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Gateways, architectures, and heffalumps (RFC0875)

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000003924D
Original Publication Date: 1982-Sep-01
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2000-Sep-13
Document File: 8 page(s) / 23K

Publishing Venue

Internet Society Requests For Comment (RFCs)

Related People

M.A. Padlipsky: AUTHOR

This text was extracted from a ASCII Text document.
This is the abbreviated version, containing approximately 13% of the total text.

RFC 875 September 1982

M82-51

Gateways, Architectures, and Heffalumps

M.A. PADLIPSKY

THE MITRE CORPORATION

Bedford, Massachusetts

ABSTRACT

The growth of autonomous intercomputer networks has led to a

desire on the part of their respective proprietors to "gateway"

from one to the other. Unfortunately, however, the implications

and shortcomings of gateways which must translate or map between

differing protocol suites are not widely understood. Some

protocol sets have such severe functionality mismatches that

proper T/MG's cannot be generated for them; all attempts to mesh

heterogeneous suites are subject to numerous problems, including

the introduction of "singularity points" on logical connections

which would otherwise be able to enjoy the advantages of

communications subnetwork alternate routing, loss of

functionality, difficulty of Flow Control resolution, higher cost

than non-translating/mapping Gateways, and the necessity of

re-creating T/MG's when a given suite changes. The preferability

of a protocol-compatible internet is also touched upon, as is the

psychology of those soi-disant architects who posit T/MG's.

i

Gateways, Architectures, and Heffalumps

M. A. Padlipsky

In our collective zeal to remain (or become) abreast of the

State of the Art, we sometimes fall into one or the other (or

both) of a couple of pitfalls. Only one of these pitfalls is

particularly well-known: "Buzzwords" -- and even here merely

knowing the name doesn't necessarily effect a spontaneous

solution. The other deserves more attention: inadequate

familiarity with The Relevant Literature.

The key is the notion of what's really relevant. Often,

it's the Oral Tradition that matters; published papers, in their

attempts to seem scholarly, offer the wrong levels of abstraction

or, because of the backgrounds of their authors, are so

ill-written as to fail to communicate well. Sometimes, however,

that which is truly relevant turns out to be unfindable by a

conventional literature searcher because it isn't "in" the field

of search.

I wandered into an instructive case in point recently, when

it took me over an hour to convince a neophyte to the mysteries

of intercomputer networking (who is quite highly regarded in at

least one other area of computer science, and is by no means a

dummy) that a particular Local Area Network architecture proposal

which casually appealed to the notion of "gatewaying" to three or

four other networks it didn't have protocols in common with was a

Very Bad ...