Need for a new Internet Architecture

Feb 19 2018

In human history, we always tried to reach for the sky. In construction, the foundation is the most important part of the building. Because of its unstable foundation, the leaning tower of Pisa started to sink at the second floor and it took three phases over 199 years to complete. It has had numerous very costly structural renovations during its lifetime, and the straightening of the tower from 5.5 to 3.9 degrees completed in 2013 costed $30m dollars.

The ancient Egyptians used their knowledge and past experiences to build the great pyramid in less than 20 years. It was the tallest building in the world for over 3800 years until 1311 and it structural integrity is still intact today

The same applies to computer networks. Nearly half a century old, 4 layered TCP/IP design was sufficient enough to fulfil the needs of that time.

The internet nowadays is built upon the same TCP/IP stack which has proved to have an inadequate core architectural design for the scale it has grown into. To solve the emerging problems, more and more building blocks were added and a very complex solution is the current result. Today’s Internet is it has bad performances, bad security, hard to build and maintain, and configuration and operational costs are through the roof. In this respect, TCP/IP is not unlike our leaning tower of Pisa.

Most of the services which we are using today e.g. security, QoS etc. are not built-in. It is obvious that the NGI initiative for a human centric network will insert many more services in already overweight layered stack. Thus creating new vulnerabilities and the game will go on. For example, in order to overcome the address depletion problem and to facilitate the ever increasing number of Internet users, IPv6 is brought into network however IPv6 has it's own issues such as exploding routing table size.

There is a need for such an architecture that is more scalable, robust and has built-in services like security and QoS. Users and service providers should have the freedom to opt-in or opt-out any service at any time without disturbing the any other user or underlying protocols.

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