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Building Trust 13 July 2016

Rough Guide to IETF 96: Scalability and Performance

Mat Ford
By Mat FordTechnology Program Manager

In this post I’ll highlight some of the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) and Internet Research Task Force (IRTF) groups meeting as part of the IETF 96 meeting in Berlin next week. These groups are working to explore and address more sophisticated ways to use and share available bandwidth, improve Internet performance, and otherwise efficiently get Internet content to where it needs to be.

The Path Layer UDP Substrate (plus) BoF will take place on Thursday morning. Encryption poses a challenge for cellular networks that use communication metadata to categorise sessions by their service requirements. This BoF session will seek to educate attendees about the realities of cellular networks today, and explore whether there are ways to provide the signals these networks need in the presence of ubiquitous encryption. This meeting is a follow-up activity from the IAB MaRNEW workshop that took place last year.

The Low Latency Low Loss Scalable Throughput (l4s) BoF will take place on Tuesday afternoon. With increases in Internet access link bit rates, latency not bandwidth is becoming the critical performance factor for most popular applications. This means that often all of a user’s applications at any one time require low latency. L4S addresses this case by making scalable congestion control safe to deploy on the Internet.

QUIC, developed by Google, is a UDP-based transport protocol that provides multiplexed streams over an encrypted transport. QUIC aims to be nearly equivalent to an independent TCP connection, but with much reduced latency and better stream multiplexing support. This BoF proposes a working group to standardize QUIC’s core transport protocol and the mapping of the transport protocol to the facilities of TLS.

Measurement techniques and data sources that could help us to make better engineering decisions to work around some of the rigidity in the protocol stack will be the subject of the proposed Measurement and Analysis for Protocols (maprg) research group meeting on Monday evening.

Packet networks give rise to transient congestion by design and several groups are meeting to discuss different aspects of congestion control and avoidance. The Internet Congestion Control research group (iccrg) will meet to discuss some of the latest innovations and thinking in relation to congestion control and managing congestion on the Internet. In Berlin, the ICCRG meeting is focused around a special theme: Congestion Control for Cellular Networks. The RTP Media Congestion Avoidance Techniques (rmcat) working group is developing and evaluating congestion control algorithms to handle the emerging use of the Internet for real-time audio and video communication.

For regulators, being able to monitor the performance of networks, and the extent to which congestion or other factors are impacting consumers’ experience of the network is very important. The lmap working group is meeting in Berlin to advance their important work on standardizing a large-scale broadband performance measurement infrastructure.

Related Working Groups and BoFs at IETF 96

plus BoF (Alternatives to Content Classification for Operator Resource Deployment)
Thursday, 21 July 2016, 1000-1230, Potsdam I

maprg (Proposed Measurement and Analysis for Protocols Research Group) RG
Monday, 18 July 2016, 1800-2000, Potsdam I

iccrg (Internet Congestion Control) RG
Thursday, 21 July 2016, 1620-1820, Bellevue

lmap (Large-Scale Measurement of Broadband Performance) WG
Friday, 22 July 2016, 1000-1200, Charlottenburg II/III

rmcat (RTP Media Congestion Avoidance Techniques) WG
Tuesday, 19 July 2016, 1000-1230, Potsdam II

l4s (Low Latency Low Loss Scalabale throughput) BoF
Tuesday, 19 July 2016, 1400-1600, Potsdam I

quic (QUIC) BoF
Tuesday, 19 July 2016, 1000-1230, Potsdam I

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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

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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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