Words from the Incoming IAB Chair

By: Olaf Kolkman

Date: May 7, 2007

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Writing this report, which is my first for the IETF Journal, is one of the many tasks I inherited from Leslie when I took over as Internet Architecture Board (IAB) chair during the IETF meeting in Prague. Only when I received the token did I begin to appreciate the extent of my predecessor’s achievements. I will not make an attempt to enumerate all of Leslie’s many achievements, but I think it is good to explicitly recognise her critical role in the reorganisation of the IETF over the past few years. In her role as IETF Administrative Oversight Committee (IAOC) member, she was a driving force in formalising the relations between the IETF and the RFC editor. In her role as IAB chair, she set the bar pretty high. It will be a challenge to match the quality and quantity of her efforts.

During this IETF there were two mutations in the IAB’s membership. Both David Meyer and Bernard Aboba retired, while Danny McPherson and Barry Leiba joined the IAB.

Traditionally, shortly after the change of its members, the IAB organises a retreat to assess its previous year’s work and to begin planning new activities. That retreat will take place 31 May-1 June in the Boston area. As of this writing, the agenda is not set, but, no doubt, two topics will get attention and both will be framed around the question of what the IAB can, will, and needs to do as a follow-up to the two IAB workshops held in 2006: the workshop on unwanted traffic and the routing and addressing workshop. (Both reports will be in the RFC editor queue when this publication goes to press.)

Based on activities during IETF 68, it is clear that the routing and addressing workshop unleashed a lot of energy. It is also clear that the community is still trying to get a grip on the exact problem and on the scope of the solution. The IAB and the Internet Engineering Steering Group (IESG) have established a routing and addressing directorate to assist in the coordination of efforts, as well as the establishment and maintenance of communications between the various stakeholders and the IETF leadership.

While the IETF works on a better understanding of the problem and on scoping the solution space, there will no doubt emerge architectural issues that require better understanding and the determination of where the technical role for the IAB is. In the meantime, the IAB will also try to assess whether and how it can play a proactive role in this effort.

Olaf Kolkman was born and raised in the Netherlands. He was trained as an astronomer but his interest in Internet technology took hold around 1996. He joined the RIPE NCC in 1997, where he became involved in the test-traffic project. That project brought him in contact with the IETF and he attended his first meeting in Munich. After acting as operations manager he became systems architect in 2000, responsible for DNSSEC deployment at the NCC. In 2005 he joined NLnet Labs, a R&D foundation, as chief executive. He is an IAB member since March 2006.