Protocols for High-Speed Networks: A Brief Retrospective Survey of High-Speed Networking Research

  • James P. G. Sterbenz
Conference paper
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 2334)


This paper considers high-speed networking research from a historical perspective, and in the context of the development of networks. A set of axioms guiding high-speed network research and design are first presented: Ø Know the Past; I Application Primacy; II High Preformance Paths; III Limiting Constraints; IV Systemetic Optimisation. A framework of network generations is used as the basis for the historical development of highspeed networking: 1st — Emergence; 2nd — Internet; 3rd — Convergence and the Web; 4th — Scale, Ubiquity, and Mobility. Each generation is described in terms of its application drivers, and important infrastructure and architectural characteristics. Woven into this historical thread are the important research thrusts and sub-disciplines of high-speed networking, and their impact on deployment of the Global Information Infrastructure. Based on this historical perspective, a set of Systemic Optimisation Principles are identified: 1 Selective Optimisation; 2 Resource Tradeoffs; 3 End-to-End Arguments; 4 Protocol Layering; 5 State Management; 6 Control Mechanism Latency; 7 Distributed Data; 8 Protocol Data Uunits. We are now in the state where everything has some aspect of high speed networking, and nothing is only about high-speed networking. This is a double-edged sword — while it reflects the maturity of the discipline, it also means that very few people are looking after the performance of the entire Internet as a system of systems. Rather, performance analysis tends to be isolated to individual network components, protocols, or applications. Furthermore, the high-speed networking community is not pushing back at the multitude of deployment hacks by network and application service providers (such as middleboxes) without regard to global network performance effects. Thus, this paper argues that the high-speed networking community should have the future role of caring about high-speed network deployment on a global scale, and throughout the entire protocol stack from layers 1 through 7.


Bandwidth Requirement Transport Protocol Switch Fabric Network Processor Application Service Provider 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


