This document is presented for publication as an Informational RFC on the Independent Stream.
It provides an operator's perception of the benefits that may be provided by intermediary devices that execute functions beyond normal IP forwarding. Such intermediary devices are often called "middleboxes".
This work was originally discussed in the SPUD/PLUS effort at IETF-97 and then in the TSVarea at IETF-98.
Failing the generation of a working group effort, the authors wanted to record an operator's view of the functions of middleboxes.
Along the way, the document was reviewed by Gorry Fairhurst and by the ISE, and updated accordingly.