IETF Ornithology: Recent Sightings – November 2017

By: Mat Ford

Date: October 31, 2017

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Getting new work started in the IETF usually requires a birds-of-a-feather (BoF) meeting to discuss goals for the work, the suitability of the IETF as a venue for pursuing the work, and the level of interest in and support for the work. In this article, we’ll review the BoFs that took place during IETF 99, including their intentions and outcomes. If you’re inspired to arrange a BoF meeting, please be sure to read RFC 5434, “Considerations for Having a Successful Birds-of-a-Feather (BoF) Session”.

Network Slicing (netslicing)

Description: A network slice represents a logical network. It is a union of resources (connectivity, storage, computing), network functions, and service functions that were combined to provide a logical networking infrastructure in support of a variety of services.

The purpose of this network slicing discussion was to explore developing a set of protocols and/or protocol extensions that enable slicing within a network environment that assumes an IP and/or MPLS-based underlay.

Proceedings: Minutes are available at

Slides, documents, and audio and video recordings are available at (search for netslicing).

Outcome: This was not intended to be a Working Group-forming meeting. The presentations and discussion helped to clarify where there is scope for input to the 3GPP process and where existing IETF work may be relevant to the network slicing use cases. Further discussion and work is required to better clarify whether additional work is required in existing or new WGs.

BANdwidth Aggregation for interNet Access (banana)

Description: Bandwidth Aggregation consists of splitting local traffic across multiple Internet links on a per-packet basis, including the ability to split a single flow across multiple links when necessary.

The goal of this proposed WG is to produce a Bandwidth Aggregation solution that will provide the following benefits:

  • Higher per-flow bandwidth. Many of the Internet links available to homes and small offices (e.g., DSL, Cable, LTE, Satellite) have relatively low bandwidth. Commonly used applications, such as streaming video or content up/downloads require or could benefit from more bandwidth for a single traffic flow than is available on any of the local links. A Bandwidth Aggregation solution could supply the needed bandwidth by splitting a single traffic flow across multiple Internet links.
  • Reduced cost. Traffic sharing on a per-packet basis allows the full bandwidth of the lowest-cost link to be used first. It only uses a higher-cost link once the lowest-cost link is full.
  • Increased reliability. When one Internet link goes down, ongoing application flows can be moved to another link, preventing service disruption.

Proceedings: Minutes are available at

Slides, documents, and audio and video recordings are available at (search for banana).

Outcome: This was a WG-forming BoF meeting that spent a lot of time discussing the proposed charter for a WG. A straw poll of the room indicated that there is a small constituency of people interested in working on this topic. Further discussion will take place on the mailing list to refine the proposed WG charter with a view to Working Group formation in future.

IDentity Enabled Networks (ideas)

Description: The goal of this group is to standardize a framework that provides identity-based services usable by any identifier-location separation protocol. The new requirements driving this framework go beyond the traditional discovery service and mapping of identifier-to-location for packet delivery.

In addition, an IDEAS Working Group will identify gaps and make recommendations for changes needed for interface interactions between the framework and identifier-enabled protocols.

Proceedings: Minutes are available at

Slides and audio and video recordings are available at (search for ideas).

Outcome: The discussion highlighted some confusion about the terminology and permanence of identifiers. More work is needed to clearly define the work to be undertaken by a new IETF WG and to allay some of the concerns about identifier permanence and implications for privacy and online tracking.

IASA 2.0 (iasa20)

Description: The IETF community has identified a need to review and possibly rework the administrative arrangements at the IETF, dubbed the IASA 2.0 project ( A series of virtual workshops were arranged related to this effort. This BoF provided an opportunity to talk about the feedback received from the workshops and to solicit further feedback.

Proceedings: Minutes are available at

Slides, documents, and audio and video recordings are available at (search for iasa20).

Outcome: A robust discussion about the challenges facing the current administrative structure and arrangements, and an opportunity for those present to express their views and concerns about some of the alternative approaches to reform. Discussion will continue on the mailing list (