News from the IETF Chair

By: Brian Carpenter

Date: November 7, 2006

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brian carpenter


Approximately 1,200 people from 41 countries gathered for IETF 67, making it our third visit to the Sheraton San Diego Hotel & Marina and our sixth visit to San Diego (the first being IETF 1 in January 1986). Hosted by Siemens Networks – with additional support from Afilias, from Poland’s Computing Communication and Network Security (CCNS), from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and from a team of dedicated volunteers – the week featured the usual mix of working group (WG) meetings, BoF (birds-of-a-feather) sessions, research groups, and formal and informal side meetings, as well as excellent wireless networking.

Since IETF 66, two new WGs were chartered and 12 WGs were closed, leaving approximately 120 WGs currently chartered. In the months between the meetings, the WGs and their individual contributors produced 440 new drafts and an impressive 933 updates. The Internet Engineering Steering Group (IESG) approved 104 drafts for publication as RFCs (requests for comment), and the RFC publication queue continued to decrease.

An important discussion during IETF 66 concerned the scaling problem in wide-area interdomain routing. Though not a new issue, the scaling problem is again becoming a matter of operational concern, and IETF action in conjunction with the entire technical community is required. Articles elsewhere in this journal, including the Plenary Report, discuss the issue in more detail.

At the end of its 20th anniversary year, the IETF remains crucial to continued growth and innovation in the Internet. It’s worth noting that the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) Next Generation Networks program, which is regarded as a major industry initiative, is heavily dependent on IETF standards, including but not limited to Session Initiation Protocol (SIP), Multiprotocol Label Switching (MPLS), and, of course, IPv4, IPv6, and the transport protocols running over them. The IETF remains responsible for the evolution of these basic protocols and is committed to continuing their development for the good of the Internet as a whole and not for any one individual industrial bloc.

As always, scheduling information for the next IETF meeting may be found here. I look forward to seeing many of you in Prague March 18-23, 2007, and after that in Chicago on 22-27 July 2007.