from last week) A word about RON
Any description of the N21 Networks of Oxygen will
not be complete without a word about resilient overlay networks
from which most of the above proposed technologies draw insight
if not inspiration. The MIT RON (Resilient Overlay Networks) project
is an effort to improve the strength and accessibility of Internet
paths between hosts in use today on wide area Internet routing infrastructure.
The goal is to develop techniques that would allow end-hosts and
applications to cooperatively gain improved reliability and performance
from the Internet. RON nodes examine the condition of the Internet
between themselves and the other nodes, and, based upon how the
network looks, decide if they should let packets flow directly to
other nodes, or if they should send them indirectly via other RON
nodes. For instance, a group of cooperating systems on an Oxygen
N21 network can mutually provide a more available and better performing
routing service than what present day Internet routing can provide.
RON is an architecture
that allows a small group of distributed Internet applications to
detect and recover from 'path outages' and periods of degraded performance
within several seconds, which is a vast improvement over today's
wide-area routing protocols that take at least several minutes to
recover. A RON is an application-layer modification on top of the
existing Internet routing techniques.
The RON nodes
monitor the functioning and quality of the Internet paths among
themselves, and use this information to decide whether to route
packets directly over the Internet or by way of other RON nodes,
optimising application-specific routing metrics. The above is but
a basic overview of the N21 network technologies as made available
by the project authors through the sources acknowledged under 'references'.
This article does not attempt to explain the technicalities and
the methodologies that will be used in the implementation of these
concepts for the simple reason that they are still being researched
and are far from being finalised yet.
The world will
have its first glimpse of prototype Oxygen systems in 2005 when
such technologies enter the public domain as 'common knowledge'.
On the other hand, this has more than amply described the vision
of the project and what it aims to achieve in terms of improving
on the present network technologies and to overcome their limitations.