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RFC 7746

Proposed STD
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Label Switched Path (LSP) Self-Ping

 


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Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF)                         R. Bonica
Request for Comments: 7746                              Juniper Networks
Category: Standards Track                                       I. Minei
ISSN: 2070-1721                                             Google, Inc.
                                                                 M. Conn
                                                              D. Pacella
                                                             L. Tomotaki
                                                                 Verizon
                                                            January 2016


                  Label Switched Path (LSP) Self-Ping

Abstract

   When certain RSVP-TE optimizations are implemented, ingress Label
   Switching Router (LSRs) can receive RSVP RESV messages before
   forwarding state has been installed on all downstream nodes.
   According to the RSVP-TE specification, the ingress LSR can forward
   traffic through a Label Switched Path (LSP) as soon as it receives a
   RESV message.  However, if the ingress LSR forwards traffic through
   the LSP before forwarding state has been installed on all downstream
   nodes, traffic can be lost.

   This document describes LSP Self-ping.  When an ingress LSR receives
   an RESV message, it can invoke LSP Self-ping procedures to ensure
   that forwarding state has been installed on all downstream nodes.

   LSP Self-ping is a new protocol.  It is not an extension of LSP Ping.
   Although LSP Ping and LSP Self-ping are named similarly, each is
   designed for a unique purpose.  Each protocol listens on its own UDP
   port and executes its own procedures.

   LSP Self-ping is an extremely lightweight mechanism.  It does not
   consume control-plane resources on transit or egress LSRs.

Page 2 
Status of This Memo

   This is an Internet Standards Track document.

   This document is a product of the Internet Engineering Task Force
   (IETF).  It represents the consensus of the IETF community.  It has
   received public review and has been approved for publication by the
   Internet Engineering Steering Group (IESG).  Further information on
   Internet Standards is available in Section 2 of RFC 5741.
   Information about the current status of this document, any errata,
   and how to provide feedback on it may be obtained at
   http://www.rfc-editor.org/info/rfc7746.

Copyright Notice

   Copyright (c) 2016 IETF Trust and the persons identified as the
   document authors.  All rights reserved.

   This document is subject to BCP 78 and the IETF Trust's Legal
   Provisions Relating to IETF Documents
   (http://trustee.ietf.org/license-info) in effect on the date of
   publication of this document.  Please review these documents
   carefully, as they describe your rights and restrictions with respect
   to this document.  Code Components extracted from this document must
   include Simplified BSD License text as described in Section 4.e of
   the Trust Legal Provisions and are provided without warranty as
   described in the Simplified BSD License.

Table of Contents

   1.  Introduction  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   3
     1.1.  Requirements Language . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   4
   2.  Applicability . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   4
   3.  The LSP Self-ping Message . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   6
   4.  LSP Self-Ping Procedures  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   7
   5.  Bidirectional LSP Procedures  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   8
   6.  IANA Considerations . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   9
   7.  Security Considerations . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   9
   8.  References  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   9
     8.1.  Normative References  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   9
     8.2.  Informative References  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  10
   Appendix A.  Rejected Approaches  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  11
   Acknowledgements  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  11
   Contributors  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  12
   Authors' Addresses  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  12

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1.  Introduction

   Ingress Label Switching Routers (LSRs) use RSVP-TE [RFC3209] to
   establish MPLS Label Switched Paths (LSPs).  The following paragraphs
   describe RSVP-TE procedures.

   The ingress LSR calculates a path between itself and an egress LSR.
   The calculated path can be either strictly or loosely routed.  Having
   calculated a path, the ingress LSR constructs an RSVP PATH message.
   The PATH message includes an Explicit Route Object (ERO) that
   represents the path between the ingress and egress LSRs.

   The ingress LSR forwards the PATH message towards the egress LSR,
   following the path defined by the ERO.  Each transit LSR that
   receives the PATH message executes admission control procedures.  If
   the transit LSR admits the LSP, it sends the PATH message downstream,
   to the next node in the ERO.

   When the egress LSR receives the PATH message, it binds a label to
   the LSP.  The label can be implicit null, explicit null, or non-null.
   The egress LSR then installs forwarding state (if necessary) and
   constructs an RSVP RESV message.  The RESV message contains a Label
   Object that includes the label that has been bound to the LSP.

