ANIMA T. Eckert
Internet-Draft Huawei
Intended status: Informational M. Behringer
Expires: January 4, 2018 July 3, 2017

Using Autonomic Control Plane for Stable Connectivity of Network OAM
draft-ietf-anima-stable-connectivity-03

Abstract

OAM (Operations, Administration and Management) processes for data networks are often subject to the problem of circular dependencies when relying on network connectivity of the network to be managed for the OAM operations itself. Provisioning during device/network bring up tends to be far less easy to automate than service provisioning later on, changes in core network functions impacting reachability can not be automated either because of ongoing connectivity requirements for the OAM equipment itself, and widely used OAM protocols are not secure enough to be carried across the network without security concerns.

This document describes how to integrate OAM processes with the autonomic control plane (ACP) in Autonomic Networks (AN). to provide stable and secure connectivity for those OAM processes.

Status of This Memo

This Internet-Draft is submitted in full conformance with the provisions of BCP 78 and BCP 79.

Internet-Drafts are working documents of the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF). Note that other groups may also distribute working documents as Internet-Drafts. The list of current Internet-Drafts is at http://datatracker.ietf.org/drafts/current/.

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."

This Internet-Draft will expire on January 4, 2018.

Copyright Notice

Copyright (c) 2017 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

1.1. Self dependent OAM connectivity

OAM (Operations, Administration and Management) processes for data networks are often subject to the problem of circular dependencies when relying on network connectivity of the network to be managed for the OAM operations itself:

The ability to perform OAM operations on a network device requires first the execution of OAM procedures necessary to create network connectivity to that device in all intervening devices. This typically leads to sequential, 'expanding ring configuration' from a NOC (Network Operations Center). It also leads to tight dependencies between provisioning tools and security enrollment of devices. Any process that wants to enroll multiple devices along a newly deployed network topology needs to tightly interlock with the provisioning process that creates connectivity before the enrollment can move on to the next device.

When performing change operations on a network, it likewise is necessary to understand at any step of that process that there is no interruption of connectivity that could lead to removal of connectivity to remote devices. This includes especially change provisioning of routing, security and addressing policies in the network that often occur through mergers and acquisitions, the introduction of IPv6 or other mayor re-hauls in the infrastructure design. Examples include change of IGP protocols or areas, PD (Provider Dependent) to PI (Provider Independent) addressing, systematic topology changes.

All this circular dependencies make OAM processes complex and potentially fragile. When automation is being used, for example through provisioning systems or network controllers, this complexity extends into that automation software.

1.2. Data Communication Networks (DCNs)

In the late 1990'th and early 2000, IP networks became the method of choice to build separate OAM networks for the communications infrastructure in service providers. This concept was standardized in G.7712/Y.1703 and called "Data Communications Networks" (DCN). These where (and still are) physically separate IP(/MPLS) networks that provide access to OAM interfaces of all equipment that had to be managed, from PSTN (Public Switched Telephone Network) switches over optical equipment to nowadays ethernet and IP/MPLS production network equipment.

Such DCN provide stable connectivity not subject to aforementioned problems because they are separate network entirely, so change configuration of the production IP network is done via the DCN but never affects the DCN configuration. Of course, this approach comes at a cost of buying and operating a separate network and this cost is not feasible for many networks, most notably smaller service providers, most enterprises and typical IoT networks.

1.3. Leveraging the ACP

One goal of the Autonomic Networks Autonomic Control plane (ACP as defined in [I-D.ietf-anima-autonomic-control-plane] ) in Autonomic Networks is to provide similar stable connectivity as a DCN, but without having to build a separate DCN. It is clear that such 'in-band' approach can never achieve fully the same level of separation, but the goal is to get as close to it as possible.

This solution approach has several aspects. One aspect is designing the implementation of the ACP in network devices to make it actually perform without interruption by changes in what we will call in this document the "data-plane", aka: the operator or controller configured services planes of the network equipment. This aspect is not currently covered in this document.

Another aspect is how to leverage the stable IPv6 connectivity provided by the ACP to build actual OAM solutions. This is the current scope of this document.

