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IETF 103 Preview

  • Alissa CooperIETF Chair

31 Oct 2018

From November 3 to 9, the IETF will gather for its first visit to Bangkok, Thailand. Here's snapshot of some of the sessions and topics on tap for the week.

Bangkok 2
Photo of Bangkok, Thailand

As usual, we will kick off the weekend with the IETF Hackathon, where we have nearly 200 participants signed up to work on two dozen projects to further deployment of IETF standards, together with the Code Sprint focusing on building tools for the IETF community. On Sunday night we will once again be hosting HotRFC, a chance for participants to make brief pitches around new ideas or areas where they are looking for more collaboration. In a first-time experiment, we’ll follow the weekend with four days of working groups meetings instead of five, leaving Friday for participants to have side meetings, get together informally, or return home before the weekend. We’ll be co-located with the IEEE802 plenary meeting and the Asian Internet Engineering Conference (AINTEC), both of which are taking place in Bangkok the week after IETF 103.

IETF 103 promises a mix of discussions about brand new work, exploration of new directions for some well established working groups, and critical decisions needed to make progress on existing work items. A few highlights to look forward to in each of the IETF’s technical areas are described below.

In the Transport Area, the QUIC working group is pressing on towards preparing its base specifications for working group last call early next year. As explained in a recent blog post, QUIC represents the most significant evolution of the transport layer since the advent of TCP. In addition to the QUIC working group’s own sessions, there will be QUIC-related discussions next week in TCP Maintenance and Minor Extensions (TCPM), Hypertext Transfer Protocol (HTTPBIS), Transport Area Open Meeting (TSVAREA), and Measurement and Analysis for Protocols (MAPRG) sessions.

With the publication of the segment routing (SR) architecture, the Routing Area continues to see a proliferation of protocol extensions being proposed to support SR, a source-routing architecture that allows for the realization of end-to-end policy without creating per-flow state in the network. Such extensions will see significant discussion time in Path Computation Element (PCE), Multiprotocol Label Switching (MPLS), and IPv6 Maintenance (6MAN, in the Internet area) sessions, in addition to the Source Packet Routing in Networking (SPRING) working group. Definition of YANG models also continues apace across the area, notably in the Traffic Engineering Architecture and Signaling (TEAS) working group that will be discussing eight different models applicable to traffic engineering. And those working on deterministic networking will be taking advantage of our co-location with IEEE 802 to have a joint workshop between the Deterministic Networking (DETNET) working group and the IEEE 802 Time-Sensitive Networking (TSN) working group on November 11.

The Operations and Management Area also continues to progress its work on YANG. Of note next week will be a discussion in the Network Modeling (NETMOD) working group session about improvements to YANG model versioning that may allow for more rapid iteration when bug fixes or other updates to YANG models are needed. Lively discussion is also expected in Autonomic Networking Integrated Model and Approach ANIMA working group about Bootstrapping Remote Secure Key Infrastructures (BRSKI), which aims to establish a means for an unconfigured device to obtain and leverage a cryptographic identity using a remote key infrastructure. Related discussions about extending BRSKI for Internet of Things onboarding use cases will take place in Operations and Management Area Working Group  (OPSAWG).

The Security Area will host the week’s only technical Birds-of-a-Feather (BOF) session, Remote ATtestation ProcedureS (RATS), which aims to create a working group focusing on mechanisms to allow the trustworthiness of a device to be remotely authenticated. The RATS mailing list has seen energetic discussion about the work’s scope and terminology leading up to the meeting. Also in the vein of establishing trust in devices, the Software Updates for Internet of Things (SUIT) working group will be discussing how many of the manifest formats that have been proposed in the working group should be standardized. These manifests contain metadata and cryptographic information to help secure firmware image downloads.

In the Applications and Real-Time Area, discussion is will be winding down about documents in the soon-to-be-infamous “cluster 238.” The cluster (named by the RFC Editor, who groups related documents into clusters) is a set of 34 inter-related documents about WebRTC. The last few documents from the Real-Time Communication in WEB-browsers (RTCWEB) working group that are necessary to allow the publication of the cluster to progress have recently had publication requests issued for them from the working group. The working group will be discussing final outstanding comments, but the hope is that this large body of work will soon be all ready for publication.

Of interest in the Internet Area will be the DNS PRIVate Exchange (DPRIVE) working group’s discussion about the second phase of the group’s work, which will focus on improving DNS privacy for communications between recursive resolvers and authoritative servers.

In the General Area there will be the Working Groups Using GitHub (WUGH) BOF session. Many IETF working groups and document authors are using GitHub in different ways to manage their work. Following up on a similar session at IETF 98, this BOF is designed to foster community discussion about establishing administrative processes and usage conventions to allow WGs and authors to get started using GitHub for IETF work in a more uniform way. The point is not to change how existing WGs are already using GitHub, but to make it easier for WGs and authors to get started using it.

Finally, there will be two proposed research groups meeting for the first time in the IRTF. The Quantum Internet Proposed Research Group (QIRG) aims to discuss network engineering considerations related to the development of the quantum Internet, including routing, connection establishment, interoperability, security, and resource allocation. The Privacy Enhancements and Assessments Proposed Research Group (PEARG) endeavors to provide a general forum for discussing and reviewing privacy enhancing technologies for network protocols and distributed systems.

As you can see, the IETF 103 agenda will be packed will interesting discussions. Big thanks to meeting co-hosts Huawei and Cisco for helping to make it happen, as well as local host THNIC

for invaluable support of our inaugural visit to Thailand. I hope to see you in Bangkok, or participating remotely at IETF 103!

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