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Re: Some thoughts on the "Restructuring of RIPE"

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  • From: "W.Woeber, ACOnet/UniVie, +43 1 4065822 355" < >
  • Date: Tue, 10 May 1994 15:20:19 +0100

  Hi Willem,
  your paper made nice reading yesterday in the evening.
  Maybe you're interested in my personal thoughts...

>Both documents talk about operations and coordination. Also I think the

  For me the basic importance of RIPE (and probably this holds true for
  IETF as well) is on "operations and voluntary coordination based on

>RIPE as a body still has the same reason to exist as it had when it
>started. Perhaps some wording needs to be changed, removing explicit
>reference to IP.

  I don't think that we have to removed the reference to IP, but to allow
  other stacks as well, especially so if there is *any* technical or
  organizational interaction with the operations of an IP-based internet.

>Another absolutely key word is "technical". RIPE (and I think IEPG and
>other bodies with about the same goal) are technical fora and not meant
>for political discussions. This does not preclude "politicians" to attend
>RIPE meetings and being active in them. I think it is very worthwile

  Well, this is potentially a can of worms... If we could find a wording
  where "polititians" are invited to "contribute (upon request?) their
  point of view", then I'd be happy.

>they do, as RIPE is the forum to discuss the technical implications and
>(im)possibilities of the things the politicians come up with. But these
>discussions should be on a technical level and open minded.

>      .... Nowadays there are a number of European Internet Service
>Providers that have brought at least some structure in the chaos. The

  I'd like to rephrase this as "...brougth at least some structure to the
  chaos, and at the same time posing new cahllenges for the open
  development of the European Internet."

>point I want to make is that the level or type of coordination related
>to getting a Pan-European Internet Structure has also become different.
>This means that we'll see a more compex level of interaction at RIPE
>meetings because we see two types af attendants, one from the "national"
>or "regional" level, and one from the "european service provider" level.
>It is the service providers who have to do most of the coordination and
>ofcourse RIPE is the perfect forum for this because it is here that all
>the best and brightest in (at least) European networking are assembled.

  I'm convinced that it is still the responsibility of the regional
  and/or national network operator to care for the proper coordination
  and future development. I don't think that it is only a job for a
  hypothetical "supranational-IP-PTT-european provider"...

Let me try to define some areas where coordination may be needed. This
list is by no means meant to be complete. Some of these items are taken
from the Opera BOF at the Seattle IETF (BTW I am very fond of opera!)

>- routing
>  - CIDR
>  - routing registries
>  - route servers
>- infrastructure
>  - exchange points
>  - transatlantic connectivity
>  - Central and Eastern European developments

  Is this a short term issue?

>- registries
>  - Address allocation
>  - routing
>  - databases
>- "virtual" networks/systems
>  - Mbone

  There is certainly a need for coordination for mbone. And while this
  maybe is off track for the RIPE-restructuring, I think it should be
  discussed between the regional/national networks. For the ISP this is
  just plain traffic, much the same as news...

>  - Information systems like Gopher, WWW
>  - Directory services lik DNS, X.500
>- security
>  - CERT
>  - Security issues related to IP
>  - Security issues related to routing
>- network management
>  - trouble ticket hand-off
>  - reporting
>This "information exchange" or "learning" topic also relates to the
>issue raised at the last RIPE meeting (and one that was also raised at
>the open plenary at the last IETF) about the size of the meeting (both
>plenary and working groups). Bigger amounts of people will change the
>character of a meeting and will get a smaller percentage of the people
>who are active and participating in the discussion. I do not see this a
>s a problem, because by listening to discussions that have a fair amount
>of openness, you can learn quite a lot. Having a discussion by
>knowledgable people is a way to disseminate this knowledge to relative
>newcomers. So I should say, the bigger the RIPE meetings are, the better
>RIPE can fulfill its goals.

  From my point of view, the basic strength of RIPE is the fact that
  generally *those* people attend who are directly or indirectly
  responsible to do the real work at home. this is in contrast to some
  other bodies, where the selection criteria for attendance favour folks
  who have got enough spare time to perform the red-tape stuff...

>I hope the points mentioned above can be used to help the discussion
>about the goal and structure of RIPE along a little.

  Same for me,
  Wilfried Woeber                :  e-mail: Wilfried.Woeber@localhost
  Computer Center - ACOnet       :  
  Vienna University              :  Tel: +43 1 4065822 355
  Universitaetsstrasse 7         :  Fax: +43 1 4065822 170
  A-1010 Vienna, Austria, Europe :  NIC: WW144

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