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Highlights from IETF 100

  • Alissa Cooper
  • IETF Chair
  • 27 Nov 2017

IETF 100 wrapped up just over a week ago in steamy Singapore. In addition to our usual productive working group sessions, hallway conversations, and ad hoc collaboration, we took the opportunity to mark the milestone of the 100th meeting with looks backward and forward in the IETF’s trajectory (plus some bubbles and sweets) at the plenary session.

Singapore Skyline at Nigth
(c) Stonehouse Photographic/Internet Society

We also got to share our appreciation for three individuals who have been working in support of the IETF for many years: Ray Pelletier, our recently retired IETF Administrative Director; Jorge Contreras, who will be stepping down as the IETF’s legal counsel at the end of this year; and Nevil Brownlee, whose term as the Independent Submission Editor will conclude in February. Many thanks and best wishes go out to them!

IETF 100 Plenary
IETF 100 Plenary. © Stonehouse Photographic / Internet Society

We started off the week with the IETF Hackathon, whose attendance continues to swell. Two hundred participants spent the weekend collaborating in teams on a wide variety of IETF-related implementation projects. As this third year of IETF Hackathons comes to a close, we have many teams viewing it as a requisite part of their IETF experience, including those working on YANG, DNS, I2NSF, TLS, and more. This time around we saw a number of teams with maturing implementations put more focus on interop, which was exciting to see.

IETF Hackathon in Singapore
IETF Hackathon in Singapore © Stonehouse Photographic / Internet Society

It seemed like every time you turned a corner at IETF 100 you would run into someone talking about encryption, network operations, and the interaction between the two. TSVWG and OPSAWGboth hosted generalized discussions of these issues. The QUIC working group continued its extended discussion of the implications of exposing cleartext bit(s) in the protocol. And the plenary session provided an opportunity for exchange of views between the community and area directors on this topic. Discussion has continued on the mailing lists since the meeting’s conclusion, and as passionately as participants feel about this, we can expect it to continue apace.

In other security news, we had two productive BoF sessions — SUITand TEEP — focused on different aspects of securely provisioning and updating IoT and other devices. Both sessions were useful for clarifying the scope of the proposed work, as well as the relationship between the two. There appears to be substantial interest in taking on new work in both cases if the charter details and potential interactions with other existing work efforts can be sorted out.

The Routing Area also held a BOF (DCROUTING) to discuss characteristics and requirements of routing in a data center and to gauge interest from the community in engaging in new work in this area.  There is significant interest to work on new protocols which will be purpose-built to address the data center.  The Area Directors and the proponents will work on proposed charters in the coming weeks.

On the non-technical side of things, we made good progress in our community discussion about re-factoring the IETF’s administrative arrangements, also known as IASA 2.0. The work of the IASA 2.0 design team was well received and the ensuing discussion narrowed down the set of options for further consideration and development in the coming months. On the meeting’s last day the IETF leadership had an opportunity to share the background and status of these discussions with the ISOC Board of Trustees, who expressed their willingness to work together as this project moves forward.

Many thanks to our meeting host Cisco, not only for hosting the meeting, but also for sponsoring the hackathon, putting on an excellent social event in the sublime S.E.A. Aquarium, and making a long-term commitment to support the IETF as an IETF Global Host. Our meetings wouldn’t be the same without their support and that of all our sponsors!

IETF 100 Social event at S.E.A Aquarium, hosted by Cisco.
.IETF 100 Social event at S.E.A Aquarium, hosted by Cisco. © Stonehouse Photographic / Internet Society