Publication No 36357


Müller, A.; Kiesel, S.*


Issues with the Interworking of Application Layer Protocols and the MIDCOM Architecture


Network Security; Signalling; Internet


Protocol Engineering; Software Engineering




In the current Internet, there are many devices performing specific functions in the network going beyond simply routing and forwarding IP packets to their destination. Common examples for such devices - which are frequently referred to as middleboxes are firewalls and network address translators. Middleboxes usually operate exclusively on the network and transport layer in order to fulfill their task, mostly taking adequate action on the basis of the addresses and port numbers of traversing IP packets. However, there are some services ordinary middleboxes do not get along with. As a result of that, the corresponding data packets mostly do not reach their actual destination and hence, a reasonable communication is normally no longer possible. One approach for dealing with this problem is the so-called IETF MIDCOM (MIDdlebox COMmunications) architecture. In this paper -after elucidating the problem in more detail and providing an overview of other existing solution approaches-, we especially focus on MIDCOM and we address some potential problems concerning the interworking between this approach and some specific services, including possible solutions for coping with them. This way, we want to point out the issues that should be taken into account when designing new application layer protocols or when extending existing ones in order to make them fully interoperable with the MIDCOM architecture.



Reference entry

Müller, A.; Kiesel, S.
Issues with the Interworking of Application Layer Protocols and the MIDCOM Architecture
Proceedings of the 10th Open European Summer School and IFIP WG 6.3 Workshop (EUNICE 2004), Tampere, June 2004, pp. 188-195

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Authors marked with an asterisk (*) were IKR staff members at the time the publication has been written.