Technical Tutorials

These topical sessions are intended to help participants to acquire the technical knowledge and skills to do their IETF jobs more effectively. The EDU Team recruits experts to teach on timely technical topics, and both the topics and presenters will change over time. Some examples of technical topics that have been presented include: XML2RFC Tutorial, DNS for Protocol Designers, Introduction to Security and Writing Security Considerations, How to Write an SNMP MIB.

  • Applying IP Flow Information Export (IPFIX) to Network Measurement and Management

Description: The IPFIX protocol was originally developed for the export of IP traffic flow information from routers for network accounting, monitoring, and security applications. Its simple data representation and extensible information model, however, make it well-suited to other application areas within the IETF. Recent cross-area work has considered applying IPFIX to application-level logging, application monitoring, and active performance measurement. Given these trends, it seems useful to educate the wider community on what IPFIX is, and what it is not.

The tutorial gives an overview of the architecture, design, and technical details of the protocol, including the data representation and the Information Element registry, illustrating how it is applied to its original goal of flow export from forwarding devices. It explores application areas to which it may be applied beyond this goal, by presenting examples of both existing applications and those under development, with a focus on past and present work within the IETF. Design considerations which limit the applicability of IPFIX will be discussed, as well; one goal of the tutorial is to help the community understand for which potential applications of the protocol make the most sense.

Attendees will learn about the history of the protocol, its present and future applicability to work in multiple areas of the IETF, and enough technical detail to give them a basis for further reading.

Last time presented: Berlin, Germany at IETF 87
Link to slides: IPFIX Tutorial

  • CBOR

    Description: CBOR extends the JSON data model with binary data and provides a compact, simple to process binary representation as well as extensibility. It can be used as a "binary JSON" or in place of re-inventing another TLV format for each new protocol. This tutorial provides a quick overview over CBOR, styles of designing with CBOR, and the CBOR data definition language (CDDL).

    Last time presented: Yokohama, Japan at IETF 94
    Link to slides: CBOR
    Link to IETF 94 Recording: CBOR

  • DNS for Programmers

    Description: This tutorial will cover DNS basics and how best to take advantage of DNS in other, higher level protocols.  We will cover in particular frequently discussed topics and rumors as well as design criteria to be used. Among the topics here are (in no particular order); New RR types & Unknown RR type support, DNS tree properties and non-properties, Additional-section processing rules, and Wildcards.

    Last time presented: Prague, Czech Republic at IETF 80
    Link to slides: DNS as Building Block in IETF Protocol Design

  • Emerging Work in IEEE 802

The IEEE 802 LAN/MAN Standards Committee develops and maintains networking standards and recommended practices for local, metropolitan, and other area networks. The scope of the IEEE 802 project includes Wired/Wireless LAN (Local Area Networks, like Ethernet and Wi-Fi), Wireless PAN (Personal Area Networks), Wireless MAN (Metropolitan Area Network), Wireless Coexistence, Media Independent Handover Services, and Wireless RAN (Regional Access Network).

This tutorial focuses on some emerging efforts in IEEE 802.1 on IEEE 802 Privacy and Addressing, which encompass multiple medium access technologies:

  • Privacy (IEEE P802E)
    The IEEE P802E project works on recommended practices for protocol developers to mitigate privacy threats, identified by a specified privacy threat model. The presentation will include a debrief about the Wi-Fi Privacy experiments carried out at the IEEE 802 and IETF meetings.
  • MAC Addressing (IEEE P802c and P802.1CQ)
    IEEE 802 MAC addressing will be covered including the Global and Local address spaces, as well as work underway on Local MAC address usage and on distribution of Local MAC addresses and Multicast MAC addresses.

Last time presented: Berlin, German at IETF 96
Link to slides: Emerging Work in IEEE 802
Link to Presentation: Emerging Work in IEEE 802

  • IEEE 802.1Q

    Description: This tutorial gives an overview of the capabilities of today’s 802.1Q protocol. It is much more than the spanning tree protocol and 4K VLANs.

    Last time presented: Orlando, Florida at IETF 86
    Link to slides: IEEE 802.1Q

  • IEEE 802 Wireless

    Description: The IEEE 802 LAN/MAN Standards Committee develops and maintains networking standards and recommended practices for local, metropolitan, and other area networks. The scope of the IEEE 802 project includes Wireless LAN (Local Area Network), Wireless PAN (Personal Area Network), Wireless MAN (Metropolitan Area Network), Wireless Coexistence, Media Independent Handover Services, and Wireless RAN (Regional Access Network).

