Challenges in IoT Networking via TCP/IP Architecture

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Challenges in IoT Networking via TCP/IP Architecture
by Wentao Shang, Yingdi Yu, Ralph Droms, Lixia Zhang
NDN, Technical Report NDN-0038
Revision 1: February 10, 2016

“Internet of Things” (IoT), networking (potentially) a large number of resource-constrained devices, is gaining popularity in recent years. Today’s IoT systems are largely based on the use of the TCP/IP protocols (IPv6 in particular). However, the observations so far suggest that the TCP/IP protocol stack, as originally designed, is not a good fit to the IoT environment. Over the last several years the IETF has spent significant amount of effort in modifying the protocol stack to fit IoT deployment scenarios. These efforts have resulted in extensions to existing protocols in the TCP/IP protocol suite as well as development of multiple new protocols. Yet new problems continuously occur. In this paper we analyze the technical challenges in applying TCP/IP to the IoT environment and review various solutions proposed by the IETF. We argue that existing IP-based solutions are either inefficient or insufficient in supporting IoT applications, and that a more effective solution would embrace the Information Centric Network architecture.