MAMI (“Measurement and Architecture for a Middleboxed Internet”) is a European Commission Horizon 2020 funded research project. The MAMI project has started on Jan 1, 2016 and will run for 2.5 years. Our consortium is made up of seven European universities, research laboratories, and industrial partners. We aim to rearchitect the Internet to allow explicit cooperation between endpoints and middleboxes, restoring the promise and innovation potential of the original end-to-end architecture of the Internet while enabling appropriate in-network services to ease management and scalability of ever more demanding applications.
A central tussle in today’s Internet is that between the desire for privacy, which requires strong encryption to protect, and the need to efficiently manage network traffic. Current approaches to traffic management typically require access to plaintext and application payload, which is fundamentally incompatible with the privacy goal. By replacing implicit cooperation (e.g. middleboxes which assume they have access to traffic and understand its semantics) with explicit cooperation (endpoint and application signaling to middleboxes and vice-versa), we aim to break this tussle.
We aim to do this through the development and experimental deployment of a middlebox cooperation protocol (MCP) embedded in a more flexible transport layer, to be used together with ubiquitously deployed encryption. To ensure the applicability of the protocol, we will develop it on a background of middlebox behaviour models, derived from large-scale measurements of middleboxes in the public Internet conducted on top of a FIRE+ testbed. We will then evaluate the fitness of our proposed MCP to purpose by evaluating its applicability to a set of real-world use cases for transport layer evolution, focusing on incremental deployability in the presence of both cooperative and uncooperative middleboxes by experimentation in the Internet utilising the facilities provided by FIRE+ testbeds.