  1. 1.
    David J. Bishop, C. Randy Giles, and Gary P. Austin, “The Lucent LambdaRouter: MEMS Technology of the Future Here Today”, IEEE Communications, vol. 40 #3, IEEE, New York NY US, Mar. 2002, pp. 75–79Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    Robert Braden, Extending TCP for Transactions-Concepts, RFC 1379, Nov. 1992.Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    Vinton G. Cerf and Edward Cain, “The DoD Internet Architecture Model”, Computer Networks, vol. 7 #5, Elsevier Science / North-Holland, Amsterdam NL, Oct. 1983, pp. 307–318.Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    Greg Chesson, “XTP/PE Design Considerations”, in Protocols for High-Speed Networks, IFIP PfHSN’89 (Zürich CH), May 1989, Harry Rudin and Robin Williamson editors, Elsevier / North-Holland, Amsterdam NL, 1989, pp. 27–33.Google Scholar
  5. 5.
    David D. Clark, Van Jacobson, John Romkey, and Howard Salwen, “An Analysis of TCP Processing Overhead”, IEEE Communications, vol. 27 #.6, IEEE, New York NY US, June 1989, pp. 23–29.Google Scholar
  6. 6.
    David D. Clark and David L. Tennenhouse, “Architectural Considerations for a New Generation of Protocols”, Proceedings ACM SIGCOMM’90 (Philadelpha PA US), Computer Communication Review, vol. 20 #4, ACM, New York NY US, Sep. 1990, pp. 200–208.Google Scholar
  7. 7.
    Bruce S. Davie, “A Host-Network Interface Architecture for ATM”, Proceedings of ACM SIGCOMM’91 (Zürich CH), Computer Communication Review, vol. 21 #4, ACM, New York NY US, Sep. 1991, pp. 307–315.Google Scholar
  8. 8.
    Gary S. Delp, Adarshpal S. Sethi, and David J. Farber, “An Analysis of Memnet: An Experiment in High-Speed Shared-Memory Local Networking”, Proceedings of ACM SIGCOMM’88 (Stanford CA US), Computer Communication Review, vol. 18 #4, ACM, New York NY US, Aug. 1988, pp. 165–174.Google Scholar
  9. 9.
    David C. Feldmeier, “A Framework of Architectural Concepts for High-Speed Communications Systems”, IEEE Journal on Selected Areas in Communications, vol. 11 #4, IEEE, New York NY US, May 1993, pp. 480–488.Google Scholar
  10. 10.
    Zygmunt Haas, “A Communication Architecture for High Speed Networking”, Proceedings of IEEE INFOCOM’90 (San Francisco CA US), IEEE, New York NY US, June 1990, pp. 433–441.Google Scholar
  11. 11.
    Van Jacobson, Robert Braden, and David A. Borman, TCP Extensions for High Performance, RFC 1323 (standards track), May 1992.Google Scholar
  12. 12.
    J. Bryan Lyles, Ira Richer, and James P.G. Sterbenz, “Applications Enabling the Wide Scale Deployment of Gigabit Networks” (editorial), IEEE Journal on Selected Areas in Communications, vol. 13 #5, IEEE, New York NY US, June 1995, pp. 765–767.Google Scholar
  13. 13.
    J. Bryan Lyles, keynote address, Protocols for High-Speed Networks, Berlin DE, Apr. 2002.Google Scholar
  14. 14.
    John M. McQuillan and David Walden, “The ARPA Network Design Decisions”, Computer Networks, vol. 1 #5, North-Holland, Amsterdam NL, Aug. 1977, pp. 243–289.Google Scholar
  15. 15.
    Robert M. Metcalfe and David R. Boggs, “Ethernet: Distributed Packet Switching for Local Computer Networks”, Communications of the ACM, vol. 19 #5, ACM, New York NY, Jul. 1976, pp. 395–404.Google Scholar
  16. 16.
    Craig Partridge editor, Report of the ARPA/NSF Workshop on Research in Gigabit Networking, Washington DC, Jul. 1994, available from
  17. 17.
    Craig Partridge, Philip P. Carvey, Ed Burgess, Isidro Castineyra, Tom Clarke, Lise Graham, Michael Hathaway, Phil Herman, Allen King, Steve Kolhami, Tracy Ma, John Mcallen, Trevor Mendez, Walter C. Milliken, Ronald Pettyjohn, John Rokosz, Joshua Seeger, Michael Sollins, Steve Storch, Benjamin Tober, Gregory D. Troxel, David Waitzman, and Scott Winterble, “A 50-Gb/s IP Router”, IEEE/ACM Transactions on Networking, vol. 6 #3, IEEE / ACM, New York NY US, Jun. 1998, pp. 237–248.Google Scholar
  18. 18.
    Gurudatta M. Parulkar and Jonathan S. Turner, “Towards a Framework for High-Speed Communication in a Heterogeneous Networking Environment”, IEEE Network, vol. 4 #2, IEEE, New York NY US, Mar. 1990, pp. 19–27.Google Scholar
  19. 19.
    Guru Parulkar, Douglas C. Schmidt, and Jonathan S. Turner, “aItPm: A Strategy for Integrating IP with ATM”, Proceedings of ACM SIGCOMM’95, (Cambridge MA US), Computer Communication Review, vol. 25 #4, ACM, New York NY US, Aug. 1995, pp. 49–57.Google Scholar
  20. 20.
