Network Working Group
Request for Comments: 4441
Category: Informational
B. Aboba, Ed.
Internet Architecture Board
March 2006

The IEEE 802/IETF Relationship

Status of This Memo

This memo provides information for the Internet community. It does not specify an Internet standard of any kind. Distribution of this memo is unlimited.

Copyright Notice

Copyright © The Internet Society (2006).


Since the late 1980s, IEEE 802 and IETF have cooperated in the development of Simple Network Management Protocol (SNMP) MIBs and Authentication, Authorization, and Accounting (AAA) applications. This document describes the policies and procedures that have developed in order to coordinate between the two organizations, as well as some of the relationship history.

Table of Contents

   1. Introduction ....................................................2
      1.1. Liaison Communications .....................................2
      1.2. Access to IEEE 802 Archives ................................3
      1.3. New Work Review ............................................3
      1.4. MIB Review .................................................4
      1.5. EAP Review .................................................4
      1.6. AAA Review .................................................5
      1.7. Document Review ............................................5
      1.8. EtherType Allocation .......................................6
   2. Security Considerations .........................................6
   3. Informative References ..........................................7
   4. Acknowledgements ...............................................12
   Appendix A.  Relationship History .................................13
      A.1.  MIB Development ..........................................13
      A.2.  AAA/EAP ..................................................16
   Appendix B.  IAB Members at the Time of This Writing ..............21

1. Introduction

Since the late 1980s, participants in IEEE 802 and the IETF have cooperated in the development of Management Information Bases (MIBs) and Authentication, Authorization, and Accounting (AAA) applications relating to IEEE standards. This has included the Bridge MIB [RFC1493] [RFC4188], the multicast filtering and VLAN extension MIB [RFC2674] [RFC4363], the Hub MIB [RFC2108], the Ethernet-like Interfaces MIB [RFC3635], the MAU MIB [RFC3636], the WAN Interfaces Sublayer MIB [RFC3637], the Power Ethernet MIB [RFC3621], IEEE 802.1X RADIUS usage guidelines [RFC3580], the revised Extensible Authentication Protocol (EAP) specification [RFC3748], RADIUS/EAP [RFC3579], and the EAP State Machine specification [RFC4137]. This document describes the policies and procedures that have been put in place to encourage cooperation between the IETF and IEEE 802. Details of the relationship history are included in Appendix A.

In order to improve communications between the IETF and IEEE 802, members of the Internet Engineering Steering Group (IESG) and Internet Architecture Board (IAB) (including Bert Wijnen, James Kempf, and Bernard Aboba) met with the IEEE 802 Executive Committee in Vancouver, Canada, in January 2004. At that meeting, a number of issues were discussed and new procedures were put in place.

1.1. Liaison Communications

IETF Working Groups are organized into areas, which have one or more Area Directors. The Area Directors, plus the IETF Chair, comprise the Internet Engineering Steering Group (IESG). IEEE 802 Working Groups have one or more Task Groups. The IEEE 802 Working Group Chairs, plus the IEEE 802 Chair, comprise the IEEE 802 Executive Committee (ExComm).

Participants in the IETF are appointed as liaisons to other organizations by the IAB or IESG as appropriate. This includes a liaison to IEEE 802 as well as liaisons to specific IEEE 802 Working Groups. The IETF liaison web page includes a list of IETF liaisons, as well as a pointer to the archive of liaison statements received by the IETF [Liaison-Page]. IETF processes for management of liaison relationships are described in [BCP102]; procedures for handling of incoming liaison statements are described in [BCP103]. In order to ensure that liaison statements from IEEE 802 to the IETF are archived and responded to, IEEE 802 liaisons to IETF should utilize the IETF liaison management tool to submit liaison communications. A username and password suitable for use with the tool can be obtained by sending mail to If a liaison management account is not available, liaison communications can be sent to the IETF liaison(s) to IEEE 802 and copied to

However, in this case substantially greater processing delays will occur due to the need for manual handling by the IETF Secretariat staff.

Liaison requests from the IETF to IEEE 802 should be sent to the Chair(s) of the IEEE 802 WG to which the request pertains, with a copy sent to the IEEE 802 Chair and the IEEE 802 liaison(s) to IETF. IEEE 802 procedures for communicating with other standards bodies are described in Section 14.1 of [Policy]. Liaison communications to IEEE 802 WGs are archived by the individual WGs.

