RINA (Recursive InterNetwork Architecture): a strong foundation for the NGI

Sep 27 2018

Renovating the Internet architecture is no easy feat: it not only depends on the technology, but also on complex social, political and economic interactions and interests from the multiple Internet ecosystem stakeholders. However, getting the technology right is crucial towards lying a strong foundation for a secure, decentralized and more performing Next Generation Internet (NGI).

My team at i2CAT has been collaborating with a global community of academic and industry researchers that have worked in research/development of RINA, the Recursive InterNetwork Architecture, for the last 6 years (see http://pouzinsociety.org). RINA is an Internetwork architecture whose fundamental principle is that networking is only inter-process communication (IPC). RINA reconstructs the overall structure of the Internet, forming a model that comprises a single repeating layer, the DIF (Distributed IPC Facility), which is the minimal set of components required to allow distributed IPC between application processes. RINA supports inherently and without the need of extra mechanisms mobility, multi-homing and Quality of Service, provides a secure and configurable environment, motivates for a more competitive marketplace and allows for a seamless adoption.

During the last years we have been investigating (theoretically and experimentally) the properties of RINA, building open-source implementations, deploying experiments on large-scale testbeds, analysing how to interoperate with existing technologies. The results have been published in a number of journal and conference papers (http://pouzinsociety.org/research/publications). We think it is the right time for more groups to jump in, specially open source communities, to facilitate large-scale validation and assesment of RINA as the simplest yet more powerful possible Internet architecture. 

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