[alto] Status of ALTO

Martin Duke <martin.h.duke@gmail.com> Fri, 22 September 2023 16:50 UTC

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From: Martin Duke <martin.h.duke@gmail.com>
Date: Fri, 22 Sep 2023 09:49:56 -0700
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To: IETF ALTO <alto@ietf.org>
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Subject: [alto] Status of ALTO
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To the participants in ALTO:

I am proud of the achievements of this community in building the ALTO
protocol, and deploying it for new use cases after the initial use case
didn't work out. Nevertheless, after extensive consideration I have decided
to close the ALTO working group once the current deliverables have
stabilized. The IESG's area reorganization plan [1] ultimately does not
affect this decision, although I consulted with the OPS ADs.

Briefly, my assessment is that proposed new work items either do not fit in
any sensible boundary for ALTO, and/or are not ready for standardization at
this time. Furthermore, this group is a little small to produce robust
reviews, and would benefit from participation in a wider community.

The mailing list will remain open as a tool for ALTO practitioners. *I
encourage further work in ALTO both inside and outside the IETF/IRTF*.
Closing a working group in no way indicates that a technology is obsolete
or deprecated, merely that the group’s mission is complete.

There are several IETF and IRTF venues the community can consider for
additional work in this area:

OPSAWG <https://datatracker.ietf.org/wg/opsawg/about/> for minor
maintenance of the existing ALTO RFCs, and other one-off topics that don’t
fit elsewhere.

GROW <https://datatracker.ietf.org/wg/grow/about/> for aggregation of BGP
routing information. LSR <https://datatracker.ietf.org/wg/lsr/about/> or
RTGWG <https://datatracker.ietf.org/wg/rtgwg/about/> could work for other
protocols. TEAS <https://datatracker.ietf.org/wg/teas/about/> is also
chartered to work on collection of information for traffic engineering
purposes, which seems like a much bigger use case than ALTO.

CATS <https://datatracker.ietf.org/wg/cats/about/> for compute as a metric.

IPPM <https://datatracker.ietf.org/wg/ippm/about/> for
collection/aggregation of performance metrics like latency.

PANRG <https://datatracker.ietf.org/rg/panrg/about/> for research results
related to path awareness at the transport layer.

Notably, gathering topology data is an interesting problem but has
potential applications well beyond ALTO. If there is an explosion of work
on this subject, a BoF in the Routing or Ops area would be appropriate.
This BoF would ideally consider the ALTO use case, but also bring in
participants with related problems.

The ALTO community is also welcome to request a side meeting or hackathon
slot at future IETFs to further deployment and implementation of existing
standards and pioneer development of further extensions.

Thanks to everyone for their past, and ongoing, contributions to the

Martin Duke

Responsible AD

[1] https://mailarchive.ietf.org/arch/msg/ietf/qK_TwOiniQWxonzhkE5AQeK45mg/