New transport technology

The development of new transport technologies in the IETF provide capabilities that improve the ability of Internet applications to send data over the Internet.

As the Internet has evolved, there has been a significant amount of ongoing work to develop protocols that more effectively and efficiently move data. While the IETF’s Transport Area (TSV) encompases related work, the central role transport protocols play in how the Internet works is reflected by the fact that Transport Area working groups often include participation by technologists involved in other Areas such as Security and Routing. There is a significant amount of work currently underway within the IETF to develop new transport protocols.

Even well-established transport protocols, such as TCP (Transmission Control Protocol) and UDP (User Datagram Protocol), which have roots that pre-date the IETF itself, continue to be extended and refined to meet the needs of applications and users of the growing global Internet. Two examples of this are MPTCP (Multipath TCP), which aims to develop a protocol that will allow the simultaneous use of multiple paths to send data, and TCPINC (TCP increased security) which is working on developing an extension to provide unauthenticated encryption and integrity protection of TCP streams.

Similarly, the QUIC working group has been a center of significant interest and activity. QUIC is aiming to develop a protocol that builds on pre-standardization implementation and deployment to develop a UDP-based, stream-multiplexing, encrypted transport protocol. The QUIC working group works closely with the HTTPbis working group, especially on the QUIC mapping for HTTP/2.

Another area of work understanding how to best make use of transport protocols to enable networking for devices with differing, and perhaps constrained, connectivity. For example, the DTNWG (Delay/Disruption Tolerant Networking) specifies mechanisms for data communications in the presence of long delays and/or intermittent connectivity. More broadly, the TAPS (Transport Services) working group is aiming to understand how applications might interface with underlying transport protocols to improve their ability to use available networking.

More information about work underway is available in this recent Transport Area introduction presentation.