Sheep over Sonet

Mark Baker (
Thu, 02 Apr 1998 09:42:42 -0500

Not something you expect to find on your first trip to the IETF discussion

I say we let the sheep decide where they want to go! 8-)

Imaginative Draft Fred Butcher - Sheepsco Systems
1st April 1998 Mike O'Deal - YewYewNet/Worldfarms
Eric Sheepley - BAA Networks

Sheep over Sonet

Status of This Memo

This document is an Imaginative-Draft. Imaginative-Drafts are working
documents of the Imaginary Engineering Task Force (IETF), its
areas, and its working groups. Note that other groups may also
distribute working documents as Imaginative-Drafts.

Imaginative-Drafts are draft documents valid for a maximum of six
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"work in progress."

To learn the current status of any Imaginative-Draft, please check
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Distribution of this document is inadvisable but we will leave it up to

you :)


Sheep are variable length animals with a tendency to wander aimlessly.
Shepherd and dog protocols such Organising Sheep within a Particular
Field and the Big Gate Protocol are normally applied to sheep to ensure
that they reach their intended destinations in an efficient manner.
Hedges are field independent forwarding elements with field specific
interfaces which run the Shepherd and Dog protocols. Sheep over hedges
is therefore a well known technique for the controlled forwarding of
sheep within and between Farms. Existing techniques support the direct
carriage of a variable length sheep over a field physical layer. This
draft aims to extend this technique by the introduction of multiple
encapsulation techniques. In particular, Sheep over Sonet is proposed
as a particularly efficient technique for the carriage of sheep between


In Sheep over Hedges, a sheep is carried directly onto a field physical
layer for the carriage between hedge's. When a count is made at the
ingress hedge of the number of sheep carried through the field in
this manner, Sheep over Hedges becomes a particularly well known
sleep inducing technique. This draft suggests the insertion of an
intermediate encapsulation technique to enable sheep to be carried
over a range of physical field technologies. Two major techniques
are suggested, both of which are multi-meat in nature and can
therefore be used to carry other animals through fields. The draft
then goes on to introduce new sheep forwarding and service capabilities.

2. Sheep Over Sonet (SOS)

Sheep over Sonet is a simple and efficient technique for the carriage
of sheep over a range of physical field technologies. When the sheep
is flung over the hedge, a simple header is appended to the sheep body
at the egress of the hedge. No contention exists in the field and
therefore all sheep which are encapsulated and launched into the
field are guaranteed to arrive on the other side of the field. This
non contention process was arrived at, after analysing opportunities
for statistical field gain. However, such gain was always problematic
due to the well-known Sonet over Hedge Hog problem... Support can also
be provided for the support of channelisation of multiple flocks over
the hedge and into the field. The sheep is first segmented into multiple
variable length joints such as neck, shoulder, rib, chops, chuck, loin,
leg, knuckle and hoof, before a channel specific header is appended. The
joints are then launched into the field. Sheep/ joints which have been
carried over excessive numbers of hedges will have their TTL decremented
to zero and the resultant sheep will be treated as mutton.

3. SHeep over AtM (SHAM)

Sheep over ATM is the other major technique in which a new advanced
process is used to encapsulate the sheep body through the field. The
sheep is first sliced into fixed sized cuts before a hedge specific
id is stamped on the cut. Each cut is 48 bites long whilst the average
sheep is about 1500 bites. During standardisation, there was much
consternation over the choice of the cut size following extensive debate
at butchers conferences worldwide such as the Advanced Treatment of
Meat Federation. The conflict was between the US preference of 64 bites
and the EU preference for 32 bites, the root of the conflict being the
appetite of the respective average meat-eaters. Due to the mismatch
between the fixed size cut and the user-friendly joints approach, it
is difficult for even the most skilled butcher to recognise the type
of meat being transported. At the other side of the field, the various
animals / joints are reassembled at the next hedge. It is amusing to think
that the original proponents of this technology actually saw it as a
replacement for hedges themselves. They dreamt of huge fields spanning
the globe, separated by low maintenance, high throughput gates. They dreamt

of the elimination of sheep by force fed, laboratory grown, regulation
48 bit size lambs. These cuts would have been sent in this state over
hedges until the final hedge is crossed and the lambs reassembled into a
Note that major researchers in the field are now questioning the wisdom of
encapsulation technique for a number of reasons. They forgot about the
of the environmental lobby, and the end produces and users who loved the
flexibility and diversity of animals, catering to different tastes and
useful by-products such as fertiliser, wool and glue.

Firstly, the sheep Slicing And Reassembly (SAR) process is believed to be
expensive in terms of knives and butchers fingers. Secondly, the insertion
of a hedge_id per cut, results in a loss of fieldwidth and it is an
implementation issue as to whether the sheep's head is dropped or an extra
30% fieldwidth is acquired.