1.2. Access to IEEE 802 Archives

Access to IEEE 802 standards more than six months old is provided free of charge on the IEEE 802 website via the Get IEEE 802 Program [GetIEEE-802]. Access to IEEE 802 work-in-progress has frequently arisen as an issue in cooperation between IETF and IEEE 802. While in the past IETF Working Groups (WGs) have successfully negotiated access to IEEE 802 work-in-progress, each instance has been handled separately and took significant time and effort to complete. In order to more easily enable document access for IETF WGs collaborating with IEEE 802, a liaison statement was sent to the IETF in July 2004 by Paul Nikolich, Chair of IEEE 802 [IEEE-802Liaison], describing the process by which IETF WGs can obtain access to IEEE 802 work-in-progress. IEEE 802 WG Chairs have the authority to grant membership in their WGs, and can use this authority to grant membership to an IETF WG chair upon request. The IETF WG chair will be provided with access to the username/password for the IEEE 802 WG archives, and is permitted to share that information with participants in the IETF WG. Since it is possible to participate in IETF without attending meetings, or even joining a mailing list, IETF WG chairs will provide the information to anyone who requests it. However, since IEEE 802 work-in-progress is copyrighted, incorporating material into IETF documents or posting the username/password on mailing lists or websites is not permitted.

1.3. New Work Review

In order to enable IEEE 802 review of proposed IETF WG charters, as well as to enable IETF review of proposed IEEE 802 Project Authorization Requests (PARs), the New Work mailing list is used. The IEEE 802 Executive Committee is subscribed to the list, so that it can receive proposed IETF WG Charters. Proposed IEEE 802 PARs are posted to the New Work list as well. Where a New Work announcement is of particular interest, it is also (manually) forwarded to the relevant IETF and IEEE 802 mailing lists.

However, by the time an IETF WG Charter or IEEE 802 PAR appears on New Work, a IETF BOF or IEEE 802 "Call for Interest" has already occurred, interest has been demonstrated and considerable work has gone into development of the Charter or PAR. If problems are found at that point, it is often too late in the process to make major changes. Therefore, where a potential work item is likely to be controversial, discussions between IETF and IEEE 802 are encouraged to occur earlier in the process.

1.4. MIB Review

With travel budgets under pressure, it has become increasingly difficult for companies to fund employees to attend both IEEE 802 and IETF meetings. As a result, an alternative is needed to past arrangements that involved chartering MIB work items within an IETF WG. In order to encourage wider review of MIBs developed by IEEE 802 WGs, it is recommended that Simple Network Management Protocol (SNMP) MIBs developed in IEEE 802 follow the MIB guidelines [RFC4181] and be reviewed as part of the IETF SNMP quality control process ('MIB Doctors'). An IEEE 802 group may request assignment of a 'MIB Doctor' to assist in a MIB review by contacting the IETF Operations and Management Area Director.

By standardizing IEEE 802 MIBs only within IEEE 802 while utilizing the SNMP quality control process, the IETF and IEEE 802 seek to ensure quality while decreasing overhead. A trial run of this process has taken place in IEEE 802.1 where a MIB Doctor (David Harrington) has agreed to review IEEE 802.1 MIBs. Currently, discussion is under way on how change control of selected IEEE 802.1 MIB documents published as RFCs can be transferred to IEEE 802.1 [MIB-TRANSFER].

1.5. EAP Review

Several IEEE 802 standards, including [IEEE-802.1X-2004], [IEEE-802.11i], and [IEEE-802.16e], depend on EAP [RFC3748] and EAP key management, described in [KEYFRAME]. Rather than developing their own EAP methods, or extensions for EAP key management, IEEE 802 working groups should send a liaison letter to the IETF, outlining the required functionality or requesting a review of draft text. Most recently, a security review of IEEE 802.16e D8 [EAPREVIEW] has been carried out by the EAP WG, at the request of the IEEE 802.16 Chair, Roger Marks [IEEE-802.16-Liaison1] [IEEE-802.16-Liaison2].

1.6. AAA Review

IEEE 802 WGs requiring new AAA applications should send a liaison request to the IETF. Where new attributes are required rather than a new application, an Internet-Draft can be submitted and review can be requested from AAA-related WGs such as the AAA or RADEXT WGs. For attributes of general utility, and particularly those useful in multiple potential applications, allocation from the IETF standard attribute space is preferred to creation of IEEE 802 Vendor-Specific Attributes (VSAs). As noted in [RFC3575]:

RADIUS defines a mechanism for Vendor-Specific extensions (Attribute 26) and the use of that should be encouraged instead of allocation of global attribute types, for functions specific only to one vendor's implementation of RADIUS, where no interoperability is deemed useful.

Where allocation of VSAs are required, it is recommended that IEEE 802 create a uniform format for all of IEEE 802, rather than having each IEEE 802 group create their own VSA format. The VSA format defined in [IEEE-802.11F] is inappropriate for this, since the Type field is only a single octet, allowing for only 255 attributes. Recently, the AAA Doctors list has been created within the IETF Operations and Management Area Directorate, serving a similar function to the MIB Doctors. While the AAA Doctors have not yet been called upon to assist with and review AAA work outside of the IETF, this group could potentially be of assistance to IEEE 802 working groups requiring help with AAA.

