Protocols for High Speed Networks: Life After ATM? [chapter]

James P. G. Sterbenz
1995 IFIP Advances in Information and Communication Technology  
This paper will provide a brief history of networking, noting the transition from disjoint network infrastructure and media to the emerging integrated broadband networks. The current state of affairs and significant challenges in deploying a broadband Global Information Infrastructure based on ATM and B-ISDN will be discussed. Even if we solve all the hard technical problems and practical challenges associated with this, all we have provided is an integrated network infrastructure that is
more » ... e of transporting high bandwidth. We still have not solved the latency problem (bandwidth-x-delay product) for WAN applications, or provided for the delivery of this bandwidth to the applications through the host architecture and operating systems. The sorts of emerging applications we must support, and some of the challenges, issues, and areas of research that remain at the end system to support these new applications will be described. Finally, some of the research directions to be pursued will be briefly touched upon. In roughly the 1980's a dramatic jump in the types and scope of networking occurred, but the three categories of communication (voice, entertainment, and data) remained relatively distinct. This period took us from the experimental ARPANET to the ubiquitous Internet. While the end user of the voice network generally continued to use analog telephone sets, the internal network switches and trunks became largely digital. Additionally, there was widespread deployment of digital PBXs (private branch exchange telephone switches). Mobile communications emerged in form of cellular telephony. There were two significant additions to the entertainment category: the wide scale deployment of cable networks for entertainment video, and the emergence of BBS (bulletin board systems) and consumer online services (such as America Online, CompuServe, and Prodigy). The growth in data networking during this period was significant, incorporating file transfer, remote login, and electronic mail. In the local area, shared media Ethernet and token ring networks allowed clusters of workstations and PCs to network with file and compute servers. In the wide area, store-and-forward packet routers formed the backbone of the Internet, with wide scale research and university access. At the same time, but relatively distinct from this, connection oriented corporate networks using protocols such as BNA, DECNET, and SNA were deployed, along with the deployment of public X.25 networks (used primarily as corporate virtual private networks). Thus, even within data networking there were multiple incompatible architectures and poorly interconnected networks.
doi:10.1007/978-0-387-34885-8_1 fatcat:ihdow22ps5hqngiv3vxncoenni