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TUCoPS :: Networks :: 39.txt

Death Of The ARPANET And Other Paranoia




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DDN MGT Bulletin 39              DCA DDN Defense Communications System   
28 Mar 88                        Published by: DDN Network Info Center
                                    (NIC@SRI-NIC.ARPA)  (800) 235-3155


                        DEFENSE  DATA  NETWORK

                         MANAGEMENT  BULLETIN


The DEFENSE DATA NETWORK MANAGEMENT BULLETIN is distributed online by
the DDN Network Information Center under DCA contract as a means of
communicating official ARPANET policy, procedures and other
information of concern to management personnel at ARPANET facilities.
Back issues may be read through the TACNEWS server ("@n" command at
the TAC) or may be obtained by FTP (or Kermit) from the SRI-NIC host
[26.0.0.73 or 10.0.0.51] using login="anonymous" and password="guest".
The pathname for bulletins is DDN-NEWS:DDN-MGT-BULLETIN-nn.TXT (where
"nn" is the bulletin number).

**********************************************************************

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            DARPA ARPANET POLICY AND MGT BULLETIN - No. 2
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               DEATH OF THE ARPANET AND OTHER PARANOIA

There have been a number of rumors throughout the community that the
ARPANET project is being terminated.  Many individuals and
organizations have expressed concern that the service that they have
become accustomed to will be terminated.

Enough rumors, now a word from your sponsor, DARPA.

The ARPANET project in fact is being terminated, but not soon.  DARPA
is in the business of conducting research into critical NEW
technologies that will advance the state of the art.  ARPANET is
neither new, nor state of the art.  It is slow and expensive.

ARPANET was founded in the early 70's when 56Kbit/second trunks were
on the cutting edge of modulation and transmission technology.  Packet
switching was unheard of.  (An interesting fact is that the average
terminal of the day was 30cps giving the net trunks about a factor of
230 faster than the average user interface).  Since that time the
project expanded into the INTERNET where a number of dissimilar
networks could be interconnected relatively transparently.  The
internet grew from about 63 hosts to over 20,000.  The local nets that
connect to the ARPANET and other Wide Area Nets (WANs) progressively
increased in speed.  The result is that while in '73 a large number of
users could effectively share one trunk, today, one PC can provide as
much traffic as a host.

In addition to being heavily loaded, the ARPANET is no longer able to
support its other prime function, that of a research base.  To conduct
any kind of experiment on the ARPANET causes too much service
disruption to the community.

Finally, the ARPANET is absorbing a significant fraction of our total
research budget in what is really a support function.

Solution, eliminate the source of the problem.  Rather than cutting
off the community our approach is to outgrow the ARPANET in a few
years.

The follow-on network experiment will be called the Defense Research
Internet (DRI).  We are also working in conjunction with other Federal
agencies, most notably National Science Foundation, to integrate our
networking experiments with the new regional networks, the NSFNET 
project, and other agency networks.

An additional source of confusion is the fact that we are currently
arranging for NSFNET to support some ARPANET users, as part of a joint
effort to reduce costs by phasing out overlapping service.  Our
intention, as always, is to do this with minimal disruption to the
research community.

While this is happening, we will be putting together the initial
version of the DRI apart from the ARPANET.  From the beginning the DRI
will provide the long distance trunk capacity that the ARPANET lacks.
Initial speeds will be 1.5Mbit/second per link (a factor of 25
improvement).  The DRI will also be segregated into an "experimental"
and an "operational" side.  The experimental side will have higher
performance, with the possibility of higher degree of net problems;
the operational side will support high data-rate applications such as
image transfer.  The experimental side will be phased from 1.5Mbit to
higher and higher bandwidths with the intent of eventually reaching
gigabit/second performance; the operational side will take over for
the ARPANET.  It will be operated by a contractor, and will be funded
as overhead on individual users' projects rather than becoming a drain
on the Networking research budget.  After the DRI is stable, the
ARPANET will be phased out.


PLEASE DON'T BURY US WITH QUERIES ON THE DETAILS OF THE
IMPLEMENTATION, WE DON'T HAVE TIME TO ANSWER THEM.  AS DETAILS ARE 
FINALIZED AND READY FOR PUBLIC DISSEMINATION, WE WILL POST THEM.


Mark Pullen & Brian Boesch
Information Sciences Technology Office
Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency



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