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Open Architectural Issues in the Development of the Internet

Document Type IAB Statement
Title Open Architectural Issues in the Development of the Internet
Published 2003-08-01
Metadata last updated 2023-08-09
State Active
Send notices to (None)

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:
    + The

    NameSpace Research Group (NSRG).
    * Layering and modularity:
    + Pointers to the Literature: Layering and the Internet Architecture.
    * Routing:
    + Scaling of the core routing infrastructure.
    + Relationship of routing with naming and addressing.
    * Security:
    + Security that is incrementally deployable and easy to use.
    * Resource Allocation:
    + Congestion control:
    - Long high-bandwidth paths.
    - Non-congestive loss.
    - Applications such as VoIP with minimum sending rates.
    + 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:
    • B. Carpenter et al.,

    Middleboxes: Taxonomy and Issues, RFC 3234, Informational, February 2002.

    “The principle goal of this document is to describe and analyse the current impact of middleboxes on the architecture of the Internet and its applications.”
    + L. Daigle,

    IAB Considerations for UNilateral Self-Address Fixing (UNSAF) Across Network Address Translation, RFC 3424, November 2002.

    “As a result of the nature of Network Address Translation (NAT) Middleboxes, communicating endpoints that are separated by one or more NATs do not know how to refer to themselves using addresses that are valid in the addressing realms of their (current and future) peers.”
    + S. Floyd and L. Daigle,

    IAB Architectural and Policy Considerations for Open Pluggable Edge Services, RFC 3238, January 2002.

    “The question of chartering OPES in the IETF and the related controversy in the IETF community ave raised to the fore several architectural and policy issues about robustness and the end-to-end integrity of data.”
    * 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.