Matthew Jakeman, Andrew Brampton, Stephen Pink
In proceedings FutureNet II – Second international workshop on the network of the future in conjunction with IEEE Globecom
The infrastructure of the modern Internet has become a complex mesh of varying network types. A single network
protocol cannot optimally support every underlying technology and the diverse nature of these networks places increasing strain on the concept of running IP over everything and everything over IP. The introduction of new protocols and services also forces network administrators to employ techniques such as tunneling to ensure end-to-end IP connectivity. Unfortunately these techniques inherently require some form of efficiency trade-off and are not
an ideal long term solution.
To address these issues, this paper proposes a new network layer protocol, NP++, which uses a level of indirection between the logical and physical specifications of the protocol. NP++ also enables the protocol to automatically configure which physical mapping is used over a link with no direct input from the user.
This allows the protocol to change its transmission characteristics depending on the type of underlying network while presenting a unified view to the upper layers. This ensures a higher level of flexibility along with the potential to increase efficiency. The implementation of the NP++ prototype is also demonstrated with a view to encouraging its use when researching next generation Internet technologies.