Well, I ….
While the podcast will be published in a few weeks, one area has been bothering me all weekend that came up in the discussion. The Enterprise has almost no representation in the IETF groups and the result is that the work that is being done in the IETF doesn’t address the needs of Enterprise IT.
The EtherealMind View
- The IETF is the sum of its people. None of the people are enterprise people.
- Why would the Enterprise send people to IETF conferences ?
- Why would Enterprise engineers choose to contribute to mailing lists ? I’ve tried and given up – the people are badly behaved, communicate badly etc.
- Stop expecting the IETF to improve networking that works for Enterprise IT. Its not going to produce anything that you can use.
Relevance and Uselessness
On podcasts, I’ve often expressed my frustration about the current generation of routing protocols simply don’t work for Enterprises. BGP works fine for the dumb bandwidth of the Internet where scale and simplicity is important and operational skills are core to the business. Or that because OSPF is complex and hard to use I must spend years training network engineers to perform simple day-to-day operations.
I read the IETF RFCs that are published and almost none of them are improve the Enterprise network. No simplification, nothing that makes simple networking simple. Nothing that reduces the cost of running Internet connections or improving security.
The Value of the Network
In the enterprise, the network isn’t a valuable thing. Its a necessary thing like accounting, human resources and a building to put humans inside. Most companies haven’t realised that they are technology companies and don’t value their IT as a productive enhancing tool that increases profitability.
In short, IT is an overhead. A cost. What the value in a company getting involved ? Why spend money on putting people into the IETF process ?
Show Up or Miss Out ?
My mistake ? Enterprises don’t participate in the IETF. Simply, the IETF is a representative organisation and its only does what the members contribute.
Maybe the “representation” is done by the vendors on our behalf. I think that most people believe that vendors have people on the IETF, IEEE and other committees to represent our interests.
But they aren’t. When I take a quick scan/survey of the people on the working groups I get the sense that everyone is a carrier, service provider person. That is, they work for the divisions of big companies that make service provider network products.