2.3.14 IP over Fibre Channel (ipfc) bof

Current Meeting Report

Minutes of the IP over Fibre Channel (ipfc) Working Group

Reported by: Murali Rajagopal


The IPFC BOF meeting was held on Tuesday March 31st between 5-6 PM in Santa Barbara A. Well over 100 people attended this BOF with only standing room space. Although, there were a lot of people in the room who were just plain curious about Fibre Channel, there were also a significant number who probed and knew enough about Gigabit Ethernet and Fibre Channel. All in all, there was nobody who opposed the group's formation and a number of hands were raised when asked about contributing to this group.
Meeting Details:

1. The meeting started out with Murali Rajagopal (proposed Chair) describing the purpose of the group. A mailing list and an FTP site has been set up at Gadzoox. This was provided to the attendees to sign up and join the group.
2. Next the problem statement was described, followed by the Charter statement and Objectives
3. Targeted Goals and Milestones was described next
4. Finally, the current Internet Draft and a brief description of its state was given

This followed by a long list of Q&A session. Following are some of the questions asked (not necessarily in the exact order asked) and some of the responses in brief:

Q. Why is the work done in IETF?
A. The FCA community feels that this is the most appropriate body for such an effort.
Q. I believe that ANSI has a FC-LE, why not use it?
A. This ANSI specification does not address many topics required for IP and ARP and is largely unusable in its present form; also, there are no plans in ANSI that might change this situation
Q. What about the ID from 1992 (Rekhter's)?
A. This specification had no implementations and required a Server

Q. Do we need a Liaison with ANSI?
A. I don't think it is necessary, but having one will not hurt

Q. Does FC have broadcast?
A. Yes

Q. Does the proposed ARP method require a Server?
A. No

Q. Do you think you may develop a MIB at some point for this?
A. Absolutely

Q. Are there any implementations now?
A. Yes quite a few and many of them somewhat close to the method in the proposed ID

Q. Do we have to worry about Internetworking with NBMA (Non Broadcast Multiple Access) networks? Is NHRP important here?
A. No.

Q. What about QoS? How is it handled here?
A. FC has QoS built into it but is somewhat coarse compared to QoS in modern terms.

Q. How do you think FC will be used? Management? User data?
A. Possibly all of the above

Q. Does FC compete with ATM?
A. No. Fundamental purposes are different

Q. Does FC use WDM or something like that?
A. No, but that is somewhat independent of FC protocols

The meeting concluded with Tom Narten addressing the audience with specific questions regarding the interest level and to see if there was any objection to forming this group. It appeared from the show of hands that there was sufficient interest to move this forward into a WG and there was nobody who objected to the formation of this WG.


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