Monday, September 13, 2010

A future internet

The internet has become a crucial part in every day life. Its creation has spurred other innovations that have worked themselves into what is considered the norm. The internet has enabled collaboration to occur that has never been known before its existence. I believe, going forward, that it is not only important, but crucial to have an internet architecture that can easily evolve with the latest standards and increasing demands put upon it. I wish to give my input for what I think needs to be the focus for a new internet architecture.

First, security. From the internet's conception, security was never a design goal because the architects never envisioned an internet at the magnitude it has grown to today. With the explosion of eCommerce, online gaming, and social networking, among other things, exploding on the web, malicious users don't even have to leave their homes to steal someone's identity. Security is a must.

Second, protocol flexibility. What I mean by that is that network entities should not have to be at the mercy of hardware vendors or large commercial organizations in order to try out and/or implement new protocols. If we look in the software space, the concept of open standards has tended to push out proprietary commercial protocols because users were able to freely try them out.

Third, addressing should be name based. These names should be logically constructed and rememberable. I think the postal system has a fairly nice way of assigning addresses to locations. Although some street names might

be a little eccentric, generally the naming convention is logical and rememberable. We shouldn't need systems like DNS to resolve a name to a number, we should just be able to give a name and know the location or the resource immediately. 

Connecting the whole world in an efficient fashion is not an easy problem to solve. The current internet architecture has done extraordinarily well and I think there have been some great learning experiences. But, now that more than just scientists use it, I think we need to attack a new architecture from a "customer needs" perspective.

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