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Breaking Up the Transport Logjam

Bryan Ford
Janardhan Iyengar
Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Franklin & Marshall College

Published in Seventh ACM Workshop on Hot Topics in Networks (HotNets-VII)
October 6-7, 2008, Calgary, Alberta, Canada


Current Internet transports conflate transport semantics with endpoint addressing and flow regulation, creating roadblocks to Internet evolution that we propose to address with a new layering model. Factoring endpoint addressing (port numbers) into a separate Endpoint Layer permits incremental rollout of new or improved transports at OS or application level, enables transport-oblivious firewall/NAT traversal, improves transport negotiation efficiency, and simplifies endpoint address space administration. Factoring congestion control into a separate Flow Layer cleanly enables in-path performance optimizations such as on satellite or wireless links, permits incremental rollout of new congestion control schemes within administrative domains, frees congestion control evolution from the yoke of “TCP-friendliness,” and facilitates multihoming and multipath communication. Though this architecture is ambitious, existing protocols can act as starting points for the new layers—UDP or UDP-Lite for the Endpoint Layer, and Congestion Manager or DCCP for the Flow Layer—providing both immediate deployability and a sound basis for long-term evolution.

Full Paper: PDF

HotNets Presentation Slides: PDF OpenOffice

TSVAREA Presentation Slides for IETF 73: PDF OpenOffice

Topics: Networks Transport Layer Network Address Translation Layering Bryan Ford