Message from the IETF Chair

By: Russ Housley

Date: February 7, 2009

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Russ Housley, IETF Chair

I am pleased to report that IETF 73, which was held in Minneapolis in November 2008, was a highly successful meeting. While the total number of attendees was down (937), the number of countries represented was up (52). Many people attribute the reduced attendance to the global economic down-turn. That may be true, yet the work of the IETF remains relevant, and the people who came were enthusiastic. Many working groups made significant progress in Minneapolis.

Google was the meeting host and certainly made everyone feel welcome. The social event was well attended, and everyone had a fun, game-filled evening. The site network was subcontracted to VeriLAN Networks, whose staff, working with a group of dedicated volunteers, provided a very sound network.

The week was filled with the usual mixture of working group (WG) meetings, birds-of-a-feather sessions, research group meetings, and, as always, many side meetings.

Since IETF 72, two new WGs were chartered and five WGs were closed. We have about 115 chartered WGs. Between the meetings, the WGs and their individual contributors produced 389 new Internet-Drafts and updated 887 Internet-Drafts, some of them more than once. The Internet Engineering Steering Group approved 75 Internet-Drafts for publication as RFCs. The RFC Editor published 97 new RFCs.

During IETF 73, one of the hot topics during the several sessions and many hallway discussions was IPv4 and IPv6 coexistence. The discussion of re-quirements for NAT-PT (network address translation-protocol translation) continues from the previous meeting. Throughout the week, an IPv6-only network was available for those who were interested in experiencing the Internet without IPv4.

Using WebEx, several WGs conducted an experiment aimed at accommo-dating remote participants. In one WG session, a presentation was made by a participant in another location. In the plenary, WebEx was used in addition to the usual audio streaming to enable remote participants to follow the presentations. Enabling fruitful remote participation is one way the IETF will ensure that important work gets accomplished despite the potential for reduced meeting attendance brought on by the global economic downturn.

I wish to extend a special thank-you to the authors of Beautiful Security, a new book being published by O’Reilly Media. All contributing authors are donating all royalties to the IETF. This contribution is greatly appreciated.

I look forward to IETF 74 in San Francisco on 22-27 March 2009 and IETF 75 in Stockholm on 26-31 July 2009. Scheduling information regarding the next IETF meetings may always be found here.

I look forward to seeing you there.

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