Why Session-Based Routers Will Fix the Internet

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Elimination of Tunneling Technologies

As networks expanded and interconnected – both inside and outside the walls of companies around the globe – the demands of business also grew. The focus became about protecting critical business processes to control the flow of packets between endpoints, for better performance, security and reliability. Enter overlay, encapsulation and tunneling techniques such as MPLS, IPsec, VxLAN, VPN and GRE.

These technologies were developed to deliver deterministic routing, network virtualization and segmentation to IP networks but ultimately act as "workarounds." Not only are they incredibly complicated but they are also incredibly expensive. Session-based routing eliminates the need for these costly techniques because it utilizes an in-band signaling technique that recognizes the first packet of a session and controls the session based on information in that packet.

There is no application or quality of service (QoS) visibility by routers in the middle of a tunnel. For instance, if someone builds an IPsec tunnel between their enterprise and a cloud provider, the routers in the middle are blind to the traffic. When congestion occurs, packets are indiscriminately discarded. When the routing layer is session-oriented, each routing hop has visibility to the application, QoS, and security requirements, and when congestion does occur, it can dynamically and intelligently optimize the sessions.

The Internet is built around routers, yet there has been little innovation in routing itself for decades. Early networks mainly involved just packets and flows within private networks. With the rapid expansion of the Internet in the 1990s, the first round of modifications focused on improving "speeds and feeds" through specialized hardware.

The router of yesterday was not designed to handle the mobile and cloud applications that exist today because it was originally built to send packets between a series of computers, not deliver services across both private and public networks. As a result, an entire industry has emerged around routers to deliver bolt-on functionality such as firewalls and load balancers.

What's more, controlling how packets move between endpoints and through routing devices often involves adding a new network on top of the existing network, referred to as an overlay. Overlay networks don't address the underlying issues with networking, they compound them, which can be complex and expensive. Enabling all of these technologies to work together reliably and securely is very difficult, making the Internet as we know it complex, fragile and insecure.

The router of tomorrow needs to operate differently and more intelligently to handle today's network demands, as well as the demands of the future, such as those for IoT and increased video traffic driven by collaboration, monitoring and virtual reality. That's where session-based routing comes in. A software-based router that is session-oriented and deterministic can drastically simplify the network, eliminating complexity such as middleboxes and tunneling and overlay technologies, and making it possible to deliver all the end-to-end benefits enterprises need, such as native security/encryption, policy-based routing and more.

In this slideshow, 128 Technology explains the concept of session-based routing and outlines the four key reasons why session-based routers will fix the Internet.


Related Topics : Blade Servers, Business Integration, Ethernet, LAN, Network Protocols

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