Honolulu IETF Hot Topics


The IETF meeting in Honolulu starts a week from now. This is the second time the IETF goes to Hawaii, the previous time being 25 years ago; the t-shirt design from back then is shown above. But now we get to the second episode of nerds in paradise. I am looking forward to it!

But what are the hot technical topics that we will cover in the meeting? Everyone has their favourite topics, but the following ones are the most interesting ones from my perspective:

  • Software-defined networking, virtualisation, and data models is a large cluster of current IETF work. The work relates to making network functions virtualised and network nodes programmable. The industry is only in its beginning stages of this big transformation. In Honolulu, the SDN and NFV research groups, the I2RSNVO3,  SPRING, NETMOD and SFC working groups, and the I2NSF and ACTN BOFs discuss this topic. In addition, there is a lot of work on data models (such as this draft for BGP) in various working groups, with the intent to make it possible to program the network.
  • Privacy. The new DPRIVE working group will be designing solutions to make DNS traffic more private than it is today. The UTA working group continues its work to specify best practices for using TLS in applications. They have already published a document on attacks, and are now last calling their best practises document. The HTTPBIS working group continues their discussion of the upcoming HTTP 2.0 standard. One of the topics in the meeting is how the new standard should utilise opportunistic security.
  • Deterministic networking is about the ability to guarantee network throughput and delay for special applications, such as industrial control or video transmission. Deterministic L2 networks exist. The DETNET BOF proposal asks whether some L3 work is required.
  • Efficient multicast forwarding architectures. The bit-indexed explicit replication (BIER) BOF suggests a new architecture for multicast forwarding.
  • Archive media types (ARCMEDIA). This BOF asks whether a new top-level media type is needed for archive formats.
  • Transition of USG role in IANA to the community. The IANAPLAN working group is the place where IETF develops a plan for this transition. A working group last call for the proposal is currently ongoing. A lot of activity is going around this topic in the world. See here or here for some discussion of the overall situation.
  • Data-center latency. A new research group is proposed for this topic.

We also have a Code Sprint on the Saturday before the IETF. Join us to write the tools that you think we need when making standards.

If you have not registered to the meeting yet, please do so at the meeting page. I would also like to thank everyone who has been involved in setting up the meeting, and in particular I want to thank our host Cisco and the sponsors, Time Warner Cable, NBCUniversal, bright house networks, Cable, CableLabs, Cablevision, Charter, Comcast, Cox, and Rogers.

Jari Arkko, IETF Chair