2. Solutions

2.1. Stable connectivity for centralized OAM operations

The ANI is the "Autonomic Networking Infrastructure" consisting of secure zero touch Bootstrap (BRSKI - [I-D.ietf-anima-bootstrapping-keyinfra]), Generic Signaling (GRASP - [I-D.ietf-anima-grasp] and Autonomic Control Plane (ACP - [I-D.ietf-anima-autonomic-control-plane] ). See [I-D.ietf-anima-reference-model] for an overview of the ANI and how its components interact and [RFC7575] for concepts and terminology of ANI and autonomic networks.

This section describes stable connectivity for centralized OAM operations via ACP/ANI starting by what we expect to be the easiest short-term deployment option. It then describes limitation/challenges of that approach and their solutions/workarounds to finish with the preferred target option of autonomic NOC devices in Section 2.1.6.

This order was choosen because it helps to explain how simple initial use of ACP can be, how difficult workarounds can become (and therefore what to avoid), and finally because one very promising long-term solution alternative is exactly like the most easy short-term solution only virtualized and automated.

In the most common case, OAM operations will be performed by one or more applications running on a variety of centralized NOC systems that communicate with network devices. We describe differently advanced approaches to leverage the ACP for stable connectivity leveraging the ACP. The descriptions will show that there is a wide range of options, some of which are simple, some more complex.

Most easily we think there are three stages of interest:

2.1.1. Simple connectivity for non-autonomic NMS hosts

In the most simple deployment case, the ACP extends all the way into the NOC via an autonomic device set up as an ACP edge device providing native access to the ACP for NMS hosts (as defined in section 6.1 of [I-D.ietf-anima-autonomic-control-plane]. It acts as the default-router to those hosts and provides them with only IPv6 connectivity into the ACP - but no IPv4 connectivity. NMS hosts with this setup need to support IPv6 but require no other modifications to leverage the ACP.

Note that even though the ACP only uses IPv6, it can and should be used to provide stable connectivity for management of any network: IPv4 only, dual-stack or IPv6 only.

This setup is sufficient for troubleshooting OAM operations such as SSH into network devices, NMS that perform SNMP read operations for status checking, for software downloads into autonomic devices and so on. In conjunction with otherwise unmodified OAM operations via separate NMS hosts it can provide a good subset of the interesting stable connectivity goals from the ACP.

Because the ACP provides 'only' for IPv6 connectivity, and because the addressing provided by the ACP does not include any addressing structure that operations in a NOC often relies on to recognize where devices are on the network, it is likely highly desirable to set up DNS (Domain Name System - see [RFC1034]) so that the ACP IPv6 addresses of autonomic devices are known via domain names with logical names. For example, if DNS in the network was set up with names for network devices as devicename.noc.example.com, then the ACP address of that device could be mapped to devicename-acp.noc.exmaple.com.

2.1.2. Challenges and limitation of simple connectivity

This simple connectivity of non-autonomic NMS hosts suffers from a range of possible challenges (operators may not be able to do it this way) or limitations (operator can not achieve desired goals with this setup). The following list summarizes these and the following sections describe additional mechanisms to overcome them.

Note that these challenges and limitations exist because the ACP is primarily designed to support distributed ASA in the most leightweight fashion but not mandatorily require support for additional mechanisms to best support centralized NOC operations. It is this document that describes additional (short term) workarounds and (long term) extensions.

  1. Limitation: NMS hosts can not directly probe whether the desired so called 'data-plane' network connectivity works because they do not directly have access to it. This problem is not dissimilar to probing connectivity for other services (such as VPN services) that they do not have direct access to, so the NOC may already employ appropriate mechanisms to deal with this issue (probing proxies). See Section 2.1.3 for solutions.
  2. Challenge: NMS hosts need to support IPv6 which often is still not possible in many enterprise networks. See Section 2.1.4 for (highly undesirable) workarounds.
  3. Limitation: Performance of the ACP will be limited versus normal 'data-plane' connectivity. The setup of the ACP will often support only non-hardware accelerated forwarding. Running a large amount of traffic through the ACP, especially for tasks where it is not necessary will reduce its performance/effectiveness for those operations where it is necessary or highly desirable. See Section 2.1.5 for solutions.
  4. Limitation: Security of the ACP is reduced by exposing the ACP natively (and unencrypted) into a LAN In the NOC where the NOC devices are attached to it. See Section 2.1.7 for solutions.

These four problems can be tackled independently of each other by solution improvements. Combining these solutions improvements together ultimately leads towards the target long term solution.

