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NDN Consortium Works To Replace Internet with Newer Model

TCP/IP has had its day. Now it's time for a new communication model on which to run the Internet. Last week an international group of academic and industry people converged for a two-day community meeting at the campus of the University of California Los Angeles (UCLA) to lay out more details of NDN — Named Data Networking.

UCLA was the same institution that was on the sending end in 1969 when a message went out from the lab of Leonard Kleinrock, now a distinguished professor at UCLA, to the Stanford Research Institute (now known as SRI International). The network delivering that first transmission later became known as the Internet, and Kleinrock's host computer formally became the first node of the Internet.

The newest initiative now has a new organization — the NDN consortium — to develop the protocols for this future Internet architecture, which has been under development since 2010. The goals for NDN are to increase network security, support growing bandwidth needs of media-heavy traffic and simplify creation of increasingly complex and distributed applications.

Project leaders are UCLA Professor Lixia Zhang and UCLA Adjunct Professor Van Jacobson. Both work in the Henry Samueli School of Engineering and Applied Science. They're joined by participants from seven other institutions: UC San Diego, Colorado State University, U Arizona, U Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, U Memphis, U Michigan and Washington U in St. Louis. Universities from Korea, China, Switzerland and Japan were also expected to attend the Los Angeles meeting.

The group already operates a software platform and network testbed and collaborates with several network-focused companies, including Cisco, Qualcomm, Comcast, Verisign and Panasonic.

"NDN has built significant momentum through a commitment to an open approach that aims to limit proprietary intellectual property claims on core elements of the architecture," said Zhang. "This has spurred substantial interest from both academia and industry. Our goal with the consortium is to accelerate the development of architecture that will lift the Internet from its origins as a messaging and information tool and better prepare it for the wide-ranging uses it has today and will have tomorrow."

The National Science Foundation (NSF) has funded much of the NDN project, going back to 2010. Since then NSF has invested $13.5 million in the NDN project, including a $5 million grant announced earlier this year.

Livestreaming and archived recordings of the proceedings of the community meeting are being shown on this Web page.

About the Author

Dian Schaffhauser is a former senior contributing editor for 1105 Media's education publications THE Journal, Campus Technology and Spaces4Learning.

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