[e2e] a means to an end

Lynne Jolitz lynne at telemuse.net
Mon Nov 10 13:03:48 PST 2008

I assume by Fred's "MPLS on Ethernet" mention that the reason underlying 
their unusual approach is that they see no point (except more overhead) 
in the additional layers below an MPLS routing layer, so the end-points 
are the only things that matter (while ignoring of course, diagnostics, 
blockage identification and so forth).

But let's take this further. An old suggestion proposed at an IETF in 
the early 1980's was similarly to disconnect the appearance of the 
routing layer and visibility of the network itself and tunnel everything 
on top of the network, so you'd have a layer 3 network encapsulated on 
top of a layer-3 network not visible except within the routing cloud. 
This was to hide the actual infrastructure so it couldn't be attacked. 
One could even encapsulate with TCP instead of IP such that you could 
allocate bandwidth portions and routes in an independent way - more like 
an OC IS-to-IS routing scheme. The view was the only people who cared 
about routing were the ones who could see how it was working, so why be 
open to DDOS attacks on the routers themselves, and also so as to 
promote quality. This was before BGP.

So now we've got a Chinese proposal on MPLS-on-Ethernet. The advantage 
of their approach is that at layer 2 you can do it with mindless 
switches and spanning tree algorithms. This means very efficient, very 
low power, very dumb routers. Can this be produced? Yes, in massive 
quantities. Would people buy this? Very likely if cheap enough.

How would massive deployment impact the Internet? That's one I'm 
wondering about. Lynne Jolitz.

Fred Baker wrote:

> On Nov 9, 2008, at 11:05 AM, David P. Reed wrote:
>> I'm completely confused by the suggestions from Fred and Noel that
>> 802.11 802.1, MPLS are somehow competing with the current IP routing
>> system.  None of those are end-to-end solutions, ...
> Depends on your viewpoint. There are those that think of them as end  
> to end solutions in some stated domain. In Beijing during the last  
> week of October I visited a school that literally was proposing MPLS- 
> on-Ethernet as an end-to-end solution.
> The reason I mentioned them is this. You noted that the Internet was  
> designed as a network of networks, and IP was the ring to bind them.  
> True enough. We have two variations on that in the present Internet.  
> One is that we literally have separate networks connected through a  
> collection of backbone networks, often by means of network address  
> translators or other gateways. The other is that the IP protocol  
> usually runs atop some lower layer (what I call "intranet", what  
> others inexplicably call "layer 2") networks, including various  
> extended LAN, circuit switch, and virtual circuit networks.
> To my way of thinking, whether you mean this in an infrastructure  
> sense, and administrative sense, or a routing protocol sense, the  
> Internet is very much a network of networks.
>> Is the confusion between the limited scope of 802.11 and 802.16 and  the
>> planet-scale scope of IP addressing really prevalent among the  
>> community?
>> Maybe this explains why so many seem to confuse the hardware and  
>> cabling
>> with networking.   KInd of like confusing the Intel instruction set  
>> with
>> the Win32 API, or confusing the workings of the marketplace with the
>> resolution of social issues.
>> Fred Baker wrote:
>>> On Nov 9, 2008, at 4:31 AM, David P. Reed wrote:
>>>> why not multiple competing "routing" layers?
>>> We have those, in spades. Consider 802.11, 802.1, 802.16, ATM and  
>>> its predecessors, etc.

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