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Building Trust 14 July 2016

Rough Guide to IETF 96: Internet of Things (IoT)

Mat Ford
By Mat FordTechnology Programme Manager

The Internet of Things (IoT) is a buzzword around the Internet industry and the broader technology and innovation business. We often hear questions about what the IETF is doing in relation to IoT and in this short post I’d like to highlight some of the relevant sessions scheduled during the upcoming IETF 96 meeting in Berlin.

Before talking about Berlin though, I’ll highlight a couple of recent IETF Journal articles that provide some background on IETF activity related to IoT. In “Internet of Things: Standards and Guidance from the IETF” Ari Keränen and Carsten Bormann provide some background and an overview of IETF activity related to the broad topic of IoT. Ari and Carsten are co-chairs of the IRTF Thing-to-Thing Research Group. “Things Talking to Other Things about Things” also provides background and a brief readout from the recent IAB workshop on IoT Semantic Interoperability.

The Thing-to-Thing Research Group investigates open research issues in turning IoT into reality. They will be meeting on Tuesday afternoon in Berlin to report out on various recent activities including the RIOT Summit that is taking place in Berlin immediately prior to the IETF meeting, the recent IoT Software Update workshop, a report on W3C IoT activities, and a talk on using blockchain in the IoT.

The 6lo WG defines mechanisms to adapt IPv6 to a wide range of radio technologies, including “Bluetooth Low Energy” (RFC 7668), ITU-T G.9959 (as used in Z-Wave, RFC 7428), and the Digital Enhanced Cordless Telecommunications (DECT) Ultra Low Energy (ULE) cordless phone standard and the low-cost wired networking technology Master-Slave/Token-Passing (MS/TP) that is widely used over RS-485 in building automation. They will be meeting on Monday morning in Berlin.

The 6tisch WG was chartered in 2014 to enable IPv6 for the Time-Slotted Channel Hopping (TSCH) mode that was recently added to IEEE 802.15.4 networks. They are meeting on Monday afternoon in Berlin.

There is one IoT related BoF meeting taking place in Berlin concerning Low-Power Wide Area Networks (lpwan). Typical LPWANs provide low-rate connectivity to vast numbers of battery-powered devices over distances that may span tens of miles, using license-exempt bands. Existing pilot deployments have shown the huge potential and met industrial interest, but the loose coupling with the Internet makes the device management and network operation complex and implementation specific. This BoF meets on Monday afternoon in Berlin to discuss the applicability of IETF technology to this emerging area.

The core WG aims to extend the Web architecture to most constrained networks and embedded devices. This is one of the most active IoT working groups and they will be meeting twice in Berlin, on Tuesday and Thursday afternoons.

Security for IoT is addressed in several WGs including the ace WG that is working on authenticated authorization mechanisms for accessing resources hosted on servers in constrained environments. ace will meet on Wednesday morning. This work is supported by the cose WG that is building simplified CBOR analogs for the JSON object signing and encryption methods that were originally developed in the jose WG. cose will meet on Thursday morning.

Routing for IoT is tackled by the roll WG which focuses on routing protocols for constrained-node networks. Wednesday afternoon is the time for them to meet in Berlin.

Finally, in addition to the new protocols and other mechanisms developed by IETF working groups, IoT developers often benefit from additional guidance for efficient implementation techniques and other considerations. The Lightweight Implementation Guidance (lwig) WG is working on such documents and they will meet in Berlin on Friday afternoon.

If you have in interest in how the IoT is developing and being standardised in the IETF I hope to see you in person or online at some of these meetings during IETF 96.  You may also be interested in reading the Internet Society’s IoT Overview paper.

Related Working Groups and BoFs at IETF 96

t2trg (Thing-to-Thing) RG
Tuesday, 19 July 2016, 1620-1820, Potsdam III
Agenda: https://datatracker.ietf.org/meeting/96/agenda/t2trg/
Charter: https://irtf.org/t2trg

6lo (IPv6 over Networks of Resource-constrained Nodes) WG
Monday, 18 July 2016, 1000-1230, Potsdam III
Agenda: https://datatracker.ietf.org/meeting/96/agenda/6lo/
Documents: https://datatracker.ietf.org/wg/6lo/
Charter: http://datatracker.ietf.org/wg/6lo/charter/

6tisch (IPv6 over the TSCH mode of IEEE 802.15.4e) WG
Monday, 18 July 2016, 1400-1530, Bellevue
Agenda: https://datatracker.ietf.org/meeting/96/agenda/6tisch/
Documents: https://datatracker.ietf.org/wg/6tisch/
Charter: http://datatracker.ietf.org/wg/6tisch/charter/

lpwan (Low-Power Wide Area Networks) BoF
Monday, 18 July 2016, 1540-1740, Charlottenburg II/III
Agenda: https://datatracker.ietf.org/meeting/96/agenda/lpwan/

core (Constrained RESTful Environments) WG
Tuesday, 19 July 2016, 1400-1600, Charlottenburg II/III
Thursday, 21 July 2016, 1620-1820, Tiergarten
Agenda: https://datatracker.ietf.org/meeting/96/agenda/core/
Documents: https://datatracker.ietf.org/wg/core/
Charter: http://datatracker.ietf.org/wg/core/charter/

ace (Authentication and Authorization for Constrained Environments) WG
Wednesday, 20 July 2016, 1000-1230, Bellevue
Agenda: https://datatracker.ietf.org/meeting/96/agenda/ace/
Documents: https://datatracker.ietf.org/wg/ace/
Charter: http://datatracker.ietf.org/wg/ace/charter/

roll (Routing Over Low power and Lossy networks) WG
Wednesday, 20 July 2016, 1550-1720, Schoeneberg
Agenda: https://datatracker.ietf.org/meeting/96/agenda/roll/
Documents: https://datatracker.ietf.org/wg/roll/
Charter: http://datatracker.ietf.org/wg/roll/charter/

cose (CBOR Object Signing and Encryption) WG
Thursday, 21 July 2016, 1130-1230, Charlottenburg I
Agenda: https://datatracker.ietf.org/meeting/96/agenda/cose/
Documents: https://datatracker.ietf.org/wg/cose/
Charter: http://datatracker.ietf.org/wg/cose/charter/

lwig (Light-Weight Implementation Guidance) WG
Friday, 22 July 2016, 1220-1320, Schoeneberg
Agenda: https://datatracker.ietf.org/meeting/96/agenda/lwig/
Documents: https://datatracker.ietf.org/wg/lwig/
Charter: http://datatracker.ietf.org/wg/lwig/charter/

Follow Us

There’s a lot going on in Berlin, and whether you plan to be there or join remotely, there’s much to monitor. To follow along as we dole out this series of Rough Guide to IETF blog posts, follow us on the Internet Technology Matters blog, Twitter, Facebook, Google+, via RSS, or see http://www.internetsociety.org/rough-guide-ietf96.

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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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