Patterns in Network Architecture – Legacy Networks of 2009

I’mgoing to move away from the Twitter, Google and Facebook posts thathave been coming thick and fast on Blogging Idol lately and go back toone of the suggested topics – Legacy Networks – for just a briefintermission.

Itmay be surprising, but there are experts out there who believe thattoday’s Internet is headed towards serious trouble and may become thelegacy networks of the near future.

Inlast year’s contest, I had just received a new book called Patterns inNetwork Architecture, written by a colleague from my old days as aparticipant in ISO standards development.  I found the book a fascinating read, especially since I have been involved in some of the events it referred to.  Here’s a breif description of the book:

Patterns in Network Architecture: A Return to Fundamentals

by John Day

Published by Prentice Hall ISBN 0132252422


In Patterns in Network Architecture,pioneer John Day takes a unique approach to solving the problem ofnetwork architecture. Piercing the fog of history, he bridges the gapbetween our experience from the original ARPANET and today’s Internetto a new perspective on networking. Along the way, he shows howsocioeconomic forces derailed progress and led to the current crisis.


Beginning with the seven fundamental, and still unanswered, questions identified during the ARPANET’s development, Patterns in Network Architecturereturns to bedrock and traces our experience both good and bad. Alongthe way, he uncovers overlooked patterns in protocols that simplifydesign and implementation and resolves the classic conflict betweenconnection and connectionless while retaining the best of both. Hefinds deep new insights into the core challenges of naming andaddressing, along with results from upper-layer architecture. All ofthis in Day’s deft hands comes together in a tour de force of eleganceand simplicity with the annoying turn of events that the answer hasbeen staring us in the face: Operating systems tell us even more aboutnetworking than we thought. The result is, in essence, the first“unified theory of networking,” and leads to a simpler, morepowerful–and above all–more scalable network infrastructure.  The bookthen lays the groundwork for how to exploit the result in the design,development, and management as we move beyond the limitations of theInternet.


It seems that a few other people also found this book quite interesting.  Thebook challenges us to look at what ails the Internet today – especiallywith respect to naming and addressing – and to see what can be done tocreate a successful next generation Internet.

In fact, a new organization is in the process of forming, called the Pouzin SocietyHere’s a couple of references:

           Bill St Arnaud referred to the Pouzin Society in a recent posting

          Amazon sells the book

          Cisco did a book review

WhileI cannot hope to explain the many networking concepts described in thebook in a single blog, I do encourage any of you that are interested innetworks to take a look at the new developments. 

Perhapsin ten years we will all be amazed at how primitive the services of the“legacy” networks of 2009 were and the inconveniences that we had toput up with!!

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