Rough Guide to IETF 101: Internet of Things
The Internet of Things (IoT) is an increasingly hot buzzword around the Internet industry and the broader technology and innovation business arenas. We are often asked what the IETF is doing in relation to IoT and in this short Rough Guide to IETF 101 post I’d like to highlight some of the relevant sessions scheduled during the upcoming IETF 101 meeting in London. Also check out the IETF Journal IoT Category, the IETF IoT page, the IETF IoT Directorate, the Internet Society’s IoT page, or the Online Trust Alliance IoT page for more details about many of these topics. See also this recent article in the IETF Journal: Internet of Things: Standards and Guidance from the IETF.
The IETF Hackathon, held the weekend preceding the main IETF meeting (17-18 March), will include at least four projects directly related to IoT, with the possibility of more being added. More information is on the Hackathon wiki.
- Firmware Updates for Internet of Things
- Semantic Interoperability (WISHI – Workshop on IoT Semantic/Hypermedia Interoperability) Test Event
- 6LoRITT: 6LoWPAN Interoperability Testing Sessions (plugtest) with the F-Interop Testing Platform
- Measuring leakage from IoT with a MITM (“man in the middle”) proxy
The Thing-to-Thing Research Group (T2TRG) investigates open research issues towards turning the IoT into reality. The research group will be meeting on Thursday afternoon in London to report out on their recent activities. Their summary meeting agenda is here. As in the past, full details and latest info can be found in GitHub. Of particular note is a recent update of a key ID: State-of-the-Art and Challenges for the Internet of Things Security. Following IETF 101, there will be a joint meeting with the T2TRG, the Open Connectivity Foundation (OCF), and W3C Web of Things (WoT) Working Group on March 23 in Prague.
There are two newly chartered IoT-related working groups meeting for the first time in London, which are tackling very serious problems. I am pleased to see these moving forward:
- Trusted Execution Environment Provisioning (TEEP), working on standardizing protocols for provisioning applications into secure areas of computer processors. They will be meeting on Tuesday afternoon in London. A key ID up for discussion:
- Software Updates for Internet of Things (SUIT), which is working on mechanisms for securely updating the firmware in IoT devices. Of note is a recent Liaison Statement from the ITU’s Telecommunication Standardization Sector (ITU-T) Study Group (SG) 17 (Security). 2 key IDs were recently revised – the manifest and the architecture documents:
The Constrained RESTful Environments (core) WG aims to extend the Web architecture to most constrained networks and embedded devices. This is one of the most active IoT working groups and they will be meeting twice in London, on Monday afternoon and Tuesday morning. They will be considering several Internet Drafts (IDs) including: CoAP Simple Congestion Control/Advanced, CoAP Management Interface, Uniform Resource Names for Device Identifiers, and Publish-Subscribe Broker for the Constrained Application Protocol (CoAP).
The IPv6 over Networks of Resource-constrained Nodes (6lo) WGfocuses on the work that facilitates IPv6 connectivity over constrained node networks with the characteristics of:
- limited power, memory and processing resources
- hard upper bounds on state, code space and processing cycles
- optimization of energy and network bandwidth usage
- lack of some layer 2 services like complete device connectivity and broadcast/multicast
They have some interesting work queued up, including discussion of a revision to RFC 6775 (Neighbor Discovery Optimization for IPv6 over Low-Power Wireless Personal Area Networks (6LoWPANs)). They will be meeting on Thursday afternoon in London.
The IPv6 over the TSCH mode of IEEE 802.15.4e (6tisch) WGwas chartered in 2014 to enable IPv6 for the Time-Slotted Channel Hopping (TSCH) mode that was recently added to IEEE 802.15.4 networks. The 6top Protocol (6P) ID was recently revised and is in IESG last call on its way to adoption – it enables distributed scheduling in 6TiSCH networks. Among the interesting things on their agenda is planning for the next F-Interop 6TiSCH Interoperability event. They are meeting on Wednesday afternoon in London.
