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WG Action: Control and Provisioning of Wireless Access Points (capwap)

A new IETF working group has been formed in the Operations and Management Area. 
For additional information, please contact the Area Directors or the WG Chairs.

 Control and Provisioning of Wireless Access Points (capwap)

 Current Status: Active Working Group

     Mahalingam Mani <mmani@avaya.com>
     Dorothy Gellert <dorothy.gellert@nokia.com>

 Operations and Management Area Director(s):

     Bert Wijnen <bwijnen@lucent.com>
     David Kessens <david.kessens@nokia.com>

 Operations and Management Area Advisor:

     Bert Wijnen <bwijnen@lucent.com>

 IEEE Liaison to IETF:

     Dorothy Stanley (dstanley@agere.com)

 Technical Advisor:

     Bob O'Hara (bohara@airespace.com)

 Mailing Lists:
     General Discussion: capwap@frascone.com. 
     To Subscribe: http://mail.frascone.com/mailman/listinfo/capwap
     Archive: http://mail.frascone.com/pipermail/capwap/


     As the size and complexity of IEEE 802.11 wireless networks has 
     increased, problems in the deployment, management, and usability
     of these networks have become evident. Access points (APs)
     typically require complex management at the IP level. As the
     number of APs increases, the number of devices requiring complex
     management increases, in some cases, doubling the number of IP
     devices requiring management in a provider's network. In addition,
     because APs have no visibility beyond their own cell, a variety of
     problems ensue in large scale 802.11 networks. Load balancing
     between APs, dead cell detection, and correlating patterns of
     usage between APs to detect attacks are difficult to impossible.
     Finally, because each AP acts as its own Network Access Server
     (NAS), a network provider is faced with the prospect of moving
     from a situation where the NAS is a few machines with dialup
     access in a machine room to a situation where hundreds or perhaps
     thousands of devices scattered across a wide geographic area have
     NAS functionality. Maintaining security on such a wide collection
     of devices is a difficult challenge.

     In recent attempts to solve these problems, various vendors have 
     introduced products that redistribute the functionality of 802.11
     APs in various ways. However, because the 802.11 access network
     functional architecture is incompletely specified, the network
     interfaces between network entities in different vendors'
     products are defined in incompatible ways. As a result, the
     protocols between the network entities in different products are
     not interoperable.


     As a first step, the CAPWAP Working Group will develop a problem 
     statement and network architecture taxonomy describing the
     current set of approaches to providing more support for scalable
     802.11 access networks. The problem statement will describe, at
     a high level, what the deployment, management, and usability
     concerns are with 802.11 networks based on the traditional
     autonomous AP architecture, and will link those concerns to
     specific technical aspects of the autonomous AP architecture.
     The network architecture taxonomy will:

     - Describe the current set of approaches (including the
         traditional autonomous AP architecture) to partitioning
         802.11 access network functionality between network
     - List what the interfaces between the network entities
         are in each approach,
     - At a functional level, describe what the protocols on
         the interfaces between the network entites in each
         approach do,
     - Describe the advantages and disadvantages of each
         approach for scalable 802.11 access network deployment
         and management.

     Additionally, the architecture document will contain a threat
     analysis that describes the security threats involved in each
     network architectural approach.

     Specific Working Group deliverables are:

     - A problem statement document,
     - A network architecture taxonomy document including
         threat analysis.

     Specific non-goals of this work are:
     - Any work requiring revising the 802.11 access network
         functional architecture

     The network architecture taxonomy document, when stable, will be
     discussed with IEEE 802 in order to validate and synchronize this
     work with the work in IEEE 802. This may result in merging the
     work with IEEE 802 documentation in which case it may not need
     to be published as an RFC. Such decision will be made in
     co-operation with IEEE.

     The CAPWAP WG will maintain a close working liaison with relevant 
     working groups in IEEE 802.11 and IEEE 802.1. Working Group
     documents will be sent to an expert review board for review prior
     to submission to the IESG. In order to facilitate quick
     completion of this work, the Working Group charter will expire
     6 months after it is approved by the IESG, at which time the
     Working Group can either petition the IESG for a continuation
     or recharter for further work on the interoperability problem.

     Goals and Milestones:
     Feb 2004: Last call for problem statement draft.
     Mar 2004: Discuss last call comments for problem statement
                           at IETF 59.
     Mar 2004: Last Call for architecture description document.
     Apr 2004: Submit problem statement to IESG for publication
     May 2004: Architecture document to expert review.
     Jun 2004: Stable Architecture document for review/sync-up
                           with IEEE 802
     Jul 2004: Discuss results of IEEE 802 review/sync-up 
     Aug 2004: Close WG or Re-charter