IESG Working Group Actions, January - February 2001 - Page 2

 By Pete Loshin
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Another scalability-focused group, Web Intermediaries (WEBI), will be working on mechanisms to standardize the way intermediaries such as caching proxies are updated, and to define requirements for discovery protocols for such intermediaries that respect the end-to-end networking model. Likewise, the Reliable Server Pooling (RSERPOOL) working group will attack scalability at the server by developing an architecture for pooled servers and protocols for managing those servers and for offering client access to server pools.

The Middlebox Communications (MIDCOM) working group should be worth following for its focus on "middle boxes": systems such as firewalls and network address translators (NATs) that implement policies (especially security and quality of service policies) but which are located in intermediate locations in the Internet. MIDCOM is chartered to develop mechanisms by which middleboxes can be controlled remotely to remove application logic from the middleboxes and give greater control over how that logic is disseminated and implemented.

The Silence of the Working Groups

Table 2 lists the ending working groups announced over the past month or so. Several of these groups have been more or less dormant, having produced no RFCs for some time. The FYI Updates (FYIUP) group never actually produced any updated FYIs; the Web Elucidation of Internet-Related Developments (WEIRD) group's results were also disappointing (see their IETF Info page).

Table 2: Concluding working groups, January 1 through February 22, 2001.

Other groups were more productive: The Simple Public Key Infrastructure (SPKI) group turned out a couple of experimental RFCs (RFC 2692, "SPKI Requirements," and RFC 2693, "SPKI Certificate Theory"). The Open Network Computing Remote Procedure Call (ONCRPC) working group put out five standards track RFCs through September 1999; part of its original charter, to develop an updated to NFS, was taken over by the NFSv4 working group.

The PSTN/Internet Interfaces (PINT) working group moved forward the cause of integrating the publicly switched telephone network (PSTN) with the Internet, and the Roaming Operating (ROAMOP) working group clarified issues related to roaming: "the ability to use any one of multiple Internet service providers (ISPs), while maintaining a formal, customer-vendor relationship with only one."

What's Next

IETF 50 is only a month away. In the meantime, February saw publication of a solid couple of dozen new RFCs, including a new Best Current Practices (BCP) document, and just about everything else from new stuff on Session Initiation Protocol (SIP) to IPv6 to DHCP. //

Pete Loshin has been writing about IP networking since 1988, including 20 books about networking, the Internet, and Internet standards. The founder of Internet-Standard.com, Pete frequently consults on Internet protocol issues.

This article was originally published on Feb 27, 2001
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