The Home Networking (homenet) WG focuses on the evolving networking technology within and among relatively small “residential home” networks. For example, an obvious trend in home networking is the proliferation of networking technology in an increasingly broad range and number of devices. They will be meeting in London on Friday morning and discussing several interesting IDs.
The IPv6 over Low Power Wide-Area Networks (lpwan) WG will be meeting in London on Wednesday morning. Typical LPWANs provide low-rate connectivity to vast numbers of battery-powered devices over distances that may span tens of miles, using license-exempt bands. There is a recently-published LPWAN Overview. They have a very useful overview draft, recently revised.
The IP Wireless Access in Vehicular Environments (ipwave) WG has as its primary deliverable a specification for mechanisms to transmit IPv6 datagrams over IEEE 802.11-OCB mode. For more about this very timely topic, there is a recently updated ID: IP-based Vehicular Networking: Use Cases, Survey and Problem Statement. ipwave will meet on Monday morning in London.
The Authentication and Authorization for Constrained Environments (ace) WG,as its name suggests, is concerned with authentication and authorization mechanisms in constrained environments, where network nodes are limited in CPU, memory and power. This is a critical issue for IoT, for obvious reasons. The proposed standard is the subject of a recently-revised ID. ace will meet on Monday morning.
Routing for IoT is tackled by theRouting Over Low power and Lossy networks (roll) WG which focuses on routing protocols for constrained-node networks. They have 2 meetings in London: Thursday morning and Friday morning.
Finally, in addition to the new protocols and other mechanisms developed by IETF working groups, IoT developers often benefit from additional guidance for efficient implementation techniques and other considerations. The Lightweight Implementation Guidance (lwig) WGis developing such documents and they will meet in London on Wednesday afternoon. The IDs CoAP Implementation Guidance and Building Power-Efficient CoAP Devices for Cellular Networks are useful resources. lwig will be meeting in London on Wednesday afternoon.
I also want to (again) draw your attention to a very interesting (Standards Track) Internet Draft being discussed in the Operations and Management Area Working Group (opsawg) which seems to hold significant promise, and which appears to be gaining some serious traction: “Manufacturer Usage Description Specification“ (MUD). From the abstract: This memo specifies a component-based architecture for manufacturer usage descriptions (MUD). The goal of MUD is to provide a means for Things to signal to the network what sort of access and network functionality they require to properly function. The initial focus is on access control. Later work can delve into other aspects. The opsawg meeting will be held on Monday afternoon.
MUD also plays a significant role in the project – Mitigating IoT-Based Automated Distributed Threats – being developed by the US National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) National Cybersecurity Center of Excellence (NCCoE).
If you have an interest in how the IoT is developing and being standardized in the IETF, I hope to see you in person or online at some of these meetings during IETF 101. (Note that If you know you will be unable to travel to the meeting and would like to participate remotely, you must register as a remote participant. There is no fee to be a remote participant at an IETF meeting but registration is required. If you do not want to register, you may opt to listen to the live audio stream of the sessions instead.
Related Working Groups at IETF 101
Schedule and locations subject to change. Please refer to the online agenda to confirm.
** All times London Time: GMT **
core (Constrained RESTful Environments) WG
Monday, 19 March 2018, 13:30-15:30
Richmond/Chelsea/Tower Meeting Room
Tuesday, 20 March 2018, 09:30-12:00
Viscount meeting room
roll (Routing Over Low power and Lossy networks) WG
Thursday, 22 March 2018, 09:30-12:00
Park Suite Meeting Room
Friday, 23 March 2018, 09:30-12:00
Viscount meeting room
It will be a busy week in London, and whether you plan to be there or join remotely, there’s much to monitor. Read the full series of Rough Guide to IETF 101 posts, and follow us on the Internet Society blog, Twitter, or Facebook using #IETF101 to keep up with the latest news.