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Deploy360 Domain Name System Security Extensions (DNSSEC) Events IETF IPv6 Transport Layer Security (TLS)

At IETF92 Next Week, Much Happening With IPv6, DNSSEC, DANE, TLS and more…

Dallas skylineNext week is IETF 92 in Dallas, Texas, and there will be a great amount of activity happening with the topics we cover here on Deploy360: IPv6, DNSSEC (and DANE), TLS, anti-spoofing and securing BGP.  As part of the Rough Guide to IETF 92, several of us have written posts outlining what’s happening in the various topic areas:

In each of those posts you’ll find a summary of what’s happening and a list of the relevant working groups and the associated links about how to learn more.  More information about IETF 92 in general can be found on the main Rough Guide to IETF 92 page at:

https://dev.internetsociety.org/rough-guide-ietf92

Beyond all of that, Chris Grundemann will also be talking about our “Operators and the IETF” work and discussing Best Current Operational Practices (BCOP) with people as well.

If you can’t get to Dallas next week, you can attend remotely!  Just visit the IETF 92 remote participation page or check out http://www.ietf.org/live/ for more options.

To that end, as a bit of a change both Megan Kruse and I (Dan York) will be participating in this IETF 92 remotely.  It’s very strange to not be attending an IETF meeting in person, but different circumstances have made it not possible for both of us.  Jan Žorž will also be remote having just returned from v6 World Congress in Paris and about to head off to another event.   Chris Grundemann will be there on site in Dallas, though, and so if you have any questions about Deploy360 activities or want to get more involved, please contact Chris!

We’re looking forward to the usual crazy busy blur of a week that is an IETF meeting… and we’re looking forward to learning what else we can do to help accelerate the deployment of these key Internet technologies to make the Internet work better, faster and be more secure!


An audio commentary about IETF 92 is also available from our SoundCloud account:

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Deploy360 Events IETF

Discussing IETF at 2015 Spring NETNOD Meeting This Week

This Wednesday and Thursday, 11-12 March, I’ll be at the Spring NETNOD meeting in Stockholm, Sweden, to discuss our Operators And The IETF project and survey analysis.

We’ll have a panel discussion starting with the survey analysis and thoughts about first steps, followed by  discussion between panelists including current IETF participants, past participants, and non-participants. Let’s see what the outcome will be! I expect a heated discussion and hope for some good suggestions on how to improve the current situation.

Netnod meetings bring together operators, customers, friends, and partners of Netnod twice each year and feature programs that focus on technical talks that are interesting to network operators as well as to others in the Internet community at large.

If you happen to be at the 2015 Spring NETNOD meeting – come and find me in the crowd, I would be happy to chat about the Internet, the IETF, or any of our Deploy360 topics!

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Deploy360 Events IETF

Chris Grundemann @ APRICOT 2015 to talk IETF and BCOP

APRICOT 2015After nearly 3 weeks at home (my longest stretch since last August), I’m off to join the already-in-progress APRICOT 2015 in Fukuoka, Japan.

For those who don’t know, the annual APRICOT (Asia Pacific Regional Internet Conference on Operational Technologies) is a:

Ten-day long summit consist[ing] of seminars, workshops, tutorials, conference sessions, birds-of-a-feather (BOFs), and other forums all with the goal of spreading and sharing the knowledge required to operate the Internet within the Asia Pacific region.

Learn more about APRICOT and all of the prestigious organizations who collaborate to help make it happen here.

This is a pretty massive event, and there is a ton going on next week. I’ll start with a couple of the activities I’m most involved in. Next, I’ll rundown a few other potentially exciting/informative/important sessions that caught my eye.

Operators and the IETF BoF

I’m very pleased to announce that I will be hosting a BoF on Wednesday, 4 March from 17:30 – 19:00 (local, UTC+9) in rooms 502 + 503 to talk about our project to address the perceived gap between Operators and the IETF. This project has become about more than just operators though, we’re really trying to make it easier for newcomers to bring real-world experiences into the IETF process.

I will be presenting the results from our 2014 survey of operators but the real purpose and value of this session will be the discussion in the room. We understand the problems, now let’s start finding solutions, together!

Read more about this project here, read the IETF Internet-Draft with detailed survey results here, and then come to the BoF and help us continue this conversation! Want to get a jump start? Whether or not you’ll be in Japan next week, you can join the ‘synergy‘ mailing list and join the discussion today.

One thing that makes this super exciting is that we are already testing ideas generated from this project. The IETF Help Desk is one such idea, which we’ll get to see in action in Fukuoka.

IETF Help Desk @ APRICOT 2015

Following our success with the alpha run at NANOG 63, we’ll be continuing to test the IETF Help Desk concept next week at APRICOT 2015. The IETF Help Desk is designed to be your one stop for all your IETF questions.

Reminder: This is not an official (read: approved or funded) IETF activity. We’re just a bunch of folks who happen to participate in both the IETF and APRICOT who’ve volunteered to staff the table and help our fellow community members.

IETF Help DeskWe hope to answer questions such as:

  • “Why should I participate in the IETF?”
  • “How do I get involved in the IETF?”
  • “What is the difference between an Internet-Draft and an RFC?”
  • “How do I submit an idea to the IETF?”
  • “What is the IETF working on in space?”
  • “How do I comment on an existing IETF document?”

Please come ask your questions about the IETF! Look for the “IETF Help Desk” banner.

Best Current Operational Practices (BCOP) BoF

The bad news is that the BCOP BoF is at the exact same time as the Operators and the IETF BoF. The good news is that there will finally be a BCOP BoF at APRICOT!

A BCOP is a living document describing the best operational practices currently agreed on by subject matter experts. BCOPs are vetted and periodically reviewed by the global network engineering community (GNEC). Groups around the world have formed to find, create, and share these documents in an open, transparent, bottom-up, and community-led manner. This BCOP BoF at APRICOT 2015 marks the Asia Pacific region adding support for this effort.

It may be a tough choice on Wednesday afternoon. Join the Operators and the IETF discussion, or jump in at the ground floor of an Asia-Pacific BCOP effort. Decisions, decisions. To help you decide, you can learn more about BCOP efforts globally here. If you decide to join the BCOP BoF you can find it in room 411 from 17:30 – 19:00 (local, UTC+9) on Wednesday, 4 March.

Routing Resilience Manifesto & MANRS

My colleague Andrei Robachevsky will also be there talking about the Routing Resilience Manifesto and accompanying Mutually Agreed Norms for Routing Security (“MANRS”) document. He wrote about it over on the Internet Technology Matters blog yesterday and in part, he wrote:

We are looking for leaders, the network operators who take security and resilience seriously and have already implemented the Actions outlined in MANRS, and probably many more. We are looking for leaders whose reputation will motivate others to step up and do the same.

I know that many such leading operators are planning to attend APRICOT 2015. I’ll be there, too, presenting MANRS at the Peering Forum on 3 March and the APCERT session on 4 March. But I am also looking forward to meeting with you in person and hearing your feedback and answering your questions about this initiative.

Packed Agenda

Which Wednesday afternoon BoF to attend isn’t the only tough choice you’re likely to face next week at APRICOT 2015. As usual, they have put together a great program. Here’s a few highlights from my perspective:

  • RIPE NCC Measurements Tools Workshop – Monday 09:00 – 12:30 in room 409 + 410
  • Internet Measurement – Tuesday 09:00 – 10:30 in room 502 + 503
  • Internet Society @ APRICOT 2015 – Tuesday 17:30 – 19:00 in room 411
  • APNIC Plenary on Real Mobile/Wireless Broadband – Wednesday 09:00 – 10:30 in room 501
  • Understanding and Deploying DNSSEC – Thursday 11:00 – 12:30 in room 409 + 410

Let’s Chat!

As always, one of the primary reasons I do all this travel is to get a chance to talk to you. Yes you. If you’ll be at APRICOT 2015 please let me know and let’s find some time to chat. See you soon!

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Deploy360 Events IETF To archive

Watch Live – IETF and Operators Survey Results Talk At NZNOG By Brian Carpenter

nznog-logoNZNOG 2015 is on its way towards the end and on the last day (Friday New Zealand Time) Brian Carpenter will talk about our project “IETF and Operators” where we set up an extensive survey and asked operators why they are not participating more in the IETF standardization process. We synthesized the results in an Internet-Draft and also created a presentation that we usually give at various NOG meetings. As nobody from our team happens to be in New Zealand, Brian Carpenter will give a brief overview on what this is all about, what the results mean and maybe also get some ideas from the community about how to solve some issues and suggestions for the way forward.

