LIFT09: Vint Cerf on InterPlaNetary Internet (IPN)

Google’s Vice President and Internet Evangelist Vint Cerf gave the closing talk of LIFT09. The topic? Nothing too ambitious, just “The Future of Information and Communication Technology.” Vint touched on a number of issues ranging from mobile technology to inter-cloud communications. “For most people in the world, their first experience with the Internet will be through mobile technology.”

On inter-cloud communication, Vint highlighted the following key questions:

  • How to refer to other clouds?
  • How to refer to data in other clouds?
  • How to make data references persistent (unlike urls)?
  • How to protect Clouds from various forms of attack (inside, between clouds)?

He argued that we need a global agreement about privacy issues as we shift to cloud computing. He compared this with the Law of the Sea agreement. But what he really wanted to talk about was the InterPlaNetary Internet (IPN).

vintcerflift09

“The objective of the Interplanetary Internet project is to define the architecture and protocols necessary to permit interoperation of the Internet resident on Earth with other remotely located internets resident on other planets or spacecraft in transit.

While the Earth’s Internet is basically a ‘network of connected networks’ the Interplanetary Internet may therefore be thought of as a “network of disconnected Internets”. Inter-working in this environment will require new techniques to be developed.

Many elements of the current terrestrial Internet suite of protocols are expected to be useful in low-delay space environments, such as local operations on and around other planets or within free flying space vehicles. However, the speed-of-light delays, intermittent and unidirectional connectivity, and error-rates characteristic of deep-space communication make their use unfeasible across deep-space distances.

It is also anticipated that the architecture and protocols developed by this project will be useful in many terrestrial environments in which a dependence on real-time interactive communication is either unfeasible or inadvisable.”

For further information, see the project website here.

Patrick Philippe Meier

6 responses to “LIFT09: Vint Cerf on InterPlaNetary Internet (IPN)

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