1.7. Document Review

With the areas of cooperation between IEEE 802 and IETF increasing, the document review process has extended beyond the traditional subjects of SNMP MIBs and AAA. For example, as part of the IETF CAPWAP WG charter, IEEE 802.11 was asked to review the CAPWAP Taxonomy Document [RFC4118]; Dorothy Stanley organized an ad hoc group for this purpose. IEEE 802.11 has also reviewed [IDSEL] and [IABLINK]. Within IETF, IEEE 802 comments are resolved using normal WG and IETF processes.

IETF participants can comment as part of the IEEE 802 ballot process, regardless of their voting status within IEEE 802. Comments must be composed in the format specified for the ballot, and submitted by the ballot deadline.

1.8. EtherType Allocation

The EtherType field is very limited, so that allocations are made solely on an "as needed" basis. For related uses, a single EtherType should be requested, with additional fields serving as sub-protocol identifiers, rather than applying for multiple EtherTypes. EtherType allocation policy is described in [TYPE-TUT].

While a fee is normally charged by IEEE 802 for the allocation of an EtherType, IEEE 802 will consider waiving the fee for allocations relating to an IETF standards track document, based on a request from the IESG.

2. Security Considerations

As IEEE 802 becomes increasingly involved in the specification of standards for link-layer security, experience has shown that it is helpful to obtain outside review of work-in-progress prior to publication. This has proven somewhat challenging since access to IEEE 802 work-in-progress documents is often tightly controlled. For example, special permission had to be obtained for IEEE 802.11i to be able to circulate a version of its security standard-in-progress for review. A liaison between an IEEE 802 group and an IETF WG can help in obtaining the necessary level of review.

Experience has also shown that IETF standards may not be written to the level of clarity required by the IEEE 802 standards process. In the case of EAP [RFC3748], the process of developing the EAP state machine specification [RFC4137] proved useful in uncovering aspects requiring clarification, and the joint review process exposed IEEE 802 and IETF documents-in-progress to wider review than might otherwise have been possible.

Similarly, the development of [IEEE-802.11i], [RFC3748], [KEYFRAME], and [RFC4017] led to a deeper understanding of the limitations and security vulnerabilities of the EAP/AAA system. As described in [Housley], it is not advisable to develop new AAA key management applications without completing a security analysis, such as the analysis provided in [KEYFRAME].

Due to weaknesses in the RADIUS specification [RFC2865], it is relatively easy for protocol extensions to introduce serious security vulnerabilities. As a result, IETF review of IEEE 802 RADIUS extensions is advisable, and the RADIUS IANA Considerations [RFC3575] have been revised so as to require such a review in most cases.

3. Informative References

   [BCP102]        Daigle, L. and Internet Architecture Board, "IAB
                   Processes for Management of IETF Liaison
                   Relationships", BCP 102, RFC 4052, April 2005.
   [BCP103]        Trowbridge, S., Bradner, S., and F. Baker,
                   "Procedures for Handling Liaison Statements to and
                   from the IETF", BCP 103, RFC 4053, April 2005.
   [EAPREVIEW]     EAP WG letter to Roger Marks, June 2005,
   [GetIEEE-802]   IEEE Standards Association Get IEEE 802 (R) Program,
   [IDSEL]         Adrangi, F., Lortz, V., Bari, F., and P. Eronen,
                   "Identity Selection Hints for the Extensible
                   Authentication Protocol (EAP)", RFC 4284, January
   [Housley]       Housley, R. and B. Aboba, "AAA Key Management", Work
                   in Progress, November 2005.
   [IABLINK]       Aboba, B., "Architectural Implications of Link
                   Indications", Work in Progress, August 2005.


                   IEEE 802.11 liaison letter to Harald Alvestrand,
                   February 2002,


                   Input To IETF EAP Working Group on Methods and Key
                   Strength, March 2003,
   [IEEE-802.11F]  Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers,
                   "IEEE Trial-Use Recommended Practice for Multi-Vendor
                   Access Point Interoperability via an Inter-Access
                   Point Protocol Across Distribution Systems Supporting
                   IEEE 802.11 Operation", IEEE 802.11F, June 2003 (now


                   IEEE 802 Liaison letter to Bert Wijnen and Bernard
                   Aboba, July 26, 2004,


                   Norseth, K., "Definitions for Port Access Control
                   (IEEE 802.1X) MIB", Work in Progress, November 2003.
   [IEEE-802.1X]   IEEE Standards for Local and Metropolitan Area
                   Networks: Port based Network Access Control, IEEE
                   P802.1X-2001, June 2001.


IEEE Standards for Local and Metropolitan Area Networks: Port based Network Access Control, IEEE P802.1X-2004, December 2004.

