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Concluded Program IP Stack Evolution (stackevo)

Note: The data for concluded Programs is occasionally incorrect.

Program Name IP Stack Evolution
Acronym stackevo
State Concluded
Document dependencies
Additional resources IP Stack Evolution Program
Personnel Lead Brian Trammell
Members Aaron Falk
Brian Trammell
Dave Thaler
Eliot Lear
Erik Nordmark
Gabriel Montenegro
Jeff Tantsura
Joe Hildebrand
Lee Howard
Mark Nottingham
Martin Thomson
Mirja Kühlewind
Natasha Rooney
Ralph Droms
Robert Sparks
Spencer Dawkins
Suresh Krishnan
Ted Hardie
Wes Hardaker
Zhenbin Li

Closing note for Program

During the IETF 105 meeting in Montreal, the IAB decided to close the Stack Evolution program in its present form. The initial concept behind the IP Stack Evolution program was to investigate how changes to the whole stack, especially to the transport layer, could be deployed in the big-I Internet, and explore the impact of encryption at the transport layer on evolution of the stack. At the time the program started in 2014, there was not much work yet in and around the IETF in this space. That has changed. QUIC has demonstrated that it is possible to deploy a new transport protocol at scale, and the QUIC WG has nearly finished an IETF standard version of that protocol. TAPS was chartered, and is well on its way to defining an abstract interface that reduces the rigidness of the binding between interfaces and transports. Conversations (many conversations) have started about the balance between measurability and confidentiality, and some of these have found shape in protocols (e.g., in the form of the QUIC spin bit). The discussion isn't over, though; the appropriate place for further discussion on stackevo's topics (or adjacent ones) is on the list.

Final Group description

The IP Stack Evolution program covers various topics in the evolution of IPv4 and IPv6, the transport protocols running over IP, and the overall protocol stack architecture. The program addresses challenges that affect the stack in some way and where the IETF community requires architectural guidance, responding to community requests as well as actively monitoring work within IETF WGs which touch on relevant topics. Where a working group relevant to a particular aspect of IP stack evolution exists, the program will facilitate cross-group and cross-area coordination. The program also produces documents on the IAB stream providing general guidance on and covering architectural aspects of stack evolution.

The diversity of “endpoints” in the Internet — applications, transport-layer ports, hosts, gateways and tunnel ends — is far greater than that the IP protocol stack was originally intended to serve. This has impacts on protocol design, because former assumptions about the properties of these endpoints may no longer hold. The program is currently focusing on the stress this places on the architecture.

The program has focused for the past few years on the problem of ossification in the IP protocol stack, specifically at the transport layer. There is now significant new work in the IETF’s transport area addressing this issue. The program’s members participate in the work in the IETF and will provide a point of contact should architectural issues arise from interactions between these new transport protocols and the diversity of link layers deployed in the Internet.

The program will continue to follow up on the results of the Stack Evolution in a Middleboxed Internet (SEMI, Zurich, January 2015) and Managing Radio Networks in an Encrypted World (MaRNEW, Atlanta, September 2015) workshops, to negotiate the tussle between privacy through ubiquitous confidentiality and opportunistic encryption, and the manageability of networks of all kinds.

Past Workshops, BoFs, etc.

The Program has organized several workshops, Birds of a Feather sessions, and proposed Research Groups on topics related to its areas of work:

Documents Published

This program has itself evolved from the IP Evolution Program, which looked at general architectural issues in the evolution of IPv4 and IPv6 and the overall protocol stack architecture, and produced the following documents: