Internet Architecture Board (IAB)


Definition of Internet Architecture Board (IAB) in Network Encyclopedia.

What is Internet Architecture Board?

IAB stands for Internet Architecture Board is a technical advisory group for the Internet Society (ISOC). The Internet Architecture Board (IAB) oversees the evolution of Internet protocols and standards. It was established in 1983 and currently consists of 13 voting members, 6 of whom are nominated by the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) and approved by the ISOC. IAB members are part-time volunteers who provide the IETF community with advice and support.

Internet Architecture Board (IAB)
Internet Architecture Board (IAB)

The IAB’s functions include the following:

  • Overseeing the evolution of protocols for the architecture of the Internet
  • Overseeing the process for developing Internet standards and for managing and publishing the Request for Comments (RFC) series of standards documents
  • Providing guidance to the ISOC on technical and procedural matters relating to the Internet
  • Selecting and appointing the chair of the IETF and candidates for the Internet Engineering Steering Group (IESG) and the Internet Assigned Numbers Authority (IANA)

The Internet Architecture Board (IAB) convenes workshops of specialists, initiates and executes specific work programs, and writes documents that lead to comprehensive technical analyses of matters of interest. While its work may influence the industry broadly, the IAB does not operate from a grand-architecture blueprint of, or vision for, the Internet. Rather, the IAB’s efforts are guided by fundamental design principles – the Internet’s building blocks and their interactions – that make the global open Internet what it is. The IAB also helps connect different fields of expertise when this is needed to understand the full situation affecting the evolution of the Internet. For instance technology, policy and other considerations often impact each other.

The IAB is comprised of 13 members who serve as individuals, and not as representatives of any company, agency, or other organization. The IAB is chartered both as a committee of the IETF and an advisory body of the Internet Society. Further details about the IAB are documented in RFC 2850.

History of Internet Architecture Board

The origin of today’s IAB lies in the Internet Configuration Control Board (ICCB), which was created in 1979 by Vint Cerf, at that time program manager at DARPA, to advise him on technical issues. The ICCB was chaired by David Clark, MIT.

In September 1984, after the ICCB meeting held at RSRE in Malvern, UK, the ICCB was disbanded and replaced by the Internet Advisory Board (IAB). This change was initiated by Dave Clark and Barry Leiner, who had taken over management of the Internet research program at DARPA. The IAB consisted of the chairs of the newly-formed research task forces and Jon Postel (ISI), as RFC editor and “protocol czar”. The first set of chairs of the task forces were the members of the ICCB.

In 1984, there were 10 Research Task Forces [Braden 1998]:

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