   The egress LSR sends the RESV message upstream towards the ingress
   LSR.  The RESV message visits the same transit LSRs that the PATH
   message visited, in reverse order.  Each transit LSR binds a label to
   the LSP, updates its forwarding state, and updates the RESV message.
   As a result, the Label Object in the RESV message contains the label
   that has been bound to the LSP most recently.  Finally, the transit
   LSR sends the RESV message upstream, along the reverse path of the
   LSP.

   When the ingress LSR receives the RESV message, it installs
   forwarding state.  Once the ingress LSR installs forwarding state, it
   can forward traffic through the LSP.

   Referring to any LSR, RFC 3209 says, "The node SHOULD be prepared to
   forward packets carrying the assigned label prior to sending the Resv
   message."  However, RFC 3209 does not strictly require this behavior.

   Some implementations optimize the above-described procedure by
   allowing LSRs to send RESV messages before installing forwarding
   state [RFC6383].  This optimization is desirable, because it allows
   LSRs to install forwarding state in parallel, thus accelerating the
   process of LSP signaling and setup.  However, this optimization
   creates a race condition.  When the ingress LSR receives a RESV
   message, some downstream LSRs may have not yet installed forwarding

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   state.  If the ingress LSR forwards traffic through the LSP before
   forwarding state has been installed on all downstream nodes, traffic
   can be lost.

   This document describes LSP Self-ping.  When an ingress LSR receives
   an RESV message, it can invoke LSP Self-ping procedures to verify
   that forwarding state has been installed on all downstream nodes.  By
   verifying the installation of downstream forwarding state, the
   ingress LSR eliminates this particular cause of traffic loss.

   LSP Self-ping is a new protocol.  It is not an extension of LSP Ping
   [RFC4379].  Although LSP Ping and LSP Self-ping are named similarly,
   each is designed for a unique purpose.  Each protocol listens on its
   own UDP port and executes its own procedures.

   LSP Self-ping is an extremely lightweight mechanism.  It does not
   consume control-plane resources on transit or egress LSRs.

1.1.  Requirements Language

   The key words "MUST", "MUST NOT", "REQUIRED", "SHALL", "SHALL NOT",
   "SHOULD", "SHOULD NOT", "RECOMMENDED", "MAY", and "OPTIONAL" in this
   document are to be interpreted as described in [RFC2119].

2.  Applicability

   LSP Self-ping is applicable in the following scenario:

   o  The ingress LSR signals a point-to-point LSP.

   o  The ingress LSR receives a RESV message.

   o  The RESV message indicates that all downstream nodes have begun
      the process of forwarding state installation.

   o  The RESV message does not guarantee that all downstream nodes have
      completed the process of forwarding state installation.

   o  The ingress LSR needs to confirm that all downstream nodes have
      completed the process for forwarding state installation.

   o  The ingress LSR does not need to confirm the correctness of
      downstream forwarding state, because there is a very high
      likelihood that downstream forwarding state is correct.

   o  Control-plane resources on the egress LSR may be scarce.

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   o  The need to conserve control-plane resources on the egress LSR
      outweighs the need to determine whether downstream forwarding
      state is correct.

   Unlike LSP Ping and S-BFD [S-BFD], LSP Self-ping is not a general-
   purpose MPLS OAM mechanism.  It cannot reliably determine whether
   downstream forwarding state is correct.  For example, if a downstream
   LSR installs a forwarding state that causes an LSP to terminate at
   the wrong node, LSP Self-ping will not detect an error.  In another
   example, if a downstream LSR erroneously forwards a packet without an
   MPLS label, LSP Self-ping will not detect an error.

   Furthermore, LSP Self-ping fails when either of the following
   conditions are true:

   o  The LSP under test is signaled by the Label Distribution Protocol
      (LDP) Independent Mode [RFC5036].

   o  Reverse Path Forwarding (RPF) [RFC3704] filters are enabled on
      links that connect the ingress LSR to the egress LSR.

   While LSP Ping and S-BFD are general-purpose OAM mechanisms, they are
   not applicable in the above-described scenario because:

   o  LSP Ping consumes control-plane resources on the egress LSR.

   o  An S-BFD implementation either consumes control-plane resources on
      the egress LSR or requires special support for S-BFD on the
      forwarding plane.

