Closing the Floodgate with Stateless Content-Centric Networking
Information-Centric Networking (ICN) is a recent paradigm that claims to mitigate some limitations of the current IP-based Internet architecture. The centerpiece of ICN is named and addressable content, rather than hosts or interfaces. Content- Centric Networking (CCN) is a prominent ICN instance that shares the fundamental architectural design with its equally popular academic sibling Named-Data Networking (NDN). CCN eschews source addresses and creates one-time virtual circuits for every content request (called an interest). As an interest is forwarded it creates state in intervening routers and the requested content back is delivered over the reverse path using that state. Although a stateful forwarding plane might be beneficial in terms of efficiency and resilience to certain types of attacks, this has not been decisively proven via realistic experiments. Since keeping per-interest state complicates router operations and makes the infrastructure susceptible to router state exhaustion attacks (e.g., there is currently no effective defense against Interest Flooding attacks), the value of the stateful forwarding plane in CCN should be re-examined. In this paper, we explore supposed benefits and various problems of the stateful forwarding plane. We then argue that its benefits are uncertain at best and it should not be a mandatory CCN feature. To this end, we propose a new stateless architecture for CCN that provides nearly all functionality of the stateful de- sign without its headaches. We analyze performance and resource requirements of the proposed architecture via experiments.