2.1.3. Simultaneous ACP and data plane connectivity

Simultaneous connectivity to both ACP and data-plane can be achieved in a variety of ways. If the data-plane is only IPv4, then any method for dual-stack attachment of the NOC device/application will suffice: IPv6 connectivity from the NOC provides access via the ACP, IPv4 will provide access via the data-plane. If as explained above in the most simple case, an autonomic device supports native attachment to the ACP, and the existing NOC setup is IPv4 only, then it could be sufficient to simply attach the ACP device(s) as the IPv6 default-router to the NOC LANs and keep the existing IPv4 default router setup unchanged.

If the data-plane of the network is also supporting IPv6, then the NOC devices that need access to the ACP should have a dual-homing IPv6 setup. One option is to make the NOC devices multi-homed with one logical or physical IPv6 interface connecting to the data-plane, and another into the ACP. The LAN that provides access to the ACP should then be given an IPv6 prefix that shares a common prefix with the IPv6 ULA (see [RFC4193]) of the ACP so that the standard IPv6 interface selection rules on the NOC host would result in the desired automatic selection of the right interface: towards the ACP facing interface for connections to ACP addresses, and towards the data-plane interface for anything else. If this can not be achieved automatically, then it needs to be done via simple IPv6 static routes in the NOC host.

Providing two virtual (eg: dot1q subnet) connections into NOC hosts may be seen as undesired complexity. In that case the routing policy to provide access to both ACP and data-plane via IPv6 needs to happen in the NOC network itself: The NMS host gets a single attachment interface but still with the same two IPv6 addresses as in before - one for use towards the ACP, one towards the data-plane. The first-hop router connecting to the NMS host would then have separate interfaces: one towards the data-plane, one towards the ACP. Routing of traffic from NMS hosts would then have to be based on the source IPv6 address of the host: Traffic from the address designated for ACP use would get routed towards the ACP, traffic from the designated data-plane address towards the data-plane.

In the most simple case, we get the following topology: Existing NMS hosts connect via an existing NOClan and existing first hop Rtr1 to the data-plane. Rtr1 is not made autonomic, but instead the edge router of the Autonomic network ANrtr is attached via a separate interface to Rtr1 and ANrtr provides access to the ACP via ACPaccessLan. Rtr1 is configured with the above described IPv6 source routing policies and the NOC-app-devices are given the secondary IPv6 address for connectivity into the ACP.

                                    --... (data-plane)
NOC-app-device(s) -- NOClan -- Rtr1
                                    --- ACPaccessLan -- ANrtr ... (ACP)

Figure 1

If Rtr1 was to be upgraded to also implement Autonomic Networking and the ACP, the picture would change as follows:


                                             ---- ... (data-plane)
    NOC-app-device(s) ---- NOClan --- ANrtr1
                                      .  .   ---- ... (ACP)
                                      \-/
                                      (ACP to data-plane loopback)

Figure 2

In this case, ANrtr1 would have to implement some more advanced routing such as cross-VRF routing because the data-plane and ACP are most likely run via separate VRFs. A workaround without additional software functionality could be a physical external loopback cable into two ports of ANrtr1 to connect the data-plane and ACP VRF as shown in the picture. A (virtual) software loopback between the ACP and data plane VRF would of course be the better solution.

2.1.4. IPv4 only NMS hosts

The ACP does not support IPv4 to ensure long term simplicity: Single stack IPv6 management of the network via ACP and (as needed) data plane. Independent of whether the data plane is dual-stack, has IPv4 as a service or is single stack IPv6. Dual plane management, IPv6 for the ACP, IPv4 for the data plane is likewise an architecturally simple option.

The downside of this architectural decision is the potential need for short-term workarounds when the operational practices in a network that can not meet these target expectations. This section motivates when and why these workarounds may be necessary and describes them. All the workarounds described in this section are HIGHLY UNDESIRABLE. The only long term solution is to enable IPv6 on NMS hosts.

Most network equipment today supports IPv6 but it is by far not ubiquitously supported in NOC backend solutions (HW/SW), especially not in the product space for enterprises. Even when it is supported, there are often additional limitations or issues using it in a dual stack setup or the operator mandates for simplicity single stack for all operations. For these reasons an IPv4 only management plane is still required and common practice in many enterprises. Without the desire to leverage the ACP, this required and common practice is not a problem for those enterprises even when they run dual stack in the network. Therefore we document these workarounds here because it is a short term deployment challence specific to the operations of the ACP.

