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Re: Some thoughts on the "Restructuring of RIPE"

  • To: "W.Woeber, ACOnet/UniVie, +43 1 4065822 355" < >
  • From: Willem van der Scheun < >
  • Date: Wed, 11 May 1994 10:16:38 +0200


>   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
>   consensus"

Consensus (to be exact "rough consensus") is indeed what the IETF is
based upon. You gring to the table another point, that also came up in
the CIDRD working group at the last IETF and at the last IEPG meeting.
IETF, IEPG nor RIPE has any power to enforce things. The only way to
accomplish things that need to be done (apart from market power) is
voluntariness (is this English?), by the people that attend these
meetings and who understand (partly because they attend) the issues and
are willing to behave like good citizens and contribute to the well
being of the community.

> >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.

Agree. The scope of RIPE could (should?) be broader than IP. But a quite
strong interaction with IP is probably needed.

> >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.

This is very hard to formulate. I assume that the meaning of this
paragraph is more or less clear. I do not like the word "politician"
very much as it tends to have a negative meaning, at that is absolutely
not what I intended. But I also do not know how to rephrase this better.

> >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."

You are ofcourse right. And new challenges are a good thing, so we
should thank all who contributed to them :-)

> >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"...

In the "service provider" category I include Ebone, CEEnet and all other
cooperative structures. I absolutely had no intention to limit this to
PTT kind of things. Ofcourse every regional has to care about proper
coordination. Some things can however not be coordinated without the
involvement of european providers or can maybe only be done by the

> 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?

The bullets in each area are not meant as short term issues. The give
a list of subjects that could be dealt with inside an area.

> >- 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...

But then again an ISP could help in setting up an efficient Mbone
structure, so this also is a matter between regional/national networks
and ISP's.

> >  - 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...

Fully agree!

> >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.


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