Planning for Protocol Adoption and Subsequent Transitions
RFC 8170

Document Type RFC - Informational (May 2017; No errata)
Last updated 2017-05-17
Replaces draft-thaler-transition-principles
Stream IAB
Formats plain text pdf html bibtex
Stream IAB state Published RFC
Consensus Boilerplate Yes
RFC Editor Note (None)
Internet Architecture Board (IAB)                         D. Thaler, Ed.
Request for Comments: 8170                                      May 2017
Category: Informational
ISSN: 2070-1721

       Planning for Protocol Adoption and Subsequent Transitions

Abstract

   Over the many years since the introduction of the Internet Protocol,
   we have seen a number of transitions throughout the protocol stack,
   such as deploying a new protocol, or updating or replacing an
   existing protocol.  Many protocols and technologies were not designed
   to enable smooth transition to alternatives or to easily deploy
   extensions; thus, some transitions, such as the introduction of IPv6,
   have been difficult.  This document attempts to summarize some basic
   principles to enable future transitions, and it also summarizes what
   makes for a good transition plan.

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 7841.

   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/rfc8170.

Copyright Notice

   Copyright (c) 2017 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.

Thaler                        Informational                     [Page 1]
RFC 8170                 Planning for Transition                May 2017

Table of Contents

   1.  Introduction  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   2
   2.  Extensibility . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   4
   3.  Transition vs. Coexistence  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   5
   4.  Translation/Adaptation Location . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   6
   5.  Transition Plans  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   7
     5.1.  Understanding of Existing Deployment  . . . . . . . . . .   7
     5.2.  Explanation of Incentives . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   7
     5.3.  Description of Phases and Proposed Criteria . . . . . . .   8
     5.4.  Measurement of Success  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   8
     5.5.  Contingency Planning  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   8
     5.6.  Communicating the Plan  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   9
   6.  Security Considerations . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   9
   7.  IANA Considerations . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   9
   8.  Conclusion  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  10
   9.  Informative References  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  10
   Appendix A.  Case Studies . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  14
     A.1.  Explicit Congestion Notification  . . . . . . . . . . . .  14
     A.2.  Internationalized Domain Names  . . . . . . . . . . . . .  15
     A.3.  IPv6  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  17
     A.4.  HTTP  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  19
       A.4.1.  Protocol Versioning, Extensions, and 'Grease' . . . .  20
       A.4.2.  Limits on Changes in Major Versions . . . . . . . . .  20
       A.4.3.  Planning for Replacement  . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  21
   IAB Members at the Time of Approval . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  22
   Acknowledgements  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  22
   Author's Address  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  22

1.  Introduction

   A "transition" is the process or period of changing from one state or
   condition to another.  There are several types of such transitions,
   including both technical transitions (e.g., changing protocols or
   deploying an extension) and organizational transitions (e.g.,
   changing what organization manages a web site).  This document
   focuses solely on technical transitions, although some principles
   might apply to other types as well.

   In this document, we use the term "transition" generically to apply
   to any of:

   o  adoption of a new protocol where none existed before,

   o  deployment of a new protocol that obsoletes a previous protocol,

Thaler                        Informational                     [Page 2]
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