The presentation is scheduled for the 1:30 – 3:00pm session NZDT (UTC+13) Friday, which is 12:30am UTC.  If you are not at the NZNOG meeting you can watch the video streaming feed from their website.

And if you have thoughts about the survey results or the general topic of operators and the IETF, please do contact us!

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Deploy360 Events IPv6

SANOG25 Is Underway In Kandy, Sri Lanka

SANOG25, the 25th meeting of the South Asian Network Operators Group, is currently happening in Kandy, Sri Lanka. Yesterday after the Program Committee chairman opened the day I presented the results of our IETF and Operators survey. The topic generated some discussion, one of them being that the “culture” issue resonates quite well with this operators community and might be one of major obstacles for more operators involvement in the IETF standardization process.

10930114_10205975693334287_8160221652415401763_nToday the official opening of the meeting started with lighting the fires on a meeting statue and various welcome talks from the host and and the chairs of different committees, followed by interesting sessions. In the closing plenary session I’m on the stage again, this time talking about “IPv6 Troubleshooting Procedures” document, being developed in RIPE BCOP TF and apparently of great interest of NOG communities around the world. 10900104_10205975694094306_7898476185792515265_o

Tomorrow the ION Sri Lanka meeting takes place and everyone is warmly invited to attend it.

If you are at SANOG25 meeting – come and find me around, I’ll be happy to chat about how to make Internet a better place. 🙂

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Deploy360 Events IETF

Discussing Network Operator Involvement in the IETF, at IETF 91!

IETF LogoIt’s hard to believe that 2014 is nearing its end. It is, however, and with November comes the third IETF meeting of 2014: IETF 91

I’m jumping in here, as I and about 1200 or so others start leaving for Honolulu, to invite you to a couple of sessions next week in particular. But first, a quick update.

Back in July, Jan Žorž presented the initial findings from the Operators and the IETF survey at IETF 90 and we promised:

“To continue analyzing the data and to write an I-D for the next IETF meeting in Hawaii. This will contain much more data and also suggestions on how to lower the bar for other operators to participate.”

Well, we hope we’ve met that target with draft-opsawg-operators-ietf. At the very least, we do have a solid foundation to continue the discussion.

That discussion will continue in person next week. First on Sunday in the IEPG meeting, then again Wednesday morning, at a bit greater length, in the OpsAWG (Operations Area Working Group) meeting. Before I jump into the details of these two meetings though, a word about the draft itself.

For the past several months, the DO team has been pouring over the survey results, continuing our discussions with operators around the world, and also discussing (and debating) how to put all of that together into a document. At the end of the day we decided to stay out of the way as much as possible, letting the results (and respondents) speak for themselves. I invite you to take a read and let us know what you think. I believe this is a great place for us to connect existing efforts and conversations, and hopefully start new ones as well. There are obviously some perceived challenges to participation in the IETF process. But there are also several ongoing efforts and activities to address some of these issues already. I’m hoping that we can help fight the “real” issues as well as the perception issues as we move forward with our Operators and the IETF project from here. But first, let’s discuss and maybe even build some consensus. We want to hear what you think, about the IETF, about Operators at the IETF, about the survey results, and about the future. You can get back to us next week at the IETF, or anytime over email or social media. Want to jump right in next week during IETF 91? There are three things you should know about:

IEPG (Internet Engineering and Planning Group)

The IEPG was introduced in RFC 1690 circa 1994 and today consists of a webpage, a mailing list (iepg@iepg.org), and a meeting held alongside the IETF meeting. From their website:

The IEPG is an informal gathering that meets on the Sunday prior to IETF meetings. The intended theme of these meetings is essentially one of operational relevance in some form or fashion – although the chair will readily admit that he will run with an agenda of whatever is on offer at the time

On this particular Sunday (9 Nov), the IEPG has been kind enough to grant me a few minutes to update the group on the survey results. This will be the first time we dig into the possible solutions in public. I’m super excited about this, because my reading of RFC 1690 tells me that the IEPG is exactly the kind of group needed to help execute on many of the possible solutions from the Operators and the IETF survey and our conversations with operators along the way.

