Evolving the Internet with Connection Acrobatics

Thu, 01/09/2014 - 00:38 by Christoph Paasch


The textbook Internet architecture revolves around the end-to-end principle with smart endpoints and a dumb network, while the actual Internet is far messier, with middleboxes pervasively deployed and affecting end-to-end traffic in many ways. Today’s Internet is fragile as most of the communications are affected by transparent stateful middleboxes deployed along the path. In this paper we propose an evolution of the Internet architecture to make the middleboxes an explicit part of the Internet communications. We do so using the new Multipath TCP (MPTCP) protocol recently stan dardized at the Internet Engineering Task Force. MPTCP allows us to change the endpoints of the connection and by extension to explicitly add middleboxes in the middle of an ongoing communication. We show that the proposed solution accommodates nicely several widely used use cases including load balancing, DDoS filtering and anycast services. We implement selected use cases as a proof of concept.

Catalin Nicutar, Christoph Paasch, Marcelo Bagnulo and Costin Raiciu
CoNEXT workshop HotMiddlebox, December 2013. ACM.
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