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German Lab - "Forwarding on Gates"

The project “Forwarding on Gates” (FoG) implements and demonstrates the newly developed Future Internet architecture of the Integrated Communication Systems Group of TU Ilmenau. FoG is a replacement for today’s Internet protocol (IP). It is specified and implemented for the operation within the G-Lab test bed. On one hand, this should demonstrate the feasibility and practicability of FoG. On the other hand, the performance and scalability of FoG should be compared to other approaches such as the other ones developed during phase 1 of the G-Lab. In addition, solutions for the interoperability between FoG and other approaches like IP and MPLS will be studied.

In comparison to IP, the new proposal is much more promising with respect to the integration of functions supporting mobility, multi-cast and quality of service (QoS). Moreover, it allows the transparent distribution of functions within the inter-network. On one hand, this allows the implementation of a network based on end-to-end principles (like today’s Internet). On the other hand, intelligent networks with integrated functions (like today’s telecommunication networks) can be supported as well. In addition, a mixture and a transparent inter-working between these two extreme approaches are possible. A key feature of FoG results from the focus on the links between nodes. In contrast to IP, which considers only point of attachments as network elements, FoG is focusing on the edges. By this rethinking, QoS becomes a native part of the architecture since links with different QoS parameters are naturally represented in the architecture as edges. Furthermore, FoG employs a more abstract view on the edges, which enables the edges to execute any function. Therefore, the term “gate” will be used for such edges. This abstraction integrates intra- and inter-node forwarding in a single mechanism. Such a solution can use explicit routing thus isolating routing to be adaptable to the needs of the user or application. Such a requirement has been specified for the Future Internet, e.g. by EIFFEL.

The challenges for such approaches are the minimization of the communication overhead between the base system and the routing service along with scalability. The actual overhead will be measured for the first time by this project. The scalability is addressed on the architecture level already employing the new edge-oriented approach. Altogether, the project should prove the practical suitability of the approach.

The developed software "FoGSiEm" of the project is available on GitHub as open-source. Videos about the results are available on YouTube. The in FoGSiEm included video plugins are based on the software "Homer Conferencing".