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Re: IP provider performance measurement BOF

  • From: Kent W. England
  • Date: Fri Mar 10 12:24:17 1995

At 5:12 AM 3/10/95, Sean Doran wrote:
>
>           Conversely, protocol standards shouldn't be done
>           at operators' forums.

I'm going to say some things that I will assume Sean can agree with, but I
think they need to be said.  (This is one of my soapboxes from way back.)

Yes, Sean, but conversely standards bodies and implementor's forums
shouldn't ignore operational issues in deciding on standards, including the
very important issue of whether or not to have a standard.

If I ran the world, the IETF would not be allowed to define a UNI standard,
like multi-protocol FR or IP over ATM, without also addressing routing and
arp AT THE SAME TIME.  This avoids the situation where, for example, a
router vendor can say "We are RFC compliant for frame relay" when they know
damn well that IP doesn't work over the sorts of networks that real people
want to build (partial mesh).  Frame relay was a long time ago and now we
have ATM and, as you know, we are in no better shape for routing.

As to standards for operations, I think it was a good thing when Scott
Bradner and I started testing routers for performance, which led to the
BMWG in the IETF.  I'm sure the router vendors at the time were very
annoyed with us because they all had to fix broken and poor software, but I
think on the whole they are pleased that there are now router benchmarks.
What Scott did with router benchmarking advanced the entire industry.
Everyone knows it's not the be-all and end-all of router performance, but
it is significant.

I know we won't like Operations Standards at first, but on the whole it
could be a good thing for our industry.  So, let's be careful not to take a
position where it might be interpreted that we will willingly shut
ourselves out of IETF or ATM Forum because we are operators and not
interested in protocols.  I heartily agree, though, that we certainly don't
want to see a lot of TQM blather in an Op Std.  :-)

In a weak effort to ward off a flame session on the list, let me say that
reasonable people can disagree on this issue -- it's not time to resolve
it.

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Kent W. England                                     Six Sigma Networks
1655 Landquist Drive, Suite 100                           619.632.8400
Encinitas, CA  92024                                kwe@6SigmaNets.com
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