Liaison statement
Relationship between ONF and the IETF

Submission date 2012-07-18
From The IAB (Bernard Aboba)
To ONF (
Cc The IAB
Purpose In response
Referenced liaison Liaison between ONF and IETF
Attachments (None)
The IETF welcomes the letter you sent relating to communication between
the ONF and the IETF.  

The IETF would be pleased to have individuals participating in the ONF
also participate in IETF work, whether related to SDN, or to other
topics of shared interest.  As a general rule, the IETF encourages
communication between groups and sharing of information. 

All IETF Internet Drafts (and approved RFCs) are publicly available for
reading and may be referenced in ONF documents.   Since the IETF allows
free reproduction of verbatim copies, if the ONF wishes to include IETF
RFCs in their document repositories, we would welcome the wider

IETF copyright issues are managed by the IETF trust, and the licensing
policy can be found at (see section
3 in particular).   There are also procedures for publishing
specifications from other bodies in the RFC series; whether this would
be a suitable publication venue for the ONF depends upon the intended
scope and motivation.  Discussions usually begin with the RFC Series
Editor, reachable at   A good starting point
for evaluating this is RFC 4844 which defines the RFC Series.

Historically, the IETF has found that joint work on standards
development is very rarely successful, even with standards bodies with
which we have formal liaison relationships.  Obstacles include
differences in process, change control, IPR policies and procedures; in
addition, attendance at multiple meetings is difficult for the
individuals involved.  

Instead, the IETF encourages communication about new and existing work,
including updates on the scope, purpose and approach.   For the ONF to
receive advance notice of new-work within the IETF, the best way is to
subscribe to the New-Work mailing list.

Changes to IETF specifications, or development of new specifications is
handled via the IETF process as described in RFC 2026.  Discussion of
new work typically begins with an Internet Draft explaining the problem
and establishing requirements for a solution.  Depending on the scope
of work that is envisaged, the Internet Draft can be reviewed within an
existing IETF Working Group, or a mailing list may be established to
discuss formation of a new Working Group.  

Once a Working Group has been chartered with a work item, that Working
Group will review, discuss, modify, and, if agreed, approve any actual
protocol changes, which will then be reviewed by IETF last call and
IESG review as per normal IETF process.

Since the IANA maintains registries both on behalf of the IETF as well
as other organizations, it is possible for the ONF to contract with
IANA to run registries based on published ONF specifications.  If the
ONF desires allocation of code points in spaces managed by the IANA on
behalf of the IETF, this can be handled through the IETF-defined
registries and procedures described in RFC 5226.

For the Internet Architecture Board,

Bernard Aboba
IAB Chair