Secondly, whilst SHAM can ensure that the right amount of meat is delivered

to the right location at a specific time, the SHAM cuts are meat
and it is therefore very difficult to detect particular animal exports nor
prioritise between different chops or animals during transportation through

the field. As a result, French farmers are particularly livid at not being
able to distinguish English lamb and the Germans cannot effectively ban BSE

infected British Beef. Field providers cannot differentially charge for
with respect to hooves, nor for live over dead animals, or even Aberdeen
over retired sheepdog. In addition, rogue suppliers can deliver mutton
as lamb. This is all possible with the use of a hedge as the original
animal is
seen as it passes over the hedge.

Finally, Mice, which are only one bite big, are a particularly popular pet
/ snack
in many countries and are increasingly being sent over hedges. Carrying a
number of mice over a SHAM equipped hedge results in the loss of 47 bites
fieldwidth which makes the efficiency of this technique critically
dependent on
the proportion of Mice and other small animals being carried.

4. Sheep Service Evolution

4.1. Next Hedge Routing Protocol

In a sequence of multiple hedges, the opportunity exists to employ the
of a new shepherd and dog protocol to ensure that the sheep avoid
hedges and are instead stuffed under hedges in their chopped form. NHRP is
layer 3 protocol for identifying the exit hedge gate on the route to the
house. NHRP signalling is carried on the back of the sheep in the form of a
brand. The infliction of the brand on the sheep is known to be a
particularly painful
process for the sheep. The NHRP protocol has been shown to allow the
stray sheep to exit the farm improperly. In addition, the avoidance of the
over intermediate hedges compromises the effectiveness of the sleep
properties of the process because no sheep are seen to come over each

4.2. Sheep Multicasting Services

Recent scientific advances have now made it possible to build dynamic,
to multi-point tree and hedge topologies to enable the copying and merging
of sheep.
The copying, or cloning technique, occurs by equipping the top of the hedge
with a
biotechnology lab supported by stacks of venture capital. As the multicast
comes over the hedge, the DNA is extracted and used to grow an exact copy
of the
sheep. This cloning process has been demonstrated in controlled conditions
doubts remain as to it's commercial viability due to both 'ethical'
and the impact on sheep forwarding speed at the hedge. The amount of
depends on the number of downwind receivers which is known at the hedge
the use of Improbable Sheep Multicast Protocol. Each farmer selects one
hedge as
it's Multicast Designated Hedge (MDH). He does so by whistling on a regular
causing the dog to run to the MDH and invoke the DNA extraction process (no
feat for existing dogs). There must only be one whistler per field else the
gets very confused leading to the well known 'barking up the wrong tree'

In the merging process, sheep from different incoming fields, with the same

topologically independent flock address, are shuffled into the same field
an orderly manner. This enables collaborating farms, known as cooperatives,
satisfy a continuous demand for lamb for example. It is interesting to note
the SHAM technique can interfere with this process due to the lack of a
source animal indication. This means that cuts of meat from different
animals can
be accidentally recombined at the far end resulting in gruesome zoological
Work is ongoing to define additional cut markings to remove this
possibility but this
leads to further loss of effective field width.

4.3. Slaughterhouse Mobility

Slaughterhouses have traditionally been fixed establishments. However, with

increasingly bizarre regulations being imposed by beaurocrats,
owners are now hitting the road in an attempt to respond quickly to
changes by upping and moving to the cheapest slaughter zones. However, once
slaughterhouse has moved, any sheep in transit to the slaughterhouse can
get lost.
This is being solved by the slaughter houses digging expensive tunnels
between the
old and new locations so that customs authorities do not see the illicit
transfers. Unfortunately, this diverse sheep routing results in a long
which leaves the sheep tired and wasted. An enhancement enables the sheep
the tunnel to tell the sheep dog to run back to the farm with the new
house location so that all remaining sheep leave the farm with the correct
house location.

5. Security considerations

Security is an important element of the slaughter mobility process because
criminals could try to redirect the tunnel, intercepting the dog or by
brute force and a van. These attacks can be used to get sheep to be
to the criminals fields and slaughterhouses. This is known as the rustling
Secondly, it is imperative that no-one in the IETF tell our bosses that we
submitted this draft :-)

6. Disclaimer

The events and people depicted in this draft are purely fictitious and any
resemblance to real life or technical reality is purely accidental as
the work of the IETF :). *****Happy April Fools Day*****

Mark Baker, Ottawa Ontario CANADA.                Java, CORBA, XML, Beans                ICQ:5100069

Will distribute business objects for food.