   [IEEE-802.1D]   ISO/IEC 15802-3 Information technology -
                   Telecommunications and information exchange between
                   systems - Local and metropolitan area networks -
                   Common specifications - Part 3: Media access Control
                   (MAC) Bridges, (also ANSI/IEEE Std 802.1D-1998),
   [IEEE-802.1Q]   IEEE Standards for Local and Metropolitan Area
                   Networks: Draft Standard for Virtual Bridged Local
                   Area Networks, P802.1Q, January 1998.
   [IEEE-802.3]    ISO/IEC 8802-3 Information technology -
                   Telecommunications and information exchange between
                   systems - Local and metropolitan area networks -
                   Common specifications - Part 3:  Carrier Sense
                   Multiple Access with Collision Detection (CSMA/CD)
                   Access Method and Physical Layer Specifications,
                   (also ANSI/IEEE Std 802.3- 1996), 1996.
   [IEEE-802.11]   Information technology - Telecommunications and
                   information exchange between systems - Local and
                   metropolitan area networks - Specific Requirements
                   Part 11:  Wireless LAN Medium Access Control (MAC)
                   and Physical Layer (PHY) Specifications, IEEE
                   P802.11-2003, 2003.
   [IEEE-802.11i]  IEEE Supplement to Standard for Telecommunications
                   and Information Exchange Between Systems - LAN/MAN
                   Specific Requirements - Part 11:  Wireless LAN Medium
                   Access Control (MAC) and Physical Layer (PHY)
                   Specifications:  Specification for Enhanced Security,
                   IEEE P802.11i, July 2004.
   [IEEE-802.16e]  IEEE Standard for Local and Metropolitan Area
                   Networks - Part 16:  Air Interface for Fixed and
                   Mobile Broadband Wireless Access Systems, Amendment
                   for Physical and Medium Access Control Layers for
                   Combined Fixed and Mobile Operation in Licensed
                   Bands, IEEE P802.16e, September 2005.


                   Liaison letter from IEEE 802.16 to Bernard Aboba,
                   March 17, 2005,


