[e2e] Internet "architecture"

Dave Crocker dhc2 at dcrocker.net
Thu Apr 11 20:59:42 PDT 2013

This is a risky query.  There have been previous threads about such 
things as the "start" of the Internet.  Instead, I want to ask about the 
"architecture" of the Internet.

Here's a comment that I sent earlier today, to a non-technical person 
who is aware of the overall Internet timeline, but I believe does not 
understand what is distinctive about Internet 'architecture'.  I'm 
curious about reactions on this list, and any possible improvements -- 
including complete replacement -- but more importantly I'm interested in 
filling in the details:

      The original use of the term Internet was to describe a 
distinctive technical design for a distributed, scalable data exchange 
fabric.  Its design characteristics differ dramatically from those of 
its predecessor, the Arpanet, and from other related efforts.

That's what I sent.  To prime the pump for the detail:

      By saying 'fabric' I meant to distinguish the mechanism for moving 
raw data from the applications that used it.  What I'd class as 
distinctive were the TCP/IP separation, the remarkably modest 
functionality of IP, even to the point of moving it's control plane to 
the next level up with ICMP, and continuing with modest expectations the 
layer below (which made it possible to operate over any medium including 
birds.)  This is usually characterized as moving robustness to the edges.



  Dave Crocker
  Brandenburg InternetWorking

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