I wanted to return to the topic of Bits-n-Bytes which we briefly reported on already earlier. Dan York and Paul Brigner from ISOC shot a few videos of some of the interesting demos, and the videos are now available below. In the videos you’ll find Dave Täht (TekLibre), Chris Griffiths (Comcast), Mark Townsley (Cisco), and John Jason Brzozowski (Comcast) speaking about their favourite technologies. I worked with John to give you a recap of what was exhibited. John has also generously offered to organise and execute Bits-n-Bytes since IETF 85 in Atlanta. We are quite pleased with how this event has turned out for the IETF, the participants, and our sponsors. Increased attendance and participation for each event was a clear indicator of the success and popularity of Bits-n-Bytes.
Bits-n-Bytes first took place during IETF 84 and has since been organized during each IETF as an integral part of the agenda. In addition to showcasing technology from our sponsors, the goal of Bits-n-Bytes has been to provide insight into how IETF contributions are being used and deployed on a daily basis around the globe. Running code is very important to the IETF, as discussed in our previous article. The demonstrations and testing that we do in Bits-n-Bytes not only helps provide feedback to improve work but also helps to stimulate future work that is essential to the growth and continued success of the Internet. Given the charter of the IETF and the nature of the work that takes place during a typical IETF, Bits-n-Bytes is an excellent venue to display and demonstrate the same.
The latest installment of during IETF 86 in Orlando, Florida hosted by NBC Universal and Comcast Bits-n-Bytes included many interesting demonstrations, following is a recap of what was exhibited.
First, Comcast through support from some key manufacturers Arris, Broadcom, and Cisco made available a functioning DOCSIS 3.0 broadband network, which was fully IPv6 capable, that provided the foundation for many of the other demonstrations that were unveiled during the event. The DOCSIS network and services that were demonstrated are analogous to what many Comcast customers use in their homes today. Arris solutions were used to provide the critical broadband network while Broadcom reference designs were used to demonstrate some new developments in customer premise or home networking. Finally Cisco System Network Registrar and Broadband Access Center provided the ever so critical provisioning services.
Next up were two excellent demonstrations of customer premises or home networking technologies. First up was HIPnet which is work that is currently being developed in cooperation with Cablelabs and was also presented during the IETF 86 HOMENET meeting. A Cablelabs implementation built upon open source software was demonstrated along with an implementation from Broadcom. For the first time ever both implementations were tested and interoperated successfully during the IETF 86 Bits-n-Bytes event.
HOMENET implementations that were also tested during the IETF 85 Bits-n-Bytes also returned to participate in Orlando. Several implementations were tested and displayed, while connected to DOCSIS powered broadband network, illustrating arbitrary topologies and source and destination based routing. The value of this new technology is to enable automatically configured networks for IPv6-based homes, while allowing users to employ any number of routers, devices, ISP connections, and allowing them to be plugged in arbitrary ways.
Buffer Bloat has been a widely discussed topic across the community. Perhaps surprisingly, increased buffering memory in routers may reduce networking performance, particularly when the same routers serve both interactive applications and background traffic. End users see this problem as impacting broadband performance and increased response times. Working solutions for the issue made an appearance during the IETF 86 Bits-n-Bytes event. Bloated and de-bloated streaming video, games, and interactive communications provided evidence of running code that addresses the challenges of Buffer Bloat.
Finally, there were many other key participants including Nominum demonstrating their DNS and DHCP based solutions. In fact, Nominum’s DNS solution was providing name resolution for the Bits-n-Bytes broadband network. Huawei returned again with a prototype of a virtual subset and MPLS multiple topology technology. ISOC and ICANN were also present providing important information about their organizations as well as important background regarding the IETF as it relates to the Internet of today and tomorrow.
Comcast Fellow and Chief IPv6 Architect