Unfortunately, this is an informal meeting before the official start of the IETF and as such there are no remote participation options. I do highly recommend that anyone with an operational focus who is interested, or involved, in the IETF join the IEPG mailing list and show up on the Sunday before every IETF whenever possible.

If you will be in Honolulu this Sunday, 9 November, please join us in “Coral 2” from 1000 – 1200 HST.

OpsAWG (Operations and Management Area Working Group)

The OpsAWG is the Working Group within the Operations and Management Area concerned with “the development and publication of RFCs dealing with operational and management topics that are not in scope of an existing working group and do not justify the formation of a new working group.” Focusing on the Operations side of the house, this seemed like the most logical WG to submit the Operators and the IETF Internet-Draft to.

So, on Wednesday morning I’ll be introducing draft-opsawg-operators-ietf with the hope of it being accepted as an OpsAWG item and the greater hope of kicking off an even wider discussion that ultimately leads to improvements in the already amazing work of the IETF. Come join us in “Coral 1” during morning session 1. That’s 0900 – 1130 HST (UTC-10) on Wednesday, 12 November. Check out the agenda here, and you can download all the drafts for discussion here.

If you can’t be in Honolulu next week, don’t fear: There ARE remote participation options available! You can watch the minutes being typed live, listen in to the audio in the room, and jump in yourself via the Jabber chat room:

OK, while that’s all super exciting, it’s only two things, and I said there are three… The third thing you should know about if you’re ready to jump in and get involved in this ongoing Operators and the IETF discussion is that I, and the whole DO team, would be happy to speak to you when it’s convenient for you. Please do find Megan, Dan, or me in person next week, or contact us – to schedule a face to face, a phone call, or an online chat. The choice is yours, but the pleasure is ours.

Before I sign off today I want to give a special thanks to Warren Kumari, Scott Bradner, and Chris Morrow for granting me time in their meetings next week. Thank you all for helping to facilitate this important work!

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Deploy360 IETF

IETF 90: Operators and IETF Initial Survey Results & Discussion

Jan Zorz presenting at IETF90 OpsAWG
Jan Zorz presenting at IETF90 OpsAWG

Yesterday, July 23rd, at IETF 90, I presented a partial analysis of the data we gathered from our Operators and the IETF survey. The survey was open from January to July 2014. Since the survey closed just three weeks ago, we’ve really just started to analyze the data, and with this IETF presentation looming, we focused largely on the portion of the people who claimed they don’t participate in the IETF at all.

In the slides embedded below, you can see the initial results, including our key findings:

  • The majority of survey participants were Operators/Engineers/Architects; more than 90% hold primarily technical roles.
  • 50% of respondents claim to have a managerial role.
  • ~50% do not participate in the IETF in any form; ~30% participate just on mailing lists.
  • Many have heard of the IETF and know what it does, but do not know how to participate.
  • +50% believe operator input is welcome; 64% say they do NOT rely on vendors to represent them
  • A strong majority claim they are interested in IETF mailing lists, find the content relevant, believe it’s important to their jobs, but don’t have enough time to participate in mailing lists.
  • 82% say that they don’t have a travel budget for IETF meetings.

[slideshare id=37283632&doc=operators-ietf-survey-results-140723093958-phpapp02]

We have promised to continue analyzing the data and to write an I-D for the next IETF meeting in Hawaii. This will contain much more data and also suggestions on how to lower the bar for other operators to participate.

The presentation of these initial results was accepted quite well at IETF 90, and most importantly triggered a long queue at the microphone in the room. There were some great suggestions from the community that we will integrate into the I-D. This discussion has been ongoing without any real data to understand the issues, concerns, and obstacles, that prevented operators from participating in the standards making process.

We look forward to the rest of the data analysis and will report back when we have more to share.

