Stanford researchers look to rebuild Internet

Researchers attempt for better design, instead of just work-arounds

Sure, the Internet is just one notch down from the air we breathe on the list of things we can't do without these days, but Stanford University researchers say the 'Net could be a whole lot better.

''How should the Internet look in 15 years?'' asks team leader Nick McKeown, an associate professor of electrical engineering and computer science, in a statement. ''We should be able to answer that question by saying we created exactly what we need, not just that we patched some more holes, made some new tweaks or came up with some more work-arounds. Let's invent the car instead of giving the same horse better hay.'

Stanford researchers will present their ideas for a more secure and application-friendly network at an event called Clean Slate Design for the Internet at the school on March 21.

Among McKeown's cohorts on the effort is electrical engineering Professor Bernd Girod, a pioneer of Internet multimedia delivery. Vendors such as Cisco, Deutsche Telekom and NEC are also involved.

The researchers already have projects underway to support their effort: Flow-level models for the future Internet; clean slate approach to wireless spectrum usage; fast dynamic optical light paths for the Internet core; and a clean slate approach to enterprise network security (Ethane).

Stanford says the project complements the National Science Foundation's Global Environment for Network Innovations (GENI) effort to build a better network research platform as well as the Future Internet Network Design program for developing new Internet architectures.

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