Network Working Group B. Rajagopalan Request for Comments: 3251 Tellium, Inc. Category: Informational 1 April 2002 Electricity over IP Status of this Memo This memo provides information for the Internet community. It does not specify an Internet standard of any kind. Distribution of this memo is unlimited. Copyright Notice Copyright (C) The Internet Society (2002). All Rights Reserved.
AbstractMostly Pointless Lamp Switching (MPLampS) is an architecture for carrying electricity over IP (with an MPLS control plane). According to our marketing department, MPLampS has the potential to dramatically lower the price, ease the distribution and usage, and improve the manageability of delivering electricity. This document is motivated by such work as SONET/SDH over IP/MPLS (with apologies to the authors). Readers of the previous work have been observed scratching their heads and muttering, "What next?". This document answers that question. This document has also been written as a public service. The "Sub- IP" area has been formed to give equal opportunity to those working on technologies outside of traditional IP networking to write complicated IETF documents. There are possibly many who are wondering how to exploit this opportunity and attain high visibility. Towards this goal, we see the topics of "foo-over-MPLS" (or MPLS control for random technologies) as highly amenable for producing a countless number of unimplementable documents. This document illustrates the key ingredients that go into producing any "foo- over-MPLS" document and may be used as a template for all such work.
ES: Electricity source - a generator. LSR: Load-Switching Router - an MPLampS device used in the core electricity distribution network. LDS: Legacy Distribution System - an inferior electricity distribution technology that MPLampS intends to replace. RSVP: Rather Screwed-up, but router Vendors Push it - an IP signaling protocol. RSVP-TE: RSVP with Tariff Extensions - RSVP adaptation for MPLampS, to be used in the new deregulated utilities environment. CRLDP: for CRying out Loud, Don't do rsvP - another IP signaling protocol. OSPF: Often Seizes-up in multiPle area conFigurations - a hierarchical IP routing protocol. ISIS: It's not oSpf, yet It somehow Survives - another routing protocol. OSPF-TE, ISIS-TE: OSPF and ISIS with Tariff Extensions. COPS: Policemen. Folks who scour all places for possibilities to slip in the Common Open Policy Service protocol. VPN: Voltage Protected Network - allows a customer with multiple sites to receive electricity with negligible voltage fluctuation due to interference from other customers. SUB-IP: SUBstitute IP everywhere - an effort in the IETF to get involved in technical areas outside of traditional IP networking (such as MPLampS). ITU: International Tariffed Utilities association - a utilities trade group whose work is often ignored by the IETF.
wondering momentarily about how such a network can exist in the 21st century, we took a pencil and paper and sketched out a scenario for integrating the LDS network with the proven Internet technology. The fundamental points we came up with are: 1. IP packets carry electricity in discrete, digitized form. 2. Each packet would deliver electricity to its destination (e.g., a device with an IP address) on-demand. 3. MPLS control will be used to switch packets within the core LDS, and in the edge premises. The architecture for this is referred to as Mostly-Pointless Lamp Switching (MPLampS). 4. The MPLampS architectural model will accommodate both the overlay model, where the electricity consuming devices (referred to as "lamps") are operated over a distinct control plane, and the peer model, in which the lamps and the distribution network use a single control plane. 5. RSVP-TE (RSVP with Tariff Extensions) will be used for establishing paths for electricity flow in a de-regulated environment. 6. COPS will be used to support accounting and policy. After jotting these points down, we felt better. We then noted the following immediate advantages of the proposed scheme: 1. Switches and transformers in the LDS can be replaced by LSRs, thereby opening up a new market for routers. 2. Electricity can be routed over the Internet to reach remote places which presently do not have electricity connections but have only Internet kiosks (e.g., rural India). 3. Electrical technicians can be replaced by highly paid IP network administrators, and 4. The IETF can get involved in another unrelated technology area. In the following, we describe the technical issues in a vague manner. 2] to digitize electrical voltages. In essence, an Electricity Source (ES) such as a generator is connected to a DV encoder that encodes the voltage and current, and produces a bit stream. This bit stream can be carried in IP packets to various destinations (referred to as LERs - Low-voltage Electricity Receptors) on-demand. At the destination, a DV decoder produces the right voltage and current based on the received bit stream. It is to be determined whether the Real-time Transport Protocol (RTP) can be
used for achieving synchronization and end-to-end control. We leave draft writing opportunities in the RTP area to our friends and colleagues.
3]. This observation has a serious implication on the scalability of the signaling mechanism. Specifically, the distribution network must be able to handle tens of thousands of requests all at once. The signaling load can be reduced if multicast delivery is used. Briefly, a request for electricity is not sent from the lamp all the way to an ES, but is handled by the first LSR that is already in the path to another lamp.
Support for this requires the application of multicast routing protocols together with RSVP-TE shared reservation styles and the development of MPLampS multicast forwarding mode. We are currently studying the following multicast routing protocol: o DVMRP: Discrete Voltage Multicast Routing Protocol - this protocol works over existing voltage routing protocols but the danger here is that electricity is delivered to all lamps when any one lamp is turned on. Indeed, the switching semantics gets annoying - all lamps get turned on periodically and those not needed must be switched off each time manually. Other protocols we will eventually consider are Current-Based Tree (CBT) and Practically Irrelevant Multicast (PIM). An issue we are greatly interested in is multicast scope: we would like support for distributing electricity with varying scope, from lamps within a single Christmas tree to those in entire cities. Needless to say, we will write many detailed documents on these topics as time progresses. 1. A. Malis, et al., "SONET/SDH Circuit Emulation Service Over MPLS (CEM) Encapsulation", Internet Draft, Work in Progress. 2. International Tarriffed Utilities association draft standard, ITU G.110/230V, "Discrete Voltage Encoding", March, 1999. 3. International Tarriffed Utilities association technical report, ITU (SG-55) TR-432-2000, "Empirical Models for Energy Utilization", September, 2000.
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