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Deploy360 IETF

Deploy360@IETF90, Day3: Operators and the IETF, DHC, DANE in TRAM, CrypTech and more

IETF LogoWednesday at IETF90 is a bit quieter day for our Deploy360 topics, which is nice after the crazy schedule of yesterday and of Monday .  It’s still quite busy and starts off with our team member Jan Žorž presenting in the OPS Area Working Group about our “Operators and the IETF” project, as well as IPv6 activity happening in the DHC Working Group. We learned of a new DANE draft happening in the TRAM Working Group. The CrypTech project has a lunch briefing and the Routing Area Working Group meets this afternoon.  More info below…

If you’d like to join the OPSAWG or TRAM sessions (or any of the others) remotely to hear the discussion you can follow the instructions on the IETF 90 Remote Participation page or use the “tools-style” agenda page that provides easy links to the audio stream, jabber chat room documents and more for each of the sessions.

OPS Area Working Group  – and IPv6 in DHC

In the Operations Area Working Group from 9:00-11:30 EDT, Jan is going to be speaking about our “Operators and the IETF” project and presenting some preliminary results from the survey we undertook to understand what were some of the reasons network operators had for not participating in the IETF standards process.  The goal here is to relay the feedback we’ve collected thus far and have a conversation about how we might be able to get more network operators involved with the IETF so that we can improve the amount of operational feedback provided into the standards process.

At the same time in another room the DHC Working Group will be covering a great many topics related to IPv6 and DHCP, specifically clarifying various points about how DHCP works with IPv6 and how to use DHCP more securely.

Lunch Briefing About The CrypTech Project

During the lunch break from 11:30-13:00 EDT in the Quebec Room there will be a briefing about the CrypTech Project, a fascinating project to develop an open hardware cryptographic engine.  Our colleague Lucy Lynch recently wrote about this in a blog post, “The Black Box Paradox – How to Trust a Secret on Today’s Internet“.  It looks quite interesting.

A DANE Draft in TRAM

In a side conversation with Marc Petit-Huguenin here at IETF 90 on Monday I learned that he has a DANE-related draft in the TRAM Working Group. The TRAM WG is focused on improving the TURN and STUN servers that facilitate real-time communications between people who are behind NAT boxes such as home / enterprise firewalls. This is particularly of interest to people working on WebRTC/RTCWEB.  Marc’s draft, draft-petithuguenin-tram-stun-dane-00, defines how DANE can be used by STUN clients to secure the TLS connection with servers.  His slides are available.

After that we’ll probably be in the Routing Area Working Group and then listening to the Operations and Administration Plenary tonight.  And then we’ll be getting ready for another VERY busy day tomorrow!

The information about the relevant working groups today is:

DHC (Dynamic Host Configuration) WG
Agenda: https://datatracker.ietf.org/meeting/90/agenda/dhc/
Documents: https://datatracker.ietf.org/wg/dhc/
Charter: https://datatracker.ietf.org/wg/dhc/charter/
(Wednesday, July 23, 2014, 0900-1130 EDT, Salon B)

OPSAWG (OPS Area Working Group) WG
Agenda: https://datatracker.ietf.org/meeting/90/agenda/opsawg/
Documents: https://datatracker.ietf.org/wg/opsawg/
Charter: https://datatracker.ietf.org/wg/opsawg/charter/
(Wednesday, July 23, 2014, 0900-1130 EDT, Ontario)

TRAM (TURN Revised and Modernized) WG
Agenda: https://datatracker.ietf.org/meeting/90/agenda/tram/
Documents: https://datatracker.ietf.org/wg/tram/
Charter: https://datatracker.ietf.org/wg/tram/charter/
(Wednesday, July 23, 2014, 1300-1130 EDT, Manitoba)

RTGWG (Routing Area Working Group) WG
Agenda: https://datatracker.ietf.org/meeting/90/agenda/rtgwg/
Documents: https://datatracker.ietf.org/wg/rtgwg/
Charter: https://datatracker.ietf.org/wg/rtgwg/charter/
(Wednesday, July 23, 2014, 0900-1130 EDT, Ballroom)

For more background on what is happening at IETF 90, please see our “Rough Guide to IETF 90” posts on the ITM blog:

If you are here at IETF 90 in Toronto, please do feel free to say hello to a member of the Deploy360 team.  And if you want to get started with IPv6, DNSSEC or one of our other topics, please visit our “Start Here” page to find resources appropriate to your type of organization.

