Thursday, June 22, 2006

syslog standardization brought to stop by patent claim

Hi folks,

long time no post, but now one is really due...

Let's wrap up: The IETF is trying to standardize and evolve the syslog protocol. Syslog is in wide-spread use for system and network monitoring, both in small and large-scale environments. Though widely used, it has never been standardized and is inherently insecure. The IETF syslog working group is trying to change this. During the work, a proposal for a (TLS) secured syslog protocol has been developed, a real group effort. This proposal reflects what already is done in practice (just google for "syslog ssl" and you see what I mean...).

Now, Huawei (the authors of the standard document belong to them) claims an undisclosed patent on this work. This in turn has lead to a standstil of the standardization effort plus a search for alternate, less efficient and more complex solutions to the problem.

The full story can be obtained from the working group's mailing list archive. It started with this message:
http://www.mail-archive.com/syslog%40lists.ietf.org/msg00593.html

The discussion can be followed by reading the top half posts on this page:
http://www.mail-archive.com/syslog%40lists.ietf.org/maillist.html

Two of my favourite rants in the discussion are these:
http://www.mail-archive.com/syslog%40lists.ietf.org/msg00657.html
http://www.mail-archive.com/syslog%40lists.ietf.org/msg00620.html

Isn't that cool? It is a nice example of how useful that current software patent system really is.

Happy legalizing,
Rainer

Wednesday, January 04, 2006

New syslog-protocol draft published

Yesterday I have finished the 16th version of the syslog-protocol internet draft and sent it to the IETF for publishing. It now addresses (almost?) all issues that were brought up in Vancouver and thereafter. In the mean time, the IETF has still made no final decision on the future of the syslog-sec WG. As Chris says, it is likely to stay and the new charter to be accepted. I just wonder if we finish that work until spring...