To bridge an IPv4 only management plane with the ACP, IPv4 to IPv6 NAT can be used. This NAT setup could for example be done in Rt1r1 in above picture to also support IPv4 only NMS hots connected to NOClan.

To support connections initiated from IPv4 only NMS hosts towards the ACP of network devices, it is necessary to create a static mapping of ACP IPv6 addresses into an unused IPv4 address space and dynamic or static mapping of the IPv4 NOC application device address (prefix) into IPv6 routed in the ACP. The main issue in this setup is the mapping of all ACP IPv6 addresses to IPv4. Without further network intelligence, this needs to be a 1:1 address mapping because the prefix used for ACP IPv6 addresses is too long to be mapped directly into IPv4 on a prefix basis.

One could implement in router software dynamic mappings by leveraging DNS, but it seems highly undesirable to implement such complex technologies for something that ultimately is a temporary problem (IPv4 only NMS hosts). With today's operational directions it is likely more preferable to automate the setup of 1:1 NAT mappings in that NAT router as part of the automation process of network device enrollment into the ACP.

The ACP can also be used for connections initiated by the network device into the NMS hosts. For example syslog from autonomic devices. In this case, static mappings of the NMS hosts IPv4 addresses are required. This can easily be done with a static prefix mapping into IPv6.

Overall, the use of NAT is especially subject to the RoI (Return of Investment) considerations, but the methods described here may not be too different from the same problems encountered totally independent of AN/ACP when some parts of the network are to introduce IPv6 but NMS hosts are not (yet) upgradeable.

2.1.5. Path selection policies

As mentioned above, the ACP is not expected to have high performance because its primary goal is connectivity and security, and for existing network device platforms this often means that it is a lot more effort to implement that additional connectivity with hardware acceleration than without - especially because of the desire to support full encryption across the ACP to achieve the desired security.

Some of these issues may go away in the future with further adoption of the ACP and network device designs that better tender to the needs of a separate OAM plane, but it is wise to plan for even long-term designs of the solution that does NOT depend on high-performance of the ACP. This is opposite to the expectation that future NMS hosts will have IPv6, so that any considerations for IPv4/NAT in this solution are temporary.

To solve the expected performance limitations of the ACP, we do expect to have the above describe dual-connectivity via both ACP and data-plane between NOC application devices and AN devices with ACP. The ACP connectivity is expected to always be there (as soon as a device is enrolled), but the data-plane connectivity is only present under normal operations but will not be present during eg: early stages of device bootstrap, failures, provisioning mistakes or during network configuration changes.

The desired policy is therefore as follows: In the absence of further security considerations (see below), traffic between NMS hosts and AN devices should prefer data-plane connectivity and resort only to using the ACP when necessary, unless it is an operation known to be so much tied to the cases where the ACP is necessary that it makes no sense to try using the data plane. An example here is of course the SSH connection from the NOC into a network device to troubleshoot network connectivity. This could easily always rely on the ACP. Likewise, if an NMS host is known to transmit large amounts of data, and it uses the ACP, then its performance need to be controlled so that it will not overload the ACP performance. Typical examples of this are software downloads.

There is a wide range of methods to build up these policies. We describe a few:

Ideally, a NOC system would learn and keep track of all addresses of a device (ACP and the various data plane addresses). Every action of the NOC system would indicate via a "path-policy" what type of connection it needs (eg: only data-plane, ACP-only, default to data-plane, fallback to ACP,...). A connection policy manager would then build connection to the target using the right address(es). Shorter term, a common practice is to identify different paths to a device via different names (eg: loopback vs. interface addresses). This approach can be expanded to ACP uses, whether it uses NOC system local names or DNS. We describe example schemes using DNS:

DNS can be used to set up names for the same network devices but with different addresses assigned: One name (name.noc.example.com) with only the data-plane address(es) (IPv4 and/or IPv6) to be used for probing connectivity or performing routine software downloads that may stall/fail when there are connectivity issues. One name (name-acp.noc.example.com) with only the ACP reachable address of the device for troubleshooting and probing/discovery that is desired to always only use the ACP. One name with data plane and ACP addresses (name-both.noc.example.com).

