TCP/IP Overview and History
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Modern TCP/IP Development and the Creation of TCP/IP Architecture
Testing and development of TCP continued for several years. In March 1977, version 2 of TCP was documented. In August 1977, a significant turning point came in TCP/IPs development. Jon Postel, one of the most important pioneers of the Internet and TCP/IP, published a set of comments on the state of TCP. In that document (known as Internet Engineering Note number 2, or IEN 2), he provided what I consider superb evidence that reference models and layers aren't just for textbooks, and really are important to understand:
We are screwing up in our design of internet protocols by violating the principle of layering. Specifically we are trying to use TCP to do two things: serve as a host level end to end protocol, and to serve as an internet packaging and routing protocol. These two things should be provided in a layered and modular way. I suggest that a new distinct internetwork protocol is needed, and that TCP be used strictly as a host level end to end protocol.
What Postel was essentially saying was that the version of TCP created in the mid-1970s was trying to do too much. Specifically, it was encompassing both layer three and layer four activities (in terms of OSI Reference Model layer numbers). His vision was prophetic, because we now know that having TCP handle all of these activities would have indeed led to problems down the road.
Postel's observation led to the creation of TCP/IP architecture, and the splitting of TCP into TCP at the transport layer and IP at the network layer; thus the name TCP/IP. (As an aside, it's interesting, given this history, that sometimes the entire TCP/IP suite is called just IP, even though TCP came first.) The process of dividing TCP into two portions began in version 3 of TCP, written in 1978. The first formal standard for the versions of IP and TCP used in modern networks (version 4) were created in 1980. This is why the first real version of IP is version 4 and not version 1. TCP/IP quickly became the standard protocol set for running the ARPAnet. In the 1980s, more and more machines and networks were connected to the evolving ARPAnet using TCP/IP protocols, and the TCP/IP Internet was born.
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