Connections 2017 - a Pre-IETF forum
Indians have been contributing to the IETF for a while. In fact in the list of countries with most active drafts and RFCs, India ranks #10. Often some of us who are active at the IETF and regularly attend the IETF meetings physically, through the mailing list, or via remote participations, felt the need to have a common technical forum to get active participants together to spread awareness of standards and learn and contribute to them.
However as we know, the standards process, the terminology and the deep knowledge the community possess as well as the IETF culture can sometimes be overwhelming for first time attendees. Same goes for the prospective candidates who have good ideas and solutions but don’t know how to write a draft for discussion. There is a continuum of people along this curve.
Formation of IIESoc (India Internet Engineering Society)
We sought to address this first by forming a non-profit organization, so our efforts can outlive us as volunteers. It would also help to have a legal and financial entity as it would help us to raise sponsorship for the various events we do across India. So far we have active members across several cities of India and we work with ISOC chapters, governments institutions, academia and commercial organisations such as ISPs and product/service companies.
Annual flagship event - Connections 2017
One of the things we realised when we conducted these activities is that the IETF is large in scope so we need to address different areas. Also the volunteers for IIESoc are spread across different cities. We needed all of the current IETF contributors as well as prospective contributors to come together in one place so we can discuss our common areas of interest and exchange notes on how specific areas of interest are progressing. This also would allow people to find mentors and form longer associations and conversations can then continue over mailing lists and other mediums.
With this in mind we had 4 themes in which we had enough Indian contributors - Software-defined networking (SDN), Applications Layer Protocols, Security and Internet of Things (IoT). We had a host of International and Indian speakers many of whom have several RFCs to their name and are working on current drafts. Amongst the International speakers we had Fred Baker, Paul Wouters, Eliot Lear, Vishnu Pavan Beeram, Carsten Bormann, Nalini Elkins and more. Among the Indian speakers, we had Dhruv Dhody, Swetha Bhandari, Vinayak Hegde, Balaji Rajendran, Manav Bhatia, Rahul Jadhav, V Anil Kumar and more.
Connections 2017 Hackathon
Hackathon included interesting projects and demonstrations on IoT test bed simulations, Network Analytics, Intent based service function chaining and more. Hackathons emphasize the other side of IETF activities which is running code and interoperable software implementations.
We had a good turnout of about 140 attendees for the conference (8th November 2017) and 40 people for the hackathon (9th November 2017). Amongst the sponsors we had Infosys, Cisco, IPinfusion, ISOC Internet Society and Nivetti Systems.
In addition, we have been doing the following activities quite regularly
1. RFCs We Love - A one in two month event where we pick a few RFCs we like and discuss the nuances of implementations and the issues that the RFCs addresses and solves. We also have demos and implementations. You can see a couple of reports on some recent editions at
2. Webinars - We have just started this initiative where we get a guest speaker to talk about specific technologies of interest once a month. The talks are potsed on Youtube for the benefit of the larger community.