Introducing New Internet Services: Why and How

Appears in IEEE Network Magazine July/August 1998


David J. Wetherall, Ulana Legedza, and John Guttag


Active networks permit applications to inject programs into the nodes of local and, more importantly, wide area networks. This supports faster service innovation by making it easier to deploy new network services. In this paper, we discuss both the potential impact of active network services on applications and how such services can be built and deployed. We explore the impact by suggesting sample uses and arguing how such uses would improve application performance. We explore the design of active networks by presenting a novel architecture, ANTS, that adds extensibility at the network layer and allows for incremental deployment of active nodes within the Internet. In doing so, ANTS tackles the challenges of ensuring that the flexibility offered by active networks does not adversely impact performance or security. Finally, we demonstrate how a new network service may be expressed in ANTS.


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