   By contrast, LSP Self-ping requires nothing from the egress LSR
   beyond the ability to forward an IP datagram.

   LSP Self-ping's purpose is to determine whether forwarding state has
   been installed on all downstream LSRs.  Its primary constraint is to
   minimize its impact on egress LSR performance.  This functionality is
   valuable during network convergence events that impact a large number
   of LSPs.

   Therefore, LSP Self-ping is applicable in the scenario described
   above, where the LSP is signaled by RSVP, RPF is not enabled, and the
   need to conserve control-plane resources on the egress LSR outweighs
   the need to determine whether downstream forwarding state is correct.

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3.  The LSP Self-ping Message

   The LSP Self-ping Message is a User Datagram Protocol (UDP) [RFC768]
   packet that encapsulates a session ID.  If the RSVP messages used to
   establish the LSP under test were delivered over IPv4 [RFC791], the
   UDP datagram MUST be encapsulated in an IPv4 header.  If the RSVP
   messages used to establish the LSP were delivered over IPv6
   [RFC2460], the UDP datagram MUST be encapsulated in an IPv6 header.

   In either case:

   o  The IP Source Address MAY be configurable.  By default, it MUST be
      the address of the egress LSR.

   o  The IP Destination Address MUST be the address of the ingress LSR.

   o  The IP Time to Live (TTL) / Hop Count MAY be configurable.  By
      default, it MUST be 255.

   o  The IP DSCP (Differentiated Services Code Point) MAY be
      configurable.  By default, it MUST be CS6 (110000) [RFC4594].

   o  The UDP Source Port MUST be selected from the dynamic range
      (49152-65535) [RFC6335].

   o  The UDP Destination Port MUST be lsp-self-ping (8503) [IANA.PORTS]

   UDP packet contents have the following format:

    0                   1                   2                   3
    0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 0 1
   +-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+
   |                        Session-ID                             |
   |                        (64 bits)                              |
   +-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+

                           LSP Self-Ping Message

   The Session-ID is a 64-bit field that associates an LSP Self-ping
   message with an LSP Self-ping session.

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4.  LSP Self-Ping Procedures

   In order to verify that an LSP is ready to carry traffic, the ingress
   LSR creates a short-lived LSP Self-ping session.  All session state
   is maintained locally on the ingress LSR.  Session state includes the
   following information:

   o  Session-ID: A 64-bit number that identifies the LSP Self-ping
      session.

   o  Retry Counter: The maximum number of times that the ingress LSR
      probes the LSP before terminating the LSP Self-ping session.  The
      initial value of this variable is determined by configuration.

   o  Retry Timer: The number of milliseconds that the LSR waits after
      probing the LSP.  The initial value of this variable is determined
      by configuration.

   o  Status: A boolean variable indicating the completion status of the
      LSP Self-ping session.  The initial value of this variable is
      FALSE.

   Implementations MAY represent the above-mentioned information in any
   format that is convenient to them.

   The ingress LSR executes the following procedure until Status equals
   TRUE or Retry Counter equals zero:

   o  Format a LSP Self-ping message.

   o  Set the Session-ID in the LSP Self-ping message to the Session-ID
      mentioned above.

   o  Send the LSP Self-ping message through the LSP under test.

   o  Set a timer to expire in Retry Timer milliseconds.

   o  Wait until either an LSP Self-ping message associated with the
      session returns or the timer expires.  If an LSP Self-ping message
      associated with the session returns, set Status to TRUE.
      Otherwise, decrement the Retry Counter.  Optionally, increase the
      value of Retry Timer according to an appropriate back-off
      algorithm.

   In the process described above, the ingress LSR addresses an LSP
   Self-ping message to itself and forwards that message through the LSP
   under test.  If forwarding state has been installed on all downstream
   LSRs, the egress LSR receives the LSP Self-ping message and

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   determines that it is addressed to the ingress LSR.  So, the egress
   LSR forwards the LSP Self-ping message back to the ingress LSR,
   exactly as it would forward any other IP packet.

   The LSP Self-ping message can arrive at the egress LSR with or
   without an MPLS header, depending on whether the LSP under test
   executes penultimate hop-popping procedures.  If the LSP Self-ping
   message arrives at the egress LSR with an MPLS header, the egress LSR
   removes that header.

