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Architectural Principles of the Internet (RFC1958)

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000004183D
Original Publication Date: 1996-Jun-01
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2019-Feb-12
Document File: 8 page(s) / 12K

Publishing Venue

Internet Society Requests For Comment (RFCs)

Related People

B. Carpenter: AUTHOR

Related Documents

10.17487/RFC1958: DOI

Abstract

The Internet and its architecture have grown in evolutionary fashion from modest beginnings, rather than from a Grand Plan. While this process of evolution is one of the main reasons for the technology's success, it nevertheless seems useful to record a snapshot of the current principles of the Internet architecture. This is intended for general guidance and general interest, and is in no way intended to be a formal or invariant reference model. This memo provides information for the Internet community. This memo does not specify an Internet standard of any kind.

This text was extracted from a PDF file.
This is the abbreviated version, containing approximately 20% of the total text.

Network Working Group B. Carpenter, Editor Request for Comments: 1958 IAB Category: Informational June 1996

Architectural Principles of the Internet

Status of This Memo

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

Abstract

The Internet and its architecture have grown in evolutionary fashion from modest beginnings, rather than from a Grand Plan. While this process of evolution is one of the main reasons for the technology’s success, it nevertheless seems useful to record a snapshot of the current principles of the Internet architecture. This is intended for general guidance and general interest, and is in no way intended to be a formal or invariant reference model.

Table of Contents

1. Constant Change..............................................1 2. Is there an Internet Architecture?...........................2 3. General Design Issues........................................4 4. Name and address issues......................................5 5. External Issues..............................................6 6. Related to Confidentiality and Authentication................6 Acknowledgements................................................7 References......................................................7 Security Considerations.........................................8 Editor’s Address................................................8

1. Constant Change

In searching for Internet architectural principles, we must remember that technical change is continuous in the information technology industry. The Internet reflects this. Over the 25 years since the ARPANET started, various measures of the size of the Internet have increased by factors between 1000 (backbone speed) and 1000000 (number of hosts). In this environment, some architectural principles inevitably change. Principles that seemed inviolable a few years ago are deprecated today. Principles that seem sacred today will be deprecated tomorrow. The principle of constant change is perhaps the only principle of the Internet that should survive indefinitely.

IAB Informational [Page 1]

RFC 1958 Architectural Principles of the Internet June 1996

The purpose of this document is not, therefore, to lay down dogma about how Internet protocols should be designed, or even about how they should fit together. Rather, it is to convey various guidelines that have been found useful in the past, and that may be useful to those designing new protocols or evaluating such designs.

A good analogy for the development of the Internet is that of constantly renewing the individual streets and buildings of a city, rather than razing the city and rebuilding it. The architectural principles therefore aim to provide a framework for creating cooperation and standards, as a small "spanning set" of rules that generates a large, varied and evolving space of technology.

Some current technical triggers for change inc...

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