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Technology 11 July 2016

Rough Guide to IETF 96 – Back to Berlin

By Olaf KolkmanPrincipal - Internet Technology, Policy, and Advocacy

It’s that time again! Next week, more than a thousand engineers will converge in Berlin to spend a week discussing the latest issues in Internet protocol engineering at IETF 96. As usual, there is a lot going on, and the Internet Society will provide a ‘Rough Guide’ to the IETF via a series of blog posts on topics of mutual interest:

But before we get into the details, I’d like to share some overarching themes, topics, and events that I think everyone should know about.

IETF Journal

Catch up on some of the highlights from IETF 95 in Buenos Aires by reading Volume 12, Issue 1 of the IETF Journal. And you can read it on a brand new website! You can read all the articles online at, or pick up a hard copy in Berlin.

Our cover article this issue was prompted by a presentation and debate that took place in the sunset4 Working Group on the subject of declaring IPv4 Historic. Read Lee Howard’s and Geoff Huston’s perspectives and make up your own mind! In addition, we have Working Group updates from L3SM and TAPS, observations from one of the Internet Society Fellowship to the IETF Programme participants, a view from the pre-IETF Hackathon, and an article about a potential new technology direction for the IETF, namely Intelligent Transportation Systems. Our regular columns from the IETF, Internet Architecture Board, and Internet Research Task Force chairs, and coverage of hot topics discussed during the plenary meetings wrap up the issue.


Through the Applied Networking Research Prize (ANRP, supported by the Internet Society) the Internet Research Task Force (IRTF) recognizes the best new ideas in networking, and brings them to the IETF, especially in cases where the ideas are relevant for transitioning into shipping Internet products and related standardization efforts. In Berlin, two talented researchers will present during the IRTF Open Meeting at 10:00AM on Tuesday, 19 July:

Robert Lychev, Samuel Jero, Alexandra Boldyreva and Cristina Nita-Rotaru. How Secure and Quick is QUIC? Provable Security and Performance Analyses. Proc. IEEE Symposium on Security and Privacy, pp. 214–231, San Jose, CA, USA, May 2015.

  • Dario Rossi for characterizing anycast adoption and deployment in the IPv4 Internet:

Danilo Cicalese, Jordan Augé, Diana Joumblatt, Timur Friedman and Dario Rossi. Characterizing IPv4 Anycast Adoption and Deployment. Proc. ACM CoNEXT, Heidelberg, Germany, December 2015.


Right before IETF 96, the IETF is holding its now-regular Hackathon to encourage developers to discuss, collaborate and develop utilities, ideas, sample code and solutions that show practical implementations of IETF standards. The Hackathon is free to attend but has limited seats available.


Also just before IETF 96 begins, on Saturday, 16 July, the ACM, IRTF & ISOC are holding the first Applied Networking Research Workshop 2016 ( ANRW ‘16) to provide a forum for researchers, vendors, network operators, and the Internet standards community to present and discuss emerging results in applied networking research.

Researchers will share early emerging results that illustrate the scientific and engineering principles underlying the Internet architecture, protocols and applications; that demonstrate new capabilities, features, or extensions to the Internet protocol layers; that enhance our understanding of how Internet protocols work in real-world deployments or realistic testbeds; or that improve Internet security and privacy, scalability, performance, and robustness.

Birds of a Feather (BoF) Sessions

Another major highlight of every IETF is the new work that gets started in birds-of-a-feather (BoF) sessions. Getting new work started in the IETF usually requires a BoF 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. There are eight BoFs happening in Berlin:

  • its, Intelligent Transportation Systems, about the use of Internet communication protocols between vehicles
  • lpwan, Low-Power Wide Area Networks, to discuss the problems that arise in LP-WANs and how the IETF-based solutions apply to them
  • lurk, Limited Use of Remote Keys, discussing using a secure transport layer to authenticate application layer content
  • imtg, International Meeting Arrangements, about IETF requirements for selecting future meeting sites
  • l4s, Low Latency Low Loss Scalable throughput, coordinate parallel implementation and standardisation of TCP Prague across platforms
  • quic, QUIC, a UDP-based transport protocol that provides multiplexed streams over an encrypted transport
  • plus, Path Layer UDP Substrate, about how to make new protocols robust against packet and flow modification in the Internet at the hands of middleboxes
  • ledger, Ledger, a potential new protocol to define how connectors route and transfer digital assets between ledgers

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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