Technology - Internet - Volume 1 - Infrastructure

Publication Overview

This new biennial report covers Internet infrastructure: TCP, UDP, SCTP, IP addresses, routing, multihoming, route aggregation, provider-independent IP addresses, IPv6, dual-stack IPv4/IPv6, IPv6 mobility, NAT, QoS, MPLS, IPv4 address exhaustion, HTTP, name-based virtual hosting, traceroute, ping, the Domain Name System, nameserver management, reverse address translation, IDNA - non-Latin characters in domain names, email servers, web-based email systems, SMTP, POP3, IMAP4, virus and spam filtering, email encryption, HTML email, “format=flowed” email format, discussion lists, Telnet, FTP, SSH (Secure Shell), SSH tunnelling, SCP (Secure Copy), SFTP (Secure FTP), Usenet, IRC, NFS (Network File System), Samba, Virtual Private Networks, Peer to Peer (P2P) file sharing networks and the burden of their traffic, Gnutella and swarming, Bittorrent, anonymity networks, TOR and commercial anonymity services.

Report also contains discussion of:

  • Contemporary and future impact.
  • Major challenges, including spam, botnets and the crisis in routing and addressing.
  • Tutorial on web-browsing example of client-server HTTP communications.
  • Choosing a hosting company.
  • Delegating a domain.

Executive Summary

This report is a technical introduction, for people without an engineering background, to the Internet’s infrastructure and to its major protocols and applications.

We begin with an overview of the Internet’s future, including two challenges to its continuing stability – the crisis in routing and addressing and the proliferation of ‘botnets’: criminally controlled networks of hundreds of thousands of home and office computers which are used for spam, fraud and denial of service attacks.

The crisis in routing and addressing involves the imminent depletion of fresh IPv4 address space around 2012 and difficulties with the core Internet routers and the border routers of the networks of ISPs and major organisational users. The global routing system is not expected to cope well with the continual increase in the current 200,000 separately routed divisions of the IPv4 address space. IPv6 routing will be even more problematic if and when its adoption becomes ubiquitous. The current approaches to addressing and routing are failing to keep up with the needs of the growing number of interconnected networks, including especially those which require multihoming: two or more connections to upstream ISPs.

We describe the basics of Transmission Control Protocol/Internet Protocol (TCP/IP), User Datagram Protocol (UDP) and TCP packets, which are the basis of all Internet communications. We also discuss how IPv6, the next generation of Internet addressing, may be adopted. IPv6’s widespread adoption for servers and desktop computers is far from assured, with concern about routing problems and with the difficulties inherent in two-stack adoption. However IPv6 is likely to be widely used in China, for some new cellular mobile networks and for proposed new generations of IP-equipped appliances and devices.

Using a web-browsing example, we describe client-server communications, with HyperText Transport Protocol (HTTP) operating over a two-way TCP session. We describe basic routing, the Domain Name System (DNS) and the Simple Mail Transport Protocol (SMTP, Post Office Protocol (POP) and Internet Message Access Protocol (IMAP) protocols which are the basis of the email system. We also describe File Transfer Protocol (FTP) and the encrypted protocols: Secure Shell (SSH), SSH tunnelling, Secure Copy (SCP) and Secure FTP (SFTP). We discuss Internet Relay Chat (IRC) and more modern, proprietary instant-messaging protocols and the local area filesystem networks Network File System (NFS), NetBIOS and SAMBA – the open-source implementation of Microsoft Windows printing and file services.

We discuss the Peer to Peer (P2P) file sharing networks, which now comprise a major portion of Internet traffic. Bittorrent and other P2P systems send continual, scattered patterns of packets with high upstream volumes from home and office computers, placing strain on DSL and particularly HFC cable modem access networks. We also review anonymity networks, including TOR (The Onion Router). These provide potentially crucial communications for people in oppressive countries, but are also a haven for hackers and other criminals.

The BuddeComm Technical Library is intended for readers with minimal technical background, and for technical specialists in related fields. The Library’s Biennial and Web Reports provide an overview of a field together with sufficient low level detail to enable readers to develop a genuine understanding of the various technologies. While most of the material is introductory and of a tutorial nature, we also provide critical viewpoints of particular technologies and discuss how different technologies compete with each other or can be used together. This is intended to enable our customers to critically evaluate proposals and to extend their ability to plan their own projects and investments.

The companion volume to this report is available and includes information on Web Development and Audio-Visual Coding technologies: 2007 Internet Technology - Volume 2 - Web Development & Audio-Visual Coding

