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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 November 2014 (PDF, 8MB)


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During the Internet Research Task Force open meeting in Toronto, the third Applied Networking Research Prize for 2014 was presented to Robert Lychev and his coauthors for studying the security benefits provided by partially-deployed S*BGP.

The beautiful Canadian city of Toronto was the venue for the 90th meeting of the Internet Engineering Task Force hosted by Ericsson. As always, The IETF Journal presents an interesting sample of the events, discussions, and people that contributed to another great IETF meeting.

Highlights from the IAB Retreat

Paid attendance: 1183 (Above forecast by 113 people) 

Newcomers: 153

Number of countries: 53

IETF Activity since IETF 89 (March–July 2014)

New WGs: 3

WGs closed: 0

WG currently chartered: 123

New and revised Internet-Drafts (I-Ds): 1848

RFCs published: 173

• 105 Standards Track, 7 BCP, 8 Experimental, 50 Informational  

Live and Social Media

• YouTube: Tech Plenary streamed 47 live, 301 views

• Twitter: 1186 tweets on #IETF90, exposure via #IETF89=19000, 578 new followers

IETF 90 was a great meeting with a good turnout—1,231 people on site from 54 countries. My personal highlights for the week include discussions around the Internet of Things, Internet security and privacy, and the transition of Internet Assigned Numbers Authority (IANA) oversight.

During IETF 90 in Toronto, Canada, four out of the nine chartered Internet Research Task Force (IRTF) research groups (RGs) held meetings:

No technological magic bullet is on the horizon to solve the Internet’s security and privacy challenges during the next 10 years, according to a panel discussion sponsored by the Internet Society (ISOC) that was held in conjunction with IETF 90 in Toronto.

Moderator Andrei Robachevsky, technology programme manager at ISOC, noted that the Internet engineering community lacks a good understanding of the overall security and privacy qualities of the Internet as a whole. 

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 90, 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.

During IETF 90, the 6TiSCH, 6lo, and ROLL working groups (WGs) hosted the Low-power Lossy Networks (LLN) Plugfest—an event designed to bring together IETF participants interested in gaining hands-on experience with Internet of Things (IoT) technology. Eight teams presented implementations of Request for Comments (RFCs), Internet Drafts (I-Ds), tools, and hardware related to technology standardized by the 6TiSCH, 6lo and ROLL WGs.

One of the challenges faced by technologists interested in developing new and better ways of transferring data over the Internet is the growing number of devices in the network that cause connections to fail when they see something new or unexpected. These so-called middleboxes also make it hard to add simple refinements to existing ways of delivering Internet application data. It’s as if the information superhighway now has automated toll gates at all the major intersections, and if they don’t find your registration plate where they expect to find it, you won’t be allowed through.

The Internet engineering community faces many economic and political barriers to creating a more efficient routing system, according to an IETF 90 technical plenary session about how Internet topology interacts with geography.

“There are, of course, people and governments who are keen to link intranetwork traffic to geography, to geopolitical boundaries,” said panel moderator Andrew Sullivan, an IAB member and director of architecture at Dyn. “But there are also real issues of geography that affect the way the network operates.”

IETF 90 included a well-attended Birds of a Feather (BoF) meeting entitled, “Use Cases for Autonomic Networking (UCAN).” The associated mailing list is called ANIMA, which stands for Autonomic Networking Integrated Model and Approach. So what exactly is autonomic networking?