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M2M Communications: A Systems Approach by Olivier Hersent, Omar Elloumi, David Boswarthick

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Chapter 7

The Role of IP in M2M*

Laurent Toutain and Ana Minaburo

Telecom Bretagne, Cesson Sevigne Cedex, France

7.1 Introduction

Very few computer network protocols lasted as long as the IPv4 protocol. Even if, at the outset, IP was never designed to become the universal protocol we know nowadays, it was made versatile enough to evolve and cover an ever-increasing number of applications. At first glance, the success can only be linked to Metcalfe's law stating that the value of the network (i.e., the benefit that users get from the technology) is the square of the number of users. Even if [1] tempers this formula to n.log (n) (where n is the number of users), this leads to a mitigated virtuous circle: on the one hand, the network becomes more attractive, while on the other, resistance to deploying new protocols or new forms of behavior also increases.

For the general public, the Internet is synonymous with services offered by the network, but for network engineers, the Internet can be viewed as a protocol stack defined by IETF with RFC 791 [2] at layer 3, some transport protocols such as TCP [3], UDP [4], and more recently SCTP [5] or DCCP [6] and finally some applications such as DNS [7].

Another definition can be based on the actual name itself since it is composed of interconnection and network, and sometimes the motto “the network of networks” is used. This more general definition does not take into account the fact that any protocol leads to a more “philosophical” approach ...

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