Internet Architecture Board


April 2005 Meeting

Minutes of the IETF/IEEE 802 Liaison Conference Call

April 8, 2005


Dave Meyer, Dave Kessens, Mick Seaman (Chair, Interworking Task Group), Norm Finn, Paul Congdon (Vice-Chair 802.1) Bernard Aboba, Tony Jeffree (Chair, 802.1), Mark Townsley, Margaret Wasserman, Alex Zinin, Russ Housley


IEEE 802.11/IETF liaison update

Dorothy Stanley could not make the call, but the material from Dorothy’s presentation will be summarized in the monthly liaison report.

IEEE 802.16 liaison letter

IETF has received a liaison letter from Roger Marks, chair of IEEE 802.16. The letter did not nominate a liaison from 802.16 to IETF. A timeframe was not specified for a response. A request for clarification will be sent.

IEEE 802/IETF Relationship History document

This document was created to document the history of the IETF/IEEE 802 relationship and describe what the current processes are and how well they are working. Tony and Paul agreed to circulate the document for comment within IEEE 802, such as within the architecture group. The eventual goal is to publish the document as an RFC.

IEEE 802 Plenary Report

RBRIDGE Tutorial

Tutorials are informational presentations that are often provided during IEEE 802 meetings, typically in the evenings. They are not part of the IEEE 802 standards process; in particular, the IEEE 802 equivalent of an IETF BOF is a “Call for Interest”, not a Tutorial, although Tutorials are sometimes a prelude to introduction of new work via a “Call for Interest”. Radia Perlman gave a tutorial on RBRIDGE at the IEEE 802 plenary in Atlanta, sponsored by the IEEE 802.11 Chair, Stuart Kerry. The tutorial was well received; there were quite a few attendees from IEEE 802.11.

Shortest Path Bridging PAR

During the IEEE 802.1 meeting there was discussion on Shortest Path Bridging. Subsequently a proposed PAR has been circulated, which will be developed during the interim meeting in May in Berlin. It is likely to be on the agenda for approval at the July 2005 Plenary. There was considerable interest from IEEE 802.1 participants, across a range of Bridge vendors. In the closing plenary, there was a vote to pursue the PAR 16-0-2. It provides support for multiple links and it is believed to be backward compatible with existing hardware, and is built on existing VLAN technology. The current direction is to make modest additions to MSTP, not to modify a routing protocol. TTL isn’t being discussed; instead there is a handshake used to ensure convergence.

IETF 62 Report

Margaret Wasserman: “There was an IPVLX BOF at IETF 60 which was well attended. There was no meeting at IETF 61. A Charter was sent to the IESG in January 2005. It was approved by the IESG, and was sent out for review on the New Work at which time feedback was received and concerns were raised. It was decided by the IESG that they would not approve a WG prior to IETF 62. A TRILL BOF was held in March 2005. At the BOF in March there was a different group of people in the room. At this BOF there were 10 people who wanted to form a WG, and 12 people who didn’t think the IETF should work on it; and many people in the middle. Some of the same people are involved in the ZEROCONF Router effort, but it is logically separate. RBRIDGE and ND proxy was discussed there. There is also AUTOCONF which relates to MANET and potentially 802.11s.”

The New Work Process

The New Work announcement occurs after the IESG has initially considered the charter. The New Work announcement occurs very late in the process; the IESG will typically vote on the final charter two weeks later. There is currently no vehicle for earlier discussion of New Work. It would probably make sense to create a mailing list for discussions between the IESG and IEEE 802. Who are the members? The suggestion is to include the IEEE 802 ExComm and IEEE 802 architecture groups plus the IAB and IESG and relevant WG chairs, as necessary.

Coordination between IEEE 802 and IETF

Historically, the IETF and IEEE 802 do not do joint work. That would be unwieldly because it would involve two sets of IPR rules, two sets of copyright policies, etc. Instead, coordination is handled via liaisons between chartered WGs. That coordination is focussed on enhancing the chance that the work will be successful. Given the vote that occurred at the IEEE 802 plenary, IEEE 802.1 appears highly likely to go ahead with a PAR on Shortest Path Bridging. In fact that work might well go ahead without IEEE 802 since 7 bridging vendors indicated interest. One of the goals of the effort is to make use of existing forwarding hardware, so as to enable firmware upgrades on existing equipment. The basic approach that is being proposed is to utilize a “distance vector” protocol with a handshake to ensure against loops. No TTL is being contemplated, nor is there work on “link state” approaches. The proposed PAR on “Shortest Path Bridging” has no dependency on the IETF. The PAR will be circulated via the New Work list. From the IEEE 802 perspective, the decision on whether to charter work within the IETF is up to the IESG. The IETF has discussed a number of new WGs such as TRILL, Zeroconfig Routers, AUTOCONF, etc. that might be relevant to IEEE 802 groups, including IEEE 802.1 and 802.11s. However, until IEEE 802.11s adopts a draft it will not be possible to identify dependencies. Should the IETF decide that assistance is required from IEEE 802, there are a number of ways that IEEE 802 could help. For example, within IEEE 802 there is interest in ensuring that IETF work integrates well with IEEE 802 protocols. For example, it would be good to enable easy transition from “Zero Config Bridging” to “Zero Config Routing”. IEEE 802.1 could provide an architecture review if the IETF wanted it. Once they are further along, IEEE 802.11s might be able to provide requirements. IEEE 802.1 could review whether a proposal offered a data plane service compatible with IEEE 802. Even though the protocol running above IEEE 802 might be IP, IEEE 802 has to support other protocols as well. There is a mailing list ( which is where discussion is occurring. Participants in IEEE 802 are invited to join that list.