Stream Control Transmission Protocol (SCTP)
History of the name part II
As could be expected , SCTP wasn't blessed with this name from the start.
If logic would have it, it would have been surely called TCPng(just as
IPv6 was known as IPng for the first few years of its birth);
But the ways of the protocols fairies are incomprehensible and so is
its history. From the first SIGTRAN WG meeting in Orlando 1998, there were
attempts at naming the child. Funny enough the letters T, C and P were
already doing the rounds but in a different permutation.
It was then only envisioned for signalling tranport so we came to
CTP: Common Transport protocol, the unofficial one
T/UDP: TCAP over UDP(TCAP stands for Transaction Capabilities Application
Part), I guess UDP needs no explanation.
SSTP: Simple SCCP Tunnelling Protocol (SCCP stands for Signalling Connection
Control Part, probably one of the most misnomed protocols of all times:
its most used feature is NOT the connection controlled or better called
the connection-oriented part, but its connectionless part represented by
the Unidirectional Message, shortened to UDT)
RTP: Realtime Transport Protocol
So for the time being , a shorthand version did its rounds as:
STP: Signalling Transport protocols. However that acronym was already taken
by a SS7 entity , called a Signalling Transfer Point. And SSTP already
showed to much hSSing anyway.
At the Minneapolis meeting in March 1999, proposals for a new protocol
were presented and it was really a great acronym party. Let have a look:
TP: Transport protocol but already a preference for
SCTP: Signalling Common Transport protocol was emerging
TCP was to be the benchmark against all other proposals protocols were
to be compared.
SSCOF: It stands for Service-Specific Connection-oriented Function(something
RUDP: Relaliable UDP
H323 annex E: Another ITU one, now in annex. I have a theory anout those:
some ITU protocols are hidden in annexes, so they can escaped relatively
unharmed when the studygroups are fighting over the protocols in the base
documents. However that is no guarantee for success.
PURDET: I am not sure that it stands for something, but this answer will
come back (in the end)
MDTP: Multi_network Datagram Transmission Protocol
The naming game was now in full swing and the architecture document
switched sides many times between
CSTP is the one used in RFC2719(Framework
Architecture for Signaling Transport). However that STP thing was way
too prominent and a C at the beginning doesn't sound allright either. Thus
a final transposition took place in the minds of everyone and the algorithm
converged on SCTP(meaning then Signalling Common Transport Protocol). However
the abbreviation SCTP stuck and started a live of its own. Unfortunaly
thare had been a previous protocol effort in the IETF who had sthe same
acronym, namely the Simple Computer
Telephony Protocol but we didn't know that at the time. So when
the first design meeting got together, they started working on , well,
SCTP but at that moment it didn't really mean anything. So we had a abbreviation
but no real meaning.
CTP: common transport protocol
TP: transport protocol
CSTP : Common Signalling Transport Protocol
SIG was also mentioned meaning signalling Transport but this does not count
in the naming as SIG meant a transport protocol AND a adaptation
protocol in one layer
The Oslo meeting and the summer of 1999 provided some inspiration because
a meaning was attached to the acronym: it became the:
That was sufficient reason to say that the word simple was not in its place:
4 different meanings: that ain't simple. Most of the authors were by that
time so sick of the naming game - no not the protocol, that was progressing
very well, thank you - that they decided to explain SCTP with: "it doesn't
stand for anything" protocol(but then you get the acronym IDNSFA and that's
Simple Control Transmission Protocol
or was it the Simple Common transmission Protocol?
Could it be the Simple Control Transport protocol?
Finally the Simple Common Transport protocol?
We found out about the previous meaning of SCTP and asked if there
would be any problems. That turned out not to be the case, so on marched
SCTP in its now somewhat official version of
In mid 2000, SCTP reached it final hurdle and was submitted to the IESG.
It was becoming clear during the technical comments that all protocols
in the Beginning are simple(this as opposed to the bible where "In the
Beginning, there was Nothing(and even that exploded)") but over time become
more complex.(Some sort of Peter-principle is at work here, I suspect)
Thus the simple in the acronym was just a red herring and needed to be
replaced by huh, well a new name (oh not again) or could that S mean
something completely different. Well SCTP has a feature concerning streams,
so the name became:
Simple Control Transmission protocol
And then they lived happenly ever after.... Hold on, this isn't a fairy
Stream Control Transmission Protocol
Stay tuned for the rest of the story where we get to know about:
Coming to you .. in a few years..
"the one that got away"
who is Tux and reasons why the BSD daemon is rather popular over here.
Have you tasted a "Duvel" beer!
how NOT to be seen.
up the stream(s) without a paddle
How to put a light bulb in a socket
It should be clear that this is not the definitive guide to how
SCTP got its name. It you see what you think is an error send your comment
to firstname.lastname@example.org and we'll try to correct
|This page was last updated on 01/06/01.