Smarter Asset Distribution for a resilient Internet

May 07 2018

NGI Interim Study Report recognizes smarter assets distribution as one of the traits for an improved alternative Internet infrastructure. Provisioning distributed alternatives to obtaining digital assets from a single source would make the next generation Internet more robust in the event of various threats, outbreaks and downtimes. These measures would prevent complete service failure, and contribute to making Internet less forgetful, allowing content that would otherwise have disappeared to remain available. Given the common and transverse nature of this issue critical to and effecting all actors from service-providers, ISPs to clients, alternatives complementary to each other therefore should be developed and provisioned in parallel-

  • Server initiated
    The service that offers the assets can itself suggest or provide a suitable means of taking care of distributed delivery in case of failure.

  • P2P
    End-to-end sharing of assets with known friendly peers works even in the most extreme scenarios.

  • Community Caching
    P2P sharing is not scalable, collaborative caching and sharing of assets instead should be able to provide similar benefits and in a scalable manner. An important requirement is that the sharing facilities shield of the privacy of the participants in the network through a level of indirectness, i.e. caching should not mean that the participants you connect with have interacted with that resources themselves.

  • Network caching
    The operator of the network may prefetch assets likely to be consumed within the network when there is surplus capacity, in order to prevent peak usage

  • Service-provider driven
    Independent service providers (such as VPN providers) may provide a fall-back service.

  • Client-side asset identification
    Efficient de-duplication so that a generic asset already cached or downloaded can be identified and reused over and over again.

There are a number of ongoing and relevant smaller and larger initiatives that may contribute to the goal of alternative infrastructure, such as the SCION architecture, ARPA2, DPDK and Open Optical Packet Transport.

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