Message from the IETF Chair

By: Russ Housley

Date: December 7, 2007

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Russ Housley

Russ Housley, IETF Chair

The IETF returned to Vancouver, Canada, in December 2007 for IETF 70. The Westin Bayshore, site of our previous visit to Vancouver, has excellent facilities for the IETF. With 1,114 people attending from 37 countries, the meeting was, by all accounts, successful, with progress made in many working groups (WGs). Cisco Research and Microsoft served as hosts for the event, and the site network was subcontracted to VeriLAN Networks. Sponsors included BC.NET, Eyeball, Huawei, and Telus. On behalf of the IETF, I’d like to express my gratitude and appreciation to our hosts and sponsors for their outstanding contributions. As usual, the IETF depends on a team of dedicated volunteers, which this time included a group of programmers who helped with the development of software tools that are used by the IETF on the Saturday before the meeting. The week was filled with the usual mixture of working group meetings, BoF (birds-of-a-feather) sessions, research group meetings, and, as always, many side meetings.

It was interesting to hear from Stephen Wolff of Cisco Research Center, who talked about the early days of the IETF. He was one of the 21 people who attended IETF 2! He recalled a time when 160 million packets per week was considered significant and when the first gigabit research networks were set up. He expressed hope that today’s network research initiatives, such as GENI and FIND, will lead to similar advancements. He also mentioned that unsolicited proposals for network research are welcomed by Cisco.

Since IETF 69, 3 new WGs were chartered and 15 WGs were closed. Approximately 115 WGs are currently chartered. Since July 2007, the WGs and their individual contributors produced 421 new Internet-Drafts and generated 967 updated Internet-Drafts. The Internet Engineering Steering Group approved 106 Internet-Drafts for publication as RFCs. The RFC Editor published 103 new RFCs.

I’m happy to announce the winner of the IETF Secretariat services RFP. At the Wednesday evening plenary session, staff members from NeuStar Secretariat Services (NSS) received a standing ovation for their years of dedicated service. The winner was named too. Association Management Solutions (AMS) will begin providing Secretariat services in early 2008.

On a sad note, we recently lost a longtime IETF participant. Jun-ichiro “Itojun” Hagino passed away on 29 October 2007 at the age of 37. The “IPv6 Samurai” will be missed. He will be remembered for many things, including his contributions to the KAME project, which developed the IPv6 implementation that is now in FreeBSD, NetBSD, OpenBSD, and MacOS X.

On a happier note, at the Wednesday evening plenary session the IETF community offered thanks to Mark Foster, chief technology officer of NeuStar, for the pivotal role he played in the administrative restructuring of the IETF. Without Mark’s assistance, the restructuring would have taken much longer and would have been much more painful. I personally appreciate his dedicated support to the IETF community. Again, thanks, Mark.

During IETF 69, one of the hot topics in the several sessions and many hallway discussions was IPv6 adoption, which remained a hot topic at IETF 70. The hope was to identify tasks the IETF can do to facilitate a smooth adoption.

In the past, the IETF has taken the approach that IPv6 adoption would happen naturally, before the IPv4 address space was exhausted. However, there is an increasing realisation that this is not the case. The last IPv4 address block will most likely be allocated by the Internet Assigned Numbers Authority before widespread IPv6 deployment occurs. There were a number of varying opinions and lively discussions on the topic. Ultimately, no consensus was reached on what the IETF can do right now to expedite IPv6 deployment. It is clear to me that there will continue to be much speculation and energetic debate, but I continue to believe the IETF has a valuable contribution to make in this area.

I look forward to seeing all of you at IETF 71 in Philadelphia on 9-14 March 2008 and at IETF 72 in Dublin, which is scheduled for 27 July-1 August 2008. Scheduling information for upcoming IETF meetings.

New BoF Meetings
Descriptions and agendas for all BoF meetings.Internet Area
csi: Cga & Send Extensions
savi: Source Address Validation Improvements
tictoc: Timing over IP Connection and Transfer of Clock

Real-Time Applications and Internet Area
peppermint: Provisioning Extensions in Peering Registries for Multimedia Interconnection

Routing Area
rl2n: Routing for Low Power and Lossy Networks

Transport Area
safe: Self-Address Fixing Evolution