IP telephony tops IETF agenda

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Both groups are in the Transport Area, the most active of the IETF's eight areas. The Transport Area will host 27 sessions throughout the week -- many related to QoS and IP telephony.The IETF is divided into eight areas: Applications; General Interest; Internet; Operations and Management; Routing; Security; Transport; and User Services.

Within these eight areas, the IETF has 127 working groups developing protocols for product interoperability. Several "Birds of a Feather" sessions relatted to QoS and IP telephony are also scheduled.

Such sessions help determine whether there is enough interest in a topic to form an IETF working group. "We're at the point now where the basic technology is in place for QoS, and we have to figure out how to make it all fit together," Carpenter says. "The ISPs and telcos really want to be able to manage end-to-end services in a way that at the moment can't be done on the Internet. This should be of interest to enterprise network managers as well because the same issues arise."

Other hot topics at the meeting:

  • How best to transition from the current IPv4 to enhanced IPv6, which offers a virtually unlimited supply of Internet addresses.
  • How to protect end-user privacy with IPv6, which uses 128-bit addresses instead of the 32-bit addresses used in IPv4. The IETF came under fire recently because IPv6 addresses can include the serial numbers of users' network interface cards. However, the IETF says it is also possible to dynamically assign IPv6 addresses to ensure privacy.

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