    IP networks run in many environments on IEEE 802 wireless networks. This tutorial focuses on IEEE 802.11 Wireless LAN (Local Area Network) and IEEE 802.15 Wireless PAN (Personal Area Network) standards, presenting the latest developments in these areas as well as the areas of interaction with the work done in the IETF.

    Last time presented: Buenoes Aires, Argentina IETF 95
    Link to slides: Brief Introduction to 802.1 efforts of
    interest for wireless,
    IEEE P802.15, IEEE 802.11

  • Interdomain Routing

    Description: The Internet's routing architecture uses a division of the network into discrete routing domains, or Autonomous Systems. What is appropriate for a routing protocol to operate within a routing domain is somewhat different to the requirements for routing between these domains. This tutorial will look at Inter-Domain Routing (IDR) from the perspective of the IETF work in this area.

    The tutorial will cover the basics of routing protocol operation and look at the specification of the Border Gateway Protocol (BGP) and the various refinements that the IETF has made in recent times to this protocol, and some of the current burning issues in inter-domain routing. This is not a tutorial about how to deploy or operate BGP in your network!

    Last time presented: Stockholm, Sweden at IETF 75
    Link to slides: Interdomain Routing: 101

  • Internet Measurement and Monitoring

    Description: There are a number of WGs at the IETF that deal with measurements, e.g. IPPM, BMWG, LMAP and PMOL . This tutorials will discuss what these WGs are working on and which parts of the network they focus on. We will talk about underlying statistics and data models and the difference between passive and active measurements. We will also present a number of existing measurement tools such as RIPE Atlas and M-Lab. Parts of the workshop will be hands-on, so we can discuss some real life examples and benefits and implications for network engineers.

    Attendees should be familiar with TCP models and cross-layer network issues.

    Last time presented: Prague, Czech Republic at IETF 93
    Link to slides: Internet Measurement and Monitoring

  • Multipath TCP

    Description: The Transmission Control Protocol (TCP) is used by the vast majority of applications to transport their data reliably across the Internet and in the cloud. TCP was designed in the 1970s and has slowly evolved since then. Today's networks are multipath: mobile devices have multiple wireless interfaces, datacenters have many redundant paths between servers, and multihoming has become the norm for big server farms. Meanwhile, TCP is essentially a single-path protocol: when a TCP connection is established, the connection is bound to the IP addresses of the two communicating hosts and these cannot change. Multipath TCP (MPTCP) is a major modification to TCP that allows multiple paths to be used simultaneously by a single transport connection. Multipath TCP circumvents the issues mentioned above and several others that affect TCP. The IETF published the Multipath TCP RFC in January 2013 and an implementation in the Linux kernel is available today from

    This tutorial will present in details the design of Multipath TCP. We will start with a presentation of the current Internet landscape and explain how various types of middleboxes have influenced the design of Multipath TCP. Second we will describe the key design choices for the connection establishment and release procedures as well as the data transfer mechanisms. We will then discuss several use cases for the deployment of Multipath TCP including improving the performance of datacenters, mobile WiFi offloading on smartphones and IPv4/IPv6 coexistence.

    Last time presented: Berlin, Germany at IETF 87
    Link to slides: Multipath TCP

  • NAT Traversal

Description: This is a new tutorial and will cover the following topics: How do you design a protcol that will work well through NAT (NAT middlebox considerations)? What are the different kinds of NATs (symmetric NAT, cone NAT, etc.)? What tools are out there (STUN, TURN, others)? You do not have to be an expert in this area, this tutorial is targeted to all IETF participants.

Last time presented: Maastricht, Netherlands at IETF 78
Link to slides: NAT and NAT Traversal Tutorial

  • Network Configuration Management with NETCONF and YANG

Description: This tutorial will introduce configuration management requirements and will then give an overview of the NETCONF Protocol, the YANG Data Modeling Language and the IETF data configuration models.
It will also highlight relevant implementations, tools and deployments and end with some future directions. There will be plenty of time for questions and discussion. More information here.

