Re: A network you can trust

Alex McKenzie (mckenzie@LABS-N.BBN.COM)
Mon, 28 Mar 88 9:34:24 EST


I think you are mixing cause and effect. It is only "obvious in an Internet
environment that one needs a strong Transport" because of the deliberate,
conscious decision made in designing the DoD internet to require that every
connected system would use a strong Transport. A different internet would have
been built if some other decision had been made about the strength of one's
Transport, and then, no doubt, some other conclusion would be obvious.

My suggestion was that as we begin to think about the design of the next
generation of networks we re-consider this very decision. The suggestion was
"inspired" by the recent messages about off loading protocol processing, and
about having a communication channel you trust as much as you trust your disk
drive channel. I believe that we can choose to decide to require any level of
reliability we want (short of absolute perfection) from the next generation
internet. Any point in the spectrum of possibilities will have advantages and
disadvantages, and will require more or less protocol processing in the
connected systems. I do not believe the choice of operating point is strongly
related to the number of next-generation networks which constitute the next-
generation internet as Vint Cerf suggested; the constituent networks always
have to be engineered to play by the rules.

Alex McKenzie

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