8. REDIRECT FUNCTION This section describes the functions related to the sending and processing of Redirect messages. Redirect messages are sent by routers to redirect a host to a better first-hop router for a specific destination or to inform hosts that a destination is in fact a neighbor (i.e., on-link). The latter is accomplished by having the ICMP Target Address be equal to the ICMP Destination Address.
A router MUST be able to determine the link-local address for each of its neighboring routers in order to ensure that the target address in a Redirect message identifies the neighbor router by its link-local address. For static routing this requirement implies that the next- hop router's address should be specified using the link-local address of the router. For dynamic routing this requirement implies that all IPv6 routing protocols must somehow exchange the link-local addresses of neighboring routers. 8.1. Validation of Redirect Messages A host MUST silently discard any received Redirect message that does not satisfy all of the following validity checks: - IP Source Address is a link-local address. Routers must use their link-local address as the source for Router Advertisement and Redirect messages so that hosts can uniquely identify routers. - The IP Hop Limit field has a value of 255, i.e., the packet could not possibly have been forwarded by a router. - If the message includes an IP Authentication Header, the message authenticates correctly. - ICMP Checksum is valid. - ICMP Code is 0. - ICMP length (derived from the IP length) is 40 or more octets. - The IP source address of the Redirect is the same as the current first-hop router for the specified ICMP Destination Address. - The ICMP Destination Address field in the redirect message does not contain a multicast address. - The ICMP Target Address is either a link-local address (when redirected to a router) or the same as the ICMP Destination Address (when redirected to the on-link destination). - All included options have a length that is greater than zero. The contents of the Reserved field, and of any unrecognized options MUST be ignored. Future, backward-compatible changes to the protocol may specify the contents of the Reserved field or add new options; backward-incompatible changes may use different Code values.
The contents of any defined options that are not specified to be used with Redirect messages MUST be ignored and the packet processed as normal. The only defined options that may appear are the Target Link-Layer Address option and the Redirected Header option. A host MUST NOT consider a redirect invalid just because the Target Address of the redirect is not covered under one of the link's prefixes. Part of the semantics of the Redirect message is that the Target Address is on-link. A redirect that passes the validity checks is called a "valid redirect". 8.2. Router Specification A router SHOULD send a redirect message, subject to rate limiting, whenever it forwards a packet that is not explicitly addressed to itself (i.e. a packet that is not source routed through the router) in which: - the Source Address field of the packet identifies a neighbor, and - the router determines that a better first-hop node resides on the same link as the sending node for the Destination Address of the packet being forwarded, and - the Destination Address of the packet is not a multicast address, and The transmitted redirect packet contains, consistent with the message format given in Section 4.5: - In the Target Address field: the address to which subsequent packets for the destination SHOULD be sent. If the target is a router, that router's link-local address MUST be used. If the target is a host the target address field MUST be set to the same value as the Destination Address field. - In the Destination Address field: the destination address of the invoking IP packet. - In the options: o Target Link-Layer Address option: link-layer address of the target, if known.
o Redirected Header: as much of the forwarded packet as can fit without the redirect packet exceeding 1280 octets in size. A router MUST limit the rate at which Redirect messages are sent, in order to limit the bandwidth and processing costs incurred by the Redirect messages when the source does not correctly respond to the Redirects, or the source chooses to ignore unauthenticated Redirect messages. More details on the rate-limiting of ICMP error messages can be found in [ICMPv6]. A router MUST NOT update its routing tables upon receipt of a Redirect. 8.3. Host Specification A host receiving a valid redirect SHOULD update its Destination Cache accordingly so that subsequent traffic goes to the specified target. If no Destination Cache entry exists for the destination, an implementation SHOULD create such an entry. If the redirect contains a Target Link-Layer Address option the host either creates or updates the Neighbor Cache entry for the target. In both cases the cached link-layer address is copied from the Target Link-Layer Address option. If a Neighbor Cache entry is created for the target its reachability state MUST be set to STALE as specified in Section 7.3.3. If a cache entry already existed and it is updated with a different link-layer address, its reachability state MUST also be set to STALE. If the link-layer address is the same as that already in the cache, the cache entry's state remains unchanged. If the Target and Destination Addresses are the same, the host MUST treat the Target as on-link. If the Target Address is not the same as the Destination Address, the host MUST set IsRouter to TRUE for the target. If the Target and Destination Addresses are the same, however, one cannot reliably determine whether the Target Address is a router. Consequently, newly created Neighbor Cache entries should set the IsRouter flag to FALSE, while existing cache entries should leave the flag unchanged. If the Target is a router, subsequent Neighbor Advertisement or Router Advertisement messages will update IsRouter accordingly. Redirect messages apply to all flows that are being sent to a given destination. That is, upon receipt of a Redirect for a Destination Address, all Destination Cache entries to that address should be updated to use the specified next-hop, regardless of the contents of the Flow Label field that appears in the Redirected Header option.
