skype exploits your  
spare bandwidth as a virtual router cloud, torrents are used for  
distro's and now embraced by the mainstream as a viable distribution  
cloud and we're fighting in the FAA about 'network neutrality' at the  
same time, I think that e2e remains as interesting as ever.

I think this list is about shaking the fluff out of the turn-ups, on  
the three legged trouser.

A long time ago, on my fathers birthday, we got him a present 'for the  
man who has everything' which was a belly-button lint brush. perhaps  
thats also something useful for the e2e list?


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