Architectural Considerations in Smart Object Networking
RFC 7452

Document Type RFC - Informational (March 2015; No errata)
Last updated 2015-03-19
Replaces draft-tschofenig-smart-object-architecture
Stream IAB
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Stream IAB state Published RFC
Consensus Boilerplate Yes
RFC Editor Note (None)
Internet Architecture Board (IAB)                          H. Tschofenig
Request for Comments: 7452                                      ARM Ltd.
Category: Informational                                         J. Arkko
ISSN: 2070-1721                                                D. Thaler
                                                            D. McPherson
                                                              March 2015

        Architectural Considerations in Smart Object Networking

Abstract

   The term "Internet of Things" (IoT) denotes a trend where a large
   number of embedded devices employ communication services offered by
   Internet protocols.  Many of these devices, often called "smart
   objects", are not directly operated by humans but exist as components
   in buildings or vehicles, or are spread out in the environment.
   Following the theme "Everything that can be connected will be
   connected", engineers and researchers designing smart object networks
   need to decide how to achieve this in practice.

   This document offers guidance to engineers designing Internet-
   connected smart objects.

Status of This Memo

   This document is not an Internet Standards Track specification; it is
   published for informational purposes.

   This document is a product of the Internet Architecture Board (IAB)
   and represents information that the IAB has deemed valuable to
   provide for permanent record.  It represents the consensus of the
   Internet Architecture Board (IAB).  Documents approved for
   publication by the IAB are not a candidate for any level of Internet
   Standard; see Section 2 of RFC 5741.

   Information about the current status of this document, any errata,
   and how to provide feedback on it may be obtained at
   http://www.rfc-editor.org/info/rfc7452.

Tschofenig, et al.            Informational                     [Page 1]
RFC 7452        Smart Object Architectural Considerations     March 2015

Copyright Notice

   Copyright (c) 2015 IETF Trust and the persons identified as the
   document authors.  All rights reserved.

   This document is subject to BCP 78 and the IETF Trust's Legal
   Provisions Relating to IETF Documents
   (http://trustee.ietf.org/license-info) in effect on the date of
   publication of this document.  Please review these documents
   carefully, as they describe your rights and restrictions with respect
   to this document.

Table of Contents

   1.  Introduction  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   2
   2.  Smart Object Communication Patterns . . . . . . . . . . . . .   4
     2.1.  Device-to-Device Communication Pattern  . . . . . . . . .   4
     2.2.  Device-to-Cloud Communication Pattern . . . . . . . . . .   6
     2.3.  Device-to-Gateway Communication Pattern . . . . . . . . .   7
     2.4.  Back-End Data Sharing Pattern . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   9
   3.  Reuse Internet Protocols  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  10
   4.  The Deployed Internet Matters . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  13
   5.  Design for Change . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  14
   6.  Security Considerations . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  16
   7.  Privacy Considerations  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  18
   8.  Informative References  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  19
   Appendix A.  IAB Members at the Time of Approval  . . . . . . . .  23
   Acknowledgements  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  23
   Authors' Addresses  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  24

1.  Introduction

   RFC 6574 [RFC6574] refers to smart objects as devices with
   constraints on energy, bandwidth, memory, size, cost, etc.  This is a
   fuzzy definition, as there is clearly a continuum in device
   capabilities and there is no hard line to draw between devices that
   can run Internet protocols and those that can't.

   Interconnecting smart objects with the Internet enables exciting new
   use cases and products.  An increasing number of products put the
   Internet Protocol Suite on smaller and smaller devices and offer the
   ability to process, visualize, and gain insight from the collected
   sensor data.  The network effect can be increased if the data
   collected from many different devices can be combined.

Tschofenig, et al.            Informational                     [Page 2]
RFC 7452        Smart Object Architectural Considerations     March 2015

   Developing embedded systems is a complex task, and designers must
   make a number of design decisions such as:

   o  How long is the device designed to operate?

   o  How does it interact with the physical world?  Is it a sensor or
      actuator or both?

   o  How many "owners" does it have?  One?  Many?  Is the owner likely
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