Patterns in Network Architecture : a return to fundamentals
Sun, 07/13/2008 - 23:46 by Olivier Bonaventure • Categories:
The architecture of today's Internet was mainly designed together with the TCP and IP protocols in the 1970s and early 1980s. During the last years, researchers and funding organisations in America, Europa, Asia have started to work on different alternative architectures for the Internet. Some consider an evolutionnary approach where the Internet architecture would be incrementally modified in a backward compatible manner while other consider that a completely new architecture should be developped to take into account the requirements of today's and tomorrow's Internet.
John Day's book, entitled "Patterns in Network Architecture : a return to fundamentals" is a must read book for researchers interested in the evolution of the Internet architecture. The book is composed of two main parts. The first part is mainly an history of the evolution of the computer network architectures in the 1970s and 1980s. John Day participated actively at this research both on the Internet side and also on the OSI side. He explains the reasons for some of the design choices and discussed alternatives that were considered but not selected. The discussion considers several of the key elements of a computer network architecture, including the protocol elements, layering, naming and addressing.
The second part of the group describes John Day's vision of an alternative network architecture. For this, he starts by reconsidering the Network-based InterProcess Communication (IPC) and shows that a distribued IPC should be at the core of a computer network architecture. This discussion is interesting, but the authors does explain in details how it could be realised in practice. The second parts ends with two chapters on topological addressing influenced by Mike O'Dell's GSE proposal and a discussion of the impact of multicast and multihoming on the architecture.