Monthly Archives: February 2014

Welcome to IETF-89!

The IETF-89 meeting is starting a week from now in London, UK. This is our second time in London. Our previous visit was IETF-51 in August 2001. It is a great place to have an IETF, with a lot of technology businesses and academia in the city and the rest of the country. London is also obviously an overall interesting city, easy to travel to, and has a lot of restaurants and pubs for those side meetings and unofficial gatherings that often drive a lot of the new ideas coming to the IETF.

I am very pleased that our host in London is ICANN. And our partnership with ICANN runs deeper than hosting this meeting. Steve Crocker, chairman of the board at ICANN wrote a nice article about the IETF and the relationship of the two organisations. ICANN is a consumer of the technology that we produce at the IETF, and we often work on projects together, such as on the next-generation whois technology. ICANN also maintains protocol parameter registries for the IETF by providing the IANA function, a service that we are very happy with. Finally, both the IETF and ICANN are part of the overall ecosystem of Internet organisations, each responsible for the different important tasks that are needed for the global Internet to grow and develop. Thank you, ICANN!

We also have BT as our connectivity sponsor. This is also very important for our bandwidth-hungry geeks. Thank you, BT, for your support!

But I am sure that you want to know what happens in the meeting itself. It looks to be once again an exciting week. Here are some highlights from my perspective, in the order that they happen during the week.

  • The STRINT workshop organised by the IAB and W3C, Friday February 28 – Saturday March 1, focuses on the question on how can we improve the privacy and security of the Internet, in the face of pervasive monitoring. The workshop is already full, but papers for the workshop are available and look very interesting.
  • Code sprint, Saturday, March 1, is where volunteers from around the IETF work on improving the IETF web, data tracker, and other tools. If you can, join us!
  • Technical plenary, Monday, March 3, discusses payment and digital cash architectures such as Bitcoin. Is there work for the IETF in this space?
  • ISOC briefing panel, Tuesday, March 4, discusses the evolution of the end-to-end principle, and how it matches today’s networking needs.
  • Virtualized Network Function Pool (VNFPOOL) BOF, Tuesday March 4, looks at ways to provide functions such as firewalling as virtual services in the network rather than as a part of monolithic devices.
  • DNS Encryption (DNSE) BOF, Tuesday, March 4, discusses how to provide confidentiality for domain name services.
  • Authentication and Authorization in Constrained Environments (ACE) BOF, Wednesday, March 5, discusses the need for mechanisms that allow Internet-of-Things devices to answer authorisation questions.
  • Transport Services (TAPS) BOF, Wednesday, March 5, asks if a new API to transport services could facilitate the use of new IETF transport services.
  • DNS Boundaries (DBOUND) BOF, Thursday, March 6, looks at the problem determining boundaries between public and organisation-dependent parts of a domain name (such as “example” and “co.uk” in “example.co.uk”.
  • Internet Governance Update (IGOVUPDATE) IAB meeting, Thursday, March 6, discusses how we at the IETF see future evolution of IANA services.

I look forward to the meeting, and would like to welcome you all to the meeting. And if you have not signed up yet, you can still register.

Jari Arkko, IETF Chair

Views on Internet Technology Adoption

For this week’s article, I wanted to let Eliot Lear talk about technology adoption.

Jari Arkko, IETF Chair

Views On Internet Technology Adoption

The IETF’s relevance in the marketplace was the subject of a workshop held by the IAB in December in Cambridge UK on Internet Technology Adoption and Transition (ITAT). This wide ranging workshop took stock of how things have gone since the publication of RFC 5218, and considered some modern day protocol successes, challenges, as well as new approaches to understanding how we can evaluate likelihood of success of a protocol. The workshop featured both “greatest hits” to re-examine, such as DNSSEC deployment, as well as new found successes such as Bitcoin. We delved into incentive modeling, or why various stakeholders would implement and deploy our work, evolutionary economics and how layers might come and go, as well as systems biology, where our classic hourglass is analagous to their bow tie.

So what did we learn?

  • Success in the case of DNSSEC in particular has come to the .SE ccTLD domain thanks to lots of hard work, free software to enable easy key management, close coordination between the registry, registrars, and users, and a model where those who sign their domains actually get a small bonus.
  • The IAB should take care to consider the notions found in RFC 5218 of failure, success, and wild success, when considering birds of a feather sessions. And of course as we may do just that, it makes sense for those who are going to propose BoFs to consider that document as well.
  • We also considered the notion of bundling of technologies and how bundling of protocols might help or hurt their individual success. This is relevant with protocols such as DANE that require DNSSEC, as well as in the httpbis working group, many of the participants of which would prefer to implement HTTP2 only on top of TLS. What are the costs and externalities that might lead to success in these cases? While an early model was presented to the workshop, more work is needed. What might come out of it is a better understanding of the notion of Mandatory to Implement, something that is of course quite relevant to the folks in RTCWEB.

What we take away from our discussions is the possibility of one or more research groups and the potential for collaboration between researchers in this field and our engineers and leadership, in the hopes of gaining better understanding of how to have our work succeed.

For more information about the workshop or the papers presented, please have a look at http://www.iab.org/activities/workshops/itat/, and stay tuned for an upcoming workshop report with a few additional comments at the IAB plenary.

Eliot Lear, member of the IAB