Internet's next evolution: 'a Facebook without Facebook.com'

'Data's got a name, not a location:' Content-Centric Networking may finally free data and applications from underlying plumbing.
Written by Joe McKendrick, Contributing Writer

"A Facebook without Facebook.com."

That's the way Teresa Lunt, VP and director of the computing science lab at PARC, describes the Internet that will be emerging within the next couple of years -- driven by content and data that is completely independent of underlying systems or network points. As related by Janko Roettgers in GigaOm, Lunt demonstrated Content-Centric Networking at a recent conference, in which data is seamlessly distributed across the network, with little need for cloud or other solutions to piece it all together.

PARC Research Fellow Van Jacobson, considered the originator of the Content-Centric Networking concept, talked about CCN at a 2006 conference at Google. (Video below.)  "When you're doing a dissemination, what you're interested in is the data, not who gives it to you." He adds that "both the app writers and the users have to do this horrible plumbing operation in their head and in the network... to solve a problem that the network should be able to solve for you, but it doesn't know your intent.  and it can't phrase what you want in terms of conversations." Data doesn't have to live anywhere, he adds -- data is named.

More details are available at the Project CCNx site, describing the structure as follows:

"The PARC CCN architecture takes content as a primitive and decouples location from identity, security, and access, with no concept of host/machine at the lowest level.  We believe that such a focus on what not where addresses today's communication problems better than the traditional model of packet networking, yet can preserve design decisions that made TCP/IP simple, robust, and scalable."

PARC's Lunt, as reported by Roettgers, says commercial applications based on CCN may start emerging within the next 18 months. Social networks, for one, could be formed on the fly by the users themselves taking responsibility for their own security, without commercial services. PARC is working with Samsung to develop this vision.

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