A host MAY have a configuration switch that can be set to make it ignore a Redirect message that does not have an IP Authentication header. A host MUST NOT send Redirect messages. 9. EXTENSIBILITY - OPTION PROCESSING Options provide a mechanism for encoding variable length fields, fields that may appear multiple times in the same packet, or information that may not appear in all packets. Options can also be used to add additional functionality to future versions of ND. In order to ensure that future extensions properly coexist with current implementations, all nodes MUST silently ignore any options they do not recognize in received ND packets and continue processing the packet. All options specified in this document MUST be recognized. A node MUST NOT ignore valid options just because the ND message contains unrecognized ones. The current set of options is defined in such a way that receivers can process multiple options in the same packet independently of each other. In order to maintain these properties future options SHOULD follow the simple rule: The option MUST NOT depend on the presence or absence of any other options. The semantics of an option should depend only on the information in the fixed part of the ND packet and on the information contained in the option itself. Adhering to the above rule has the following benefits: 1) Receivers can process options independently of one another. For example, an implementation can choose to process the Prefix Information option contained in a Router Advertisement message in a user-space process while the link-layer address option in the same message is processed by routines in the kernel. 2) Should the number of options cause a packet to exceed a link's MTU, multiple packets can carry subsets of the options without any change in semantics. 3) Senders MAY send a subset of options in different packets. For instance, if a prefix's Valid and Preferred Lifetime are high enough, it might not be necessary to include the Prefix Information option in every Router Advertisement. In addition, different routers might send different sets of options. Thus, a receiver MUST NOT associate any action with the absence of an
option in a particular packet. This protocol specifies that receivers should only act on the expiration of timers and on the information that is received in the packets. Options in Neighbor Discovery packets can appear in any order; receivers MUST be prepared to process them independently of their order. There can also be multiple instances of the same option in a message (e.g., Prefix Information options). If the number of included options in a Router Advertisement causes the advertisement's size to exceed the link MTU, the router can send multiple separate advertisements each containing a subset of the options. The amount of data to include in the Redirected Header option MUST be limited so that the entire redirect packet does not exceed 1280 octets. All options are a multiple of 8 octets of length, ensuring appropriate alignment without any "pad" options. The fields in the options (as well as the fields in ND packets) are defined to align on their natural boundaries (e.g., a 16-bit field is aligned on a 16-bit boundary) with the exception of the 128-bit IP addresses/prefixes, which are aligned on a 64-bit boundary. The link-layer address field contains an uninterpreted octet string; it is aligned on an 8-bit boundary. The size of an ND packet including the IP header is limited to the link MTU (which is at least 1280 octets). When adding options to an ND packet a node MUST NOT exceed the link MTU. Future versions of this protocol may define new option types. Receivers MUST silently ignore any options they do not recognize and continue processing the message. 10. PROTOCOL CONSTANTS Router constants: MAX_INITIAL_RTR_ADVERT_INTERVAL 16 seconds MAX_INITIAL_RTR_ADVERTISEMENTS 3 transmissions MAX_FINAL_RTR_ADVERTISEMENTS 3 transmissions MIN_DELAY_BETWEEN_RAS 3 seconds MAX_RA_DELAY_TIME .5 seconds
Host constants: MAX_RTR_SOLICITATION_DELAY 1 second RTR_SOLICITATION_INTERVAL 4 seconds MAX_RTR_SOLICITATIONS 3 transmissions Node constants: MAX_MULTICAST_SOLICIT 3 transmissions MAX_UNICAST_SOLICIT 3 transmissions MAX_ANYCAST_DELAY_TIME 1 second MAX_NEIGHBOR_ADVERTISEMENT 3 transmissions REACHABLE_TIME 30,000 milliseconds RETRANS_TIMER 1,000 milliseconds DELAY_FIRST_PROBE_TIME 5 seconds MIN_RANDOM_FACTOR .5 MAX_RANDOM_FACTOR 1.5 Additional protocol constants are defined with the message formats in Section 4. All protocol constants are subject to change in future revisions of the protocol. The constants in this specification may be overridden by specific documents that describe how IPv6 operates over different link layers. This rule allows Neighbor Discovery to operate over links with widely varying performance characteristics. 11. SECURITY CONSIDERATIONS Neighbor Discovery is subject to attacks that cause IP packets to flow to unexpected places. Such attacks can be used to cause denial of service but also allow nodes to intercept and optionally modify packets destined for other nodes.
