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IPv6 Is Tactical, NDN Is Strategic

My last assignment with the National Science Foundation (NSF), in 1995, was IPv6. Even 20-plus years ago, we understood that IPv6 was a tactical protocol designed to correct IPv4 limitations such as the fixed number of IP addresses. As enterprises exhaust their IPv4 networks, they should look past IPv6 as the answer to their network addressing challenges. IPv6 has the following limitations:


  1. Additional Overhead -- For voice traffic, Internet of Things (IoT), and other network traffic that has small packets, the additional overhead associated with IPv6 increases bandwidth requirements. IPSec/v6 tunnels further exacerbate this problem, with a G.711 call having a 200% network overhead.
  2. Minimal Internetworking QoS -- Going from IPv4 to IPv6 and between NAT boundaries causes the loss of QoS and routing policy information
  3. Zero Application Awareness -- It's still a packet-by-packet routing technology and is unaware of network session state
  4. Lack of Security -- The Internet Architecture Board recommends that all future protocols support end-to-end encryption

Named Data Networking (NDN) started in 2010 as an NSF research project to create the architecture for the future Internet. NDN changes the paradigm used by traditional networks, moving away from IP and using numbers for address assignment and routing. NDN defines a network to transport data containers between two endpoints, or nodes, with unique names (similar to URLs). The NDN scheme allows for blocks of data to be stored, digitally signed, and transmitted across nodes, the names of which higher-level applications can understand.

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