Traffic policing and/or shaping of at the ACP edge in the NOC can be used to throttle applications such as software download into the ACP.

MP-TCP (Multipath TCP -see [RFC6824]) is a very attractive candidate to automate the use of both data-plane and ACP and minimize or fully avoid the need for the above mentioned logical names to pre-set the desired connectivity (data-plane-only, ACP only, both). For example, a set-up for non MP-TCP aware applications would be as follows:

DNS naming is set up to provide the ACP IPv6 address of network devices. Unbeknownst to the application, MP-TCP is used. MP-TCP mutually discovers between the NOC and network device the data-plane address and caries all traffic across it when that MP-TCP sub-flow across the data-plane can be built.

In the Autonomic network devices where data-plane and ACP are in separate VRFs, it is clear that this type of MP-TCP sub-flow creation across different VRFs is new/added functionality. Likewise the policies of preferring a particular address (NOC-device) or VRF (AN device) for the traffic is potentially also a policy not provided as a standard.

2.1.6. Autonomic NOC device/applications

Setting up connectivity between the NOC and autonomic devices when the NOC device itself is non-autonomic is as mentioned in the beginning a security issue. It also results as shown in the previous paragraphs in a range of connectivity considerations, some of which may be quite undesirable or complex to operationalize.

Making NMS hosts autonomic and having them participate in the ACP is therefore not only a highly desirable solution to the security issues, but can also provide a likely easier operationalization of the ACP because it minimizes NOC-special edge considerations - the ACP is simply built all the way automatically, even inside the NOC and only authorized and authenticate NOC devices/applications will have access to it.

Supporting the ACP all the way into an application device requires implementing the following aspects in it: AN bootstrap/enrollment mechanisms, the secure channel for the ACP and at least the host side of IPv6 routing setup for the ACP. Minimally this could all be implemented as an application and be made available to the host OS via eg: a tap driver to make the ACP show up as another IPv6 enabled interface.

Having said this: If the structure of NMS hosts is transformed through virtualization anyhow, then it may be considered equally secure and appropriate to construct (physical) NMS host system by combining a virtual AN/ACP enabled router with non-AN/ACP enabled NOC-application VMs via a hypervisor, leveraging the configuration options described in the previous sections but just virtualizing them.

2.1.7. Encryption of data-plane connections

When combining ACP and data-plane connectivity for availability and performance reasons, this too has an impact on security: When using the ACP, the traffic will be mostly encryption protected, especially when considering the above described use of AN application devices. If instead the data-plane is used, then this is not the case anymore unless it is done by the application.

The simplest solution for this problem exists when using AN capable NMS hosts, because in that case the communicating AN capable NMS host and the AN network device have certificates through the AN enrollment process that they can mutually trust (same AN domain). In result, data-plane connectivity that does support this can simply leverage TLS/dTLS with mutual AN-domain certificate authentication - and does not incur new key management.

If this automatic security benefit is seen as most important, but a "full" ACP stack into the NMS host is unfeasible, then it would still be possible to design a stripped down version of AN functionality for such NOC hosts that only provides enrollment of the NOC host into the AN domain to the extend that the host receives an AN domain certificate, but without directly participating in the ACP afterwards. Instead, the host would just leverage TLS/dTLS using its AN certificate via the data-plane with AN network devices as well as indirectly via the ACP with the above mentioned in-NOC network edge connectivity into the ACP.

When using the ACP itself, TLS/dTLS for the transport layer between NMS hosts and network device is somewhat of a double price to pay (ACP also encrypts) and could potentially be optimized away, but given the assumed lower performance of the ACP, it seems that this is an unnecessary optimization.