The protocol reduces the exposure to such threats in the absence of authentication by ignoring ND packets received from off-link senders. The Hop Limit field of all received packets is verified to contain 255, the maximum legal value. Because routers decrement the Hop Limit on all packets they forward, received packets containing a Hop Limit of 255 must have originated from a neighbor. An example of denial of service attacks is that a node on the link that can send packets with an arbitrary IP source address can both advertise itself as a default router and also send "forged" Router Advertisement messages that immediately time out all other default routers as well as all on-link prefixes. An intruder can achieve this by sending out multiple Router Advertisements, one for each legitimate router, with the source address set to the address of another router, the Router Lifetime field set to zero, and the Preferred and Valid lifetimes set to zero for all the prefixes. Such an attack would cause all packets, for both on-link and off-link destinations, to go to the rogue router. That router can then selectively examine, modify or drop all packets sent on the link. The Neighbor Unreachability Detection will not detect such a black hole as long as the rogue router politely answers the NUD probes with a Neighbor Advertisement with the R-bit set. Many link layers are also subject to different denial of service attacks such as continuously occupying the link in CSMA/CD networks (e.g., by sending packets closely back-to-back or asserting the collision signal on the link), or originating packets with somebody else's source MAC address to confuse, e.g., Ethernet switches. The trust model for redirects is the same as in IPv4. A redirect is accepted only if received from the same router that is currently being used for that destination. It is natural to trust the routers on the link. If a host has been redirected to another node (i.e., the destination is on-link) there is no way to prevent the target from issuing another redirect to some other destination. However, this exposure is no worse than it was; the target host, once subverted, could always act as a hidden router to forward traffic elsewhere. The protocol contains no mechanism to determine which neighbors are authorized to send a particular type of message (e.g., Router Advertisements); any neighbor, presumably even in the presence of authentication, can send Router Advertisement messages thereby being able to cause denial of service. Furthermore, any neighbor can send proxy Neighbor Advertisements as well as unsolicited Neighbor Advertisements as a potential denial of service attack.
Neighbor Discovery protocol packet exchanges can be authenticated using the IP Authentication Header [IPv6-AUTH]. A node SHOULD include an Authentication Header when sending Neighbor Discovery packets if a security association for use with the IP Authentication Header exists for the destination address. The security associations may have been created through manual configuration or through the operation of some key management protocol. Received Authentication Headers in Neighbor Discovery packets MUST be verified for correctness and packets with incorrect authentication MUST be ignored. It SHOULD be possible for the system administrator to configure a node to ignore any Neighbor Discovery messages that are not authenticated using either the Authentication Header or Encapsulating Security Payload. The configuration technique for this MUST be documented. Such a switch SHOULD default to allowing unauthenticated messages. Confidentiality issues are addressed by the IP Security Architecture and the IP Encapsulating Security Payload documents [IPv6-SA, IPv6- ESP]. 12. RENUMBERING CONSIDERATIONS The Neighbor Discovery protocol together with IPv6 Address Autoconfiguration [ADDRCONF] provides mechanisms to aid in renumbering - new prefixes and addresses can be introduced and old ones can be deprecated and removed. The robustness of these mechanisms is based on all the nodes on the link receiving the Router Advertisement messages in a timely manner. However, a host might be turned off or be unreachable for an extended period of time (i.e., a machine is powered down for months after a project terminates). It is possible to preserve robust renumbering in such cases but it does place some constraints on how long prefixes must be advertised. Consider the following example in which a prefix is initially advertised with a lifetime of 2 months, but on August 1st it is determined that the prefix needs to be deprecated and removed due to renumbering by September 1st. This can be done by reducing the advertised lifetime to 1 week starting on August 1st and as the cutoff gets closer the lifetimes can be made shorter until by September 1st the prefix is advertised with a zero lifetime. The point is that, if one or more nodes were unplugged from the link prior to September 1st they might still think that the prefix is valid since the last lifetime they received was 2 months. Thus if a