                   Liaison letter from IEEE 802.16 to Bernard Aboba, May
                   5, 2005,
   [KEYFRAME]      Aboba, B., Simon, D., Arkko, J., Eronen, P., and H.
                   Levkowetz, "Extensible Authentication Protocol (EAP)
                   Key Management Framework", Work in Progress, October
   [Liaison-Page]  IETF Liaison Activities,
   [MIB-TRANSFER]  Harrington, D., "Transferring MIB Work from IETF
                   Bridge WG to IEEE 802.1 WG",  Work in Progress,
                   October 2005.
   [Mishra]        Mishra, A. and W. Arbaugh, "An Initial Security
                   Analysis of the IEEE 802.1X Standard", Department of
                   Computer Science, University of Maryland College
                   Park, CS-TR-4328, February 2002.
   [Policy]        IEEE Project 802 LAN MAN Standards Committee (LMSC)
                   Policies and Procedures, September 14, 2005,
   [RFC1493]       Decker, E., Langille, P., Rijsinghani, A., and K.
                   McCloghrie, "Definitions of Managed Objects for
                   Bridges", RFC 1493, July 1993.
   [RFC2108]       de Graaf, K., Romascanu, D., McMaster, D., and K.
                   McCloghrie, "Definitions of Managed Objects for IEEE
                   802.3 Repeater Devices using SMIv2", RFC 2108,
                   February 1997.
   [RFC2284]       Blunk, L. and J. Vollbrecht, "PPP Extensible
                   Authentication Protocol (EAP)", RFC 2284, March 1998.
   [RFC2390]       Bradley, T., Brown, C., and A. Malis, "Inverse
                   Address Resolution Protocol", RFC 2390, September
   [RFC2674]       Bell, E., Smith, A., Langille, P., Rijhsinghani, A.,
                   and K. McCloghrie, "Definitions of Managed Objects
                   for Bridges with Traffic Classes, Multicast Filtering
                   and Virtual LAN Extensions", RFC 2674, August 1999.
   [RFC2865]       Rigney, C., Willens, S., Rubens, A., and W. Simpson,
                   "Remote Authentication Dial In User Service
                   (RADIUS)", RFC 2865, June 2000.
   [RFC2866]       Rigney, C., "RADIUS Accounting", RFC 2866, June 2000.
   [RFC2867]       Zorn, G., Aboba, B., and D. Mitton, "RADIUS
                   Accounting Modifications for Tunnel Protocol
                   Support", RFC 2867, June 2000.
   [RFC2868]       Zorn, G., Leifer, D., Rubens, A., Shriver, J.,
                   Holdrege, M., and I. Goyret, "RADIUS Attributes for
                   Tunnel Protocol Support", RFC 2868, June 2000.
   [RFC2869]       Rigney, C., Willats, W., and P. Calhoun, "RADIUS
                   Extensions", RFC 2869, June 2000.
   [RFC3162]       Aboba, B., Zorn, G., and D. Mitton, "RADIUS and
                   IPv6", RFC 3162, August 2001.
   [RFC3575]       Aboba, B., "IANA Considerations for RADIUS (Remote
                   Authentication Dial In User Service)", RFC 3575, July
   [RFC3579]       Aboba, B. and P. Calhoun, "RADIUS (Remote
                   Authentication Dial In User Service) Support For
                   Extensible Authentication Protocol (EAP)", RFC 3579,
                   September 2003.
   [RFC3580]       Congdon, P., Aboba, B., Smith, A., Zorn, G., and J.
                   Roese, "IEEE 802.1X Remote Authentication Dial In
                   User Service (RADIUS) Usage Guidelines", RFC 3580,
                   September 2003.
   [RFC3621]       Berger, A. and D. Romascanu, "Power Ethernet MIB",
                   RFC 3621, December 2003.
   [RFC3635]       Flick, J., "Definitions of Managed Objects for the
                   Ethernet-like Interface Types", RFC 3635, September
   [RFC3636]       Flick, J., "Definitions of Managed Objects for IEEE
                   802.3 Medium Attachment Units (MAUs)", RFC 3636,
                   September 2003.
   [RFC3637]       Heard, C.M., Ed., "Definitions of Managed Objects for
                   the Ethernet WAN Interface Sublayer", RFC 3637,
                   September 2003.
   [RFC3748]       Aboba, B., Blunk, L., Vollbrecht, J., Carlson, J.,
                   and H. Levkowetz, "Extensible Authentication Protocol
                   (EAP)", RFC 3748, June 2004.
   [RFC4017]       Stanley, D., Walker, J., and B. Aboba, "Extensible
                   Authentication Protocol (EAP) Method Requirements for
                   Wireless LANs", RFC 4017, March 2005.
   [RFC4118]       Yang, L., Zerfos, P., and E. Sadot, "Architecture
                   Taxonomy for Control and Provisioning of Wireless
                   Access Points (CAPWAP)", RFC 4118, June 2005.
   [RFC4137]       Vollbrecht, J., Eronen, P., Petroni, N., and Y. Ohba,
                   "State Machines for Extensible Authentication
                   Protocol (EAP) Peer and Authenticator", RFC 4137,
                   August 2005.
   [RFC4181]       Heard, C., Ed., "Guidelines for Authors and Reviewers
                   of MIB Documents", BCP 111, RFC 4181, September 2005.
   [RFC4188]       Norseth, K. and E. Bell, "Definitions of Managed
                   Objects for Bridges", RFC 4188, September 2005.
   [RFC4363]       Levi, D. and D. Harrington, "Definitions of Managed
                   Objects for Bridges with Traffic Classes, Multicast
                   Filtering, and Virtual LAN Extensions", RFC 4363,
                   January 2006.
   [TYPE-TUT]      IEEE Standards Association, "Use of the IEEE Assigned
                   EtherType Field with IEEE Std 802.3, 1998 Edition
                   Local and Metropolitan Area Networks",

4. Acknowledgements

The authors would like to acknowledge Les Bell, Dan Romascanu, Dave Harrington, Tony Jeffree, Fred Baker, Paul Congdon, Paul Langille, and C. M. Heard for contributions to this document.

Appendix A. Relationship History

A.1. MIB Development

A.1.1. Bridge MIB

The relationship between IETF and IEEE 802 began in the late 1980s with SNMP MIBs developed for the original IEEE 802.1D standard. Because the IEEE specification [IEEE-802.1D] contained only a functional definition of the counters and operations, the IETF's Bridge MIB WG took on the role of defining the Bridge MIB [RFC1493], which was published as an RFC. Fred Baker and later Keith McCloghrie served as chairs of the Bridge WG.

The Bridge MIB combined the work of Keith McCloghrie, Eric Decker, and Paul Langille, with spanning tree expertise provided by Anil Rijsinghani. Mick Seaman (author of 802.1D) and Floyd Backes (who had written the code for Digital Equipment's spanning tree implementation) were the main contacts within IEEE 802.1. Since Mick, Floyd, Anil, and Paul all worked for Digital Equipment Corporation at the time, much of the coordination between IEEE 802.1 and the Bridge MIB WG took place in the hallways at Digital, rather than within official channels.

A.1.2. MAU and Hub MIBs

In the early 1990s when IEEE 802.3 was completing the first Ethernet standards, SNMP was not yet the dominant network management protocol. As a result, a 'protocol independent' MIB is included in Clause 30 of the IEEE 802.3 standard [IEEE-802.3], which is updated each time the Ethernet standard is enhanced to support higher speeds. In parallel, IEEE 802 participants interested in network management were active in the formation of the IETF HUBMIB WG, which took on the task of transforming IEEE 802 definitions into SNMP MIBs documented as Standards Track RFCs. This included Dan Romascanu, Chair of the IETF HUBMIB WG since 1996.

