RFC 3439 (rfc3439) - Page 1 of 28


Some Internet Architectural Guidelines and Philosophy



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Network Working Group                                            R. Bush
Request for Comments: 3439                                      D. Meyer
Updates: 1958                                              December 2002
Category: Informational


         Some Internet Architectural Guidelines and Philosophy

Status of this Memo

   This memo provides information for the Internet community.  It does
   not specify an Internet standard of any kind.  Distribution of this
   memo is unlimited.

Copyright Notice

   Copyright (C) The Internet Society (2002).  All Rights Reserved.

Abstract

   This document extends RFC 1958 by outlining some of the philosophical
   guidelines to which architects and designers of Internet backbone
   networks should adhere.  We describe the Simplicity Principle, which
   states that complexity is the primary mechanism that impedes
   efficient scaling, and discuss its implications on the architecture,
   design and engineering issues found in large scale Internet
   backbones.

Table of Contents

   1. Introduction . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  2
   2. Large Systems and The Simplicity Principle . . . . . . . . .  3
   2.1. The End-to-End Argument and Simplicity   . . . . . . . . .  3
   2.2. Non-linearity and Network Complexity   . . . . . . . . . .  3
   2.2.1. The Amplification Principle. . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  4
   2.2.2. The Coupling Principle . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  5
   2.3. Complexity lesson from voice. . . . .  . . . . . . . . . .  6
   2.4. Upgrade cost of complexity. . . . . .  . . . . . . . . . .  7
   3. Layering Considered Harmful. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  7
   3.1. Optimization Considered Harmful . . .  . . . . . . . . . .  8
   3.2. Feature Richness Considered Harmful .  . . . . . . . . . .  9
   3.3. Evolution of Transport Efficiency for IP.  . . . . . . . .  9
   3.4. Convergence Layering. . . . . . . . . . .  . . . . . . . .  9
   3.4.1. Note on Transport Protocol Layering. . . . . . . . . . . 11
   3.5. Second Order Effects   . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 11
   3.6. Instantiating the EOSL Model with IP   . . . . . . . . . . 12
   4. Avoid the Universal Interworking Function. . . . . . . . . . 12
   4.1. Avoid Control Plane Interworking . . . . . . . . . . . . . 13



Bush, et. al.                Informational


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