Message from the IETF Chair

By: Jari Arkko

Date: July 6, 2015

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As I write this, our next meeting in Prague is just a few weeks away. I’m looking forward to interesting discussions from our new working groups (WGs) and Birds-of-a-Feather (BoF) sessions, including the Deterministic Networking (DETNET) BoF, Distributed Denial-of-Service Open Threat Signaling (DOTS) WG, and the privacy-enhanced Real-time Transport Protocol Conferencing (PERC) WG. I’m also excited to hear the latest conversations around educating new IETF participants from the EDUNEXT BoF, as well as the advances made by our ongoing efforts in Web protocol development, Internet of Things, and the privacy of Internet communications.

Active work is also happening in our leadership groups. The Internet Engineering Steering Group (IESG) recently reorganised its IETF areas to enable a greater focus on growing areas of work and make the IESG’s work more flexible. The reorganisation created a new area that focuses on applications and real-time traffic in the Internet and that is managed by three area directors—we increased the number of area directors dealing with routing to match the high amount of work happening in that area. Working groups will be assigned area directors who have the most relevant expertise for the given topic, regardless of the specific areas in which the working groups reside.

But how the IETF community as a whole works is even more important than the IESG’s organisation. The community is where the real work happens! One of the trends that we’re seeing is the more prominent role of open-source efforts. The IESG noted the positive experiences that came from the IETF Hackathon (page 10), so we plan to continue and expand these events. We also noted the positive results that arose by focusing IETF work related to data models—a lot already happens with data models at the IETF, but there’s plenty to do to make open source and IETF worlds work even better together. For example, at the IETF 92 Hackathon, Benoit Claise worked on tools to integrate checking and Internet-Draft generation of YANG models. When data models can be easily moved to different formats or checked against each other, the production of high-quality models becomes easier for everyone. We eagerly await the upcoming Hackathon in Prague and continue to brainstorm new ideas for the next one.

Finally, the Internet Architecture Board (IAB) is focusing on a number of issues, including overseeing Internet Assigned Numbers Authority stewardship transition discussions in the global community and thinking about the privacy issues from an architectural perspective. Internet users and service providers are producing an increasing fraction of end-to-end secured traffic in the Internet. Changes like this can have a global impact on the Internet, including how networks are managed. The IAB is working with the GSM Association to understand what new tools may be needed in this situation, including arranging a workshop on managing radio networks in an encrypted world. See to submit your thoughts and join the workshop. I look forward to seeing you there!