The Internet presents compelling reach, cost and capacity properties that drive more and more forms of communication to use it as their network of choice. These properties stem from a few core design principles underlying the Internet, such as best effort packet switching and routing, and end-to-end reliability, congestion control and addressing: in essence, keep it simple in the middle and smart at the edge.
New applications bring new demands that clash with the core principles: high performance reliability for large file transfers; low latency interactivity for VoIP calls; point-to-multipoint reliable transport and delivery for live TV; and intrusion resiliency required by clouds, SCADA, and other critical infrastructure systems.
This talk describes the development of an overlay network paradigm addressing the new demands. We present the overlay architecture and associated protocols that were invented along the way, moving more of the intelligence to the middle of the network. The architecture is implemented by a flexible, software-based overlay router that is augmented with protocols tailored to new demands, while using the Internet as is. We discuss a reliable protocol that dramatically reduces average latency, a second protocol tailored to VoIP, and a third protocol and system tailored to global transport of live TV. Finally, we present new directions based on the overlay paradigm for intrusion resilient messaging required by emerging critical distributed infrastructure.
Yair Amir is a Professor of Computer Science and director of the Distributed Systems and Networks lab at Johns Hopkins University, where his goal is to invent high performance, survivable and secure distributed systems that make a difference. Dr. Amir holds a B.Sc. and M.Sc. from the Technion, Israel Institute of Technology, and a Ph.D from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Israel. He served on various technical program committees and as an Associate Editor for the IEEE Transactions on Dependable and Secure Computing. He is a creator of the Spread group communication toolkit (www.spread.org), used in thousands of installations around the world in commercial, academic and government settings. He led Secure Spread, developing the first robust key agreement protocols, as well as the Spines overlay network platform (www.spines.org) and the SMesh wireless mesh network (www.smesh.org), the first seamless 802.11 mesh with fast, lossless handoff. More recently, he led the development of the LTN cloud (www.ltnglobal.com), offering a global transport service for broadcast-quality live TV. That service was adopted by major broadcasters like Turner, CNN, CNBC, Fox, ABC, NBC, PBS, CBS, Bloomberg and others.