AuthorsK. Grinnemo, T. Jones, G. Fairhurst, D. Ros, A. Brunström and P. Hurtig
TitleTowards a Flexible Internet Transport Layer Architecture
Afilliation, Communication Systems
Project(s)NEAT: A New, Evolutive API and Transport-Layer Architecture for the Internet
Publication TypeProceedings, refereed
Year of Publication2016
Conference NameIEEE LANMAN
ISBN Number978-1-4673-9882-4
ISSN Number1944-0375
Keywordsapplication-aware networking, Internet architecture, ossification, transport API, transport layer

There is a growing concern that the Internet transport layer has become less adaptive to the requirements of new applications, and that further evolution has become very difficult. This is because a fundamental assumption no longer holds: it can no longer be assumed that the transport layer is only in the scope of end-hosts. The success of TCP and UDP and the ubiquity of middleboxes have led to ossification of both the network infrastructure and the API presented to applications. This has led to the development of workarounds and point solutions that fail to cover many facets of the problem. To address this issue, this paper identifies requirements for a new transport layer and then proposes a conceptual architecture that we argue is both flexible and evolvable. This new architecture requires that applications interface to the transport at a higher abstraction level, where an application can express communication preferences via a new richer API. Protocol machinery can use this information to decide which of the available transport protocols is used. By placing the protocol machinery in the transport layer, the new architecture can allow for new protocols to be deployed and enable evolution of the transport layer.

Citation Key24530

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