   If the egress LSR's most preferred route to the ingress LSR is
   through an LSP, the egress LSR forwards the LSP Self-ping message
   through that LSP.  However, if the egress LSR's most preferred route
   to the ingress LSR is not through an LSP, the egress LSR forwards the
   LSP Self-ping message without MPLS encapsulation.

   When an LSP Self-ping session terminates, it returns its completion
   status to the invoking protocol.  For example, if RSVP-TE invokes LSP
   Self-ping as part of the LSP setup procedure, LSP Self-ping returns
   its completion status to RSVP-TE.

5.  Bidirectional LSP Procedures

   A bidirectional LSP has an active side and a passive side.  The
   active side calculates the ERO and signals the LSP in the forward
   direction.  The passive side reverses the ERO and signals the LSP in
   the reverse direction.

   When LSP Self-ping is applied to a bidirectional LSP:

   o  The active side calculates the ERO, signals the LSP, and runs LSP
      Self-ping.

   o  The Passive side reverses the ERO, signals the LSP, and runs
      another instance of LSP Self-ping.

   o  Neither side forwards traffic through the LSP until local LSP
      Self-ping returns TRUE.

   The two LSP Self-ping sessions mentioned above are independent of one
   another.  They are not required to have the same Session-ID.  Each
   endpoint can forward traffic through the LSP as soon as its local LSP
   Self-ping returns TRUE.  Endpoints are not required to wait until
   both LSP Self-ping sessions have returned TRUE.

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6.  IANA Considerations

   IANA has assigned UDP Port Number 8503 [IANA.PORTS] for use by MPLS
   LSP Self-Ping.

7.  Security Considerations

   LSP Self-ping messages are easily forged.  Therefore, an attacker can
   send the ingress LSR a forged LSP Self-ping message, causing the
   ingress LSR to terminate the LSP Self-ping session prematurely.  In
   order to mitigate these threats, operators SHOULD filter LSP Self-
   ping packets at the edges of the MPLS signaling domain.  Furthermore,
   implementations SHOULD NOT assign Session-IDs in a predictable
   manner.  In order to avoid predictability, implementations can
   leverage a Cryptographically Secure Pseudorandom Number Generator
   (CSPRNG) [NIST-CSPRNG].

8.  References

8.1.  Normative References

   [RFC768]   Postel, J., "User Datagram Protocol", STD 6, RFC 768,
              DOI 10.17487/RFC0768, August 1980,
              <http://www.rfc-editor.org/info/rfc768>.

   [RFC791]   Postel, J., "Internet Protocol", STD 5, RFC 791,
              DOI 10.17487/RFC0791, September 1981,
              <http://www.rfc-editor.org/info/rfc791>.

   [RFC2119]  Bradner, S., "Key words for use in RFCs to Indicate
              Requirement Levels", BCP 14, RFC 2119,
              DOI 10.17487/RFC2119, March 1997,
              <http://www.rfc-editor.org/info/rfc2119>.

   [RFC2460]  Deering, S. and R. Hinden, "Internet Protocol, Version 6
              (IPv6) Specification", RFC 2460, DOI 10.17487/RFC2460,
              December 1998, <http://www.rfc-editor.org/info/rfc2460>.

   [RFC3209]  Awduche, D., Berger, L., Gan, D., Li, T., Srinivasan, V.,
              and G. Swallow, "RSVP-TE: Extensions to RSVP for LSP
              Tunnels", RFC 3209, DOI 10.17487/RFC3209, December 2001,
              <http://www.rfc-editor.org/info/rfc3209>.

   [RFC3704]  Baker, F. and P. Savola, "Ingress Filtering for Multihomed
              Networks", BCP 84, RFC 3704, DOI 10.17487/RFC3704, March
              2004, <http://www.rfc-editor.org/info/rfc3704>.

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   [RFC4379]  Kompella, K. and G. Swallow, "Detecting Multi-Protocol
              Label Switched (MPLS) Data Plane Failures", RFC 4379,
              DOI 10.17487/RFC4379, February 2006,
              <http://www.rfc-editor.org/info/rfc4379>.

   [RFC5036]  Andersson, L., Ed., Minei, I., Ed., and B. Thomas, Ed.,
              "LDP Specification", RFC 5036, DOI 10.17487/RFC5036,
              October 2007, <http://www.rfc-editor.org/info/rfc5036>.

