Computer Science Department
School of Computer Science, Carnegie Mellon University


XIA: An Architecture for an
Evolvable and Trustworthy Internet

Ashok Anand*, Fahad Dogar, Dongsu Han,
Boyan Li, Hyeontaek Lim, Michel Machado**,
Wenfei Wu*, Aditya Akella*, David Andersen,
John Byers**, Srinivasan Seshan, Peter Steenkiste

January 2011


Keywords: Future Internet, network architecture, service, content, evolvability, intrinsic security

Motivated by limitations in today's host-based IP network architecture, recent studies have proposed clean-slate network architectures centered around alternate first-class principals, such as content, services, or users. However, much like the host-centric IP design, elevating one principal type above others hinders communication between other principals and inhibits the network's capability to evolve. Our work presents the eXpressive Internet Architecture (XIA), an architecture with native support for multiple principals and the ability to evolve its functionality to accommodate new, as yet unforeseen, principals over time. XIA also provides intrinsic security: communicating entities validate that their underlying intent was satisfied correctly without relying on external databases or configuration.

In this paper, we focus on core architectural issues and protocols in the XIA data plane. We outline key design requirements relating to expressiveness, intrinsic security, and native support for multiple communicating principals, and then then describe how we realize them in XIP, a new internetwork protocol. We demonstrate how rich addressing and forwarding semantics of XIP facilitate evolvability and flexibility, while keeping core network functions, notably packet processing, simple and efficient. Case studies demonstrate how XIA benefits both existing applications, and more novel ones, such as secure service migration. Finally, our evaluation of an XIA prototype demonstrates that XIA's advantages can be realized on today's hardware.

32 pages

*University of Wisconsin-Madision, Madison, WI
**Boston University, Boston, MA

Return to: SCS Technical Report Collection
School of Computer Science

This page maintained by