Successful Protocol Development
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Successful Protocol Development. Russ Housley IETF Chair Internet2 Spring Member Meeting 28 April 2009. Internet Engineering Task Force. “We make the net work”

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Successful Protocol Development

Russ Housley

IETF Chair

Internet2 Spring Member Meeting

28 April 2009


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Internet Engineering Task Force

  • “We make the net work”

  • The mission of the IETF is to produce high quality, relevant technical and engineering documents that influence the way people design, use, and manage the Internet in such a way as to make the Internet work better. These documents include protocol standards, best current practices, and informational documents of various kinds. [RFC 3935]


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IETF Open Standards

While the mission of the IETF is to make the Internet work better, no one is “in charge” of the Internet. Instead, many people cooperate to make it work. Each person brings a unique perspective of the Internet, and this diversity sometimes makes it difficult to reach consensus. Yet, when consensus is achieved, the outcome is better, clearer, and more strongly supported than the initial position of any participant.


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Successful protocols

  • Consider the following successful protocols:

    Inter-domain: IPv4, TCP, UDP, HTTP, SMTP, DNS, …

    Intra-domain: ARP, PPP, DHCP, OSPF, …

  • Successful: a protocol that is used in the way it was originally envisioned

  • Wildly Successful: a successful protocol that is deployed on a scale much greater than originally envisioned or used in ways beyond its original design


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Potential success factors

1. Meets a real need

2. Incremental deployment

3. Open code availability

4. Freedom from usage restrictions

5. Open specification availability

6. Open development and maintenance processes

7. Good technical design

Additional “wild success” factors:

8. Extensible

9. No hard scalability limitations

10. Security threats sufficiently mitigated


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Success factor importance

1. Meets a real need

2. Incremental deployment

3. Open code availability

4. Freedom from usage restrictions

5. Open specification availability

6. Open development and maintenance processes

7. Good technical design

Additional “wild success” factors:

8. Extensible

9. No hard scalability limitations

10. Security threats sufficiently mitigated


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Role of the IETF

  • Many successful IETF protocols have origins outside the IETF

    • Technical quality not a primary factor in success

  • IETF had a role in improving many of these protocols, often after success of version 1

  • Much easier when version 1 included a mechanism for extensibility

    • At least a protocol version number


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IETF takes on work when …

  • The problem needs to be solved

  • The scope is well defined and understood

  • Agreement that the specific deliverables

  • Reasonable probability of timely completion

  • People willing to do the work


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IETF is right place when …

  • The problem fits one of the IETF Areas

    • Applications

    • Internet

    • Operations and Management

    • Real-time Applications and Infrastructure

    • Routing

    • Security

    • Transport

  • Working to get better at problems that span Areas

  • Have had bad experiences with problems that span Standards Development Organizations (SDOs)


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IETF is successful when …

  • Participants care about solving the problem

  • Participants represent all stakeholders

I’d like to see more Research and

Educational Network (REN) involvement.

I’d like to see more network

operator involvement too.


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Protocol development

  • Successful Internet protocols have come from top-down and bottom-up approaches

    • Bottom-up is more common today

    • Most things are incremental improvements


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Internet challenges

  • Different technologies are pulling the Internet in many different directions

    • Power

    • Bandwidth

    • Mobility

    • New applications

    • Infrastructure

I’d like to see more academic researchers involved.


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Power

Routers

  • Consume lots of power and generate lots of heat

  • Demands for even greater throughput

    Small and Mobile Devices

  • Act as always connected

  • Many very small devices are servers

  • Demands for longer battery life


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Bandwidth

Big pipes

  • Greater bandwidth than ever before, and not just between large data centers

    Availability

  • Competing technologies benefit consumers

  • More that 20% of the world's population has access to the Internet, and it is growing steadily


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Mobility

Mobile Devices

  • More and more capabilities: voice, video, email, instant messaging, web browsing, geo-location

    Mobile Networks

  • Ships, trains, and planes (and soon automobiles)

    • Critical system using Internet protocols

    • Connect passenger’s mobile and portable devices


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New Applications

Many new applications

  • Voice, video, and entertainment

  • Social networking

  • Peer-to-peer (p2p)

  • Presence and geo-location

  • Synchronization among devices

    Changing perception of the Internet

  • Critical

  • Demand for privacy and security


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Infrastructure

IPv4 Address Exhaustion

  • 2010: IANA unused IPv4 address pool empty

  • IPv6 offers much greater address space

    • IPv4 to IPv6 transition mechanisms under development

      Infrastructure Security

  • DNS Security: authentication and integrity

  • Routing Security: first steps toward authorization


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Challenge Summary

Different technologies are pulling the Internet in many different directions:

More demanding applications transferring much more data from many more locations to many more locations being used by many more users on vastly more devices

Your experience is needed to meet these challenges.


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Thank You

Russ Housley

Phone: +1 703 435 1775

Email: housley@vigilsec.com