Systems Seminar: Dr. Steve Deering, Cisco Systems

Watching the Waist of the Protocol Hourglass

photograph of Dr. Steve Deering.

Date: 1999 Jan 18
Time: 3:30 - 5:00
Location: 5409 Wean


The Internet protocol architecture has an "hourglass" shape, in which a wide variety of applications and end-to-end (upper-layer) protocols are supported by a single, "narrow" protocol called IP, which in turn rests upon a wide variety of network and datalink (lower-layer) protocols. It is this hourglass design that provides the Internet's enormous flexibility in accommodating new transmission technologies and new applications, and its ability to serve as the convergence platform for data, telephony, TV, and other media. However, as the Internet has grown and adapted to the wide variety of demands and stresses being placed on it, the original design has suffered a number of mutations -- the waist of the hourglass is no longer as narrow and elegant as it once was. In this talk, I review the evolution of the IP layer of the Internet, identify the consequences of those changes, and speculate on the future shape of IP.

Speaker Bio

Steve Deering is a Technical Leader at Cisco Systems, where he is working on the development of high performance internet routers. Prior to joining Cisco, he spent six years at Xerox's Palo Alto Research Center, engaged in research on advanced internet technologies, including multicast routing, mobile internetworking, scalable addressing, and support for multimedia applications over the Internet. He is a member of the Internet Architecture Board, a present or past chair of numerous IETF Working Groups, the inventor of IP multicast and co-founder of the Internet Multicast Backbone (the MBone), and the lead designer of the new version of the Internet Protocol, IPv6. He received his Ph.D. from Stanford University.

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