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RFC 2842

Capabilities Advertisement with BGP-4

Pages: 5
Obsoleted by:  3392

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Network Working Group                                        R. Chandra
Request for Comments: 2842                        Redback Networks Inc.
Category: Standards Track                                    J. Scudder
                                                          cisco Systems
                                                               May 2000

                 Capabilities Advertisement with BGP-4

Status of this Memo

   This document specifies an Internet standards track protocol for the
   Internet community, and requests discussion and suggestions for
   improvements.  Please refer to the current edition of the "Internet
   Official Protocol Standards" (STD 1) for the standardization state
   and status of this protocol.  Distribution of this memo is unlimited.

Copyright Notice

   Copyright (C) The Internet Society (2000).  All Rights Reserved.


Currently BGP-4 [BGP-4] requires that when a BGP speaker receives an OPEN message with one or more unrecognized Optional Parameters, the speaker must terminate BGP peering. This complicates introduction of new capabilities in BGP. This document defines new Optional Parameter, called Capabilities, that is expected to facilitate introduction of new capabilities in BGP by providing graceful capability advertisement without requiring that BGP peering be terminated.

1. Overview of Operations

When a BGP speaker that supports capabilities advertisement sends an OPEN message to its BGP peer, the message may include an Optional Parameter, called Capabilities. The parameter lists the capabilities supported by the speaker. A BGP speaker determines the capabilities supported by its peer by examining the list of capabilities present in the Capabilities Optional Parameter carried by the OPEN message that the speaker receives from the peer. A BGP speaker that supports a particular capability may use this capability with its peer after the speaker determines (as described above) that the peer supports this capability.
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   A BGP speaker determines that its peer doesn't support capabilities
   advertisement, if in response to an OPEN message that carries the
   Capabilities Optional Parameter, the speaker receives a NOTIFICATION
   message with the Error Subcode set to Unsupported Optional Parameter.
   In this case the speaker should attempt to re-establish a BGP
   connection with the peer without sending to the peer the Capabilities
   Optional Parameter.

   If a BGP speaker that supports a certain capability determines that
   its peer doesn't support this capability, the speaker may send a
   NOTIFICATION message to the peer, and terminate peering. The Error
   Subcode in the message is set to Unsupported Capability. The message
   should contain the capability (capabilities) that causes the speaker
   to send the message.  The decision to send the message and terminate
   peering is local to the speaker.  Such peering should not be re-
   established automatically.

2. Capabilities Optional Parameter (Parameter Type 2):

This is an Optional Parameter that is used by a BGP speaker to convey to its BGP peer the list of capabilities supported by the speaker. The parameter contains one or more triples <Capability Code, Capability Length, Capability Value>, where each triple is encoded as shown below: +------------------------------+ | Capability Code (1 octet) | +------------------------------+ | Capability Length (1 octet) | +------------------------------+ | Capability Value (variable) | +------------------------------+ The use and meaning of these fields are as follows: Capability Code: Capability Code is a one octet field that unambiguously identifies individual capabilities. Capability Length: Capability Length is a one octet field that contains the length of the Capability Value field in octets.
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      Capability Value:

         Capability Value is a variable length field that is interpreted
         according to the value of the Capability Code field.

   A particular capability, as identified by its Capability Code, may
   occur more than once within the Optional Parameter.

3. Extensions to Error Handling

This document defines new Error Subcode - Unsupported Capability. The value of this Subcode is 7. The Data field in the NOTIFICATION message lists the set of capabilities that cause the speaker to send the message. Each such capability is encoded the same way as it was encoded in the received OPEN message.

4. IANA Considerations

Section 4 defines a Capability Optional Parameter along with an Capability Code field. IANA is expected to create and maintain the registry for Capability Code values. Capability Code value 0 is reserved. Capability Code values 1 through 63 are to be assigned by IANA using the "IETF Consensus" policy defined in RFC2434. Capability Code values 64 through 127 are to be assigned by IANA, using the "First Come First Served" policy defined in RFC2434. Capability Code values 128 through 255 are for "Private Use" as defined in RFC2434.

5. Security Considerations

This extension to BGP does not change the underlying security issues inherent in the existing BGP [Heffernan].

6. Acknowledgements

The authors would like to thank members of the IDR Working Group for their review and comments.

7. References

[BGP-4] Rekhter, Y. and T. Li, "A Border Gateway Protocol 4 (BGP-4)", RFC 1771, March 1995. [Heffernan] Heffernan, A., "Protection of BGP Sessions via the TCP MD5 Signature Option", RFC 2385, August 1998.
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8. Authors' Addresses

Ravi Chandra Redback Networks Inc. 350, Holger Way San Jose, CA 95134 EMail: John G. Scudder Cisco Systems, Inc. 170 West Tasman Drive San Jose, CA 95134 EMail:
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9. Full Copyright Statement

Copyright (C) The Internet Society (2000). All Rights Reserved. This document and translations of it may be copied and furnished to others, and derivative works that comment on or otherwise explain it or assist in its implementation may be prepared, copied, published and distributed, in whole or in part, without restriction of any kind, provided that the above copyright notice and this paragraph are included on all such copies and derivative works. However, this document itself may not be modified in any way, such as by removing the copyright notice or references to the Internet Society or other Internet organizations, except as needed for the purpose of developing Internet standards in which case the procedures for copyrights defined in the Internet Standards process must be followed, or as required to translate it into languages other than English. The limited permissions granted above are perpetual and will not be revoked by the Internet Society or its successors or assigns. This document and the information contained herein is provided on an "AS IS" basis and THE INTERNET SOCIETY AND THE INTERNET ENGINEERING TASK FORCE DISCLAIMS ALL WARRANTIES, EXPRESS OR IMPLIED, INCLUDING BUT NOT LIMITED TO ANY WARRANTY THAT THE USE OF THE INFORMATION HEREIN WILL NOT INFRINGE ANY RIGHTS OR ANY IMPLIED WARRANTIES OF MERCHANTABILITY OR FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE. Acknowledgement Funding for the RFC Editor function is currently provided by the Internet Society.