Running Code at IETF-86


Our meeting in Orlando ended on Friday. I thought it was a very successful meeting, and brought up many new topics that we should pursue. I will talk about some of those topics in this blog in the coming weeks.

After the meeting ended, I talked to some of the people who were coming into to the IEEE meeting that is taking place in the same hotel right after IETF. While our two organisations are different, we share some of the same participants, and some IETFers stayed in Orlando for two weeks. Our organisations also share many of the same visions about how standards should be defined in an open manner, and face many of the same challenges in our work. I learned a lot from my discussions with IEEE.

But back to the IETF. I wanted to write about some of the technical work that was going on during the week, but then I realized that it might actually be better to invite people who were actually doing the work. With this in mind, I want to introduce Chris Griffiths from Comcast. He talks about some of the testing and demos that were going on in our new Bits-N-Bites program. As you know, in the IETF we like to focus on running code, and I thought Chris’ story highlights this nicely.

Jari Arkko, IETF Chair


I was asked to discuss some of the work that the IETF is doing with their Bits-N-Bites program, and some of the demos and lab work we did at IETF86 in Orlando this past week.

As we were preparing for the Orlando meeting, we talked about ways to make the Bits-N-Bites program more dynamic and provide a place for the IETF community to perform experimentation and get running code in a production like network setting. We shipped one of our Cable Modem Termination Systems (CMTS), which run on the Comcast production network down to Orlando and turned up a dual stack environment for demos and running code testing.

One example of this was the Homenet Working group running code examples based on the Homenet Architecture draft and the HIPnet draft. It was very exciting to see the collaboration between the many groups involved with setting up these Homenet demos, and great to see running code in action.


Another demonstration we performed live at Bits-N-Bites was an example of how to deal with a problem called Bufferbloat which is a problem discovered by Jim Gettys and worked on by a number of Open Source teams across the Internet. It was a very dynamic demo that showed the impact of bloated buffers on web performance and real time communication applications. We were able to show both bloated and dynamic buffer examples to the Bits-N-Bites audience, and it was well received. It was a great example of solving Internet scale problems with running code.

As we close up IETF 86 in Orlando, I hope that the IETF continues with the lab experiment we started here this week. It was great to see first hand examples of running code and teamwork that really energized the IETF community, which I think we need more of.

Thank you and I look forward to seeing everyone in Berlin for IETF 87.

— Chris Griffiths