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RARE and RIPE - corrections

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  • From: (Rob Blokzijl)
  • Date: Wed, 16 Sep 92 15:43:55 +0200
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Here follow my comments on the RARE paper concerning RARE - RIPE/RIPE NCC
relationship. In this message I comment on remarks in the paper that contain
accusations and insinuations directed towards people and organisations.

Comments on facts and policy are sent in separate messages.

These comments are my own, they do not represent necessarily RIPE's opinion.

Rob Blokzijl

 * COA (92)080
 * T.Kalin
 * 24.8.92
 * 			RARE and RIPE / RIPE - NCC

 * 2.  RIPE and RIPE NCC
 *  The reporting scheme as defined in Innsbruck CoA:
 *     RIPE, on behalf of RARE, defines the tasks and functions of the NCC
 *     the NCC reports to RIPE on operational matters
 *     the NCC reports to RARE on the organisational matters
 *     RIPE, on behalf of RARE, regularly reviews the operations of the NCC
 *     RIPE copies its definitions of NCC tasks and functions to RTC
 *     NCC copies all its reports on operational matters to RTC
 *     RIPE reports its findings on the operations of the NCC to RTC
 * As far as the execution of the above reporting scheme is concerned, some
 * unfortunate blunders occurred, giving rise to strong reactions from some of
 * the CoA members.

I don't see what this remark is doing in a document that describes the REC's
view on the relationship between organisations. Regardless of wether the
remark above can be substantiated or not, this is not the place to put such a

As chairman of RIPE I can vouch that the reporting from the RIPE NCC to RIPE,
as defined above, has been excellent. 

Mudslinging should not be our style. It certainly is not RIPE's style.

 * As noted before, RARE members presently finance the RIPE NCC. It seems that
 * the commercial networks participating in RIPE work do not regard their
 * direct financial contribution vital for the operation of NCC. This does of
 * course not reduce the value of enormous efforts that some of them have
 * invested in the RIPE work and to the success of EBONE.

Fundraising for the RIPE NCC is handled by the treasurer of RARE (Paul Van
Binst). A RARE CoA decision says that the treasurer should do this together
with the chairman of RIPE. However, despite several tries from the RIPE
chairman, this has never been the case.

I do know (as we all do) that the RARE member organisations were asked to
take care of the funding of the RIPE NCC. This has resulted in the current
situation where the RARE Full National Members, together with EARN, Israel
and EUnet fund the first 12 months of operation of the RIPE NCC. We are all
grateful for that. It is worthwhile noting that the single largest
contribution is provided by EARN.

I do not know wether any other organisation has been invited in any serious
way to participate in the funding of the RIPE NCC, in particular any
commercial organisation. Anybody else knows?

 * Unfortunately, there is very little  interaction between technical bodies
 * of RIPE and Working Groups defined by RTC and approved by CoA, aside from
 * the fact that both groups are drawing from the same pool of European
 * experts, and therefore many experts participate in both, RIPE and RARE
 * Working Groups. The first attempt to consolidate and cross fertilise the
 * efforts, is the proposal by RTC to send a delegation to RIPE meeting in
 * September, with the task to report on the new  organisation of the
 * technical work in RARE and to examine possibilities for closer cooperation
 * in the interest of the European user community. RIPE chairman R. Blokzijl 
 * fully supported this proposal.

"Unfortunately, there is very little  interaction between ... ": my foot!

   - the RIPE technical groups are well established, and have been in
     operation for nearly three years now.
   - a first draft of a new RARE Technical Programme (RTP) was only discussed
     in the CoA in May this year. 
   - RIPE has not been involved in designing the RTP in any way, despite
     several offers to RARE

Luckily, the second half of the above (RARE) paragraph corrects the first half.


[ Here is all the EMPB stuff ]

 * The crux for the success of the task at hand  is in the last point. 
 * It is the responsibility of RARE community on one side and  RIPE community,
 * particularly RIPE chairman, on the other side, not to miss this unique
 * opportunity to make an important step toward harmonisation of European
 * networking efforts. One has to appreciate that some of the boundary
 * conditions in provision of the above scenario are of political nature and
 * can not be modified without  danger for the whole exercise. In view of this
 * one should not start to dig new ditches, but to get all accessible IP
 * expertise to work on the solutions necessary to make the services of the
 * multiprotocol backbone available. Nobody can gain from endless discussions
 * on the merits of one or another technique.

It is nice to notice that the RIPE chairman has more responsibilities then
the RARE president :-)
   (from the RARE side the community is mentioned, from the RIPE side the
   community AND the chairman)

   - RIPE has taken its resposibility some time ago already, by way of
     requesting RARE/EMPB repeatedly for the relevant technical documents,
     for distribution within RIPE. This would enable RIPE to do its work
   - so far nothing has been received, but EMPB is on the agenda for the 
     next RIPE meeting, and EMPB experts have been invited
   - "dig new ditches", " Nobody can gain from endless discussions on the
      merits of one or another technique." My Oh My, sigh! RIPE is NOT
      digging new ditches; RIPE is NOT in the habit of having endless
      discussions. RIPE is concerned with IP; one of the beauties of IP is
      that it can be carried in many different ways.

   Btw: will the party that is digging new ditches please not forget to 
	pull fibers for high speed networking? Thank you!

 * Said that, it is easy to project the roles and the positions of RIPE in
 * RIPE NCC within a possible future scenario:
 * RIPE:
 *    RIPE should stay a technical IP coordinating body within RARE, but 
 * having much more interaction with the RARE management, technical and
 * executive bodies (CoA, RTC, REC, Raresec) than in the past

Excuse me:
   - for all RIPE meetings, the above mentioned RARE bodies have been
     invited. The response has been extremely small 
   - at all RARE CoA meetings the RIPE chairman has given an extensive
     progress report on the work of RIPE. Correction: at the last CoA meeting
     the RARE president decided that this was no longer useful at a CoA
   - the RIPE chairman, and lately the RIPE NCC manager, have always
     communicated and suggested to the REC that they be invited whenever
     the agenda of REC meetings contained items concerning RIPE and IP in
     general. They have never been invited.
   - as concerns the RTC: see my remarks above.
   - RARE secretariat: the RIPE chairman has requested at several occasions
     (RARE CoA meetings) for secretarial support for RIPE. No result.
     (Beware: I am fully aware, and I highly appreciate, the excellent
     support and co-operation shown by the RARE secretariat for the RIPE
     AT present, the RIPE NCC gives this kind of support to RIPE, and they do
     a great job.

So, what is the problem?

 *    according to its charter, RIPE should be serving wider population than
 * RARE membership

Excuse me:
   - RARE has some 30 member organisations
   - RIPE has some 60 participating organisations

 *    RIPE should  support establishment and utilisation of the EMPB,
 * particulary in the pilot phase, where the its expertise is crucially needed

See above: the EMPB should make this possible.

Btw, the order should be reversed: if the EMPB wants to be a success within
the complicated arrangement of IP networking in Europe, they better
participate in the work of RIPE.

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