The Charter of the HUBMIB WG explicitly mentions that the IEEE 802.3 standard is the starting point for the Ethernet MIB, but at the same time reserves the right to deviate from the IEEE model -- either to cover only part of the capabilities offered by the standard or to add MIB objects that are not directly derived from the IEEE model (mostly implemented in software). If management needs lead to requirements for hardware support, the IETF HUBMIB WG is to provide this input to IEEE 802.3 in a timely manner.

Cooperation between the IETF HUBMIB WG and IEEE 802.3 has continued for more than a decade until today, mostly based on the work of a few editors supported by their companies, who are taking the IEEE standards and mapping them into a management data model and MIBs. Work items include:

   - The Hub MIB [RFC2108], which has gone through three iterations,
     and is probably ending its evolution, as repeaters are less used
     in Ethernets.
   - The MAU MIB, which has been updated each time a new Ethernet speed
     is developed, with [RFC3636] accommodating 10-Gbps Ethernet.
   - The Ethernet-like Interfaces MIB was not originally a work item
     of the HUBMIB WG, but the WG took responsibility for a revision,
     published as [RFC3635].
   - The WAN Interface Sublayer MIB [RFC3637] and the Power Ethernet MIB
     [RFC3621] were developed in IEEE 802.3 and the IETF HUBMIB WG.

In 2000, an official liaison was established between IEEE 802.3 and the IETF HUBMIB WG, and Dan Romascanu was appointed IETF liaison. The conditions of the liaison agreement allows editors and other participants in the IETF HUBMIB WG access to work-in-progress drafts in IEEE 802.3 on a personal basis, for the purpose of working on MIBs before the release of the standard. However, the username and password for IEEE 802.3 document access are not for publication on any IETF website or mailing list.

A.1.3. 802.1p/Q MIB

In 1996 as the 802.1p and 802.1Q [IEEE-802.1Q] standards were being completed, a need was perceived for development of an SNMP MIB, based on the management clauses of those standards. IEEE 802 management clauses are written in a manner that was independent of any protocol that may be used to implement them.

At that time, there were a number of proprietary VLAN management MIBs that were both inadequate and difficult to understand. As a result, there was a need for a more comprehensive, simpler model for VLAN management, along with the priority and multicast filtering management also defined by these standards.

A small group of participants from the 802.1 WG began working on the problem independently, then combined their work. The original authors of the Bridge MIB, on which some of the work was based, reviewed the initial work.

By the end of 1997, the work was ready for review by a larger audience. Andrew Smith worked with Keith McCloghrie, chair of the Bridge MIB WG (dormant at the time), to obtain a meeting slot at the March 1998 IETF meeting. After this, review and development of the MIB continued on the IETF standards track.

During the development of [RFC2674], there was no official inter- working between the IETF Bridge MIB and IEEE 802.1 groups. Development of this MIB was successful, because the main developers (Andrew Smith and Les Bell) were involved in both the IEEE 802.1 and the IETF Bridge MIB WGs.

A.1.4. 802.3ad and 802.1X MIBs

As part of the IEEE 802.3ad and IEEE 802.1X standards work, it was decided that it would be better to develop a MIB as part of the standards, rather than wait until an IETF WG was formed, and develop the MIBs separately, so as to avoid a significant time lag in their development.

As Les Bell was the participant in IEEE 802.3ad and IEEE 802.1 most familiar with SNMP MIB development, he put together the initial MIBs based on the management framework the groups had come up with. Additional assistance was then received for both MIBs from within the IEEE 802.3ad and IEEE 802.1X groups. Tony Jeffree, editor of both standards, acted as editor of the MIBs as well.

The problem with IEEE 802 developing these MIBs without IETF involvement was the lack of review. IEEE 802 members are generally not familiar with MIBs, and very few comments were received as part of the balloting process for either MIB.

In the case of the IEEE 802.3ad MIB, this meant that basic errors were not discovered until just before publication. Unfortunately, by then it was too late, and the corrections submitted to the IEEE 802.3ad chair and document editor did not get applied to the published version.

Subsequent to the publication of [IEEE-802.1X], the IEEE 802.1X MIB was reviewed within the Bridge WG, and several syntax errors were found. These have been corrected in the version of the MIB module that was developed as part of [IEEE-802.1X-2004]. However, while [IEEE-802.1X-MIB] was originally published as a work in progress within the Bridge WG, there was not sufficient interest to complete its publication as an RFC. As a result, the draft has now expired.

