IETF Criteria for Evaluating Reliable Multicast Transport and Application Protocols
RFC 2357

Document Type RFC - Informational (June 1998; No errata)
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Network Working Group                                          A. Mankin
Request for Comments: 2357                                       USC/ISI
Category: Informational                                       A. Romanow
                                                                     MCI
                                                              S. Bradner
                                                      Harvard University
                                                               V. Paxson
                                                                     LBL
                                                            With the TSV
                                                        Area Directorate
                                                               June 1998

       IETF Criteria for Evaluating Reliable Multicast Transport
                       and Application Protocols

Status of this Memo

   This memo provides information for the Internet community.  It does
   not specify an Internet standard of any kind.  Distribution of this
   memo is unlimited.

Copyright Notice

   Copyright (C) The Internet Society (1998).  All Rights Reserved.

Abstract

   This memo describes the procedures and criteria for reviewing
   reliable multicast protocols within the Transport Area (TSV) of the
   IETF.  Within today's Internet, important applications exist for a
   reliable multicast service.  Some examples that are driving reliable
   multicast technology are collaborative workspaces (such as
   whiteboard), data and software distribution, and (more speculatively)
   web caching protocols.  Due to the nature of the technical issues, a
   single commonly accepted technical solution that solves all the
   demands for reliable multicast is likely to be infeasible [RMMinutes
   1997].

   A number of reliable multicast protocols have already been developed
   to solve a variety of problems for various types of applications.
   [Floyd97] describes one widely deployed example.  How should these
   protocols be treated within the IETF and how should the IETF guide
   the development of reliable multicast in a direction beneficial for
   the general Internet?

Mankin, et. al.              Informational                      [Page 1]
RFC 2357             Evaluating Reliable Multicast             June 1998

   The TSV Area Directors and their Directorate have outlined a set of
   review procedures that address these questions and set criteria and
   processes for the publication as RFCs of Internet-Drafts on reliable
   multicast transport protocols.

1.0 Background on IETF Processes and Procedures

   In the IETF, work in an area is directed and managed by the Area
   Directors (ADs), who have authority over the chartering of working
   groups (WGs).

   In addition, ADs review individually submitted (not by WGs)
   Internet-Drafts about work that is relevant to their areas prior to
   publication as RFCs (Experimental, Informational or, in rare cases,
   Standards Track). The review is done according to the guidelines set
   out in the Internet Standards Process, RFC 2026 [InetStdProc96].

   The purpose of this document is to present the criteria that will be
   used by the TSV ADs in reviewing reliable multicast Internet-Drafts
   for any form of RFC publication.

   For I-Ds submitted for Standards Track publication, these criteria
   must be met or else the ADs will decline to support publication of
   the document, which suffices to prevent publication.  For I-Ds
   submitted as Experimental or Informational, these criteria must be
   met or else, at a minimum, the Ads will recommend publishing the I-D
   with an IESG note prepended stating that the protocol fails to comply
   with these criteria.

2.0 Introduction

   There is a strong application demand for reliable multicast.
   Widespread use of the Internet makes the economy of multicast
   transport attractive.  The current Internet multicast model offers
   best-effort many-to-many delivery service and offers no guarantees.
   One-to-many and few-to-few services may become more important in the
   future.  Reliable multicast transports add delivery guarantees, not
   necessarily like those of reliable unicast TCP, to the group-delivery
   model of multicast.  A panel of some major users of the Internet,
   convened at the 38th IETF, articulated reliable bulk transfer
   multicast as one of their most critical requirements [DiffServBOF97].
   Examples of applications that could use reliable bulk multicast
   transfer include collaborative tools, distributed virtual reality,
   and software upgrade services.

   To meet the growing demand for reliable multicast, there is a large
   number of protocol proposals.  A few were published as RFCs before
   the impact of congestion from reliable multicast was fully

Mankin, et. al.              Informational                      [Page 2]
RFC 2357             Evaluating Reliable Multicast             June 1998
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