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The following is the text of the candidate1 draft with minor
revisions relating to the small amount of discussion over the
past week. Main changes:
+ I included the cooperation requirement, since nobody seemed to
object to it. I didn't include Michael's proposed changes to
that clause, since there seemed to be some (small amount of)
dissent about them. Further discussion on that paragraph would
be useful, perhaps.
+ minor change of "internet" to "Internet".
Complete draft with change bars, less pagination, follows. If there
is no further discussion in the next day or so I'd like to mail it
in comfortably before the deadline as -02.
Network Working Group B. Black
Internet-Draft Layer8 Networks
|Expires: May 20, 2002 V. Gill
| November 19, 2001
Requirements for IPv6 Site-Multihoming Architectures
Status of this Memo
This document is an Internet-Draft and is in full conformance with
all provisions of Section 10 of RFC2026.
Internet-Drafts are working documents of the Internet Engineering
Task Force (IETF), its areas, and its working groups. Note that
other groups may also distribute working documents as Internet-
Internet-Drafts are draft documents valid for a maximum of six months
and may be updated, replaced, or obsoleted by other documents at any
time. It is inappropriate to use Internet-Drafts as reference
material or to cite them other than as "work in progress."
The list of current Internet-Drafts can be accessed at
The list of Internet-Draft Shadow Directories can be accessed at
| This Internet-Draft will expire on May 20, 2002.
Copyright (C) The Internet Society (2001). All Rights Reserved.
Site-multihoming, i.e. connecting to more than one IP service
provider, is an essential component of service for many sites which
are part of the Internet. Existing IPv4 site-multihoming practices,
described in a companion draft , provides a set of capabilities
that must be accommodated by the adopted site-multihoming
architecture in IPv6, and a set of limitations that must be overcome,
relating in particular to scalability.
This document outlines a set of requirements for a new IPv6 site-
Current IPv4 site-multihoming practices have been added on to the
CIDR architecture , which assumes that routing table entries can
be aggregated based upon a hierarchy of customers and service
However, it appears that this hierarchy is being supplanted by a
dense mesh of interconnections . Additionally, there has been an
enormous growth in the number of multihomed sites. For purposes of
redundancy and load-sharing, the multihomed address blocks, which are
almost always a longer prefix than the provider aggregate, are
announced along with the larger, covering aggregate originated by the
provider. This contributes to the rapidly-increasing size of the
global routing table. This explosion places significant stress on
the inter-provider routing system.
| Continued growth of both the Internet and the practice of site-
multihoming will seriously exacerbate this stress. The site-
multihoming architecture for IPv6 should allow the routing system to
scale more pleasantly.
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 RFC 2119 .
A "site" is an entity autonomously operating a network using IP and,
in particular, determining the addressing plan and routing policy for
that network. This definition is intended to be equivalent to
"enterprise" as defined in .
A "transit provider" operates a site which directly provides
connectivity to the Internet to one or more external sites. The
connectivity provided extends beyond the transit provider's own site.
A transit provider's site is directly connected to the sites for
which it provides transit.
A "multihomed" site is one with more than one transit provider.
"Site-multihoming" is the practice of arranging a site to be multi-
The term "re-homing" denotes a transition of a site between two
states of connectedness, due to a change in the connectivity between
the site and its transit providers' sites.
3. Multihoming Requirements
3.1 Capabilities of IPv4 Multihoming
The following capabilities of current IPv4 multihoming practices MUST
be supported by an IPv6 multihoming architecture. IPv4 multihoming
is discussed in more detail in .
By multihoming, a site MUST be able to insulate itself from certain
failure modes within one or more transit providers, as well as
failures in the network providing interconnection among one or more
Infrastructural commonalities below the IP layer may result in
connectivity which is apparently diverse sharing single points of
failure. For example, two separate DS3 circuits ordered from
different suppliers and connecting a site to independent transit
providers may share a single conduit from the street into a building;
in this case backhoe-fade of both circuits may be experienced due to
a single incident in the street. The two circuits are said to "share
The multihoming architecture MUST accommodate (in the general case,
issues of shared fate notwithstanding) continuity of connectivity
during the following failures:
o Physical failure, such as a fiber cut, or router failure,
o Logical link failure, such as a misbehaving router interface,
o Routing protocol failure, such as a BGP peer reset,
o Transit provider failure, such as a backbone-wide IGP failure, and
o Exchange failure, such as a BGP reset on an inter-provider
3.1.2 Load Sharing
By multihoming, a site MUST be able to distribute both inbound and
outbound traffic between multiple transit providers. This
requirement is for concurrent use of the multiple transit providers,
not just the usage of one provider over one interval of time and
another provider over a different interval.
By multihoming, a site MUST be able to protect itself from
performance difficulties directly between the site's transit
For example, suppose site E obtains transit from transit providers T1
and T2, and there is long-term congestion between T1 and T2. The
multihoming architecture MUST allow E to ensure that in normal
operation none of its traffic is carried over the congested
interconnection T1-T2. The process by which this is achieved MAY be
a manual one.