2.1.8. Long term direction of the solution

If we consider what potentially could be the most lightweight and autonomic long term solution based on the technologies described above, we see the following direction:

  1. NMS hosts should at least support IPv6. IPv4/IPv6 NAT in the network to enable use of ACP is long term undesirable. Having IPv4 only applications automatically leverage IPv6 connectivity via host-stack options is likely non-feasible (NOTE: this has still to be vetted more).
  2. Build the ACP as a lightweight application for NMS hosts so ACP extends all the way into the actual NMS hosts.
  3. Leverage and as necessary enhance MP-TCP with automatic dual-connectivity: If the MP-TCP unaware application is using ACP connectivity, the policies used should add sub-flow(s) via the data-plane and prefer them.
  4. Consider how to best map NMS host desires to underlying transport mechanisms: With the above mentioned 3 points, not all options are covered. Depending on the OAM operation, one may still want only ACP, only data-plane, or automatically prefer one over the other and/or use the ACP with low performance or high-performance (for emergency OAM actions such as countering DDoS). It is as of today not clear what the simplest set of tools is to enable explicitly the choice of desired behavior of each OAM operations. The use of the above mentioned DNS and MP-TCP mechanisms is a start, but this will require additional thoughts. This is likely a specific case of the more generic scope of TAPS.

2.2. Stable connectivity for distributed network/OAM functions

The ANI (ACP, Bootstrap, GRASP) can provide via the GRASP protocol common direct-neighbor discovery and capability negotiation (GRASP via ACP and/or data-plane) and stable and secure connectivity for functions running distributed in network devices (GRASP via ACP). It can therefore eliminate the need to re-implement similar functions in each distributed function in the network. Today, every distributed protocol does this with functional elements usually called "Hello" mechanisms and with often protocol specific security mechanisms.

KARP (Keying and Authentication for Routing Protocols, see [RFC6518]) has tried to start provide common directions and therefore reduce the re-invention of at least some of the security aspects, but it only covers routing-protocols and it is unclear how well it applicable to a potentially wider range of network distributed agents such as those performing distributed OAM functions. The ACP can help in these cases.

3. Security Considerations

In this section, we discuss only security considerations not covered in the appropriate sub-sections of the solutions described.

Even though ACPs are meant to be isolated, explicit operator misconfiguration to connect to insecure OAM equipment and/or bugs in ACP devices may cause leakage into places where it is not expected. Mergers/Aquisitions and other complex network reconfigurations affecting the NOC are typical examples.

ULA addressing as proposed in this document is preferred over globally reachable addresses because it is not routed in the global Internet and will therefore be subject to more filtering even in places where specific ULA addresses are being used.

Randomn ULA addressing provides more than sufficient protection against address collision even though there is no central assignment authority. This is helped by the expectation, that ACPs are never expected to connect all together, but only few ACPs may ever need to connect together, eg: when mergers and aquisitions occur.

If packets with unexpected ULA addresses are seen and one expects them to be from another networks ACP from which they leaked, then some form of ULA prefix registrastion (not allocation) can be beneficial. Some voluntary registries exist, for example https://www.sixxs.net/tools/grh/ula/, although none of them is preferrable because of being operated by some recognized authority. If an operator would want to make its ULA prefix known, it might need to register it with multiple existing registries.

ULA Centrally assigned ULA addresses (ULA-C) was an attempt to introduce centralized registration of randomly assigned addresses and potentially even carve out a different ULA prefix for such addresses. This proposal is currently not proceeding, and it is questionable whether the stable connectivity use case provides sufficient motivation to revive this effort.

Using current registration options implies that there will not be reverse DNS mapping for ACP addresses. For that one will have to rely on looking up the unknown/unexpected network prefix in the registry registry to determine the owner of these addresses.

Reverse DNS resolution may be beneficial for specific already deployed insecure legacy protocols on NOC OAM systems that intend to communicate via the ACP (eg: TFTP) and leverages reverse-DNS for authentication. Given how the ACP provides path security except potentially for the last-hop in the NOC, the ACP does make it easier to extend the lifespan of such protocols in a secure fashion as far to just the transport is concerned. The ACP does not make reverse DNS lookup a secure authentication method though. Any current and future protocols must rely on secure end-to-end communications (TLD, dTLS) and identification and authentication via the certificates assigned to both ends. This is enabled by the certificate mechanisms of the ACP.

If DNS and especially reverse DNS are set up, then it should be set up in an automated fashion, linked to the autonomic registrar backend so that the DNS and reverse DNS records are actually derived from the subject name elements of the ACP device certificates in the same way as the autonomic devices themselves will derive their ULA addresses from their certificates to ensure correct and consistent DNS entries.

If an operator feels that reverse DNS records are beneficial to its own operations but that they should not be made available publically for "security" by concealment reasons, then the case of ACP DNS entries is probably one of the least problematic use cases for split-DNS: The ACP DNS names are only needed for the NMS hosts intending to use the ACP - but not network wide across the enterprise.

