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RE: why i should like pibs
Let me post to these lists a similar statement as I made in the
RAP WG meeting at this 53rd IETF, so that everyone has the same
info. Here we go. I would prefer to have andy reactions (if any)
posted to just one mailing list (the RAP wg mailing list).
When the WG completed WG Last Call and reached consensus on
the FRAMEWORK PIB, the WG chairs asked me (the primary AD
for the WG) to consider this document for Proposed Standard.
Normally I then review and ask for IETF wide Last Call and
if no valid objections are received, then I put the document
on the IESG agenda for approval.
My current evaluation however for this document at this time
is as follows:
- If we look at the NM related activities, then we can see
that for SNMP/MIBs, the majority of work/time/effort is
spent in the MIB development. It also touches on virtually
all WGs. Same will be true for COPS-PR/PIBs if we start to
put PIBs on the standareds track.
This could be a VERY BIG thing. In SNMP, the real investment
is in MIBs. This is true for MIB design (IETF), for vendor
implementation effort, and for user deployment. If IETF
working groups start to develop PIBs they would be faced
with significant extra, and in many cases, redundant effort
- We have accepted COPS and COPS-PR 2-3 years ago as PS.
That was the start of a duplicate approach, which only
provides marginal improvement in some areas, and possibly
a negative effect in some other areas.
- We have also accepted SPPI as a duplicate approach, again
with only marginal improvement. It allows to define PIBs,
most of which I think can also be done with MIBs or
better/different MIB design.
- Note that PIBs are basically intended for configuring
network devices and services.
- Two years back, the ADs and Diffserv WG chairs agreed to do
a MIB and a PIB for standards track. And we agreed with the
RAP WG to develop a set of base PIBs for standards track.
- Meanwhile, we have seen:
- Some key players withdrew from COPS and PIBs approach
They claim there is no market, and with reduced budgets
there is no place to just do multiple solutions to same
- In most cases, PIB development is done by different people
than MIB development, if we're lucky they talk to each other.
- WGs in general have very little interest in MIBs or in PIBs,
let alone both.
- Operators (ISPs) tell us they do not see much use for binary
interfaces (be it SNMP/MIBs or COPS-PR/PIBs or other) to
configure their network devices/services. The reality is that
they use (and expect to have to continue to use) ASCII based
CLI-type interfaces (Maybe ASCII should read human readable)
- We have started an effort to try and consolidate SMI and SPPI
We may want to await the results before we invest in the
standardization of PIBs.
- The NM community in the IETF (lots of SNMP folk, but COPS,
Policy WG and Operators are participating too) are trying to
come up with some vision/framework to address Operator (ISP)
concerns. Discussions is only in beginning stages and not any
IETF sanctioned status yet.
- IAB is planning a NM Architecture Workshop this summer (as
announced at the IAB plenary on Wednesday March 20th)
- We (the IETF/IESG) are to decide on the first IETF produced PIBs.
If we approve them as standards track, then:
- I suspect we will find a lot of duplicate work, i.e. MIBs and
PIBs, to be designed, tested, handled-for-stds-track approval
- Vendors and users may be faced with the big duplicate investment.
They can opt to not do so, but of course the more PIBs we approve
as stds track, the more the pressure will be put on them.
- We are telling the market that we cannot decide and let them do it.
Maybe this is OK. But not in my mind, I do not think we do the
IETF community or the world a favor by approving this duplicate
As a result, I cannot propose to the ISG to approve the FRMAEWORK-PIB
(or any PIBs for that matter) on the standards track at this point
in time. I strongly recommend to publish them as Informational for
now. We can revisit this after we get some better architectural
guidelines/help from the current actitivities that are taking
place in informal gatherings and the upcoming IAB NM Workshop.
I understand that this is sort of "breaking the contract" with
the RAP WG on my part. But the situation has changed quite a bit
from 2 years ago when we started down this path (agreed on the WG