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Networks in the Small - aka Home Networks

Document Charter Networks in the Small - aka Home Networks WG (nits)
Title Networks in the Small - aka Home Networks
Last updated 1999-09-01
State Approved
WG State Concluded
IESG Responsible AD (None)
Charter edit AD (None)
Send notices to (None)


At the Minneapolis meeting (3/99), a BOF was held to explore the
issues of home networking. The goal of the BOF was to discuss how
Networks in the Small (e.g., Home Networks) can and should work and to
determine if there is standards work to be done. The overall theme was
what needs to be done to make plug-and-play really work in an IP
environment. As a comparison point, Appletalk, IPX & NetBIOS all just
work with no manual configuration of individual nodes. This isn't the
case with IP where either manual configuration is needed or servers
must be present (e.g., DHCP, DNS, etc.). Home networks include
environments where the presence of servers cannot be assumed.
However, Appletalk, IPX and NetBIOS do not scale to larger
environments, and NITs solutions will need to transition to and
coexist with larger environments in a reasonable fashion.

This WG will study the requirements for "home networking". Home
networks can include (but are not limited to) environments where
neither DNS servers nor DHCP servers are present. The WG will also
survey existing protocols that address the problem of autoconfiguration,
with the aim of understanding whether existing IP protocols are adequate
to solve the needs for autoconfiguration in the "home" environment, or
whether additional protocols are needed.

This WG will produce two informational documents. The first describes
the requirements for the configuration information and services a node
needs in order to fully participate on home networks and/or the
Internet at large. The second details a 'profile' specifying which
protocols specifically satisfy the requirements outlined in the first
document. If it is determined that no existing standard protocol
fulfills the requirements, or that existing protocols are insufficient
or inadequate, the profile may specify that a new protocol is required
or recommend a change to an existing standard to apply to the NITS

This WG will not develop new protocols. In the event that protocol
work is deemed necessary, a followup WG will be chartered.