Flow labelled IP: a connectionless approach to ATM

  • Authors:
  • Peter Newman;Tom Lyon;Greg Minshall

  • Affiliations:
  • Ipsilon Networks Inc.;Ipsilon Networks Inc.;Ipsilon Networks Inc.

  • Venue:
  • INFOCOM'96 Proceedings of the Fifteenth annual joint conference of the IEEE computer and communications societies conference on The conference on computer communications - Volume 3
  • Year:
  • 1996

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A number of proposals for supporting IP over ATM are under discussion in the networking community including: LAN emulation, classical IP over ATM, routing over large clouds, and multiprotocol over ATM. Each of these proposals hides the real network topology from the IP layer by treating the data link layer as a large, opaque, network cloud. We argue that this leads to complexity, ineflciency and duplication of functionality in the resulting network. We propose an alternative in which we discard the connection oriented nature of ATM and integrate fast ATM hardware directly with IP, preserving the connectionless nature of IP. We use "soft" state in the ATM hardware to cache the IP forwarding decision. This enables further traffic on the same IP flow to be switched by the ATM hardware rather than forwarded by IP software. We claim that this approach combines the simplicity, scalability, and robustness of IP with the speed, capacity, and multiservice traffic capabilities of ATM.