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In this post I'll shine a light on some of the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) and Internet Research Task Force (IRTF) efforts underway to explore and address more sophisticated ways to use available bandwidth, improve Internet performance, and otherwise efficiently get Internet content to where it needs to be. These groups will all be meeting as part of the IETF 93 meeting in Prague next week.

On the Sunday of IETF meetings, the Education team organises various tutorial sessions, and IETF 93 will include an ‘Introduction to Performance Measurements and Monitoring’ that will provide an overview of IETF work on the topic.

Internet performance is to a large extent governed by the way transport protocols operate, and the tcpm WG will be meeting to discuss proposed new functionality to improve and enhance the working of TCP, the main transport protocol used on the Internet today. One of the advances developed in the tcpm WG, TCP Fast Open, was included in recent announcements by Apple that should provide a big boost to networking performance in their products.

Multipath TCP is another IETF protocol now seeing more widespread deployment in operational networks, and the meeting in Prague will include updates on implementation experiences and new work to use and extend Multipath TCP.

Getting new code deployed in networking stacks is often hard because of uncertainties about how existing hardware and software on the network will react. After a successful Bar BoF meeting in Dallas, the proposed How Ossified is the Protocol Stack? (hops) research group will meet in Prague to discuss measurement techniques and data sources that could help make better engineering decisions to work around some of the ossification in the protocol stack. The hope is that techniques similar to ‘happy eyeballs’ for IPv6 can be used to support deployment of new transport features and protocols.

Packet networks give rise to transient congestion by design and several groups are meeting to discuss different aspects of congestion control and avoidance (aqm and rmcat). For regulators, being able to monitor the performance of networks, and the extent to which congestion or other factors are impacting consumers’ experience of the network is very important. The lmap working group is meeting in Prague to advance their important work on standardizing a large-scale broadband performance measurement infrastructure.

Related Working Groups and BoFs at IETF 93

iccrg (Internet Congestion Control Research Group)
Wednesday, 22 July 2015, 1550-1720, Congress Hall I
Agenda: https://datatracker.ietf.org/meeting/93/agenda/iccrg/
Documents: http://tools.ietf.org/group/irtf/trac/wiki/ICCRG
Charter: https://irtf.org/iccrg

mptcp (Multipath TCP) WG
Tuesday, 21 July 2015, 1300-1500, Berlin/Brussels
Agenda: https://datatracker.ietf.org/meeting/93/agenda/mptcp/
Documents: https://datatracker.ietf.org/wg/mptcp/
Charter: http://datatracker.ietf.org/wg/mptcp/charter/

tcpm (TCP Maintenance and Minor Extensions) WG
Wednesday, 22 July 2015, 1300-1530, Karlin I/II
Agenda: https://datatracker.ietf.org/meeting/93/agenda/tcpm/
Documents: https://datatracker.ietf.org/wg/tcpm/
Charter: http://datatracker.ietf.org/wg/tcpm/charter/

hopsrg (Proposed How Ossified is the Protocol Stack?) RG
Friday, 24 July 2015, 0900-1130, Congress Hall III
Agenda: https://datatracker.ietf.org/meeting/93/agenda/hopsrg/
Charter: https://datatracker.ietf.org/doc/charter-irtf-hopsrg/

aqm (Active Queue Management and Packet Scheduling) WG
Monday, 20 July 2015, 1850–1950, Congress Hall I
Agenda: https://datatracker.ietf.org/meeting/93/agenda/aqm/
Documents: https://datatracker.ietf.org/wg/aqm/
Charter: http://datatracker.ietf.org/wg/aqm/charter/

lmap (Large-Scale Measurement of Broadband Performance) WG
Monday, 20 July 2015, 0900-1130, Athens/Barcelona
Agenda: https://datatracker.ietf.org/meeting/93/agenda/lmap/
Documents: https://datatracker.ietf.org/wg/lmap/
Charter: http://datatracker.ietf.org/wg/lmap/charter/

rmcat (RTP Media Congestion Avoidance Techniques) WG
Monday, 20 July 2015, 0900-1130, Congress Hall II
Agenda: https://datatracker.ietf.org/meeting/93/agenda/rmcat/
Documents: https://datatracker.ietf.org/wg/rmcat/
Charter: http://datatracker.ietf.org/wg/rmcat/charter/

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There’s a lot going on in Prague, and whether you plan to be there or join remotely, there's much to monitor. To follow along as we dole out this series of Rough Guide to IETF blog posts, follow us on the Internet Technology Matters blog, Twitter, Facebook, Google+, via RSS, or see http://www.internetsociety.org/rough-guide-ietf93.

Disclaimer: Viewpoints expressed in this post are those of the author and may or may not reflect official Internet Society positions.

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