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The IETF Journal is an Internet Society publication produced in cooperation with the Internet Engineering Task Force.

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Download the latest issue: IETF Journal March 2015 (PDF, 902KB)
Also available in Russian: IETF Journal March 2015 [Russian translation] (PDF, 9.3MB)

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The nerds returned to paradise for the IETF 91 meeting, hosted by Cisco in stunning Waikiki, Honolulu. Despite the temptation to devote the week to surfing, attendees got a lot of great work done at this memorable meeting.

There exists an unavoidable question for both community participants and observers: are standards development organisations (SDOs), such as the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF), still relevant in today’s rapidly expanding environment of Open Source Software (OSS) projects?

The IETF 91 meeting had 1,100 participants from 50 countries. In addition, we offered seven remote hubs throughout Latin America, and 25 presentations were held by people attending remotely. We expect remote attendance to grow even more in the future, thanks to technologies that the IETF and others have been working on. They will enable more participation and lower barriers to increased IETF involvement. 

During the IETF 91 meeting in Honolulu, the Internet Architecture Board (IAB) released a statement about Internet confidentiality; shortly after IETF 91, the IAB issued a statement about the NETmundial Initiative. After a list of highlights since IETF 90, this article repeats the previous two IAB statements without editorial comment.

Highlights since IETF 90

The very first issue of the IETF Journal was published in October 2005, just prior to IETF 64. Its editor, Peter Godwin, explained in the publication’s first article, “Our aim is to provide an overview of what’s happening in the world of Internet standards with a particular focus on the activities of the IETF Working Groups (WG). While we won’t be able to provide in-depth coverage of every WG, each issue of the IETF Journal will highlight some of the hot issues being discussed in IETF meetings and in the IETF mailing lists.”

The Internet Architecture Board (IAB) highlighted two of its programmes—IP Stack Evolution and Privacy and Security—during a technical plenary session held during IETF 91 in Honolulu in November.

The Internet lacks a scalable infrastructure for trust management, and the Internet engineering community should develop technical solutions to help address this complex problem. That was the conclusion of an Internet Society-sponsored panel entitled, “Is Identity an Internet Building Block?” held 11 November 2014 concurrent with the IETF meeting in Honolulu, Hawaii. 

A lively debate about standards, protocols, and human rights occurred during the meeting of the Security Area Advisory Group (SAAG) at IETF 91 in Hawaii. The discussion was framed by the Internet Draft (I-D), Proposal for Research on Human Rights Protocol Considerations.[1]

After input and review by the IETF community on the scope of work, the IETF Administrative Oversight Committee (IAOC) put out a request for proposals to revamp the public-facing IETF website (www.ietf.org). Its goal is to provide the IETF with a front door to the information that its users—active IETF participants, new and potential participants, and those looking to learn more about the IETF—need to accomplish their work. Specific goals for the revamp include improving the site’s ease of navigation, accessibility by mobile devices, and content maintenance.

When Fred Baker attended his first IETF meeting in 1989, it comprised 150 people who were mostly researchers, operators, and vendors from the United States. At IETF 91 in Honolulu, Baker mingled with more than 1,000 attendees, including a Nigerian ccTLD operator. In a wide-ranging interview, Baker reminisced about how the IETF has changed during the past 25 years. Following are excerpts from that conversation.

Question: How was your first IETF meeting?

Privacy and security issues have become priority items for the IETF, the Internet Architecture Board (IAB), and the Internet Society. Documents such as RFC 7258 and the recent IAB Statement on Internet Confidentiality demonstrate the community’s commitment to addressing the issues and concerns raised. The goals are to fix existing Internet technologies and protocols, and to develop more-secure solutions to protect users’ privacy.

During IETF 91 in Honolulu, four out of the eight chartered Internet Research Task Force (IRTF) research groups (RGs) held meetings:

  • Information-Centric Networking (ICNRG)
  • Internet Congestion Control (ICCRG)
  • Software-Defined Networking (SDNRG)
  • Network Coding (NWCRG)

In addition to the meetings of already-chartered research groups, a proposed research group on Datacenter Latency Control (DCLCRG) held its second public meeting.

Thanks to the information and guidance he received as a Technical Fellow at IETF 91 in Honolulu, Mwendwa Kivuva, information and communications technology administrator at the University of Nairobi, is now deploying IPv6.

Kivuva, who is also a member of the Consolidated Regional Internet Registries IANA Stewardship Proposal (CRISP) team, gained additional perspective at the meeting on the IANA transition. 

The Applied Networking Research Prize (ANRP) is awarded for recent results in applied networking research that are relevant for transitioning into shipping Internet products and related standardization efforts. The call for nominations for the 2015 ANRP award cycle received approximately 40 nominations.Three ANRP awards were presented during IETF 91.

Getting new work started in the IETF usually requires a birds-of-a-feather (BoF) meeting to discuss goals for the work, the suitability of the IETF as a venue for pursuing the work, and the level of interest in and support for the work. In this article, we’ll review the BoFs that took place during IETF 91, including their intentions and outcomes. If you’re inspired to arrange a BoF meeting, please be sure to read RFC 5434: Considerations for Having a Successful Birds-of-a-Feather (BoF) Session.

Participants: 1,100

Newcomers: 136

Number of countries: 50

IETF Activity since IETF 90 (20 July–9 November 2014)

New WGs: 12

WGs closed: 0

WG currently chartered: 135

New and revised Internet-Drafts (I-Ds): 1665

RFCs published: 86

  • 45 Standards Track, 0 BCP, 3 Experimental, 37 Informational  

IESG Restructuring