Updated. Xerox PARC’s engineers developed the Ethernet, the mouse, the laser printer and many other staples of everyday computing back in the 1970s. Forty years later, the lab is back at it: Teresa Lunt, VP and director of the computing science lab at PARC, showed off a new networking technology dubbed Content-Centric Networking (CCN) at GigaOM’s Structure conference in San Francisco today.
Networks used to be about getting messages from point A to point B, Lunt said. Today’s networks, on the other hand, are all about collaboration and sharing, be it with Dropbox or iCloud. Existing network technology wasn’t made for this purpose, and companies have come up with patchwork solutions to make these new kinds of services work.
PARC wants to replace all of this by putting the emphasis on the content, not points on the network it travels through. Content is automatically encrypted and cached all over the network, and queried by name and description. “Information is self-organizing, and you don’t have to search for it,” explained Lunt. Think of it like a giant, autonomous mesh network of data. “With today’s network, data moves explicitly,” Lunt said. “With CCN, the data just moves.”