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Deploy360 IETF

“Operators and the IETF” Survey Closing Soon…

IETF LogoOur Operators and the IETF survey has now been open for several months and we are happy to say that we have gathered an impressive amount of feedback.

We would first like to thank everyone who has completed the survey! We appreciate your valuable insight!

At the same time we need to ask those operators who have not yet responded to take few minutes and tell us through the survey your ideas and thoughts, your burdens, issues, fears, and frustrations. Anything holding you back from actively (or more actively) participating in IETF process. Even if you’ve never participated in the IETF at all, we need to hear from as many network operators as possible!

We plan to close the survey on 31st of June. Once the survey closes we will work diligently to synthesize everyone’s input. The result of our synthesis will be an IETF Internet-Draft. Our “Operators and the IETF” I-D will describe the results of the survey, the reasons and issues that are keeping network operators from fully engaging in the IETF. The I-D will also provide the suggestions we’ve heard from network operators on how to start removing these barriers and get more participation and feedback from the global network engineering community back into the IETF standardization process.

So, please, this is our last call – take the survey and please also spread the link to your fellow network operators, in your NOG, on social media, or wherever! The short link to send around is: http://bit.ly/opsietfsurvey

Thank you very much for your cooperation and participation!

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Deploy360 Events IPv6 To archive

Deploy360 is at AIS ’14 right now!

#AIS14That’s right, the whole team is here in Djibouti, Djibouti for the 2014 edition of the Africa Internet Summit!

And what a summit. There is so much going on you really need to check out the agenda and make some tough choices. Today we’re enjoying the opening ceremonies, an ISOC spam workshop, and ION Djibouti.

Tomorrow (Tuesday, 3 June) AIS will include AfNOG sessions where Jan Zorz and I will be speaking.

Jan is up first, along with Douglas Onyango, to talk about Best Current Operating Practices (BCOP) in Africa and around the world. They are scheduled to be on stage at 10:00 local Djibouti time (UTC+3). FYI: Douglas is leading the African BCOP efforts, but needs a co-chair – if you are interested in taking a leadership role in this new and exciting effort, please do contact us!

An hour later (11:00 local) it’s my turn to give my IPv6 security myth-busting talk “Security in an IPv6 World” for what may be the last time, now that I’ve taken it around the world over the past year.

At the end of the AfNOG sessions tomorrow there is a BoF scheduled on Operators and the IETF, where we will likely also discuss BCOP. Tuesday night you can find us at the ISOC @ AIS reception.

Then on Wednesday (4 June) there is an IPv6 session scheduled from 11:00 to 12:30 in which Jan will be providing an update on the IPv6 Helpdesk BCOP, after talks from Andrew Alston and Martin J. Levy.

Other highlights this week include a Wednesday morning panel session on the “Resiliency and stability of IANA functions” and Mark McFadden’s talk on “Carrier Grade NAT Impacts on Users, Markets and Cybercrime” after lunch on Tuesday.

As always, the four of us are most excited to talk to YOU! Find me, Dan, Jan, or Megan and bend our ear about any of the Deploy360 topics, the IETF, BCOP, or anything else Deployment and Operationalization related. I look forward to it!

For those unable to be here in person, it looks like there will be both an audio and a video stream as well: http://www.internetsummitafrica.org/en/participate-online/public-sessions.

Cheers from Djibouti!

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Deploy360

Human Network, Human Challenges

Human NetworkIt has now been about eight months since I joined the Internet Society as the Director of Deployment & Operationalization and I still get asked on a fairly regular basis “what do you do?” Well, with ISOC’s Chief Internet Technology Officer Leslie Daigle’s recent departure, and with my time here having exceeded both my first 120 days and my first 6 months, this seems like the right moment to reflect on my brief tenure here so far and perhaps pontificate a bit on where we’re going – and why.

If you’ve followed me for very long, you’ve probably seen my affinity for taking inventory; so let me start here with a quick accounting of these past few months:

  • I’ve flown over 90,000 miles (in coach) and visited 11 cities in 9 countries on 4 continents (ION Djibouti will make that 100k, 12, 10, and 5 next month).
  • I’ve attended 8 NOGs, 4 RIR meetings, 2 IONs, an IETF, an ICANN, and several additional gatherings of the Internet technical communities around the world.
  • I’ve visited exchange points in the Himalayas and hacker spaces in European basements.
  • I’ve met billionaires and paupers, engineers and Prime Ministers, wizened pioneers and total newbs.
  • In sum, I’ve spoken with hundreds of people and presented to thousands more.

