From The Editor - The Internet Protocol Journal - Volume 2, No. 1

From The Editor

Today's Internet is comprised of numerous interconnected Internet Service Providers (ISPs), each serving many constituent networks and end users. Just as individual regional and national telephone companies interconnect and exchange traffic and form a global telephone network, the ISPs must arrange for points of interconnection to provide global Internet service. This interconnection mechanism is generally called "peering," and it is the subject of a two part article by Geoff Huston. In Part I, which is included in this issue, he discusses the technical aspects of peering. In Part II, which will follow in our next issue, Mr. Huston continues the examination with a look at the business arrangements (called "settlements") that exist between ISPs, and discusses the future of this rapidly evolving marketplace.

In the early 1990s, concern grew regarding the possible depletion of the IP version 4 address space because of the rapid growth of the Internet. Predictions for when we would literally run out of IP addresses were published. Several proposals for a new version of IP were put forward in the IETF, eventually resulting in IP version 6 or IPv6. At the same time, new technologies were developed that effectively slowed address depletion, most notably Classless Inter-Domain Routing (CIDR) and Network Address Translators (NATs). Today there is still debate as to if and when IPv6 will be deployed in the global Internet, but experimentation and development continues on this protocol. We asked Robert Fink to give us a status report on IPv6.

We've already discussed the historical lack of security in Internet technologies and how security enhancements are being developed for every layer of the protocol stack. This time, Marshall Rose and David Strom examine the state of electronic mail security. We clearly have a way to go before we see "seamless integration" of security systems with today's e-mail clients.

Our first Letter to the Editor is included on page 46. As always, we would love to hear your comments and questions regarding anything you read in this journal. Please contact us at

-Ole J. Jacobsen, Editor and Publisher .