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Routing Area Update after IETF 98

10 May 2017

As Routing Area Directors, we have now made it a habit to share some of our thoughts after each IETF meeting. This is a short summary of some of the highlights from the recent one in Chicago.

Overhead photo of the Circle Interchange in Chicago.
Overhead photo of the Circle Interchange in Chicago. Photo by Stratosphere. (CC BY-SA 4.0)

As Routing Area Directors, we have now made it a habit to share some of our thoughts after each IETF meeting.  This is a short summary of some of the highlights from the recent one in Chicago.

YANG continues to be a focus in routing and the IETF as a whole.  While in Chicago, many working groups had YANG models in their agenda and even specific sessions to review and move the work forward, as was the case for the joint meeting of the mpls, ccamp, pce and teas WGs.  The importance of some of this work is reflected in a recent IETF Journal article: Working Group Update: Microwave Modelling at CCAMP.

The netmod WG is making progress with the Network Management Datastore Architecture (NMDA) that will allow access to system-derived state (think of new interfaces learned by inserting a line-card) and cleaner access to operational state versus configuration by having explicit operational and intended datastores.  Knowing this future direction allows us to recommend how affected YANG models can be finalized in RFCs.

Along with the Operations and Management (OPS) ADs, we will be sending out precise guidance (thanks to lots of work from the NetMod DataStore Design Team and the Routing YANG Architecture Design Team) that should allow most YANG models to be completed and implemented without delay.  To summarize, the models should include all configuration and state in a single normative module to be NMDA-ready.  When needed, it should have an optional state module that provides access to the state not otherwise accessible until NMDA and the associated protocol work is implemented.  Of course, there are rarely one-size-fits-all rules and this guidance is no different; the exceptions will need to be individually discussed.

During the Routing Area Open Meeting we were lucky to hear from the two Applied Networking Research Prize (ANRP) winners for IETF 98.  Both presentations focused on BGP, one on a framework to analyze live and historical data (BGPStream), and the other on accelerating the deployment of BGP origin and path validation.  Both talks resulted in interesting conversations with the audience and continued interaction throughout the meeting and beyond.

In the period before IETF 98 the spring WG has accelerated the work on several of the key documents that will open the way for the segment routing-related extensions defined throughout the area, including use cases and the Segment Routing Architecture document. The chairs opened the discussion about which topics should be the subject of an updated charter for this WG.

The sidr WG is also close to finishing its charter – just a couple of documents remain.  While it didn’t meet in Chicago, the participants met as part of the new sidrops WG (in the OPS area).  This transition from the development of solutions (origin and path validation in this case) to the understanding that implementation and deployment should now take center stage is critical to this work, but also to the routing area in general.   Another good example of the same trend is the trill WG, which is also finishing up the currently chartered work; additional work based on strong operational needs may still be considered.

It is very important for the WGs in the area to keep a close eye on operational requirements, experience and feedback.  Besides sidrops, other WGs also deal specifically with the operations of routing-related technology, including grow and mboned.

One of the topics for discussion in rtgwg was “Routing in the DC”, which has several proposals on how to make routing in the data center more efficient, scalable and flexible.  This session served as a review of some of the proposals and the opportunity to listen to operators express their needs in response.  We look forward to a continued and tighter participation from the operations community.

The detnet WG is making good progress on their Deterministic Networking use cases, architecture, and selecting a data plane.  The DetNet Data Plane Design Team gave an update on their work and proposed their DetNet Data Plane solution document is ready for adoption.

The bier WG has made excellent progress with a unified encapsulation that will work for MPLS and Ethernet.  The WG took an important step forward in deciding to continue with the WGLC and eventual publication of their work as Experimental RFCs, instead of waiting for deployment experience and pursuing the Standards Track.  The decision was aided by the existing ability to do RFC Status Changes without impact to the IANA registries or even the RFC number.

The babel WG had a good discussion on adding unicast hellos to the protocol; several implementers have use-cases that need them.  The WG remains small but active with focused technical discussions and an emphasis on experimenting with ideas via implementations before agreeing on changes.

NVO3 discussed the recommendation of its Design Team to select an updated Geneve as the standards-track encapsulation.  The consensus is being verified on the mailing list.  For the second IETF meeting, nvo3 experimented with meeting twice and having small group discussions on data-plane, control-plane, and security.  The WG could use more folks interested in discussing security extensions and use-cases.

While we would like to walk through every WG in the area, this summary is meant to be just that, a summary.  If you want more information, please take a look at the IETF 98 Routing Area Working Group High-Level Summary that the WG Chairs put together.  Just a few more work items that are worth listing here:

  • The lisp wg is making progress with the transition of their core experimental documents, RFC 6830 and RFC 6833, to the Standards Track.
  • The teas wg has been refining the ACTN (Abstraction and Control of TE Networks) Framework and Requirements
  • The Stateful PCE work continues in the pce WG with the imminent publication of the PCEP Extensions for Stateful PCE

IPv6 is not optional – the need to specify, implement and deploy IPv6 is well understood by everyone.  During the Routing Area meeting we made a call for the WGs to consider the deployment of IPv6-only networks, and the transition to them from IPv4-only and dual-stack implementations.  The intent is to consciously find and fill any specification gaps as vendors and operators clearly work towards that goal.

As Area Directors, our interests go beyond the technical work and into, for example, the topics of outreach and remote participation.  To that effect, we are working on efforts to better characterize and eventually measure the participation at remote hubs, from new people to the IETF all the way to established contributors.  Also, we are currently involved in other IESG-wide topics including side meetings, BoFs and the application of the Note Well.  We welcome any comments or ideas about these topics or others that you think the IESG should be addressing.

Finally, the IETF meeting in Chicago marked the start of Deborah and Alvaro’s second term as Area Directors.  We are very happy to be able to continue to work together.

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