   [RFC6335]  Cotton, M., Eggert, L., Touch, J., Westerlund, M., and S.
              Cheshire, "Internet Assigned Numbers Authority (IANA)
              Procedures for the Management of the Service Name and
              Transport Protocol Port Number Registry", BCP 165,
              RFC 6335, DOI 10.17487/RFC6335, August 2011,
              <http://www.rfc-editor.org/info/rfc6335>.

8.2.  Informative References

   [IANA.PORTS]
              IANA, "Service Name and Transport Protocol Port Number
              Registry", <http://www.iana.org/assignments/
              service-names-port-numbers>.

   [NIST-CSPRNG]
              NIST, "Recommendation for Random Number Generation Using
              Deterministic Random Bit Generators", NIST Special
              Publication 800-90A, January 2012.

   [RFC4594]  Babiarz, J., Chan, K., and F. Baker, "Configuration
              Guidelines for DiffServ Service Classes", RFC 4594,
              DOI 10.17487/RFC4594, August 2006,
              <http://www.rfc-editor.org/info/rfc4594>.

   [RFC6383]  Shiomoto, K. and A. Farrel, "Advice on When It Is Safe to
              Start Sending Data on Label Switched Paths Established
              Using RSVP-TE", RFC 6383, DOI 10.17487/RFC6383, September
              2011, <http://www.rfc-editor.org/info/rfc6383>.

   [S-BFD]    Akiya, N., Pignataro, C., Ward, D., Bhatia, M., and J.
              Networks, "Seamless Bidirectional Forwarding Detection
              (S-BFD)", Work in Progress, draft-ietf-bfd-seamless-
              base-05, June 2015.

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Appendix A.  Rejected Approaches

   In a rejected approach, the ingress LSR uses LSP Ping to verify LSP
   readiness.  This approach was rejected for the following reasons.

   While an ingress LSR can control its control-plane overhead due to
   LSP Ping, an egress LSR has no such control.  This is because each
   ingress LSR can, on its own, control the rate of the LSP Ping
   originated by the LSR, while an egress LSR must respond to all the
   LSP Pings originated by various ingresses.  Furthermore, when an MPLS
   Echo Request reaches an egress LSR, it is sent to the control plane
   of the egress LSR; this makes egress LSR processing overhead of LSP
   Ping well above the overhead of its data plane (MPLS/IP forwarding).
   These factors make LSP Ping problematic as a tool for detecting LSP
   readiness to carry traffic when dealing with a large number of LSPs.

   By contrast, LSP Self-ping does not consume any control-plane
   resources at the egress LSR, and it relies solely on the data plane
   of the egress LSR, making it more suitable as a tool for checking LSP
   readiness when dealing with a large number of LSPs.

   In another rejected approach, the ingress LSR does not verify LSP
   readiness.  Instead, it sets a timer when it receives an RSVP RESV
   message and does not forward traffic through the LSP until the timer
   expires.  This approach was rejected because it is impossible to
   determine the optimal setting for this timer.  If the timer value is
   set too low, it does not prevent black-holing.  If the timer value is
   set too high, it slows down the process of LSP signaling and setup.

   Moreover, the above-mentioned timer is configured on a per-router
   basis.  However, its optimum value is determined by a network-wide
   behavior.  Therefore, changes in the network could require changes to
   the value of the timer, making the optimal setting of this timer a
   moving target.

Acknowledgements

   Thanks to Yakov Rekhter, Ravi Singh, Eric Rosen, Eric Osborne, Greg
   Mirsky, and Nobo Akiya for their contributions to this document.

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Contributors

   The following individuals contributed significantly to this document:

      Mark Wygant
      Verizon
      mark.wygant@verizon.com

      Ravi Torvi
      Juniper Networks
      rtorvi@juniper.net

Authors' Addresses

   Ron Bonica
   Juniper Networks

   Email: rbonica@juniper.net


   Ina Minei
   Google, Inc.
   1600 Amphitheatre Parkway
   Mountain View, CA  94043
   United States

   Email: inaminei@google.com


   Michael Conn
   Verizon

   Email: meconn26@gmail.com


   Dante Pacella
   Verizon

   Email: dante.j.pacella@verizon.com


   Luis Tomotaki
   Verizon

   Email: luis.tomotaki@verizon.com