node was unplugged on July 31st it thinks the prefix is valid until September 30th. If that node is plugged back in prior to September 30th it may continue to use the old prefix. The only way to force a node to stop using a prefix that was previously advertised with a long Lifetime is to have that node receive an advertisement for that prefix that changes the lifetime downward. The solution in this example is simple: continue advertising the prefix with a lifetime of 0 from September 1st until October 1st. In general, in order to be robust against nodes that might be unplugged from the link it is important to track the furthest into the future a particular prefix can be viewed valid by any node on the link. The prefix must then be advertised with a 0 Lifetime until that point in future. This "furthest into the future" time is simply the maximum, over all Router Advertisements, of the time the advertisement was sent plus the prefix's Lifetime contained in the advertisement. The above has an important implication on using infinite lifetimes. If a prefix is advertised with an infinite lifetime, and that prefix later needs to be renumbered, it is undesirable to continue advertising that prefix with a zero lifetime forever. Thus either infinite lifetimes should be avoided or there must be a limit on how long time a node can be unplugged from the link before it is plugged back in again. However, it is unclear how the network administrator can enforce a limit on how long time hosts such as laptops can be unplugged from the link. Network administrators should give serious consideration to using relatively short lifetimes (i.e., no more than a few weeks). While it might appear that using long lifetimes would help insure robustness, in reality a host will be unable to communicate in the absence of properly functioning routers. Such routers will be sending Router Advertisements that contain appropriate (and current) prefixes. A host connected to a network that has no functioning routers is likely to have more serious problems than just a lack of a valid prefix and address. The above discussion does not distinguish between the preferred and valid lifetimes. For all practical purposes it is probably sufficient to track the valid lifetime since the preferred lifetime will not exceed the valid lifetime.
REFERENCES [ADDRCONF] Thomson, S. and T. Narten, "IPv6 Address Autoconfiguration", RFC 2462, December 1998. [ADDR-ARCH] Hinden, R. and S. Deering, "IP Version 6 Addressing Architecture", RFC 2373, July 1998. [ANYCST] Partridge, C., Mendez, T. and W. Milliken, "Host Anycasting Service", RFC 1546, November 1993. [ARP] Plummer, D., "An Ethernet Address Resolution Protocol", STD 37, RFC 826, November 1982. [HR-CL] Braden, R., Editor, "Requirements for Internet Hosts -- Communication Layers", STD 3, RFC 1122, October 1989. [ICMPv4] Postel, J., "Internet Control Message Protocol", STD 5, RFC 792, September 1981. [ICMPv6] Conta, A. and S. Deering, "Internet Control Message Protocol (ICMPv6) for the Internet Protocol Version 6 (IPv6) Specification", RFC 2463, December 1998. [IPv6] Deering, S. and R. Hinden, "Internet Protocol, Version 6 (IPv6) Specification", RFC 2460, December 1998. [IPv6-ETHER] Crawford, M., "Transmission of IPv6 Packets over Ethernet Networks", RFC 2464, December 1998. [IPv6-SA] Kent, S. and R. Atkinson, "Security Architecture for the Internet Protocol", RFC 2401, November 1998. [IPv6-AUTH] Kent, S. and R. Atkinson, "IP Authentication Header", RFC 2402, November 1998. [IPv6-ESP] Kent, S. and R. Atkinson, "IP Encapsulating Security Payload (ESP)", RFC 2406, November 1998. [KEYWORDS] Bradner, S., "Key words for use in RFCs to Indicate Requirement Levels", BCP 14, RFC 2119, March 1997. [RDISC] Deering, S., "ICMP Router Discovery Messages", RFC 1256, September 1991. [SH-MEDIA] Braden, R., Postel, J. and Y. Rekhter, "Internet Architecture Extensions for Shared Media", RFC 1620, May 1994.
