The Internet Protocol – Past, some current limitations and a glimpse of a possible future

04/03/2021 ∙ by Nuno M. Garcia, et al. ∙ 0

The network layer is central to the networking scientific area. It is around the network layer that all the data communications develop, and one of its main tasks is to allow the identification of each single interface/machine between the potentially many interfaces in a network. This seminar addresses some of the issues that are usually presented to young Computer Science Engineering students in the course of several classes, but also presents some topics that are not address in networking courses. It is mostly focused on using Internet Protocol addresses in Local Area Networks, also considering issues that belong to the Wide Area Networks, such as data aggregation. This document summarizes the content of a seminar, therefore it comprehends both teaching and researching subject. The seminar starts with a history of the evolution of the communication protocols from the early days of networks up until IPv6. It describes a new approach to define the addresses of network interfaces using Variable Length Subnet Masks, as usually this is a not an easy task for Computer Science Engineering undergraduate students. This summary also describes some of the limitations of the data communication in todays' networks, proposing some solutions, where possible, including a novel mean of connectionless data transmission by using IPv6 addresses, by extension of previously published research. The way the seminar is organized provides a history to the past of the Internet Protocol, a view of some of its well-known current limitations, and a glimpse into a possible future regarding an improved connectionless layer 3 data transfer protocol.

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