Re: [homenet] Homenet market gap analysis...

Ted Lemon <> Thu, 14 March 2019 13:09 UTC

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From: Ted Lemon <>
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Date: Thu, 14 Mar 2019 09:09:45 -0400
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Subject: Re: [homenet] Homenet market gap analysis...
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Thanks for clarifying.   I was trying to answer your questions and didn’t get that you were suggesting changes to the document; now that’s more clear.   Regarding “naming interfaces” versus “naming nodes,” you might want to look at <> which specifically addresses that problem, although it doesn’t say it the way you said it.  :)

> On Mar 14, 2019, at 6:19 AM, Tim Coote <> wrote:
> On 14 Mar 2019, at 00:40, Ted Lemon <> wrote:
> Tim, it’s pretty clear that in the case of constrained networks, there needs to be subnetting. Homenet is uniquely positioned to make that possible—if you have a regular router that doesn’t support something like HNCP, there’s no way to make it work.
> Agreed. I thought that from a market gap analysis, that it was worth bringing out this weakness for existing (L2 based) approaches, otherwise there will be a tendency for readers to assume the best.
> In the case of a multi-premise homenet, either you have to bond the two homenets together, which we don’t currently support, or you need end-to-end to work, which means IPv6, and you need to make sure that only authorized hosts can talk to devices.
> I see. The usecase wasn’t missing, it’s covered by the 'internet to leaf’ + ‘leaf to internet’ scenarios. Again, for the casual reader, I think that it’s worth pointing this out. But it’s your document, of course.
> Toke and I have been discussing the endpoint roaming problem.   In L2, it’s all handled by the layer 2, so it’s transparent, which doesn’t necessarily mean that it’s any better than the less-transparent way it would need to be handled at L3.   I think we should do a comparison between these two approaches.
> Mapping names to addresses can be done with service discovery; please see the simple homenet naming architecture document for a discussion of this, and also RFC6763.   We will be doing some work on this at hackathon if you want to see it in action.
> Node identity can be managed with DNSSD Service Registration Protocol, which allows a host to claim and defend a name using public key cryptography.   Bear in mind that there are privace implications to this, and so it isn’t always the right thing to do.   Your printer should probably do it.   Your phone, perhaps not.   Private service discovery is being seriously discussed in the DNSSD working group.   Because private service discovery necessarily uses public key encryption, unique identifiers aren’t a problem; claiming a unique name remains a problem, but not a very big problem, because the name doesn’t change after pairing.
> I was thinking more of ‘pet names’, ie human invented and associated, rather than names used for well-known services, how these propagate on movement to new networks etc (eg I call my dad’s spO2 meter oxydad, no matter where it is or where he is).
> What concerns me about dns based approaches is that dns knows nothing about nodes, only interfaces. That’s mostly ok in an world with ~1 address per node, but it quickly becomes difficult as that constraint is broken. This is certainly an issue in enterprise environments. otoh, in some circumstances, it may be confidential that specific addresses are associated with the same host, or service on a host.
> I did get a suggestion that nodes are better managed using’s model.
> I’ll read your suggestions. Thanks.
> IoT meshes are out of scope for homenet.   I agree that there are some interesting problems to contemplate when using them. :)
> I was really showing how bad things get. I am concerned that all mesh networks will go the same way, leading to very large support costs. IMO, there’s a tendency for computer based systems to avoid the engineering principle of fail fast (give up early and raise an alarm), which gives an impression that all is well until there’s a catastrophic failure. Even the original Ethernet wiring exhibited this with workarounds for signal deterioration and fallback to lower performance.
> On Mar 13, 2019, at 6:45 PM, Tim Coote <> wrote:
> Ted
> On 13 Mar 2019, at 18:35, Ted Lemon <> wrote:
> In Bangkok I gave a talk about what Homenet gets right, what new solutions have emerged in the market since homenet started, and what is better about those solutions, as well as what homenet still adds. I’ve written up a document that discusses this in a bit more depth, and would appreciate feedback. It’s not very long, and should be a pretty easy read—it would be great if we could start talking about this before the meeting, so that when we get to the meeting we can have an informed discussion and maybe decide on a way forward if that seems warranted.
> <>
> Some points/questions. Pls excuse my hamfisted articulation/miss an obvious point, I’m no network specialist.
> IoT isolation for L2: a common scenario is that the IoT network has a vastly different performance profile to other in-home networks. I don’t think that this works well for Flat L2
> for some IoT scenarios, the scope of a home isn’t one premises, eg wanting to control a camera in one house from a controller in another. There is no general IPv4 solution to this as protocols such as STUN/ICE are too slow, in human reaction time terms, to use to set up the control link.
> how is an endpoint reconnected if it’s moving about and getting renumbered? Is this done via some naming service?
> how are human understandable names mapped to addresses, automatically? Is this service discovery?
> node identity: if a node is moving about and/or has multiple addresses at the same time, how does a human understand that it’s the same thing. For s/w this is quite easy, although non-standard. Is this an application layer concern?
> a point wrt meshes: although these potentially provide resilience, they can also provide confusion as the end to end service can move up and down over various timescales. I have experienced some very expensive support situations that were caused by (IoT) mesh networks breaking the principle of ‘fail-fast’. In these situations, as the world changes, L2 networks adopt a ’string of pearls’ topology, but do not report the changes. Ultimately there is a network partition, which breaks things in interesting ways from an engineering point of view and confusing ways from the point of view of users.
> I hope that this is useful.
> tc
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