Table of Contents

  • 1. Overview of Internet technology
    • 1.1 Introduction
      • 1.1.1 History
      • 1.1.2 Contemporary and future impact
      • 1.1.3 The Internet’s future – with QoS, ATM and MPLS
    • 1.2 Challenges to the Internet’s stability
      • 1.2.1 The crisis in routing and addressing
      • 1.2.2 Security, spam and botnets
      • 1.2.3 Terminology
    • 1.3 Conclusion
  • 2. TCP, UDP and SCTP
    • 2.1 Introduction
    • 2.2 TCP/IP packets
      • 2.2.1 IP header
      • 2.2.2 Routing
      • 2.2.3 UDP packet
      • 2.2.4 TCP
    • 2.3 IP Addresses
      • 2.3.1 TCP and UDP port numbers
      • 2.3.2 Stream Control Transmission Protocol (SCTP)
      • 2.3.3 Network and broadcast address
    • 2.4 Transition to IPv6
      • 2.4.1 IPv6 islands in an IPv4 sea
      • 2.4.2 Dual stack networks
      • 2.4.3 Avoiding NAT – Network Address Translation
      • 2.4.4 Rate of exhaustion of IPv4 address space
      • 2.4.5 Initial adopters of IPv6
      • 2.4.6 IPv6 Benefits
  • 3. Web browsing, routing and flexibility
    • 3.1 A web browsing example of TCP and HTTP
      • 3.1.1 Client-server computing
    • 3.2 Routing, speed and reliability
      • 3.2.1 Traceroute and ping
    • 3.3 Flexibility and contrasts with the phone system
      • 3.3.1 TCP/IP’s flexibility and power
  • 4. The Domain Name System (DNS)
    • 4.1 Text names and IP addresses
    • 4.2 Name servers
      • 4.2.1 Primary name server
      • 4.2.2 Secondary or backup name server
      • 4.2.3 Caching name server
    • 4.3 Example of a primary name server
    • 4.4 Sub-domains
    • 4.5 IDNA - non-latin characters in domain names
      • 4.5.1 Punycode encoding
      • 4.5.2 Security problems – spoofing
    • 4.6 Top Level Domains (TLDs)
      • 4.6.1 Generic TLDs
      • 4.6.2 Country Code TLDs
    • 4.7 Registering a domain name
      • 4.7.1 Establishing the domain
      • 4.7.2 Choosing a hosting company
      • 4.7.3 Nameserver management is often neglected
      • 4.7.4 Delegating the domain
      • 4.7.5 Redelegating to another hosting company
    • 4.8 DNS in action – translating a name into an IP address
      • 4.8.1 Distributed name servers
      • 4.8.2 Caching the result
      • 4.8.3 Reverse address translation
  • 5. Email
    • 5.1 Clients and servers
      • 5.1.1 Office and ISP based servers
      • 5.1.2 Primary and backup server
      • 5.1.3 ‘From:’ is insecure
      • 5.1.4 Web based email clients
    • 5.2 Simple Mail Transport Protocol (SMTP)
    • 5.3 Security limitations of SMTP
      • 5.3.1 Security of access to an email account
      • 5.3.2 Virus and Trojan Horse emails
      • 5.3.3 Anti-virus filtering
      • 5.3.4 Spam – unsolicited bulk email
      • 5.3.5 Responding to and reporting spammers
      • 5.3.6 Spam without a server
      • 5.3.7 Filtering on the user’s computer
      • 5.3.8 Rejecting spam at the mail server
      • 5.3.9 Filtering at the mail server
      • 5.3.10 Spam is a major threat to email
    • 5.4 Encryption for security and authentication
      • 5.4.1 Email encryption software
    • 5.5 Protocols for retrieving emails
      • 5.5.1 POP3
      • 5.5.2 IMAP4
      • 5.5.3 Costs and benefits for the ISP
    • 5.6 Attachments
    • 5.7 Operational guidelines and plain-text formats
      • 5.7.1 Format=flowed line length changes
      • 5.7.2 Problems with HTML email
    • 5.8 Email discussion lists
  • 6. Applications and protocols
    • 6.1 Introduction
    • 6.2 Telnet
      • 6.2.1 Telnet daemon
      • 6.2.2 Security concerns
      • 6.2.3 Terminal emulation
    • 6.3 FTP - File Transfer Protocol
      • 6.3.1 Security concerns
    • 6.4 SSH
      • 6.4.1 SCP and SFTP
      • 6.4.2 Tunnelling
      • 6.4.3 SSH File System (SSHFS)
    • 6.5 Usenet newsgroups – NNTP
    • 6.6 Internet Relay Chat (IRC)
    • 6.7 Instant messenger protocols
    • 6.8 Network File System (NFS)
    • 6.9 Windows networking
      • 6.9.1 NetBIOS and SMB/CIFS over TCP/IP
      • 6.9.2 SAMBA
    • 6.10 Virtual Private Networks (VPNs)
    • 6.11 Peer-to-Peer file sharing
      • 6.11.1 Increased upstream traffic
      • 6.11.2 Gnutella and swarming
      • 6.11.3 Bittorrent
      • 6.11.4 Security and traffic concerns
    • 6.12 Anonymity networks
      • 6.12.1 Tor – The Onion Router
      • 6.12.2 Commercial anonymity services
  • 7. Glossary of Abbreviations
  • Exhibit 1 – An 8 address TCP/IP subnet
  • Exhibit 2 – Traceroute of routers between Melbourne and Iceland
  • Exhibit 3 – Generic Top Level Domains
  • Exhibit 4 – Australian Second Level Domains

Related Reports

Purchase this Report

USD 50.00

Licence Information

Annual Publication Profile


Telecoms Infrastructure

Number of pages 101

Status Archived

Last updated 19 Jan 2009
Update History

Analyst: Stephen McNamara

Share this Report

Purchase with Confidence

Just a quick note to say thank for your helpful reports. I`ve used them a couple of times over the years and I found your talk at CeBIT, very interesting indeed.

Matt Joyce, IT manager, Medtronic

Sample Reports

A selection of downloadable samples from our Annual Publications catalogue.

Download a Sample Report

More than 4,000 customers from 140 countries utilise BuddeComm Research

Are you interested in BuddeComm's Custom Research Service?

News & Views

Have the latest telecommunications industry news delivered to your inbox by subscribing to Paul's FREE weekly News & Views.