Closer Agency Peer Network Interconnections Established

By Elise Gerich, Susan Hares, Jo Ann Ward

August 1989

Within the past six months efforts have been underway to design closer interconnection points between agency peer networks in order to rationalize routing and improve the manageability of those connections.

Two major points of interconnection between the NSFNET, the ARPANET/MILNET, and the NASA Science Network (NSN) were proposed and authorized as the first phase of this process.

On the west coast the NSN connection at NASA-Ames via the connection to Palo Alto became operational on June 22. On the east coast the NSN connection to the NSFNET at College Park was implemented on June 15 and work is underway to complete the ARPANET/MILNET connection to the NSS at College Park.

Support from the NSF, DCA, NASA, and DARPA was critical to this endeavor as well as the excellent cooperation from BARRNet and SURAnet. The phaseover of networks from the old to the new gateways continued throughout July.

These changes represent significant progress architecturally as well as from the perspective of managing peer network interconnections, with implications for security and policy-based routing implementations.

The direct peer-to-peer interaction represents a transition in technology to establish Exterior Gateway Protocol (EGP) sessions with the Mailbridges providing access to ARPANET/MILNET.

With the implementation of a Split Exterior-Packet Switching Processor (E-PSP), Exterior Gateway Protocol (EGP) peers are co-located on an Ethernet with portions of the NSFNET's NSS. Part of the NSS is located remotely and peers interact with theNSS across a serial line. Changes in the NSFNET routing support for the new configuration were made in cooperation with IBM.


Taken from The Link Letter, 15 August 1989, Vol. 2 No. 3.