What is EDCO?
EDCO is a grass-roots organization formed by a number of large organizations. It is formed to monitor protocol changes that affect large data centers at the IETF. IT IS NOT AN OFFICIAL PART OF THE IETF.
What does the IETF do?
The Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) creates the standards that are incorporated into products and operating systems that allow them to interoperate. These standards are known as RFCs. There are RFCs for TCP, UDP, TLS, IPSEC, MPLS and many other protocols.
How does that impact my organization?
When there are changes in the way a protocol works, it can dramatically impact the way you use, operate or diagnose problems on your network. The IETF standards are the core protocols which run the Internet and the TCP/IP Intranets run by large data centers.
Our current work is to work to fix the latest version of the TLS protocol. In its current state, the new version of TLS would mean potentially billions of dollars of spending required for new diagnostic methods and security monitoring, if it could be done at all.
Now, we want to monitor changes in other areas at the IETF on an ongoing basis so that there are no other surprises and so our voices are heard on the impact of protocol changes to our organizations.
What is EDCO planning to do?
We plan to collaborate with other large organizations. The IETF is organized into Working Groups which discuss and create the changes needed for protocols. There are over 100 Working Groups at the IETF. No one enterprise or organization can watch them all without spending a huge amount of resources.
Why should I go to the IETF?
Ignorance is not bliss. You can either get involved and help shape the direction of protocol changes or they will shape your strategic network direction. Some think that vendors or others will tell them what they need to know about protocol changes. The organizations that have banded together to form EDCO know to their regret that this is not so.
When you run a large, sophisticated data center, there is enormous complexity. The people who understand the most about how protocols and diagnostics work and who actually understand the impact of changes need to be the ones who attend the IETF. Only they will understand what a protocol change means to the operation of their network.