Future of Networking


These are my views expressed in the inaugural address as Chief Guest of
the National Conference in Netwrking organized by the TIFAC-CORE on
Network Engineering
of the Kalasilingam Engineering College (AKCE),
Krishnan Koil, Tamil Nadu on 19th December, 2003

I personally see FOUR broad trends

1. The paradigm of netwoking used to be connecting computers; today it is
attaching to an existing network. As graduate students in early seventies, we
used to pride ourselves in building networks by tying computers together; but
today, with Internet all around and the “always on” wireless netwoks
everywhere, all we need to network a computer is to attach it to the network
that is pervasive.

2. For long, CS education has centered around PC (Terminal, X Terminal)
centric networking built around LAN / WAN that assumes synchronous
model
. With PDA / Mobile phons communicating we need to re-visit this
view. PC’s / Terminals are generally synchronous; with part asynchronus and
part asynchronous connections that PDA’s and Mobile phones exhibit, there are
interesting challenges.

3. For long we are used to the 7-layer OSI model of clear separation between
hardware and software. With Network Processors & O/S for network devices, what
is done at hardware and what gets done in software is changind dramatically.

4. The universality (even the term Ethernet had this idea) is really coming
true. IPv6 will see very quick adoption, with Nokia deciding to move to IPv6
enabled handsets.

As teachers & researchers we need to sensitize students about this changing
paradigm.

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