[ASSIGNED] Reynolds, J. and J. Postel, "ASSIGNED NUMBERS", STD 2, RFC 1700, October 1994. See also: http://www.iana.org/numbers.html [SYNC] S. Floyd, V. Jacobson, "The Synchronization of Periodic Routing Messages", IEEE/ACM Transactions on Networking, April 1994. ftp://ftp.ee.lbl.gov/papers/sync_94.ps.Z Authors' Addresses Thomas Narten IBM Corporation P.O. Box 12195 Research Triangle Park, NC 27709-2195 USA Phone: +1 919 254 7798 EMail: email@example.com Erik Nordmark Sun Microsystems, Inc. 901 San Antonio Road Palo Alto, CA 94303 USA Phone: +1 650 786 5166 Fax: +1 650 786 5896 EMail: firstname.lastname@example.org William Allen Simpson Daydreamer Computer Systems Consulting Services 1384 Fontaine Madison Heights, Michigan 48071 USA EMail: Bill.Simpson@um.cc.umich.edu bsimpson@MorningStar.com
APPENDIX A: MULTIHOMED HOSTS There are a number of complicating issues that arise when Neighbor Discovery is used by hosts that have multiple interfaces. This section does not attempt to define the proper operation of multihomed hosts with regard to Neighbor Discovery. Rather, it identifies issues that require further study. Implementors are encouraged to experiment with various approaches to making Neighbor Discovery work on multihomed hosts and to report their experiences. If a multihomed host receives Router Advertisements on all of its interfaces, it will (probably) have learned on-link prefixes for the addresses residing on each link. When a packet must be sent through a router, however, selecting the "wrong" router can result in a suboptimal or non-functioning path. There are number of issues to consider: 1) In order for a router to send a redirect, it must determine that the packet it is forwarding originates from a neighbor. The standard test for this case is to compare the source address of the packet to the list of on-link prefixes associated with the interface on which the packet was received. If the originating host is multihomed, however, the source address it uses may belong to an interface other than the interface from which it was sent. In such cases, a router will not send redirects, and suboptimal routing is likely. In order to be redirected, the sending host must always send packets out the interface corresponding to the outgoing packet's source address. Note that this issue never arises with non-multihomed hosts; they only have one interface. 2) If the selected first-hop router does not have a route at all for the destination, it will be unable to deliver the packet. However, the destination may be reachable through a router on one of the other interfaces. Neighbor Discovery does not address this scenario; it does not arise in the non-multihomed case. 3) Even if the first-hop router does have a route for a destination, there may be a better route via another interface. No mechanism exists for the multihomed host to detect this situation. If a multihomed host fails to receive Router Advertisements on one or more of its interfaces, it will not know (in the absence of configured information) which destinations are on-link on the affected interface(s). This leads to a number of problems:
1) If no Router Advertisement is received on any interfaces, a multihomed host will have no way of knowing which interface to send packets out on, even for on-link destinations. Under similar conditions in the non-multihomed host case, a node treats all destinations as residing on-link, and communication proceeds. In the multihomed case, however, additional information is needed to select the proper outgoing interface. Alternatively, a node could attempt to perform address resolution on all interfaces, a step involving significant complexity that is not present in the non-multihomed host case. 2) If Router Advertisements are received on some, but not all interfaces, a multihomed host could choose to only send packets out on the interfaces on which it has received Router Advertisements. A key assumption made here, however, is that routers on those other interfaces will be able to route packets to the ultimate destination, even when those destinations reside on the subnet to which the sender connects, but has no on-link prefix information. Should the assumption be FALSE, communication would fail. Even if the assumption holds, packets will traverse a sub-optimal path.
APPENDIX B: FUTURE EXTENSIONS Possible extensions for future study are: o Using dynamic timers to be able to adapt to links with widely varying delay. Measuring round trip times, however, requires acknowledgments and sequence numbers in order to match received Neighbor Advertisements with the actual Neighbor Solicitation that triggered the advertisement. Implementors wishing to experiment with such a facility could do so in a backwards-compatible way by defining a new option carrying the necessary information. Nodes not understanding the option would simply ignore it. o Adding capabilities to facilitate the operation over links that currently require hosts to register with an address resolution server. This could for instance enable routers to ask hosts to send them periodic unsolicited advertisements. Once again this can be added using a new option sent in the Router Advertisements. o Adding additional procedures for links where asymmetric and non- transitive reachability is part of normal operations. Such procedures might allow hosts and routers to find usable paths on, e.g., radio links.
