Report from the IAB Workshop on Stack Evolution in a Middlebox Internet (SEMI)
RFC 7663

Document Type RFC - Informational (October 2015; No errata)
Last updated 2015-10-20
Replaces draft-trammell-semi-report
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Internet Architecture Board (IAB)                       B. Trammell, Ed.
Request for Comments: 7663                            M. Kuehlewind, Ed.
Category: Informational                                       ETH Zurich
ISSN: 2070-1721                                             October 2015

                      Report from the IAB Workshop
           on Stack Evolution in a Middlebox Internet (SEMI)

Abstract

   The Internet Architecture Board (IAB) through its IP Stack Evolution
   program, the Internet Society, and the Swiss Federal Institute of
   Technology (ETH) Zurich hosted the Stack Evolution in a Middlebox
   Internet (SEMI) workshop in Zurich on 26-27 January 2015 to explore
   the ability to evolve the transport layer in the presence of
   middlebox- and interface-related ossification of the stack.  The goal
   of the workshop was to produce architectural and engineering guidance
   on future work to break the logjam, focusing on incrementally
   deployable approaches with clear incentives to deployment both on the
   endpoints (in new transport layers and applications) as well as on
   middleboxes (run by network operators).  This document summarizes the
   contributions to the workshop and provides an overview of the
   discussion at the workshop, as well as the outcomes and next steps
   identified by the workshop.  The views and positions documented in
   this report are those of the workshop participants and do not
   necessarily reflect IAB views and positions.

Status of This Memo

   This document is not an Internet Standards Track specification; it is
   published for informational purposes.

   This document is a product of the Internet Architecture Board (IAB)
   and represents information that the IAB has deemed valuable to
   provide for permanent record.  It represents the consensus of the
   Internet Architecture Board (IAB).  Documents approved for
   publication by the IAB are not a candidate for any level of Internet
   Standard; see Section 2 of RFC 5741.

   Information about the current status of this document, any errata,
   and how to provide feedback on it may be obtained at
   http://www.rfc-editor.org/info/rfc7663.

Trammell & Kuehlewind         Informational                     [Page 1]
RFC 7663                      SEMI Workshop                 October 2015

Copyright Notice

   Copyright (c) 2015 IETF Trust and the persons identified as the
   document authors.  All rights reserved.

   This document is subject to BCP 78 and the IETF Trust's Legal
   Provisions Relating to IETF Documents
   (http://trustee.ietf.org/license-info) in effect on the date of
   publication of this document.  Please review these documents
   carefully, as they describe your rights and restrictions with respect
   to this document.

Table of Contents

   1.  Introduction  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   3
     1.1.  Organization of This Report . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   4
   2.  The Situation in Review . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   4
   3.  Incentives for Stack Ossification and Evolution . . . . . . .   5
   4.  The Role and Rule of Middleboxes  . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   6
   5.  Evolving the Transport Layer  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   6
   6.  Outcomes  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   7
     6.1.  Minimal Signaling for Encapsulated Transports . . . . . .   7
     6.2.  Middlebox Measurement . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   8
     6.3.  Guidelines for Middlebox Design and Deployment  . . . . .   9
     6.4.  Architectural Guidelines for Transport Stack Evolution  .   9
     6.5.  Additional Activities in the IETF and IAB . . . . . . . .  10
     6.6.  Additional Activities in Other Venues . . . . . . . . . .  10
   7.  Security Considerations . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  10
   8.  Informative References  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  10
   Appendix A.  Attendees  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  13
   Acknowledgments . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  13
   Authors' Addresses  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  13

Trammell & Kuehlewind         Informational                     [Page 2]
RFC 7663                      SEMI Workshop                 October 2015

1.  Introduction

   The transport layer of the Internet has become ossified, squeezed
   between narrow interfaces (from BSD sockets to pseudo-transport over
   HTTPS) and increasing in-network modification of traffic by
   middleboxes that make assumptions about the protocols running through
   them.  This ossification makes it difficult to innovate in the
   transport layer, through the deployment of new protocols or the
   extension of existing ones.  At the same time, emerging applications
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