Obviously the current IP networks and the Internet as an ecosystem integrating many other IP networks are far away from perfection. Obviously comes the question shall we try to redesign it avoiding all the mistakes that were done and start from scratch (clean state) or shall we gradually evolve it into something that better fits the need of the surrounding socio-technial ecosystem (e.g evolutionary research and development).
I strongly vote for the second option. However in order to do it the network engineering community should have tools for capturing the network state and performing architectural analysis and comparisons of the differences between any two or more network states. This will allow us to reason about the evolutionary changes that happen to the network and will be a base for future network evolution. Obviously that’s not easy without software intensive tools and there are not so many tools for network evolution.
Here is a nice article of Jenifer Rexford and Constantine Dovrolis about shall we focus our efforts in designing a new network architectures or shall we focus on how to evolve the current one.