And what have I learned? Something that Leslie knew all along it seems:

Internet technology is nice, but it’s the collaboration of real people that makes it work.

As an engineer and a technologist, it’s easy for me to get caught up in the packets and the pipes, in the bits and the buffers, in the what, rather than the how or why.

Now, I can’t discount the importance of pure technology. Obviously we need technical solutions to technical problems. We must have interoperable standards and interconnected networks. Technology must evolve and the packets must flow!

However I’ve come to appreciate, now more than ever, that the significance of the Internet is not in the current technological methodologies, not in cloud or SDN or even in Ethernet or a specific version of the Internet Protocol; but rather in its true function: to connect people (both to each other and to the tools and information they need).

The Internet is fundamentally a human network, and its greatest challenges are fundamentally human in nature.

  • Which languages and character sets should we use, and what are the ramifications of localizing a global medium?
  • To what extent should each service provider have control over the network they own and operate, and what responsibility do they have to their users and to the networks they interconnect with?
  • How do we get “broccoli technologies” (as Leslie Daigle loved to call those technologies we know are good for us but that we avoid anyway) deployed around the world?
  • How do we share and record our vast tribal knowledge regarding network design and operation?
  • How do we ensure that new technologies serve people, and not just machines?
  • How do we connect the entire global population to one another?

Addressing the Human Challenges

This is a moment when the ISOC Internet Technology team, the Internet technical community, and dare I say the Internet itself, will be entering a new phase of our journey together.

In his talk celebrating the 25th anniversary of RIPE NCC last week, Geoff Huston spoke about the Internet’s role as the underdog and went on to state that “we won” in the battle against OSI, against telephony, against television, radio, newspapers… The list of now legacy business models goes on.

I think my friend and mentor Tim Denton best summed it up when he remarked that the Internet is the solution that dissolves everything it encounters; proprietary technologies, traditional business models, even legacy governance and regulatory methodologies… It’s stunning when you think about it. The Internet has disrupted so much, and each time, it brings more choice, control, and communication to its users. Think of in-phone GPS navigation vs. paper maps, ride sharing vs. old-fashioned cabs, personal online shops vs. traditional brick and mortar stores. Everywhere we look, the Internet, and to a greater extent the Internet model of permissionless, bottom-up, open, and transparent innovation is beating out closed, top-down legacy models.

Geoff went on to remark: Now that “we won,” the ephemeral ‘they’ we’ve been fighting against all these years … is now us. While a tad sensational, I must agree, at least to a degree. The Internet, and therefore the Internet community (because they are inexorably linked), has in many ways become the dominant system. But what does that mean? For one, now that the Internet has taken over our lives and our economies in so many ways, it means we must recognize, formalize, and evolve our institutions… It’s time to grow up.

That’s where the work we’re doing at the Internet Society comes in. Much like the Internet itself, I see the role of the Deployment and Operationalization team, and the broader Internet Technology team, as one of facilitating communication: Communication amongst network operators. Communication between operators and developers. Communication across communities.

Because cooperation and coordination fuel the Internet, and the only way to them is through communication, I’m proud to answer, “I facilitate communication” when someone asks what I do. Whether it’s putting first adopters and fast followers together to discuss the real world operational impacts of implementing new and important IETF standards within the Deploy360 program; helping operator communities around the world document how to keep the Internet running smoothly through the Best Current Operational Practice (BCOP) efforts we’re helping to bootstrap; pushing the IETF to be more inclusive and the operators more engaged in protocol development through our newest project “Operators and the IETF;” or even some yet-to-be-invented future effort to meet yet another community need; I’m extremely proud to be able to confidently exclaim:

I’m here to help!

But I, and the teams I’m a part of, can only do so much. This evolution will take all of us working together. I hope you’ll join us!

Learn how you can help keep the Internet free, open, and growing here: http://dev.internetsociety.org/deploy360/about/volunteer/