Networking

Minion - An All-Terrain Packet Packhorse to Jump-Start Stalled Internet Transports

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Executive Summary

Transport layer evolution is stuck. A proliferation of middleboxes in the Internet has shifted the waist of the hourglass upward from IP to include legacy transports. While popular for many different reasons, middleboxes deviate from the Internet's end-to-end design, creating large deployment "Black-holes" - singularities where legacy transports get through, but any new transport technology or protocol fails - severely limiting protocol evolution. To restore the Internet's openness to innovation at the ends, the authors propose the minion suite: a protocols suite that uses legacy transports - UDP, TCP, and SSL - to provide a generic unordered datagram service between communicating endpoints, as a substrate atop which more sophisticated transports, such as those supporting partial-ordering, can be built and deployed.

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