[AG-TECH] Report from IETF64

Andrew Daviel advax at triumf.ca
Mon Nov 14 15:43:28 CST 2005

Report (kind of) from IETF64:

IETF was in Vancouver and I went "because it was there"
(and had a draft in geopriv).

Things of general interest:

SIP is big, as a de facto starting point for other things
XML is big, ditto
Mobility is big (being able to take your ip address with you)
IPv6 is coming
SHA1 is going - move to SHA256, especially for digital signatures
There is still interest in Multicast !!

WGs of possible interest to AG folk:
msec - 	Multicast Security
pim - 	Protocol Independent Multicast
calsify - shared standards-based calendaring
avt - Audio/Visual Transport - RTP, codecs
sip - Session Initiation Protocol
mboned - multicast deployment  (want to replace PIM with BGP; L3VPN
rmt - reliable multicast transport
l2vpn - Layer 2 Virtual Private Networks - multicast support

I did not attend all these - there were some clashes.
Some I frankly did not understand.
avt included a talk about multi-stream servers (like Real, I guess, with
simultaneous 56kb and 256kbit video streams) using multicast with
something called a MANE

The minutes for some meetings are up now at
No doubt other minutes and slides  will trickle in slowly.


The meetings come in 4 flavours - Plenaries, informational, WGs and BOFs.
The plenaries had some interesting content (hash algorithm discussion)
and some administrivia (why wasn't IAB more open in its process of setting up
the trust). Informational meetings are just that (RFC editor process) and
hence accessible. BOFs are people arguing about whether to form a WG, and
tend to be at a lower level than WGs (hence perhaps more accessible).
WGs are somewhat inaccessible to newbies unless you have read the drafts
that are under discussion and actually understand the protocol. Argument
is sometimes about whether things are
in scope or out of scope for the WG rather than technical details of
protocols. Actual applications seem to never be discussed.

So you go to WGs if you really need (or dislike) feature X in protocol Y
that is being discussed, or want to meet face to face names from the
mailing lists. Otherwise you sit and read email, or try to understand the
drafts, and let the information wash over you in the hope of gleaning a
few nuggets, rather like gold panning.
(In many WGs, a call for "who has actually read the draft?" netted only
a few hands in the air).

Charlie Kaufman's security tutorial was fun; he's from Microsoft and
admitted that Microsoft was part of the problem (connecting a PC  that
was never designed to be networked to the Internet; what were we thinking?)

The network support was quite impressive.
There was a terminal room, with Ethernet cables, PCs, printers and VOIP
phones with free international calling. There was both IPv4 and IPv6
networking, and there were 802.11a and b WLAN either open, WEP or
WMA encrypted. Probably every single attendee (1300) had a laptop and
they all seemed to be in use at once - in the lounge, in hallways, on
the floor... At one point there were nearly 800 active on wireless at
once - quite impressive for the NOC team (Nortel, Telus, BCnet), though
there was sometimes WLAN saturation and issues with Win2k/NT machines
going to ad-hoc mode if they could not get onto an AP.

The audio was streamed in some MP3 format understood by RealPlayer on
Linux (and lots of things on Windows). The rooms seemed set up to do
local audio reinforcement too. Some WGs used jabber as a back channel, to
take notes and to take questions from people not present. This was
configured so that you needed an existing jabber account on a server
elsewhere, so I tried my ANL one which seemed to work OK.

Andrew Daviel, TRIUMF, Canada
Tel. +1 (604) 222-7376  (Pacific Time)
security at triumf.ca

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