Last time presented: Yokohama, Japan at IETF 94
Link to slides at IETF 94: NETCONF Slides, YANG Slides, pyang Slides
Link to slides at IETF 84: NETCONF and YANG
Link to IETF 94 Recording: NETCONF, YANG, pyang

  • Operations, Maintenance and Administration (OAM) Tutorial

Description: This tutorial presents an overview of various available network fault identification and network monitoring protocols (ping, traceroutes, MPLS-TP, BFD, TRILL, SNMP). We will discuss various OAM challenges (ECMP, Tunneling, Multicast) that modern networks present. Common networks faults and diagnose of such faults using the available tools are also discussed.

Last time presented: IETF 83 Paris, France
Link to slides: Operations, Administration, and Maintenance

  • PRECIS & i18n

Description: The Internet is spread all over the world, and users communicate each other in various languages over the Internet. Demand for using native language to represent one's identifiers as well as message contents are increasing. Therefore, protocols are recommended to have capability to accomodate various languages. Internationalization (I18N) is a common mechanism to use various languages in protocols. This tutorial explains I18N background in IETF and framework to internationalize strings in protocols.

Last time presented: Yokohama, Japan at IETF 94
Link to slides: PRECIS & i18n
Link to Recording: PRECIS & i18n

  • Routing, Bridging, Switching

Description: This tutorial shows how traditional layer 3 intradomain routing algorithms work, and explains why layer 2 forwarding ("bridging") was invented. We discuss the spanning tree algorithm, which forms the basis of modern Ethernet, and show its disadvantages. We also discuss why, despite its disadvantages, spanning tree Ethernet is still so popular. Then we discuss the new IETF standard, TRILL (TRansparent Interconnection of Lots of Links), and how it gives the best of both worlds; the ease of configuration of Ethernet, and the optimal path routing provided by layer 3.

Last time presented: Taipei, Taiwan at IETF 82
Link to slides: Routing, Bridging, Switching

  • Routing Design TradeOffs

Description: This tutorial looks at the concepts behind the "data moving" part of the network stack (layers 2 and 3). Rather than focusing on particular protocols in their entirety, we look at individual aspects in which different protocols might differ, and look at the technical tradeoffs.  For instance, should addresses be flat or hierarchical? Whould the forwarding decision be made based on a destination address or a "label"? What does it mean to move data at "layer 2" vs "layer 3"?  How can multiple paths be used while keeping packets for a flow in order? A switch looks at data in a packet, and consults a forwarding table in order to make a forwarding decision. How does the forwarding table get created? What are the tradeoffs between doing it with a distributed algorithm or a central fabric manager? Should table entries get created proactively, or when a flow starts?

Last time presented: Atlanta, GA at IETF 85

Link to Slides: Routing Design Tradeoffs

  • SDN & NFV OpenFlow and ForCES


1. The ideas behind the recent awaking of SDN
2. How an SDN is different from a conventional (routed) network
3. The components and interfaces of an SDN (SDN (whitebox) switch, SDN controller, SBI, NBI)
4. NFV
5. The southbound interfaces (OpenFlow, ForCES, ...)
     5.1 Zoom in on OpenFlow
     5.2 Zoom in on ForCES

Last time presented: Prague, Czech Republic
Link to slides: SDN

  • Security

Description: The Security Tutorial offers a quick introduction to this vast and sometimes confusing area. It describes what you need to know as a draft and rfc author. It is presented in a way that makes the field non-intimidating.

Last time presented: Vancouver, BC, Canada at IETF 84
Link to slides: Security
Download Recording: Security




  • Wireless Links; Properties, Challenges, Solutions, and Implications

Description: Wireless links have subtly different properties than wired links, and present special challenges in privacy, energy use, security, and packet loss. This tutorial will explain the concepts behind the design of wireless protocols, and the range of solutions, along with the implication that these properties have on other layers.

Last time presented: Yokohama, Japan at IETF 94
Link to slides: Wireless Links

  • Working with YANG Data Models

Description: At the IETF and in the industry in general, we observe a growing interest for configuration management with YANG modules. On Sunday afternoon, the YANG doctors will be available to provide advice on your YANG models. This session is not a tutorial on how to design YANG models and use NETCONF, but a place to get feedback on your data modeling questions, language usage questions, tools to use, etc...

Your homework for this session:
- make sure that your YANG models compile with "pyang --ietf".
- read the RFC 6087: Guidelines for Authors and Reviewers of YANG Data Model Documents
- follow the NETCONF/YANG IETF training (link to be posted soon)

Some more pointers:

Last time presented: Prague, Czech Republic
Link to slides: Working with YANG Data Models