Deploy360 6 November 2014

Discussing Network Operator Involvement in the IETF, at IETF 91!

Chris Grundemann
By Chris GrundemannGuest Author

IETF LogoIt’s hard to believe that 2014 is nearing its end. It is, however, and with November comes the third IETF meeting of 2014: IETF 91

I’m jumping in here, as I and about 1200 or so others start leaving for Honolulu, to invite you to a couple of sessions next week in particular. But first, a quick update.

Back in July, Jan Žorž presented the initial findings from the Operators and the IETF survey at IETF 90 and we promised:

“To continue analyzing the data and to write an I-D for the next IETF meeting in Hawaii. This will contain much more data and also suggestions on how to lower the bar for other operators to participate.”

Well, we hope we’ve met that target with draft-opsawg-operators-ietf. At the very least, we do have a solid foundation to continue the discussion.

That discussion will continue in person next week. First on Sunday in the IEPG meeting, then again Wednesday morning, at a bit greater length, in the OpsAWG (Operations Area Working Group) meeting. Before I jump into the details of these two meetings though, a word about the draft itself.

For the past several months, the DO team has been pouring over the survey results, continuing our discussions with operators around the world, and also discussing (and debating) how to put all of that together into a document. At the end of the day we decided to stay out of the way as much as possible, letting the results (and respondents) speak for themselves. I invite you to take a read and let us know what you think. I believe this is a great place for us to connect existing efforts and conversations, and hopefully start new ones as well. There are obviously some perceived challenges to participation in the IETF process. But there are also several ongoing efforts and activities to address some of these issues already. I’m hoping that we can help fight the “real” issues as well as the perception issues as we move forward with our Operators and the IETF project from here. But first, let’s discuss and maybe even build some consensus. We want to hear what you think, about the IETF, about Operators at the IETF, about the survey results, and about the future. You can get back to us next week at the IETF, or anytime over email or social media. Want to jump right in next week during IETF 91? There are three things you should know about:

IEPG (Internet Engineering and Planning Group)

The IEPG was introduced in RFC 1690 circa 1994 and today consists of a webpage, a mailing list ([email protected]), and a meeting held alongside the IETF meeting. From their website:

The IEPG is an informal gathering that meets on the Sunday prior to IETF meetings. The intended theme of these meetings is essentially one of operational relevance in some form or fashion – although the chair will readily admit that he will run with an agenda of whatever is on offer at the time

On this particular Sunday (9 Nov), the IEPG has been kind enough to grant me a few minutes to update the group on the survey results. This will be the first time we dig into the possible solutions in public. I’m super excited about this, because my reading of RFC 1690 tells me that the IEPG is exactly the kind of group needed to help execute on many of the possible solutions from the Operators and the IETF survey and our conversations with operators along the way.

Unfortunately, this is an informal meeting before the official start of the IETF and as such there are no remote participation options. I do highly recommend that anyone with an operational focus who is interested, or involved, in the IETF join the IEPG mailing list and show up on the Sunday before every IETF whenever possible.

If you will be in Honolulu this Sunday, 9 November, please join us in “Coral 2” from 1000 – 1200 HST.

OpsAWG (Operations and Management Area Working Group)

The OpsAWG is the Working Group within the Operations and Management Area concerned with “the development and publication of RFCs dealing with operational and management topics that are not in scope of an existing working group and do not justify the formation of a new working group.” Focusing on the Operations side of the house, this seemed like the most logical WG to submit the Operators and the IETF Internet-Draft to.

So, on Wednesday morning I’ll be introducing draft-opsawg-operators-ietf with the hope of it being accepted as an OpsAWG item and the greater hope of kicking off an even wider discussion that ultimately leads to improvements in the already amazing work of the IETF. Come join us in “Coral 1” during morning session 1. That’s 0900 – 1130 HST (UTC-10) on Wednesday, 12 November. Check out the agenda here, and you can download all the drafts for discussion here.

If you can’t be in Honolulu next week, don’t fear: There ARE remote participation options available! You can watch the minutes being typed live, listen in to the audio in the room, and jump in yourself via the Jabber chat room:

OK, while that’s all super exciting, it’s only two things, and I said there are three… The third thing you should know about if you’re ready to jump in and get involved in this ongoing Operators and the IETF discussion is that I, and the whole DO team, would be happy to speak to you when it’s convenient for you. Please do find Megan, Dan, or me in person next week, or contact us – to schedule a face to face, a phone call, or an online chat. The choice is yours, but the pleasure is ours.

Before I sign off today I want to give a special thanks to Warren Kumari, Scott Bradner, and Chris Morrow for granting me time in their meetings next week. Thank you all for helping to facilitate this important work!

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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