A.1.5. 802.1t, 802.1u, 802.1v, and 802.1w MIBs

802.1t and 802.1u were minor amendments to the 802.1D and 802.1Q standards, requiring some additions to the MIB published in [RFC2674]. 802.1v was a new feature extending the VLAN classification schemes of 802.1Q, also requiring extensions to [RFC2674]. 802.1w was a new version of Spanning Tree, requiring rewriting of part of [RFC1493].

When Les Bell took on the role of Chair of the IETF Bridge MIB WG in 2001, these issues were raised as new work items and two volunteers were found to become editors of the Internet-Drafts. A work item was also included to publish the IEEE 802.1X MIB as an Informational RFC.

This approach worked well for a while, but it then became difficult for the participants, including the editors and the Chair, to sustain a level of interest sufficient to overcome the difficulties introduced by budget cutbacks. As a result, the drafts have now expired, although there are no significant technical issues outstanding.


Since the late 1990s, IEEE 802.1 has been involved in work relating to authentication and authorization [IEEE-802.1X], which led to discovery of issues in several IETF specifications, including [RFC2284] and [RFC2869]. Similarly, IETF participants have uncovered issues in early versions of the RADIUS usage specifications such as [RFC3580], as well as the IEEE 802.1X state machine [Mishra].

In order to address these issues and ensure synchronization between IEEE 802.1 and the IETF EAP and AAA WGs, a liaison arrangement was utilized during the development of [IEEE-802.1X] and [IEEE-802.1X-2004].

IEEE 802.11 groups such as IEEE 802.11i and IEEE 802.11F have also become dependent on EAP and AAA work. This relationship was more challenging since IEEE 802.11 required development of EAP methods and the EAP Key Management Framework, which represented substantial new IETF work, as opposed to the clarifications and updates required by IEEE 802.1.

A.2.1. IEEE 802.1X

IEEE 802.1X-2001 [IEEE-802.1X] defined the encapsulation of EAP [RFC2284] over IEEE 802, as well as a state machine for the joint operation of IEEE 802.1X and EAP.

   During the development of IEEE 802.1X-2001, several problems were
   discovered in the specification for RADIUS/EAP [RFC2869], and as a
   result, work was begun on a revision [RFC3579].  In addition,
   clarifications were required on how RADIUS attributes defined in
   [RFC2865], [RFC2866], [RFC2867], [RFC2868], [RFC2869], and [RFC3162]
   would be interpreted by IEEE 802.1X implementations.  To address
   this, a non-normative RADIUS usage appendix was added to
   [IEEE-802.1X], and published as [RFC3580].

Subsequent to the publication of [IEEE-802.1X], a formal analysis of the IEEE 802.1X state machine by the University of Maryland disclosed several security issues [Mishra]. Discussion within IEEE 802.1 pointed to lack of clarity in [RFC2284], which resulted from the absence of a specification for the EAP state machine specification.

At that time, EAP was handled within the IETF PPPEXT WG, which was largely inactive. In order to undertake work on a revised EAP specification as well as the specification of the EAP state machine, the IETF EAP WG was formed in July 2002. Bernard Aboba, a participant in IEEE 802.1 as well as PPPEXT, was named co-chair.

Work on the EAP state machine [RFC4137] and revised EAP specification [RFC3748] proceeded in parallel within the EAP WG, with issues or changes in one document requiring changes to the other document, as well as revisions to [IEEE-802.1X-2004]. The revised RADIUS/EAP specification [RFC3579] was also reviewed within the EAP WG, since at that time the RADEXT WG had not yet been formed.

The revision to IEEE 802.1X [IEEE-802.1X-2004] included the following:

- a revised RADIUS usage appendix based on [RFC3580] - clarifications based on [RFC3579]
- a revised IEEE 802.1X state machine, based on [RFC3748] and


Due to the deep dependencies between [IEEE-802.1X-2004], [RFC3748], and [RFC4137], a liaison was established between IEEE 802.1X-REV and the IETF EAP WG in August 2002. This enabled participants in the IETF EAP WG to obtain access to the IEEE 802.1X revision in progress.

IEEE 802 groups are duty bound to consider all comments received, regardless of their origin. This allows IETF participants to comment as part of the IEEE 802 ballot process, regardless of their voting status within IEEE 802. Where there is active cooperation, IETF WGs may be made aware that IEEE 802 ballots are occurring and that their comments are welcome. IEEE 802.1X-REV and IEEE 802.11i ballots were announced on the EAP WG mailing list, as are IEEE 802 interim meeting arrangements.

Similarly, during the IEEE 802.1X-REV ballot process, comments were received relating to [RFC3748], [RFC4137], and [RFC3579]. These comments were tracked on the EAP WG Issues List, and were subsequently addressed in the documents.

