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We propose a new internetworking architecture that represents a departure from current philosophy and practice, as a contribution to the ongoing debate regarding the future Internet. Building upon our experience with the design and prototyping of the just-in-time protocol suite, we outline a framework consisting of (1) building blocks of fine-grain functionality, (2) explicit support for combining elemental blocks to accomplish highly configurable complex communication tasks, and (3) control elements to facilitate (what is currently referred to as) cross-layer interactions. In this position paper, we take a holistic view of network design, allowing applications to work synergistically with the network architecture and physical layers to select the most appropriate functional blocks and tune their behavior so as to meet the application's needs within resource availability constraints. The proposed architecture is flexible and extensible so as to foster innovation and accommodate change, it supports a unified Internet, it allows for the integration of security and management features at any point in (what is now referred to as) the networking stack, and it is positioned to take advantage of hardware-based performance-enhancing techniques.
Date of Conference: 24-28 June 2007