[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index][Thread Index]

A New IETF Work Area




Traditionally the IETF has focused its efforts "above the wire and below
the application."  Occasionally standards track RFCs have given advice to
application implementors about what application-level commands a user
should be able to execute ( e.g., Requirements for Internet Hosts --
Application and Support - RFC 1123), defined software APIs (e.g., GSSAPI -
RFC 2743), and given advice on the proper use of the features of IETF
technology (e.g., Use of HTTP State Management. - RFC 2964).  But mostly we
have left the specifications of applications and how 'wires' such as
Ethernet or ATM are defined and operate to other standards organizations or
to the market place.

Over the years the boundary between 'wires' and IP protocols has become
harder to define and the interaction has become more intertwined.  For
example, what appear as 'wires' or 'circuits' in a virtual network may in
fact be routed datagrams in an underlying IP network.  The topology of
dynamic underlying networks such as ATM and soon switched optical networks
can interact with IP-level traffic engineering and routing.  Additionally,
with IETF technologies such as MPLS we are defining a whole new class of
'wires'.

It has become increasingly clear that the IETF needs to develop a
systematic approach to dealing with what we used to describe as "sub-IP"
technologies.  This approach should be able to help clarify what specific
technologies the IETF should work on, what technologies we should forward
to other organizations, and what technologies we need to work with other
organizations to develop.  In this effort the IETF is not proposing to
develop physical wire technologies such as Ethernet, we are proposing to
figure out common ways to monitor and control such technologies as they
apply to IP networks.  The existing and any new IETF sub-IP efforts such as
MPLS should be grouped together under common management.

As a first cut at such a systematic approach the IESG has decided to
establish a new sub-IP pseudo-area.  This pseudo-area will be temporarily
housed in the General Area with the IETF Chair acting as Area Director and
with the Area Directors of a number of existing IETF Areas acting as a
joint technical and management team.  We do not expect this to be a long
term arrangement and the status of the sub-IP effort will be reviewed
during the Spring of 2001.   At that time, the IESG will determine which of
the following three options will be pursued. The IESG could determine that
there is a need for a long term effort in this arena.  If that is the case
the IESG will establish an additional IETF Area and ask the nomcom to
select one or two Area Directors to manage it.  A second possibility is
that the IESG could determine that there is a need for a short term (one to
two year) coordinated effort in which case the IESG could establish a new
temporary area as was done in the case of IPng and appoint two current Area
Directors to manage the effort co-terminus with their current assignments.
The third possibility is that some of the working groups being moved into
the pseudo-area and some of the new working groups will finish up their
work by the fall of 2001 with insufficient remaining work left over to
justify the creation of even a temporary area.  In that case whatever
working groups remain would be dispersed to existing IETF areas.

Some existing IETF working groups will be moved into this pseudo-area and a
number of new working groups will be created.  They will be listed under
the General Area on the agenda for the San Diego IETF meeting.  There are
also some BOFs scheduled to be held in San Diego that may, if they become
working groups, be located in the pseudo-area.  One example is the Circuit
over IP BOF (coip).

The existing IETF working groups that will be moved into the pseudo-area
are Multiprotocol Label Switching (mpls) and Internet Traffic Engineering
(tewg).

New and proposed working groups that are being located in this pseudo-area
include: Common Control and Measurement Planes (CoMa), Provider Provisioned
Virtual Private Networks (ppvpn), IP over Packet Transport Rings (ipoptr),
and IP over Optical (ipo).  Draft charters for these working groups were
posted earlier today.