At 10:15 AM +0200 6/18/03, Harald Tveit Alvestrand wrote:
I can think of some possible reasons, not necessarily exclusive
- this is a bad idea/impossible to do well, so we shouldn't do it
- some other organization is already doing it, so we shouldn't
- we're too stupid to get it right, so we shouldn't do it
- the IETF is too large, so we shouldn't be adding more work
This might be a combination of the latter three, but I think it is
clearer for this WG:
- the IETF's track record for this work so far is quite poor
That's not a problem of the ppvpn group only. It is a problem of the IETF.
I don't need to refresh your memory about IPSec, do I? SKIP, Skeme, Oakley,
IKE. AH or ESP with auth? 5 years of bloody fighting.
It's wherever the action is that the political jostling for position is the most
prominent. That's also where the leadership needs to be strong and participants
need to have a "nose to the grindstone" attitude. That's hardly an indication
that the work should not be chartered or worked upon.
We have not shown any ability to create standards in this area with
due speed or predictability. We have not shown the good judgement
needed to limit the scope of the work we do. (Look at the number of
L2VPN-based Working Group drafts in PWE3 and PPVPN, much less the
large number of non-WG documents being actively discussed.
Do you think the new L2VPN charter addresses these concerns of scoping? How
about the timelines? Basically, it's going to be a WG issue, chairs and
participants, to finish the WG charter items first.
The IETF understands the need for layer 2 technologies for OAM much
better than we understand the Internet customer's need (or even
concern) for layer 2 transport of their IP packets. This is because
we have a tighter relationship with operators than we do with
Internet users, and because Internet users generally could care less
about how their ISPs move their traffic as long as they meet the
service level agreements. The ISPs would love to have better
cross-vendor interop for the L2VPN technologies, but so far the
vendors haven't had time to think about that because they have been
overloaded with the literally dozens of flavors that are being
discussed in the IETF.
Are you talking PWE3 or L2VPN?
The gazillion drafts is in PWE3. The interop issues are localized to the drafts
with contention, silly issues of where bits should go.
There are 16 pseudowire types:
0x0001 Frame Relay DLCI
0x0002 ATM AAL5 SDU VCC transport
0x0003 ATM transparent cell transport
0x0004 Ethernet Tagged Mode
0x0008 SONET/SDH Circuit Emulation Service Over MPLS (CEM) 
0x0009 ATM n-to-one VCC cell transport
0x000A ATM n-to-one VPC cell transport
0x000B IP Layer2 Transport
0x000C ATM one-to-one VCC Cell Mode
0x000D ATM one-to-one VPC Cell Mode
0x000E ATM AAL5 PDU VCC transport
0x000F Frame-Relay Port mode
0x0010 SONET/SDH Circuit Emulation over Packet (CEP)
At least half of these are and have been interoperable. It is the harder (and
more arcane, IMHO) PW types that people are having a hard time coming to some
sort of compromise.
BTW, I'm glad to see you have a healthier respect for providers than Kurtis who
claims that "most of these providers have bought what their vendor told them to
We will never know if there is another organization who could do a
better job than this because no other organization will take on the
work while the 800-pound gorilla of standards bodies is flailing
around in the area. There are certainly other organizations that can
take it on, such as the MPLS and Frame Relay Alliance. They might do
just as bad of a job as we have so far, but they could also do much
better because they are much more focused.
An 800-pound gorilla conjures up images of one less nimble of foot. IMHO, not
the right metaphor for the IETF.
--Paul Hoffman, Director