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Open Architectural Issues in the Development of the Internet

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Open Architectural Issues in the Development of the Internet

This web page contains pointers to open architectural issues facing the Internet. The goal is for each item to include pointers to papers in the literature (including IAB documents) discussing the issues.

The point is not for the IAB to try to solve or answer these issues, just for the IAB to provide pointers to the ongoing discussions of these open architectural issues. Suggestions from the IETF community regarding items to add to this web page can be sent to the IAB.

  • Addressing:
    • Problems: Renumbering.
    • Problems: Disconnected networks.
    • Problems: Multihoming.
    • Problems: Packet filtering.
    • Issues: Identifiers that are not globally unique?
    • Issues: End nodes using topology information?
    • Issues: Are global addresses globally routable?
    • Issues: Security?
    • D. Clark et al.,

      FARA: Reorganizing the Addressing Architecture
      , 2003.

      “The intent is to cleanly separate location from identity… FARA should provide a framework for proposing and understanding a range of alternative protocol architectures.”
  • Naming and Identity:
  • Layering and modularity:
  • Routing:
  • Security:
    • Security that is incrementally deployable and easy to use.
  • Resource Allocation:
    • Congestion control:
    • QoS.
      • G. Huston,

        Next Steps for the IP QoS Architecture
        , RFC 2990, November 2000.

        “This document highlights the outstanding architectural issues relating to the deployment and use of QoS mechanisms within internet networks”
    • DoS.
  • Middleboxes:
  • Zero Configuration and Service Discovery:
    • Issues: Interoperability; mobility; one/many mechanisms?
    • Mechanisms: DHCP; anycast; PPP IPCP extensions?
    • DNS discovery for IPv6.
    • IKE Modecfg.
  • General Architecture Issues:
    • Bob Braden,

      Architectural Principles of the Internet
      , IPAM Tutorial, March 2002.

      “Network Architecture:

      * What entities are named, and how?
      * How do naming, addressing, and routing inter-relate?
      * Where & how is state installed and removed?
      * How are functions modularized?
      * How are resources allocated?
      * How are security boundaries drawn and enforced?”
    • S. Floyd, General Architectural and Policy Considerations, RFC 3426, November 2002.

Related web pages:

Pointers to documents to add to this page can be sent to Sally Floyd,, or to the IAB,

Last modified: August 2003.