Critical issues in high bandwidth networking
RFC 1077

Document Type RFC - Unknown (November 1988; No errata)
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Network Working Group                              Gigabit Working Group
Request for Comments: 1077                             B. Leiner, Editor
                                                           November 1988

              Critical Issues in High Bandwidth Networking

Status of this Memo

   This memo presents the results of a working group on High Bandwidth
   Networking.  This RFC is for your information and you are encouraged
   to comment on the issues presented.  Distribution of this memo is


   At the request of Maj. Mark Pullen and Maj. Brian Boesch of DARPA, an
   ad-hoc working group was assembled to develop a set of
   recommendations on the research required to achieve a ubiquitous
   high-bandwidth network as discussed in the FCCSET recommendations for
   Phase III.

   This report outlines a set of research topics aimed at providing the
   technology base for an interconnected set of networks that can
   provide highbandwidth capabilities.  The suggested research focus
   draws upon ongoing research and augments it with basic and applied
   components.  The major activities are the development and
   demonstration of a gigabit backbone network, the development and
   demonstration of an interconnected set of networks with gigabit
   throughput and appropriate management techniques, and the development
   and demonstration of the required overall architecture that allows
   users to gain access to such high bandwidth.

Gigabit Working Group                                           [Page 1]
RFC 1077                                                   November 1988

   1.  Introduction and Summary

   1.1.  Background

   The computer communications world is evolving toward both high-
   bandwidth capability and high-bandwidth requirements.  The recent
   workshop conducted under the auspices of the FCCSET Committee on High
   Performance Computing [1] identified a number of areas where
   extremely high-bandwidth networking is required to support the
   scientific research community.  These areas range from remote
   graphical visualization of supercomputer results through the movement
   of high rate sensor data from space to the ground-based scientific
   investigator.  Similar requirements exist for other applications,
   such as military command and control (C2) where there is a need to
   quickly access and act on data obtained from real-time sensors.  The
   workshop identified requirements for switched high-bandwidth service
   in excess of 300 Mbit/s to a single user, and the need to support
   service in the range of a Mbit/s on a low-duty-cycle basis to
   millions of researchers.  When added to the needs of the military and
   commercial users, the aggregate requirement for communications
   service adds up to many billions of bits per second.  The results of
   this workshop were incorporated into a report by the FCCSET [2].

   Fortunately, technology is also moving rapidly.  Even today, the
   installed base of fiber optics communications allows us to consider
   aggregate bandwidths in the range of Gbit/s and beyond to limited
   geographical regions.  Estimates arrived at in the workshop lead one
   to believe that there will be available raw bandwidth approaching
   terabits per second.

   The critical question to be addressed is how this raw bandwidth can
   be used to satisfy the requirements identified in the workshop: 1)
   provide bandwidth on the order of several Gbit/s to individual users,
   and 2) provide modest bandwidth on the order of several Mbit/s to a
   large number of users in a cost-effective manner through the
   aggregation of their traffic.

   Through its research funding, the Defense Advanced Research Projects
   Agency (DARPA) has played a central role in the development of
   packet-oriented communications, which has been of tremendous benefit
   to the U.S. military in terms of survivability and interoperability.
   DARPA-funded research has resulted in the ARPANET, the first packet-
   switched network; the SATNET, MATNET and Wideband Network, which
   demonstrated the efficient utilization of shared-access satellite
   channels for communications between geographically diverse sites;

Gigabit Working Group                                           [Page 2]
RFC 1077                                                   November 1988

   packet radio networks for mobile tactical environments; the Internet
   and TCP/IP protocols for interconnection and interoperability between
   heterogeneous networks and computer systems; the development of
   electronic mail; and many advances in the areas of network security,
   privacy, authentication and access control for distributed computing
   environments.  Recognizing DARPA's past accomplishments and its
   desire to continue to take a leading role in addressing these issues,
   this document provides a recommendation for research topics in
   gigabit networking.  It is meant to be an organized compendium of the
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