In its 25-year lifetime, the Internet has succeeded beyond the wildest dreams of its creators in changing the way people live, work, and play throughout the world. This success has been achieved while the scale of the internet has increased by seven (7) orders of magnitude. The simple, original Internet architecture (16 specification documents) has accreted several hundred additional protocols and extensions. Networks based upon this more complex architecture are increasingly difficult to manage so that the qualities of service delivered meet the needs of the over 1 billion users. Additionally, the original Internet was designed in an era of mutual trust. Many of the protocol additions/extensions have had to retrofit protection mechanisms to reflect the less trustworthy environment of the current Internet. The volume and types of attempts to subvert the Internet can only continue to increase, further stressing the current architecture.
There is now considerable expertise in networking research in Scotland, addressing the practical aspects of networking, together with leading theoretical work on performance analysis and security in networked systems. The research challenges in this area cover a very wide range. Work is already in progress at Glasgow and St Andrews on Manageability, and there is already planned collaboration on Basic Network Architecture. This gives an excellent basis for research on Security and Trust, and on Mobility. Securing the next-generation internet against myriad current and future exploits is the single most critical challenge to resolve for the successful exploitation of the Next Generation Internet, and it is one that requires a return to first principles, with collaboration between networking practitioners and theorists.
A record of all past NGI events can be viewed here.