APPENDIX C: STATE MACHINE FOR THE REACHABILITY STATE This appendix contains a summary of the rules specified in Sections 7.2 and 7.3. This document does not mandate that implementations adhere to this model as long as their external behavior is consistent with that described in this document. When performing address resolution and Neighbor Unreachability Detection the following state transitions apply using the conceptual model: State Event Action New state - Packet to send. Create entry. INCOMPLETE Send multicast NS. Start retransmit timer INCOMPLETE Retransmit timeout, Retransmit NS INCOMPLETE less than N Start retransmit timer retransmissions. INCOMPLETE Retransmit timeout, Discard entry - N or more Send ICMP error retransmissions. INCOMPLETE NA, Solicited=0, Record link-layer STALE Override=any address. Send queued packets. INCOMPLETE NA, Solicited=1, Record link-layer REACHABLE Override=any address. Send queued packets. !INCOMPLETE NA, Solicited=1, - REACHABLE Override=0 Same link-layer address as cached. REACHABLE NA, Solicited=1, - STALE Override=0 Different link-layer address than cached. STALE or PROBE NA, Solicited=1, - unchanged Override=0 Different link-layer address than cached.
!INCOMPLETE NA, Solicited=1, Record link-layer REACHABLE Override=1 address (if different). !INCOMPLETE NA, Solicited=0, - unchanged Override=0 !INCOMPLETE NA, Solicited=0, - unchanged Override=1 Same link-layer address as cached. !INCOMPLETE NA, Solicited=0, Record link-layer STALE Override=1 address. Different link-layer address than cached. !INCOMPLETE upper-layer reachability - REACHABLE confirmation REACHABLE timeout, more than - STALE N seconds since reachability confirm. STALE Sending packet Start delay timer DELAY DELAY Delay timeout Send unicast NS probe PROBE Start retransmit timer PROBE Retransmit timeout, Retransmit NS PROBE less than N retransmissions. PROBE Retransmit timeout, Discard entry - N or more retransmissions.
The state transitions for receiving unsolicited information other than Neighbor Advertisement messages apply to either the source of the packet (for Neighbor Solicitation, Router Solicitation, and Router Advertisement messages) or the target address (for Redirect messages) as follows: State Event Action New state - NS, RS, RA, Redirect Create entry. STALE INCOMPLETE NS, RS, RA, Redirect Record link-layer STALE address. Send queued packets. !INCOMPLETE NS, RS, RA, Redirect Update link-layer STALE Different link-layer address address than cached. !INCOMPLETE NS, RS, RA, Redirect - unchanged Same link-layer address as cached.
APPENDIX D: SUMMARY OF ISROUTER RULES This appendix presents a summary of the rules for maintaining the IsRouter flag as specified in this document. The background for these rules is that the ND messages contain, either implicitly or explicitly, information that indicates whether or not the sender (or Target Address) is a host or a router. The following assumptions are used: - The sender of a Router Solicitation is implicitly assumed to be a host since there is no need for routers to send such messages. - The sender of a Router Advertisement is implicitly assumed to be a router. - Neighbor Solicitation messages do not contain either an implicit or explicit indication about the sender. Both hosts and routers send such messages. - Neighbor Advertisement messages contain an explicit "IsRouter flag", the R-bit. - The target of the redirect, when the target differs from the destination address in the packet being redirected, is implicitly assumed to be a router. This is a natural assumption since that node is expected to be able to forward the packets towards the destination. - The target of the redirect, when the target is the same as the destination, does not carry any host vs. router information. All that is known is that the destination (i.e. target) is on-link but it could be either a host or a router. The rules for setting the IsRouter flag are based on the information content above. If an ND message contains explicit or implicit information the receipt of the message will cause the IsRouter flag to be updated. But when there is no host vs. router information in the ND message the receipt of the message MUST NOT cause a change to the IsRouter state. When the receipt of such a message causes a Neighbor Cache entry to be created this document specifies that the IsRouter flag be set to FALSE. There is greater potential for mischief when a node incorrectly thinks a host is a router, than the other way around. In these cases a subsequent Neighbor Advertisement or Router Advertisement message will set the correct IsRouter value.