    Chunming Qiao and Myungsik Yoo, “Optical Burst Switching-A New Paradigm for an Optical Internet”, Journal of High Speed Networks, vol. 8 #1, 1999, pp. 69–84.Google Scholar
  21. 21.
    John S. Quarterman, The Matrix: Computer Networks and Conferencing Systems Worldwide, Digital Press, Maynard MA US, 1989.Google Scholar
  22. 22.
    J.H. Saltzer, D.P. Reed, and D.D. Clark, “End-to-end Arguments in System Design,” Proceedings of the Second International Conference on Distributed Computing Systems (ICDCS), IEEE, New York NY US, 1981, pp. 509–512, also ACM Transactions on Computer Systems, vol.2 #4, ACM, New York NY US, Nov. 1984, 227–288.Google Scholar
  23. 23.
    James P.G. Sterbenz and Gurudatta M. Parulkar, “Axon: A Distributed Communication Architecture for High-Speed Networking”, Proceedings of IEEE INFOCOM’90 (San Francisco CA US), June 1990, pp 415–425.Google Scholar
  24. 24.
    James P.G. Sterbenz and Gurudatta M. Parulkar, “Axon Network Virtual Storage for High Performance Distributed Applications”, Proceedings of 10 th International Conference on Distributed Computing Systems ICDCS (Paris FR), IEEE, New York NY US, June 1990, pp 484–492.Google Scholar
  25. 25.
    James P.G. Sterbenz, “Protocols for High Speed Networks: Life After ATM?”, Protocols for High Speed Networks IV, IFIP/IEEE PfHSN’94 (Vancouver BC CA), Aug. 1994, Gerald Neufeld and Mabo Ito, editors, Chapman & Hall, London UK / Kluwer Academic Publishers, Norwell MA US, 1995, pp. 3–18.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. 26.
    James P.G. Sterbenz and Joseph D. Touch, High-Speed Networking: A Systematic Approach to High-Bandwidth Low-Latency Communication, John Wiley, New York NY US, 2001.Google Scholar
  27. 27.
    James P.G. Sterbenz, “Intelligence in Future Broadband Networks: Challenges and Opportunities in High-Speed Active Networking”, Proceedings of IEEE International Zürich Seminar on Broadband Communications IZS 2002 (Zürich CH), IEEE, New York, Feb. 2002, pp. 2-1–2-7.Google Scholar
  28. 28.
    James P.G. Sterbenz, Rajesh Krishnan, and Tushar Saxena, Latency Aware Information Acces with User Directed Handling of Cache Misses: Web VADE MECUM,
  29. 29.
    Ahmed Tantawy and Martina Zitterbart, “Multiprocessing in High Performance IP Routers”, Protocols for High Speed Networks III, IFIP PfHSN’92 (Stockholm SE), May 1992, Per Gunningberg, Björn Perhson, and Stephen Pink editors, Elsevier / North-Holland, Amsterdam NL, 1993, pp. 235–254.Google Scholar
  30. 30.
    Joseph D. Touch, “Parallel Communication” Proceedings ofINFOCOM’93 (San Francisco CA US), IEEE, New York NY US, Mar. 1993, pp. 506–512.Google Scholar
  31. 31.
    Joseph D. Touch, “Defining ‘High Speed’ Protocols: Five Challenges and an Example That Survives the Challenges”, IEEE Journal on Selected Areas in Communications, vol. 13,#5, IEEE, New York NY US, June 1995, pp. 828–835.Google Scholar
  32. 32.
    Joseph D. Touch., “High Performance Web”, animation session, Protocols for High-Speed Network, IFIP/IEEE, PfHSN’96 (Sophia-Antipolis, FR), Oct. 1996.Google Scholar
  33. 33.
    C. Brandan S. Traw and Jonathan M. Smith, “Hardware/Software Organization of a High-Performance ATM Host Interface”, IEEE Journal on Selected Areas in Communications, vol. 11 #2, IEEE, New York NY US, Feb. 1993, pp. 228–239.Google Scholar
  34. 34.
    Jonathan S. Turner, “Design of an Integrated Services Packet Network”, IEEE Journal on Selected Areas in Communications, vol. SAC-4 #8, IEEE, New York NY US, Nov. 1986, pp. 1373–1380.Google Scholar
  35. 35.
    Jonathan S. Turner, “Terabit Burst Switching”, Journal of High Speed Networks, vol. 8 #1, IOS Press, Amsterdam NL, 1999, pp. 3–16.Google Scholar
  36. 36.
    Richard W. Watson and Sandy A. Mamrak, “Gaining Efficiency in Transport Services by Appropriate Design and Implementation Choices”, ACM Transactions on Computer Systems, vol. 5 #2, May 1987, pp. 97–120.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. 37.
    C.M. Woodside, K. Ravinadran, and R.G. Franks, “The Protocol Bypass Concept for High Speed OSI Data Transfer.” Protocols for High-Speed Networks II, IFIP PfHSN’ 1990 (Palo Alto CA US), Oct. 1990, Marjory Johnson editor, Elsevier / North-Holland, Amsterdam NL, 1991, pp. 107–122.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2002

Authors and Affiliations

  • James P. G. Sterbenz
    • 1
  1. 1.BBN TechnologiesCambridgeUSA

Personalised recommendations