Message from the IETF Chair

By: Russ Housley

Date: October 7, 2007

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By all accounts, IETF 69 was a success. Held in a grand hotel in downtown Chicago, we had in attendance 1,146 people from 40 countries. In spite of the noise from ongoing renovations to the hotel, progress was made in a number of working groups.

IETF 69 was hosted by Motorola, and the site network was subcontracted to Verilan Networks. As always, we depended on a team of dedicated volunteers. The week was filled with the usual mixture of working group meetings, BoF (birds-of-a-feather) sessions, research group meetings, and countless side meetings.

It was interesting to hear from Ken Zdunek, vice president of networks research at Motorola, which hosted IETF 42 in Chicago as well. Ken talked about the ways in which Chicago and the Internet have changed over the past nine years.

Since IETF 68, two new WGs were chartered and 10 WGs were closed. During that time, the WGs and their individual contributors produced 436 new drafts and generated 946 updated drafts. There are still approximately 120 chartered WGs. The Internet Engineering Steering Group approved 96 drafts for publication as requests for comments (RFCs). The RFC Editor published 103 new RFCs.

The RFC Editor contract was renewed with the University of Southern California’s Information Sciences Institute (ISI). As most of you know, ISI has filled this role since the RFC series began. An RFC Editor style guide has been published and is available here.

In addition, the IETF Secretariat Services request for proposals (RFP) was released on schedule, and the goal is to award one or more contracts in October 2007. The tools team did an outstanding job of rewriting all tools that do not require login-so as to resolve security flaws in those tools. As a next step, tools that require login will be rewritten to deal with their security issues.

One of the hot topics at IETF 69 was the transition from IPv4 to IPv6. The hope was to identify specific actions the IETF can take to facilitate a smooth transition. In the past, the IETF has operated on the assumption that the transition will occur before the IPv4 address space is exhausted. However, there is an increasing realisation that this may not be the case. The discussions at IETF 69 were attempts to revisit the topic. A variety of opinions were expressed, and a lively discussion ensued at the plenary, but ultimately, no consensus was reached on what the IETF can do right now. I believe this discussion will continue and that the IETF has a valuable contribution to make in this area.

I look forward to seeing you at IETF 70 in Vancouver on 2-7 December 2007 and at IETF 71 in Philadelphia on 9-14 March 2008. As always, here are scheduling information for upcoming IETF meetings.

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