Browse Prior Art Database

Network/440 Protocol Concept (RFC0187)

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000004126D
Original Publication Date: 1971-Jul-01
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2000-Sep-13
Document File: 9 page(s) / 24K

Publishing Venue

Internet Society Requests For Comment (RFCs)

Related People

D.B. McKay: AUTHOR [+2]

Abstract

Network/44O is an experimental project in computer netting that was undertaken by the Computer Science Department of IBM Research. The primary objectives of the project have been to understand netting, identify design problems and implement the solutions to these problems.

This text was extracted from a ASCII Text document.
This is the abbreviated version, containing approximately 12% of the total text.

A NETWORK/440 PROTOCOL CONCEPT

Network Working Group Douglas B. McKay

Request for Comments #187 Donald P. Karp

NIC #7131 IBM Thomas J. Watson Research Center

Categories: C3,C4,C5,C6,D7 Yorktown Heights, New York

Update: None

Obsoletes: None

This RFC is being circulated as an

information RFC. Its intent is to

convey some of the thinking and

philosophy that went into IBM's

network protocol and overall

network design.

INTRODUCTION

Network/44O is an experimental project in computer netting that was

undertaken by the Computer Science Department of IBM Research. The

primary objectives of the project have been to understand netting,

identify design problems and implement the solutions to these problems.

The above objectives have been met since a network has been built and is

presently being operated by the project. Implementation discussions

transpired with another department at Research in order to define a

realistic user system interface. The protocol defined for the project's

network is also the basis for the operation of an IBM OS network.

The Network/44O project has also been involved in the philosophical and

architectural concepts of network systems. The basic premise in our work

is the concept of a logical network machine.(1) The main theme is to

treat all systems involved in the network as a part of a single (large)

multiprocessor system. Although many of the ideas have been based on

hypothetical concepts, an equal number of ideas were derived from our

network implementation and operating experience.

The scope of this paper is to describe the philosophy and definition of

a network protocol that is not restricted to any physical configuration.

This is exemploified by the fact that a major portion of the ideas are

implemented in IBM's two major operational networks, one of which is a

distributed configuration and the other a star configuration.

(1) Intenet - Report 2, February 1, 1970, Computer Science Department,

IBM Corporation, T. J. Watson Research Center, Yorktown Heights,

New York.

BASIC ASSUMPTIONS

There was a necessity to delineate many network functions in setting up

an operating protocol. These functions included switching control,

buffer control, message control, and operating control. The operating

control function becomes further complicated as the user is able to

program the network as if it were a single operating system. The

protocol had to be further broken dowm into detailed functions in order

to cope with error recovery and handling techniques.

The original thoughts on handling these functions were to provide two

basic realms of control. The net control is a higher level function that

recognizes and controls all aspects of net jobs and the execution of job

steps in the network machine. In addition, a communication control

facility (referred to as an "Express Interpreter") was incorporated to

pr...