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Taps Status Pages

Transport Services (Active WG)
Tsv Area: Zaheduzzaman Sarker, Martin Duke | 2014-Sep-23 —  

2021-03-22 charter

Transport Services (taps)


 Current Status: Active

     Aaron Falk <aaron.falk@gmail.com>
     Theresa Enghardt <ietf@tenghardt.net>

 Transport Area Directors:
     Martin Duke <martin.h.duke@gmail.com>
     Zaheduzzaman Sarker <Zaheduzzaman.Sarker@ericsson.com>

 Transport Area Advisor:
     Zaheduzzaman Sarker <Zaheduzzaman.Sarker@ericsson.com>

 Mailing Lists:
     General Discussion: taps@ietf.org
     To Subscribe:       https://www.ietf.org/mailman/listinfo/taps
     Archive:            https://mailarchive.ietf.org/arch/browse/taps/

Description of Working Group:

  Most Internet applications make use of the Transport Services
  provided by TCP (a reliable, in-order stream protocol) or UDP
  (an unreliable datagram protocol).   We use the term "Transport
  Service" to mean an end-to-end facility provided by the
  transport layer. That service can only be provided correctly if
  information is supplied from the application. The application may
  determine the information to be supplied at design time,
  compile time, or run time and may include guidance on whether
  the facility  in question is required or simply a preference by the
  application. Four examples of Transport Services are reliable
  delivery, ordered delivery of data, content privacy to in-path
  devices, and minimal latency.

  Transport protocols such as SCTP, DCCP, WebSockets, MPTCP, and
  UDP-Lite and the LEDBAT congestion control mechanism extend the
  set of available Transport Services beyond those provided to
  applications by TCP and UDP. For example, SCTP provides potentially
  faster reliable delivery for applications than TCP because it can
  accept blocks of data out of order, and LEDBAT provides low-priority
  "scavenger" communication.

  However, application programmers face difficulty when they use
  protocols other than TCP or UDP. Most network stacks ship with only
  TCP and UDP as transport protocols.  Many firewalls only pass TCP
  and UDP and some  only allow TCP  when it carries HTTP as its payload.
  As a result, using other transport protocols or building a new protocol
  over raw sockets risks having an application not work in many
  environments. Applications, therefore, must always be able to fall back
  to TCP or UDP, or even to using HTTP as a transport substrate in some
  cases, and once the application programmer has committed
  to making an application work on TCP or UDP or HTTP, there is little
  incentive to try other transport protocols before falling back.
  Further, different protocols can provide the same services in different
  ways. Layering decisions must also be made (for example, whether a
  protocol is used natively or tunneled through UDP).

  Because of these complications, programmers often resort to either
  using TCP or HTTP or implementing their own customized "transport
  services" over UDP. When application developers re-implement transport
  features already available elsewhere they open the door to problems
  that simply using TCP would have avoided and ensure that the
  applications can't benefit from other transport protocols as they
  become available. And, since even TCP and UDP are not guaranteed to
  work in all environments today, some programmers simply give up on
  using TCP or UDP directly, relying instead on "HTTP as a Substrate".
  BCP 56 identified many issues with this strategy, but assuming that
  if "any protocol is available on a given network path and on the hosts
  that will be communicating, that protocol will be HTTP" is a reasonable
  strategy for today's Internet. The IESG has agreed with this viewpoint
  enough to publish the WebSocket protocol on the standards track.

  The goal of the TAPS working group is to help application and network
  stack programmers by describing an (abstract) interface for applications
  to make use of Transport Services. The Working Group deliverables
  emphasize defining Transport Services that are important to applications
  followed by experimental mechanisms to a) determine if the protocols to
  provide the requested services are available on the end points and
  supported along the path in the network and b) fall back, i.e., select
  alternate, possibly less-preferred, protocols when desired protocols
  are not available. The Working Group will not define a richer set of
  Transport Services for applications, although the TAPS deliverables
  could inform proposals for future chartered work on Transport Services.

  The Working Group will:

  1) Define a set of Transport Services, identifying the
     services provided by existing IETF protocols and congestion
     control mechanisms. As a starting point, the working group will
     consider services used between two endpoints.

  2) Analyze, compare, and contrast properties and dependencies of
     selected IETF transport security protocols and other relevant
     security protocols as agreed upon by working group participants.
     Define a set of security-related Transport Services provided
     by such protocols. Engage with the Security area to solicit
     feedback and reviews on all relevant documents.

  3) Specify the subset of Transport Services, as identified
     in items 1 and 2, that end systems supporting TAPS will provide,
     and give guidance on choosing among available mechanisms and
     protocols. Note that not all the capabilities of IETF Transport
     protocols need to be exposed as Transport Services.

  4) Specify experimental support mechanisms to provide the Transport
     Services identified in work item 3. This document will explain
     how to select and engage an appropriate protocol and how to
     discover which protocols are available for the selected service
     between a given pair of end points. Further, it will provide a
     basis for incremental deployment. Work on this document will
     begin when the TAPS Transport Services have been specified.

  The following topics are out of scope for this Working Group:

  - Signaling-based Quality-of-Service (QoS) mechanisms

  - Definition of new encapsulations and tunneling mechanisms

  - Extension, modification, and creation of transport or
    security protocols

  - Language-specific APIs

Goals and Milestones:
  Sep 2021 - Submit document(s) to be published as Proposed Standard to the IESG specifying one or more methods to provide applications with the Transport Services identified by the WG
  Sep 2021 - Recharter or conclude.
  Done     - Submit an Informational document to the IESG recommending a minimal set of Transport Services that end systems should support
  Done     - Submit an Informational document defining a set of security-related Transport Services

All charter page changes, including changes to draft-list, rfc-list and milestones:

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