Message from the IETF Chair – July 2011

By: Russ Housley

Date: July 6, 2011

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The work of the IETF remains relevant and energetic!

IETF 80 was the second IETF meeting held in Prague, Czech Republic (the first was IETF 68 in March 2007) and, once again, CZ.NIC did a wonderful job as host. It was a very successful meeting, attended by 1,196 people from 49 different countries. The facilities at the Hilton were comfortable and the unique social event on Tuesday evening at the Municipal House was well attended. On behalf of the IETF community, I would like to express our appreciation to Comcast and Trilogy for their generous sponsorship as well as to Dial Telecom, which provided network connectivity. Thank you to all for your support.

Many working groups (WGs) made significant progress at IETF 80. It was a genuine pleasure to see so many talented people engaged and collaborating.

Since IETF 79, 11 new WGs have been chartered and 14 were closed for a total of 121 WGs. Between the meetings, the WGs and their individual contributors produced 608 new Internet-Drafts and updated 1,237 existing Internet-Drafts, some more than once. The Internet Engineering Steering Group approved 164 Internet-Drafts for publication as RFCs and the RFC Editor published 104 new RFCs.

As you probably already know, on 3 February 2011, IANA assigned the last five IPv4 address blocks to the Regional Internet Registries (RIRs). At a very nice ceremony in Miami, Florida, USA, each RIR received one of the final address blocks. We have all known that the IPv4 address space would run out this year. In preparation, the IETF developed IPv6, which has long been ready for deployment; the IPv4 run out simply increases the urgency for IPv6 deployment. The explosive growth of the Internet can only continue with the bigger address space offered by IPv6.

I wish to emphasize that the depletion of the IANA IPv4 address pool is not a crisis. The Internet has not been significantly different since the beginning of February; there have not been any notable changes caused by the empty IANA IPv4 address pool. While this is not a crisis, there is a need for action to ensure that the Internet can continue to grow. The transition to IPv6 requires the attention of many actors. Our parents, spouses, and children will be largely unaware of the transition from IPv4 to IPv6—for them, this milestone may be insignificant—but making the transition will ensure their continued amazement at the endless possibilities offered by the growing Internet. Thanks for all that you have done to help make the transition to IPv6 possible. I hope you will continue working to make it a reality.

IETF 81 will take place in Quebec City, Canada, on 24–29 July 2011 and will be hosted by RIM. Scheduling information for the upcoming IETF meetings can always be found at I look forward to seeing you there.