Message from the IETF Chair – November 2016

By: Jari Arkko

Date: November 1, 2016

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What a great meeting in Berlin—the IETF crowd clearly likes to meet there! We had 1,424 on-site participants and another 337 who participated remotely from Brazil, India, Japan, and the United States. And while the numbers are interesting, what really matters is whether our gatherings have an impact on the real-life Internet. I believe that the topics handled during this week were very significant for the Internet’s evolution.

Not Just about the IETF

Many other meetings happen around the IETF. This time we had a 6LO interop event with the European Telecommunications Standards Institute (ETSI), the Applied Networking Research Workshop, an informal gathering of operators in the Internet Engineering and Planning Group (IEPG) meeting, interaction between the RIOT summit and IETF Working Groups, and many others.

And, of course, we also love running code, for it is what actually makes the Internet tick. One of the ways we focus on running code is the IETF Hackathon, which had 158 participants. The winning project hacked to make it do identifier-locator based forwarding over IPv6. Another project interop tested seven implementations of TLS1.3. This will have a direct impact on how well our browsers work.

Meeting Highlights

The Quick UDP Internet Connections (QUIC) birds-of-a-feather (BoF) considered a proposal that originally came from Google and is already seeing widespread usage there. The basic idea is that an efficient and secure transport can be built by applications and encompass both TCP and TLS functionality. See this issue’s article on page XX.

The LEDGER meeting discussed standards for interoperability between payment systems (e.g., the ability to make payments across multiple payment networks or Bitcoin-like systems).

The HOMENET Working Group identified a mistake that was made with respect to the recently published RFC 7788. The RFC refers to the “.home” special-use name, but (1) doesn’t specify its semantics in other DNS systems and (2) didn’t go through the required process for special-use name allocations. While there’s now an approved erratum for the RFC, it is important that a more permanent fix be developed via a new RFC in the near future. The assignment of possible special-use names for HOMENET use can take place in parallel.

The NETMOD Working Group and the IETF Routing Area have been working on YANG models. We are now focusing on getting them completed in the next year. Implementation experience on these is very welcome.

The LPWAN meeting discussed how to run IPv6 and higher layer Internet protocols on highly constrained low-power wide-area networks (LPWANs). The energy and packet-size constraints on these networks require highly innovative solutions to just be able to run IP in these networks. Participants representing four of the major LPWAN technologies were present and were interested in both participating and using the output of this effort.

The recently chartered SIPBRANDY Working Group met for the first time. The group is describing best practices for cryptographic protection of SIP-signaled real-time media. It hopes to solve keying issues that have so far prevented wide deployment of the Secure Realtime Protocol (SRTP).

Open source is a big part of our efforts. Some of the events beyond the IETF Hackathon included the first meeting of the BABEL Working Group, focused on a new routing protocol from the open source world, and a gathering of the open source developers from the routing area.

IETF Financing and Sponsors

I would very much like to thank our host, Juniper Networks. Juniper is an IETF Global Host, a company that is committed to supporting several meetings across 10 years.

I am happy to announce that the IETF Endowment received more than $3 million from AfriNIC, ARIN, RIPE NCC, and the Internet Society. This is a major show of support for the IETF mission and much appreciated.

Next Steps

We’re back to work on the mailing lists, virtual meetings, and design teams. I look forward to seeing you at IETF 97 in Seoul, South Korea!