In April 2003, [RFC3580] was approved by the IESG for publication as an RFC, and in May 2003, [RFC3579] was approved for publication as an RFC. The review process for both drafts involved bringing the documents to IETF last call, and then reposting the IETF last-call announcement on the IEEE 802.1 mailing list. While ballot comments on IEEE 802.1X-REV were also reflected in changes to both documents, it was necessary for both documents to be approved for publication as RFCs well in advance of Sponsor Ballot, in order to ensure that RFC numbers would be assigned in time, so as to avoid delaying publication.

Overall, despite the complex inter-dependencies between [IEEE-802.1X-2004], [RFC3748], and [RFC4137], the documents were produced without undue delay. This was largely due to the work of joint participants in IEEE 802.1 and IETF EAP WG.

A.2.2. IEEE 802.11i

IEEE 802.11i was chartered to specify security enhancements to [IEEE-802.11]. Since [IEEE-802.11i] utilized IEEE 802.1X, it depended on [IEEE-802.1X-2004]. As a result, IEEE 802.11i and IEEE 802.1 held joint meetings at IEEE 802 plenaries and established a liaison arrangement that permitted members of either group (as well as EAP WG participants) access to IEEE 802.11i work-in-progress.

Since [IEEE-802.11i] depended on [IEEE-802.1X-2004], it inherited the dependencies of [IEEE-802.1X-2004], including work on EAP, EAP methods, and AAA support for EAP. In addition, since IEEE 802.11i utilized EAP for key management whereas [IEEE-802.1X] does not, additional security requirements arose with respect to EAP methods.

In February 2002, IEEE 802.11 sent a liaison letter to the IESG [IEEE-80211Liaison1] requesting additional work on EAP, EAP methods, and EAP key management. This letter was presented at the second EAP BOF at IETF 53, and was used as input to the EAP WG charter. In March 2003, another liaison letter was presented, providing further clarifications on requirements for EAP method work [IEEE-80211Liaison2]. This included a request from IEEE 802.11i for the EAP WG to consider changing the mandatory-to-implement EAP method within [RFC3748], so as to provide a method meeting the security requirements of IEEE 802.11i.

During IETF 56, the request for changing the mandatory-to-implement method was considered by the EAP WG. A recommendation was made by the Internet Area Director Erik Nordmark that the IEEE 802.11i requirements be documented in an RFC and that the EAP WG consider the security requirements for EAP methods in various situations. It was recommended not to change the mandatory-to-implement method, since the EAP WG was not chartered to do work on methods. However, it was decided to produce a document describing the EAP method requirements for WLAN usage. This document was subsequently published as [RFC4017].

Most recently, IEEE 802.11r has been involved in discussions relating to fast handoff, which may potentially require AAA extensions as well as changes to the EAP key hierarchy. However, the direction of this work has not yet been determined so that no liaison request has been formulated yet.

In April 2003, Dorothy Stanley was appointed liaison from IEEE 802.11 to the IETF, in order to help coordinate between IEEE 802.11 and IETF WGs, including AAA, BMWG, CAPWAP, and EAP.

A.2.3. IEEE 802.11F

IEEE 802.11F was chartered with development of a recommended practice for Inter-Access Point Communications. As part of development of an Inter-Access Point Protocol (IAPP), it was necessary to secure communications between the access points, as well as to support the reverse resolution of the MAC address of the previous access point to its IP address, so as to allow the two access points to communicate via IAPP. Since the two access points might not be on the same link, Inverse ARP [RFC2390] was not considered sufficient in all cases.

IEEE 802.11F elected to extend the RADIUS protocol [RFC2865] to provide inverse address resolution as well as IPsec key management. This was accomplished via use of Vendor-Specific Attributes (VSAs), as well as new RADIUS commands, added through definition of additional values for the RADIUS Service-Type attribute. As a result, IETF review was not required under the IANA considerations included in [RFC2865]. Subsequently, the RADIUS IANA considerations [RFC3575] were revised so as to require IETF review in most cases.

No liaison arrangement was developed between IEEE 802.11F and IETF WGs such as AAA WG or SEAMOBY WG, so as to allow IETF participants access to the IEEE 802.11F specifications prior to publication. Once IEEE 802.11F entered into Recirculation ballot, only comments relating to changes in the specification could be considered. As a result, issues raised relating to the IEEE 802.11F RADIUS extensions were rejected.

IEEE 802.11F was a Trial Use Recommended Practice. The IEEE 802 Executive Committee approved its withdrawal on November 18, 2005. As a result, the RADIUS parameters allocated for use by IEEE 802.11F are available to be reclaimed.

Appendix B. IAB Members at the Time of This Writing

Bernard Aboba
Loa Andersson
Brian Carpenter
Leslie Daigle
Patrik Falstrom
Bob Hinden
Kurtis Lindqvist
David Meyer
Pekka Nikander
Eric Rescorla
Pete Resnick
Jonathan Rosenberg
Lixia Zhang

Author's Address

   Bernard Aboba
   One Microsoft Way
   Redmond, WA  98052


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