IP provider performance measurement BOF

Sean Doran smd at sprint.net
Fri Mar 10 05:12:59 UTC 1995

In message <199503082144.QAA01126 at curtis.ansremote.com>, Curtis Villamizar writ

| IMO the IETF Operations Area has not been unfair or hostile toward
| providers.  I'm not sure what the objections are.

I didn't mean to suggest that they are.

My objections are more philosophical and, perhaps, pragmatic.

I would like to see Internet standards-describing bodies
stay well away from trying to standardize operational
metrics and operational procedures.

This is to avoid three things:

	-- operators who say, "our NIC is RFC 9000 compliant"	

	-- attempting to define what an operational
	   organization should do as an Internet standard:
	   "An ISP that is compliant with this standard
	   will..."  which is particularly amusing if it
	   doesn't make business sense in a particular case,
	   or when it is drafted by people who mispredict
	   real operational issues (due to lack of foresight
	   or lack of experience) that obviate the standard.

	   This is essentially to avoid, "our competitor's
	   organization is not RFC 9000 compliant"

	-- Operators and standards-folks are aliens from
	   another planet.  Operators typically will bend
	   standards as they see fit for their business,
	   while standards-folks attempt to make it easy for
	   anyone -- say, someone new to the field -- to
	   interoperate with the current operators.

	   In extreme cases, operators completely ignore or
	   break standards willy-nilly, while standards-
	   folks get quite noisy when standards aren't
	   followed to the letter.  I have run into both,
	   and, arguably, am an example of the former type.

	   There is a tension between the two mindsets which
	   is a good one for the Internet in general, but
	   which essentialy necessitates, in my opinion, a
	   division into two separate clubs when it comes to 
	   working out issues that are more or less fully
	   in the domain of operators vs. standards folks.

	   That's not to say that standards-folks should
	   be discouraged from commenting on how we run our
	   parts of the Internet, nor that operators should
	   be told to shut up in working groups -- in fact,
	   I like to see operators in working groups and
	   standards-folks at NANOGs or IEPGs.  However,
	   any kind of consesus-building about operations
	   issues or discussions about metrics showing good
	   or bad things about operators' networks should
	   be done in operators' forums, and not standards

	   Conversely, protocol standards shouldn't be done
	   at operators' forums.

An example of how things work differently among high
concentrations of operators vs high concentrations of 
standards-folks is the CIDR issue.   CIDRD at IETF and
the CIDR talks at NANOG are quite different, involve
different issues, and come up with very different forms
of consensus.

I believe this is a good thing, and should be encouraged.

So, wrt the provider measurement BOF, I am quite happy to
see the standards-folks describe standard tools which
operators can use to work out operational issues in
operators' forums.

I would not like to see the Operations Area turn into an
olympics for providers any more than for vendors in other


More information about the NANOG mailing list