APPENDIX E: IMPLEMENTATION ISSUES Appendix E.1: Reachability confirmations Neighbor Unreachability Detection requires explicit confirmation that a forward-path is functioning properly. To avoid the need for Neighbor Solicitation probe messages, upper layer protocols should provide such an indication when the cost of doing so is small. Reliable connection-oriented protocols such as TCP are generally aware when the forward-path is working. When TCP sends (or receives) data, for instance, it updates its window sequence numbers, sets and cancels retransmit timers, etc. Specific scenarios that usually indicate a properly functioning forward-path include: - Receipt of an acknowledgement that covers a sequence number (e.g., data) not previously acknowledged indicates that the forward path was working at the time the data was sent. - Completion of the initial three-way handshake is a special case of the previous rule; although no data is sent during the handshake, the SYN flags are counted as data from the sequence number perspective. This applies to both the SYN+ACK for the active open the ACK of that packet on the passively opening peer. - Receipt of new data (i.e., data not previously received) indicates that the forward-path was working at the time an acknowledgement was sent that advanced the peer's send window that allowed the new data to be sent. To minimize the cost of communicating reachability information between the TCP and IP layers, an implementation may wish to rate- limit the reachability confirmations its sends IP. One possibility is to process reachability only every few packets. For example, one might update reachability information once per round trip time, if an implementation only has one round trip timer per connection. For those implementations that cache Destination Cache entries within control blocks, it may be possible to update the Neighbor Cache entry directly (i.e., without an expensive lookup) once the TCP packet has been demultiplexed to its corresponding control block. For other implementation it may be possible to piggyback the reachability confirmation on the next packet submitted to IP assuming that the implementation guards against the piggybacked confirmation becoming stale when no packets are sent to IP for an extended period of time. TCP must also guard against thinking "stale" information indicates current reachability. For example, new data received 30 minutes after a window has opened up does not constitute a confirmation that the path is currently working. In merely indicates that 30 minutes
ago the window update reached the peer i.e. the path was working at that point in time. An implementation must also take into account TCP zero-window probes that are sent even if the path is broken and the window update did not reach the peer. For UDP based applications (RPC, DNS) it is relatively simple to make the client send reachability confirmations when the response packet is received. It is more difficult and in some cases impossible for the server to generate such confirmations since there is no flow control, i.e., the server can not determine whether a received request indicates that a previous response reached the client. Note that an implementation can not use negative upper-layer advise as a replacement for the Neighbor Unreachability Detection algorithm. Negative advise (e.g. from TCP when there are excessive retransmissions) could serve as a hint that the forward path from the sender of the data might not be working. But it would fail to detect when the path from the receiver of the data is not functioning causing, none of the acknowledgement packets to reach the sender.
APPENDIX F: CHANGES SINCE RFC 1970 o Removed all references to the IPv6 priority field. o Replaced definition of solicited node multicast address with a reference to the [ADDR-ARCH] specification. That specification says that "the solicited-node multicast address is formed by taking the low-order 24 bits of the address (unicast or anycast) and appending those bits to the prefix FF02:0:0:0:0:1:FF00::/104". o Updated the references section to list (new) RFC numbers. o Updated the text in section 7.2.5 and the tables in appendix C to have the receipt of an NS message update the state of an existing neighbor cache entry only if the link-layer address is different than the recorded link-layer address. o Added an explicit check in section 7.1.1 so that received NS messages from an unsolicited address must be sent the solicited- node multicast address; if sent to unicast destination, silently discard. o Added a requirement in section 6.2.1 that Lifetimes be configurable in either of two ways: as a fixed value that doesn't change over time, or one that decrements in real time. o Added text in section 6.2.7 to relax the consistency checks on prefix lifetimes when the lifetimes are configured to decrement in real time. This is needed to avoid false alarms due to link propagation delay and lack of synchronized clocks. o Added text to section 6.3.4 to point out that [ADDRCONF] might ignore short lifetimes but that Neighbor Discovery does not ignore short prefix lifetimes. o Clarified the rules for RS and NS packets with an unspecified source address. Such packets MUST NOT include source link-layer address option; verified by receivers. o Clarified in section 7.2.3 that addresses for which the node proxies are acceptable in NS messages. Previously the text only mentioned unicast and anycast addresses assigned to the interface (i.e., wasn't clear that proxy addresses were allowed). o Tightened up ambiguities an inconsistencies regarding when to set the IsRouter flag in Neighbor Cache entries. Added an appendix to summarize these rules.
o Added a section on renumbering considerations to clarify how long prefixes have to be advertised when the lifetime(s) are reduced. o Added additional text to the rules in section 7 for the NS/NA packets used for NUD probes so that the Link-Layer Address options can be omitted from these packets in certain cases without causing an infinite NS "recursion". Specifically, added text that permits the Link-Layer address to be omitted in unicast solicitations (i.e., MAY language). o Changed the default AdvValidLifetime from infinity to 30 days. o Changed the constant "576" to "1280" in places where its context was that of the minimum sized IP packet that all links must be able to carry.
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