IDG Contributor Network: Introducing Named Data Networking

While computing, storage and programming have dramatically changed and become simpler and cheaper over the last 20 years, however, IP networking has not. IP networking is still stuck in the era of mid-1990s.

Realistically, when I look at ways to upgrade or improve a network, the approach falls into two separate buckets. One is the tactical move and the other is strategic. For example, when I look at IPv6, I see this as a tactical move. There aren’t many business value-adds.

In fact, there are opposites such as additional overheads and minimal internetworking QoS between IPv4 & v6 with zero application awareness and still a lack of security. Here, I do not intend to say that one should not upgrade to IPv6, it does give you more IP addresses (if you need them) and better multicast capabilities but it’s a tactical move.

However, when I spoke to Sorell Slaymaker and researched over Named Data Networking (NDN), I found this very much as a strategic move that adds value to next-gen applications such as AR/VR, IoT, driverless cars and 5G.

Problematic landscape

The core problem of IP networking is that it is location based. Everything has an IP address that defines “where” the location is. However, we live in an information-centric world. Thence, instead of using IP addresses, which is the “where,” why not use something that describes the content; the “what.” Do you see where I’m coming from?

With Named Data Networking, the naming schema at the application data layer becomes the names at the networking layer. Therefore, there is no need for IP addresses anymore or upgrades to IPv6. We still have the open systems interconnection model (OSI) model and the protocol stack but we are just taking out the IP part.