Behold The Future Internet: Named Data Networking

January 14, 2013 | 11:15
Behold The Future Internet: Named Data Networking
Behold The Future Internet: Named Data Networking
The American National Science Foundation fears we’re approaching the limits of the Internet as we know it. The NSF decided not to wait and see what running up against them looks like for a society highly dependent on information technology. Not only for its communication systems but also increasingly for its critical infrastructure.

The NSF names security vulnerabilities and failing performance of Internet services as indicators that incremental changes to the Internet architecture might just not cut it in the long run. In anticipation the NSF started the Future Internet Architecture project.

The success of the Internet is testimony to the engineering genius that went into its network architecture. However, the explosive growth as a result of that success is now pushing the original design to its limits. Between the network going mobile and the emergence of the Internet of Things, billions of new devices are expected to connect to the Internet in the near future. In order to prepare for the boom, the NSF invited the research community to radically rethink networking concepts as part of the FIA project.

In 2010 five long-term fundamental research proposals were granted funding. One of these is the Named Data Networking projectThe NDN project proposes a fundamental shift from a location based networking to content centric networking. Instead of naming the location of the data, the data itself is named. In the current client-server model, data is located by addresses pointing to a fixed location. When numerous clients put in the same file request, identical data is transferred point to point multiple times.

Lixia Zhang, NDN project leader and computer scientist at the University of California, told Technology review: ‘Today I have on my desk a smartphone, a tablet, and a Mac computer. To move data between them, the request goes all the way to the cloud — God knows where that is — so it can come back here to another device that is two feet away… That is wrong, it is simply wrong.’

By naming data packets instead of their locations the NDN protocol fetches the data from the nearest location, rather than data being routed from a fixed location over and over again.

NDN also transforms network security. Instead of protecting data by securing locations and routes with firewalls and VPN, NDN proposes to shift security measures to the data itself using encryption.

Via: Technology review

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