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IAB Workshop: Design Expectations vs Deployment Reality in Protocol Development (dedrws)

Team Name IAB Workshop: Design Expectations vs Deployment Reality in Protocol Development
Acronym dedrws
State Active
Additional resources Workshop Report: RFC 8980: Report from the IAB Workshop on Design Expectations vs. Deployment Reality in Protocol Development

Group description

A number of protocols have presumed specific deployment models during the development or early elaboration of the protocol. Actual deployments have sometimes run contrary to these early expectations when economies of scale, DDoS resilience, market consolidation, or other factors have come into play. These factors can result in the deployed reality being highly concentrated.

This is a serious issue for the Internet, as concentrated, centralized deployment models present risks to user choice, privacy, and future protocol evolution.

On occasion, the differences to expectations were almost immediate, but they also occur after a significant time has passed from the protocol’s initial development.

Examples include:

Email standards, which presumed many providers running in a largely uncoordinated fashion, but which has seen both significant market consolidation and a need for coordination to defend against spam and other attacks. The coordination and centralized defense mechanisms scale better for large entities, which has fueled additional consolidation.

The DNS, which presumed deep hierarchies but has often been deployed in large, flat zones, leading to the nameservers for those zones becoming critical infrastructure. Future developments in DNS may see concentration through the use of globally available common resolver services, which evolve rapidly and can offer better security. Paradoxically, concentration of these queries into few services creates new security and privacy concerns.

The Web, which is built on a fundamentally decentralized design, but which is now often delivered with the aid of Content Delivery Networks. Their services provide scaling, distribution, and Denial of Service prevention in ways that new entrants and smaller systems operators would find difficult to replicate. While truly small services and truly large ones may operate using only their own infrastructure, many others are left with the only practical choice being the use of a globally available commercial service.

Similar developments may happen with future technologies and services. For instance, the growing use of Machine Learning technology presents challenges for distributing effective implementation of a service throughout a pool of many different providers.

In RFC 5218, the IAB tackled what made for a successful protocol. In RFC 8170, the IAB described how to handle protocol transitions. This workshop will explore cases where the initial system design assumptions turned out to be wrong, looking for patterns in what caused those assumptions to fail (e.g., concentration due to DDoS resilience) and in how those failures impact the security, privacy, and manageability of the resulting deployments.

While the eventual goals might include proposing common remediations for specific cases of confounded protocol expectations, the IAB is currently inviting papers which:

Describe specific cases where systems assumptions during protocol development were confounded by later deployment conditions. Survey a set of cases to identify common factors in these confounded expectations. Explore remediations which foster user privacy, security and provider diversity in the face of these changes.

Important Dates

  • The workshop was held June 4-5 in Helsinki, Finland.
  • Position papers must be submitted by May 3rd at the latest. The program committee will review submitted position papers and send an invitation to the workshop to one of the paper authors. Invitations will be distributed by May 9 at the latest.

Position Paper Requirements

Interested parties must submit a brief document of one to four pages, formatted as HTML, PDF, or plain text. We welcome papers that describe existing work, answers to the questions listed above, new questions, write-ups of deployment experience, lessons-learned from successful or failed attempts, and ideally a vision towards taking deployment considerations better in account when designing new Internet technology. Re-submissions from work presented elsewhere are allowed. Position Papers

The accepted position papers for the DEDR workshop are available in the Materials tab of this page.

Program Committee

The following persons are IAB contacts for this workshop:

  • Jari Arkko
  • Stephen Farrell
  • Ted Hardie
  • Christian Huitema
  • Melinda Shore
  • Brian Trammell

The program committee can be reached at


The meeting was held in the Nokia conference facilities in Kirkkonummi, near Helsinki. The IAB thanks Nokia for stepping up to provide support for this meeting.

A bus has been reserved to take people to the conference facilities.


Hotel rooms are scarce in Helsinki for the workshop dates due to other events. More affordable and available options may be found outside the center. Alternatively, a block of of hotel rooms has been reserved at the Radisson Blu Plaza Hotel in Helsinki:

  • Room rate: 275-295€ (single-double), wifi, breakfast & sauna included
  • Telephone: +358 20 1234 700 / individual room reservation
  • Email:
  • Please quote the allotment code DEDR when making a booking.
  • Reservation deadline: 9 May 2019