4. No IPv4 for ACP

The ACP is targeted to be IPv6 only, and the prior explanations in this document show that this can lead to some complexity when having to connect IPv4 only NOC solutions, and that it will be impossible to leverage the ACP when the OAM agents on an ACP network device do not support IPv6. Therefore, the question was raised whether the ACP should optionally also support IPv4.

The decision not to include IPv4 for ACP as something that is considered in the use cases in this document is because of the following reasons:

In SP networks that have started to support IPv6, often the next planned step is to consider moving out IPv4 from a native transport as just a service on the edge. There is no benefit/need for multiple parallel transport families within the network, and standardizing on one reduces OPEX and improves reliability. This evolution in the data plane makes it highly unlikely that investing development cycles into IPv4 support for ACP will have a longer term benefit or enough critical short-term use-cases. Support for only IPv4 for ACP is purely a strategic choice to focus on the known important long term goals.

In other type of networks as well, we think that efforts to support autonomic networking is better spent in ensuring that one address family will be support so all use cases will long-term work with it, instead of duplicating effort into IPv4. Especially because auto-addressing for the ACP with IPv4 would be more ecomplex than in IPv6 due to the IPv4 addressing space.

5. IANA Considerations

This document requests no action by IANA.

6. Acknowledgements

This work originated from an Autonomic Networking project at cisco Systems, which started in early 2010 including customers involved in the design and early testing. Many people contributed to the aspects described in this document, including in alphabetical order: BL Balaji, Steinthor Bjarnason, Yves Herthoghs, Sebastian Meissner, Ravi Kumar Vadapalli. The author would also like to thank Michael Richardson, James Woodyatt and Brian Carpenter for their review and comments. Special thanks to Sheng Jiang for his thorough review.

7. Change log [RFC Editor: Please remove]

8. References

[I-D.ietf-anima-autonomic-control-plane] Behringer, M., Eckert, T. and S. Bjarnason, "An Autonomic Control Plane", Internet-Draft draft-ietf-anima-autonomic-control-plane-06, March 2017.
[I-D.ietf-anima-bootstrapping-keyinfra] Pritikin, M., Richardson, M., Behringer, M., Bjarnason, S. and K. Watsen, "Bootstrapping Remote Secure Key Infrastructures (BRSKI)", Internet-Draft draft-ietf-anima-bootstrapping-keyinfra-06, May 2017.
[I-D.ietf-anima-grasp] Bormann, C., Carpenter, B. and B. Liu, "A Generic Autonomic Signaling Protocol (GRASP)", Internet-Draft draft-ietf-anima-grasp-14, July 2017.
[I-D.ietf-anima-reference-model] Behringer, M., Carpenter, B., Eckert, T., Ciavaglia, L., Pierre, P., Liu, B., Nobre, J. and J. Strassner, "A Reference Model for Autonomic Networking", Internet-Draft draft-ietf-anima-reference-model-04, July 2017.
[RFC1034] Mockapetris, P., "Domain names - concepts and facilities", STD 13, RFC 1034, DOI 10.17487/RFC1034, November 1987.
[RFC4193] Hinden, R. and B. Haberman, "Unique Local IPv6 Unicast Addresses", RFC 4193, DOI 10.17487/RFC4193, October 2005.
[RFC6518] Lebovitz, G. and M. Bhatia, "Keying and Authentication for Routing Protocols (KARP) Design Guidelines", RFC 6518, DOI 10.17487/RFC6518, February 2012.
[RFC6824] Ford, A., Raiciu, C., Handley, M. and O. Bonaventure, "TCP Extensions for Multipath Operation with Multiple Addresses", RFC 6824, DOI 10.17487/RFC6824, January 2013.
[RFC7575] Behringer, M., Pritikin, M., Bjarnason, S., Clemm, A., Carpenter, B., Jiang, S. and L. Ciavaglia, "Autonomic Networking: Definitions and Design Goals", RFC 7575, DOI 10.17487/RFC7575, June 2015.

Authors' Addresses

Toerless Eckert Futurewei Technologies Inc. 2330 Central Expy Santa Clara, 95050 USA EMail: tte+ietf@cs.fau.de
Michael H. Behringer EMail: michael.h.behringer@gmail.com