Simple Internet Protocol Plus White Paper
RFC 1710

Document Type RFC - Informational (October 1994; No errata)
Last updated 2013-03-02
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Network Working Group:                                         R. Hinden
Request for Comments: 1710                              Sun Microsystems
Category: Informational                                     October 1994

               Simple Internet Protocol Plus White Paper

Status of this Memo

   This memo provides information for the Internet community.  This memo
   does not specify an Internet standard of any kind.  Distribution of
   this memo is unlimited.


   This document was submitted to the IETF IPng area in response to RFC
   1550.  Publication of this document does not imply acceptance by the
   IPng area of any ideas expressed within.  Comments should be
   submitted to the author and/or the mailing

1. Introduction

   This white paper presents an overview of the Simple Internet Protocol
   plus (SIPP) which is one of the candidates being considered in the
   Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) for the next version of the
   Internet Protocol (the current version is usually referred to as
   IPv4).  This white paper is not intended to be a detailed
   presentation of all of the features and motivation for SIPP, but is
   intended to give the reader an overview of the proposal.  It is also
   not intended that this be an implementation specification, but given
   the simplicity of the central core of SIPP, an implementor familiar
   with IPv4 could probably construct a basic working SIPP
   implementation from reading this overview.

   SIPP is a new version of IP which is designed to be an evolutionary
   step from IPv4.  It is a natural increment to IPv4.  It can be
   installed as a normal software upgrade in internet devices and is
   interoperable with the current IPv4.  Its deployment strategy was
   designed to not have any "flag" days.  SIPP is designed to run well
   on high performance networks (e.g., ATM) and at the same time is
   still efficient for low bandwidth networks (e.g., wireless).  In
   addition, it provides a platform for new internet functionality that
   will be required in the near future.

   This white paper describes the work of IETF SIPP working group.
   Several individuals deserve specific recognition.  These include
   Steve Deering, Paul Francis, Dave Crocker, Bob Gilligan, Bill

Hinden                                                          [Page 1]
RFC 1710                 SIPP IPng White Paper              October 1994

   Simpson, Ran Atkinson, Bill Fink, Erik Nordmark, Christian Huitema,
   Sue Thompson, and Ramesh Govindan.

2. Key Issues for the Next Generation of IP

   There are several key issues that should be used in the evaluation of
   any next generation internet protocol.  Some are very
   straightforward.  For example the new protocol must be able to
   support large global internetworks.  Others are less obvious.  There
   must be a clear way to transition the current installed base of IP
   systems.  It doesn't matter how good a new protocol is if there isn't
   a practical way to transition the current operational systems running
   IPv4 to the new protocol.

2.1 Growth

   Growth is the basic issue which caused there to be a need for a next
   generation IP.  If anything is to be learned from our experience with
   IPv4 it is that the addressing and routing must be capable of
   handling reasonable scenarios of future growth.  It is important that
   we have an understanding of the past growth and where the future
   growth will come from.

   Currently IPv4 serves what could be called the computer market.  The
   computer market has been the driver of the growth of the Internet.
   It comprises the current Internet and countless other smaller
   internets which are not connected to the Internet.  Its focus is to
   connect computers together in the large business, government, and
   university education markets.  This market has been growing at an
   exponential rate.  One measure of this is that the number of networks
   in current Internet (23,494 as of 1/28/94) is doubling approximately
   every 12 months.  The computers which are used at the endpoints of
   internet communications range from PC's to Supercomputers.  Most are
   attached to Local Area Networks (LANs) and the vast majority are not

   The next phase of growth will probably not be driven by the computer
   market.  While the computer market will continue to grow at
   significant rates due to expansion into other areas such as schools
   (elementary through high school) and small businesses, it is doubtful
   it will continue to grow at an exponential rate.  What is likely to
   happen is that other kinds of markets will develop.  These markets
   will fall into several areas.  They all have the characteristic that
   they are extremely large.  They also bring with them a new set of
   requirements which were not as evident in the early stages of IPv4
   deployment.  The new markets are also likely to happen in parallel
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