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USENIX 2001 Abstract

A Waypoint Service Approach to Connect Heterogeneous Internet Address Spaces

T. S. Eugene Ng, Ion Stoica, Hui Zhang, Carnegie Mellon University


The rapid growth of the Internet has made IP addresses a scarce resource. To get around this problem, today and in the foreseeable future, networks will be deployed with reusable-IP addresses (a.k.a. private-IP addresses) or IPv6 addresses. The Internet is therefore evolving into a collection of networks of heterogeneous address spaces. Such development jeopardizes the fundamental bi-directional connectivity property of the Internet.

The problem is that, without IP addresses, non-IP hosts (i.e. reusable-IP or IPv6 hosts) cannot be directly addressed by IP hosts, making it impossible for IP hosts to initiate connections to them. To solve this problem, we propose a network layer waypoint (3rd-party network agent) service called AVES. The key idea is to virtualize non-IP hosts by a set of IP addresses assigned to waypoints. The waypoints then act as relays to connect IP hosts to non-IP hosts. This scheme allows every IP host to simultaneously connect to as many non-IP hosts as the number of waypoint IP addresses. Therefore high connectivity is achieved by AVES even when a small number of IP addresses are used. Unlike other known solutions, AVES can provide general connectivity and does not require any change to existing IP hosts or IP network routers for easy deployment. We have implemented and deployed an AVES prototype system at CMU. A wide range of applications have been shown to work seamlessly with AVES. Details of our implementation's design, performance and limitations are discussed.

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