Letters to the Editor - The Internet Protocol Journal, Volume 11, No. 3

I sincerely congratulate you for Geoff Huston's excellent article in The Internet Protocol Journal, June 2008, on the "Decade of Internet Evolution." The article shows an amazing insight into the Internet as it has recently evolved and deserves as wide an audience as possible.

The only comment I could make is that though Huston hints about separating the IP address from the host name, he does not explicitly mention the Host Identity Protocol (HIP) [1]. Previous issues of the Journal have this omission as well.

Note: As we struggle in the IETF and everywhere else in the industry with NAT traversal, mobility, and multihoming, we see countless approaches for each application layer protocol separately. HIP seems to fulfill the promise of solving these problems comprehensively.

Thanks for the privilege to continue reading the Journal; keep such papers coming.

—Henry Sinnreich, Adobe Systems, Inc.

[1] R. Moskowitz, P. Nikander, P. Jokela, Ed., and T. Henderson, "Host Identity Protocol," RFC 5201, April 2008.

The author responds:

Thank you for your generous comments.

At some point I was toying (dangerously!) with writing an article that attempted to predict the next 10 years, looking at what appears to be important today and what that could mean in the future. There is no doubt that the tight binding of identity and location is one of the assumptions that has made the Internet both simple and effective for the past decade. But where we sit today, in a world dominated by scale, mobility, a dense mesh of interconnectivity, highly capable end devices, dense middleware, and a panoply of specialized requirements, we need to look forward to methods that allow separation of identity and location. Now this separation could be at the level of the Internet Protocol itself, as in HIP or Site Multihoming by IPv6 Intermediation (SHIM6); or at the level of the transport session, as exemplified at present by the Stream Control Transmission Protocol (SCTP); or even at the application level, where the various offerings related to Voice over IP (VoIP) and Peer-to-Peer (P2P) have been working at the level of multiparty application rendezvous and application identity that sit on top of an adaptive platform of dynamic discovery of the characteristics of the underlying transport subsystem.

Each approach appears to offer some significant leverage in scaling the network in diverse ways, while at the same time presenting us with some fascinating insights into possible architectures that could address our needs in the next decade. No doubt the next 10 years will present us with some quite novel challenges with the imminent exhaustion of the unallocated IPv4 address pool and the associated observation that the schedule for the update of IPv6 has proceeded so slowly that we will be forced to be remarkably inventive with IPv4. HIP may well be a central part of such invention, but, more generally, I have no doubt that we will examine more generally how we can devise refinements to the networking model that preserve useful notions of identity across a rather fluid sea of shared location tokens.


—Geoff Huston

Ten Years of IPJ

We received many congratulatory messages in response to our June 2008 Anniversary Issue. The following are some quotes from our readers:

"Compliments and congratulations for the tenth anniversary of this great Journal. It is great because it is making us realize the synergy between what has been and what is to come."

—John Okewole, Lagos, Nigeria

"This week I received the June 2008 issue of IPJ. I have been a subscriber for several years and it has been a great pleasure to find great contents in IPJ, such as the current issue that brings reviews on Internet evolution. I would like to send my congratulations to the IPJ team for 10 years of publication and my best wishes for future success."

—Frederico Fari, Belo Horizonte, Brazil

"I think that IPJ is a great journal. I hope you will not be forced to give up the paper edition because is a beautiful one (and it allows me to read during the evening hours when all computers and children in the house are shut down :-)"

—Andrea Montefusco, Rome, Italy