A multi-homed site MUST be able to distribute inbound traffic from
particular multiple transit providers according to the particular
address range within their site which is sourcing or sinking the
A customer may choose to multihome for a variety of policy reasons
beyond technical scope (e.g. cost, acceptable use conditions, etc.)
For example, customer C homed to ISP A may wish to shift traffic of a
certain class or application, NNTP, for example, to ISP B as matter
of policy. A new IPv6 multihoming proposal MUST provide support for
site-multihoming for external policy reasons.
As any proposed multihoming solution must be deployed in real
networks with real customers, simplicity is paramount. The current
multihoming solution is quite straightforward to deploy and maintain.
A new IPv6 multihoming proposal MUST NOT be substantially more
complex to deploy and operate than current IPv4 multihoming
3.1.6 Transport-Layer Survivability
Multihoming solutions MUST provide re-homing transparency for
transport-layer sessions; i.e. exchange of data between devices on
the multihomed site and devices elsewhere on the Internet may proceed
with no greater interruption than that associated with the transient
packet loss during the re-homing event.
New transport-layer sessions MUST be able to be created following a
Transport-layer sessions include those involving transport-layer
protocols such as TCP, UDP and SCTP over IP. Applications which
communicate over raw IP and other network-layer protocols MAY also
enjoy re-homing transparency.
3.2 Additional Requirements
Current IPV4 multihoming practices contribute to the significant
growth currently observed in the state held in the global inter-
provider routing system; this is a concern both because of the
hardware requirements it imposes and also because of the impact on
the stability of the routing system. This issue is discussed in
great detail in .
A new IPv6 multihoming architecture MUST scale to accommodate orders
of magnitude more multi-homed sites without imposing unreasonable
requirements on the routing system.
3.2.2 Impact on Routers
The solution MAY require changes to IPv6 router implementations, but
these changes must be either minor, or in the form of logically
separate functions added to existing functions.
Such changes MUST NOT prevent normal single-homed operation, and
routers implementing these changes must be able to interoperate fully
with hosts and routers not implementing them.
3.2.3 Impact on Hosts
The solution MUST NOT destroy IPv6 connectivity for a legacy host
implementing RFC 2373 , RFC 2460 , RFC 2553  and other basic
IPv6 specifications current in November 2001. That is to say, if a
host can work in a single-homed site, it must still be able to work
in a multihomed site, even if it cannot benefit from site-
It would be compatible with this requirement for such a host to lose
connectivity if a site lost connectivity to one transit provider,
despite the fact that other transit provider connections were still
If the solution requires changes to the host stack, these changes
MUST be either minor, or in the form of logically separate functions
added to existing functions.
If the solution requires changes to the socket API and/or the
transport layer, it MUST be possible to retain the original socket
API and transport protocols in parallel, even if they cannot benefit
The multi-homing solution MAY allow host or application changes if
that would enhance session survivability.
3.2.4 Interaction between Hosts and the Routing System
The solution MAY involve interaction between a site's hosts and its
routing system; such an interaction MUST be simple, scaleable and
3.2.5 Operations and Management
It MUST be posssible for staff responsible for the operation of a
site to monitor and configure the site's multihoming system.
|3.2.6 Cooperation between Transit Providers
| A multihoming strategy MAY require cooperation between a site and its
| transit providers, but MUST NOT require cooperation directly between
| the transit providers.
4. Security Considerations
A multihomed site MUST be no more vulnerable to security breaches
than a non-multihomed site.
 Abley, J., Black, B. and V. Gill, "IPv4 Multihoming Motivation,
Practices and Limitations (work-in-progress)", I-D draft-ietf-
multi6-v4-multihoming-00, June 2001,
 Fuller, V., Li, T., Yu, J. and K. Varadhan, "Classless Inter-
Domain Routing (CIDR): an Address Assignment and Aggregation
Strategy", RFC 1519, September 1993.
 Rekhter, Y., Moskowitz, B., Karrenberg, D., de Groot, G. and E.
Lear, "Address Allocation for Private Internets", RFC 1918,
 Bradner, S., "Key words for use in RFCs to Indicate Requirement
Levels", RFC 2119, March 1997.
 Hinden, R. and S. Deering, "IP Version 6 Addressing
Architecture", RFC 2373, July 1998.
 Hinden, R., O'Dell, M. and S. Deering, "An IPv6 Aggregatable
Global Unicast Address Format", RFC 2374, July 1998.
 Deering, S. and R. Hinden, "Internet Protocol, Version 6 (IPv6)
Specification", RFC 2460, December 1998.
 Gilligan, R., Thomson, S., Bound, J. and W. Stevens, "Basic
Socket Interface Extensions for IPv6", RFC 2553, March 1999.
 Huston, G., "Analyzing the Internet's BGP Routing Table",
8075 Leesburg Pike
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Komoka, ON N0L 1R0
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