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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 2014 (PDF, 8MB)


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The 88th meeting of the Internet Engineering Task Force was hosted by Huawei in Vancouver, Canada, a very popular location for IETF meetings over the years.

Our cover article in this issue is “An IETF View of IANA,” and explains the relationships among the IETF, IANA, and ICANN, and how they all work together. We also have articles about the proceedings of the GeoNet and IGOVUPDATE BoF meetings, plus the BoF meetings that are covered in our regular IETF Ornithology column. 

The Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) currently outsources its supporting functions: Request for Comments (RFC) publication, secretarial support, and the registration and publication of Internet Protocol Parameters. The IETF protocol parameters function, widely known within the IETF as the Internet Assigned Numbers Authority (IANA), the RFC Editor, and IETF Secretariat all perform functions that are critical to the operation of the IETF.

The year 2013 was very active for the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF). Much of what we worked on during the year is having a significant impact on the evolution of Internet technology, including surveillance revelations, the revision of hypertext transfer protocol (HTTP) and transport layer security (TLS), new browser-based voice over Internet protocol (VoIP) and video platforms, and software-defined networking. Our discussions also covered diversifying the IETF, the role of the Area Directors and the IESG, and participation in Internet governance discussions.

This is my second contribution to The IETF Journal as chair of the Internet Architecture Board (IAB). It comes at a very eventful time. The news about pervasive surveillance of the Internet by several collaborating governments dominated the discussion at IETF 88 in Vancouver, and it has dominated mail list discussion since the meeting.

As more service and content providers deploy IPv6, the Internet engineering community is grappling with how to establish milestones and metrics to measure progress in the rollout of next-generation Internet services.

To reflect on the headway that’s been made in IPv6 deployment and to consider what steps need to be taken next, the Internet Society hosted a panel discussion entitled “IPv6: What Does Success Look Like?” in conjunction with IETF 88.

At IETF 88, as part of an ongoing effort to foster better understanding between the Internet’s technical and regulatory communities, the Internet Society (ISOC) hosted ten policymakers from South America, Africa, and Asia.

The Internet engineering community debated the steps it can take to harden the Internet against pervasive surveillance from well-funded governments and other adversaries in a packed technical plenary session held during IETF 88 in Vancouver.

Remote participation is a hot topic in the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF). Many participants attend IETF meetings remotely if the venue is either too far away or too expensive for them to attend in person. Many regularly only attend remotely in the first place.

To make remote attendance possible, the IETF makes available the following solutions:

An Overview of the GeoNet BoF

The Internet Governance Update (IGOVUPDATE) Birds of a Feather (BoF) session was held at IETF 88 in Vancouver, Canada. The topic was unusual in that it was not about a protocol, or even about discussion that might be needed for future technical developments. Instead, this was an effort to encourage understanding by the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) of what other actors are doing or planning to do with the standards that the IETF produces. As is normal, the minutes for the BoF are in the IETF meeting proceedings.

During IETF 88 in Vancouver, Canada, five out of the nine then-chartered Internet Research Task Force (IRTF) research groups (RGs) held meetings:

In an effort to boost its inclusivity, the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) is considering a programme aimed at encouraging university students to engage in working groups.

Idilio Drago, the latest recipient of the Applied Networking Research Prize (ANRP) was in Vancouver to receive his award and present the research work for which he was selected. Idilio received his award for characterizing the traffic and workloads of the Dropbox cloud storage system (Idilio Drago, Marco Mellia, Maurizio M. Munafo, Anna Sperotto, Ramin Sadre, and Aiko Pras. Inside Dropbox: Understanding Personal Cloud Storage Services. Proc. ACM Internet Measurement Conference, November 2012, Boston, MA, USA.).

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 88, 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. 

On-site attendees: 1,142

Newcomers: 123

Number of countries: 54

The first IETF Bits-N-Bytes took place in the summer of 2012. The Bits-N-Bytes concept, however, has deep roots in the technical and operational communities. In fact, events similar to Bits-N-Bytes were a part of the North American Network Operator’s Group meetings as early as 2009.