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  • By Praneet Kaur

Connection 2019 - Speaker Series: Fred Baker

I am sure most of you would have heard by now that IIESoc have been working behind the scenes for "Connections 2019" - a Pre-IETF 106 forum in Kolkata on 13-14 Novemeber 2019, to get protocol developers, academicians and network operators together on the same platform to discuss the latest problems facing the internet and the solutions relevant to them. This is being done with a focus on India and Indian contributions to the Internet.

The event consists of in-depth technical tracks on Internet of Things (IoT), Internet Security, Routing and Research.

We have star studded lineup of International and Indian speakers such as Fred Baker (former chair of IETF), Adrian farrel, Nalini Elkins, Prateep Mishra and many more.

This blog is part of the speaker series that introduces the various amazing speakers that are part of the event. We kick off with our keynote speaker Fred Baker. We are happy to have him again.


Bio: Fred Baker has worked in the telecommunications industry since 1978, building statistical multiplexers, terminal servers, bridges, and routers.

His principal standards contributions have been to the IETF, for which he served as IETF Chair in from 1996 to 2001. In that forum, he has contributed to Network Management, OSPF and Manet Routing, PPP and Frame Relay, the Integrated and Differentiated Services QoS architectures, and RSVP. He now chairs the IPv6 Operations (v6ops) Working Group.

Formerly, at Cisco Systems, his primary interest areas included the improvement of Quality of Service for best effort and real time traffic, the development of routing and addressing, and issues in law enforcement and emergency use of the Internet. In addition to product development, as a Cisco Fellow, he advised senior management of industry directions and appropriate corporate strategies.

He now also represents the Internet Systems Consortium in, and serves as chair of, the Root Server System Advisory Committee (RSSAC) in ICANN. This is another way to make the Internet work better, by providing a necessary service to the world at large.

Fred will be giving two very interesting talks -

Abstract for the First Talk: Internet History - A brief history of Internet time, from Licklider's thoughts about a way that a computer might answer any question someone might ask, through the development of packet switching and important applications like Electronic Mail and the World Wide Web, and discussing the Internet Architecture Board, the IETF, the IRTF, and the Internet Society. Going to my grandmother's house across town was interminable, but now I know and interact with people on every continent except Antarctica. Wow.

Abstract for the Second Talk: Internet & IETF Principles - How do we make good decisions about protocols and services? Mostly by having made bad decisions, and learning from our mistakes. We try to capture these learnings in pithy phrases. Let's discuss them.


We also asked Fred a few questions regarding his IETF contributions and involvement.

1. How did you get involved in the IETF? Was there a particular issue that led to your involvement? I was led to the IETF by a combination of things. Part of that was very specific customer demand that my company become involved, and part was a recognition (before the Internet was all that important) that it would be important for our customers. 2. What are some of the most interesting changes or impacts you have seen at the IETF? The Internet used to not work very well, and has become more akin to a utility. There have been many contributions to that, many of which were purely operational. But also technologies such as shortest path first routing, BGP policy routing, traffic engineering, network management, and others have come from vendors, operator organizations, and standards bodies. 3. What is your opinion on the importance of the IETF in the Internet eco-system? It would be inaccurate to say that the IETF was the only standards development organization involved. However, it remains the place where certain classes of technologies are discussed, created, and improved. 4. What technical / protocol changes do you see coming in the next few years? IPv6 deployment is an important one. Some data in that regard:

As of this instant, Google reports that 5% or more of the requests coming to it from 62 countries use IPv6. 16 of them are in Asia. Of the 62, 16 used IPv6 for more than 30% of their traffic, and five of those were in Asia as indicated here. You are in India.

APNIC's report on IPv6 from India is available here. The biggest single player is Reliance Jio, but they are far from the only player.

We are also starting to see hosting sites and datacenters that offer IPv6-only services. Mythic Beasts (a London area data center) has an interesting take, which was discussed at IETF 101 in London (see their talk in the proceedings of v6ops). They have to pay for IPv4 addresses, and get IPv6 address space for effectively free. So they charge accordingly. RFQs routinely ask for IPv4 address space and grudgingly accept IPv6 - which they don't plan to use. When the purchasing agent asks the engineer why they have to use address space they have to pay for when they have the option to not do so, the engineer often backs down - and as a result they have a number of IPv6-only customers. If you want to drive enterprise adoption, charge for IPv4 address space or bandwidth. Money gets a CIO's attention. I would also say that security and attacks have become a major issue. We saw that coming in the 1990's, and had a hard time getting vendors to pay attention. Now it's in the daily press, and an inter-governmental issue


Don't miss this opportunity to join us for the event. The tickets for the event are available at -

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