Rebooting the Internet – by David Faber and Joe Touch

“Build one and throw it out,” so the adage goes.

Professor David Farber and Joe Touch, Independent Consultant, gave a remote video presentation on March 11 at Stanford University.

This talk explored the argument for systems architecture revision, including processors, operating systems, and networking–both as a general principle and the ways the Internet, in particular, is currently in need of a reboot. Assumptions, resources, and goals change with time and experience, and so too does our understanding of architectural principles. Through the eyes of the Internet and other examples, we review what we got right (one ring to rule them all, good enough rather than perfect), what we got wrong (7 layers, name resolution as an afterthought), and what we only now are beginning to appreciate (layering and forwarding as one thing). Challenge cases are presented that can help drive this redesign, including single-packet exchanges and recursive layering, and an example is given of one direction this approach can lead. Finally, we explore the challenges of evolution and transition to help us prepare for giving the Internet a well-deserved reset.