Network Working Group P. Lapukhov
Internet-Draft Facebook
Intended status: Informational October 31, 2016
Expires: May 4, 2017

Deploying Identifier-Locator Addressing (ILA) in datacenter networks


Identifier-Locator Addressing architecture defined in [I-D.herbert-nvo3-ila] proposes the use of locator-identifier split in IPv6 address to realize workload mobility and more efficient use of network resources. This document describes how ILA can be implemented in datacenter using BGP as the control-plane protocol. Generally speaking, ILA could be built using different control planes, and BGP is one particular instantiation. The motivation is BGP being a well-known protocol, sufficient for small to medium size deployments, on scale of few millions of identifier to locator mappings. Defining more generic and scalable control plane variants is outside of scope of this document.

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Table of Contents

1. Introduction

This document provides high-level guidelines for building an ILA-enabled datacenter using BGP [RFC4271] as the protocol for ILA mapping information dissemination. The reader is expected to be familiar with the principles presented in [I-D.herbert-nvo3-ila]. Reading on ILNP architecture defined in [RFC6740] is also recommended, but not needed for understanding of this document. While ILA does not implement the original ILNP proposal, it's based on the same idea of maintaining the Identifier vs Locator split in the IPv6 address.

ILA benefits from routed datacenter networks, i.e. networks that do not rely on spanning Layer-2 domains across multiple network devices. Endpoint mobility made possible by ILA is one of the key benefits ILA brings to the datacenter networks. Combining ILA with fully routed network design allows for achieving the robustness of routed network with the flexibility of endpoint mobility. Some practical recommendations for building a fully-routed datacenter network could be found in [RFC7938] or [ROUTED-DESIGN].

Though workload mobility could also be achieved in L3 switched networks by using "host-route injection" technique, such approach has limited applicability, due to high stress put on the underlying control and data planes. The mobile prefix needs to be removed, re-injected and propagated to all network devices every time an address moves.

ILA is an alternative to "encapsulation" approaches, such as LISP ([RFC6830]), for realizing the endpoint mobility and network virtualization. Using simple address rewrites significantly reduces the processing overhead on the hosts, and makes various hardware and software network acceleration functions easier to implement (e.g. checksum computation offload). Furthermore, ILA keeps the underlying network fully visible to the applications that use ILA addresses, which makes network troubleshooting easier, as compared to the "encapsulation" approaches.

2. Terminology

This section defines ILA-specific terminology that will be used through the document.

3. ILA deployment process

The ILA domain consists of the following conceptual elements:

Deploying ILA in datacenter requires the following logical steps:

4. Preparing the network

This section provides overview of the network-related configuration needed for ILA.

4.1. Data-center network topology

For ease of reference, this document adopts the Clos topology described in [RFC7938] along with the terminology developed in that document.

         Cluster                    |     |
+----------------------------+   +--|     |--+
|                            |   |  +-----+  |
|                    Tier-2  |   |           |   Tier-2
|                   +-----+  |   |  +-----+  |  +-----+
|     +-------------| DEV |------+--|     |--+--|     |-------------+
|     |       +-----|  C  |------+  |     |  +--|     |-----+       |
|     |       |     +-----+  |      +-----+     +-----+     |       |
|     |       |              |                              |       |
|     |       |     +-----+  |      +-----+     +-----+     |       |
|     | +-----------| DEV |------+  |     |  +--|     |-----------+ |
|     | |     | +---|  D  |------+--|     |--+--|     |---+ |     | |
|     | |     | |   +-----+  |   |  +-----+  |  +-----+   | |     | |
|     | |     | |            |   |           |            | |     | |
|   +-----+ +-----+          |   |  +-----+  |          +-----+ +-----+
|   | DEV | | DEV |          |   +--|     |--+          |     | |     |
|   |  A  | |  B  | Tier-3   |      |     |      Tier-3 |     | |     |
|   +-----+ +-----+          |      +-----+             +-----+ +-----+
|     | |     | |            |                            | |     | |
|     O O     O O            |                            O O     O O
|       Servers              |                              Servers

Figure 1: 5-Stage Clos topology

The network is partitioned hierarchically in three tiers, with tier numbering starting at the "middle" stage of the Clos network. The "middle" tier is often called as the "spine" of the network.

A set of directly connected Tier-2 and Tier-3 devices along with their attached servers will be referred to as a "cluster".

Tier-3 switches that connect the servers, are often referred to as "ToR" (Top of Rack) switches or simply "rack switches".

4.2. Configuring locator addressing

A mandatory prerequisite for ILA deployment is enabling IPv6 routing in the network. This could be done using either dual-stack IPv4/IPv6 deployment or IPv6-only deployments. This document assumes the network has been already configured to forward IPv6 traffic. See [I-D.ietf-v6ops-dc-ipv6] for operational considerations on deploying IPv6 in the datacenter.

ILA requires every ILA host to have at least one 64-bit locator assigned. This means that every host (server) in the datacenter network needs to have at least one /64 IPv6 prefix configured on one of its interfaces. These /64 prefixes could be either globally routable or unique-local.

The use of the globally routable addressing scheme allows for deploying highly scalable hierarchical addressing scheme, and make the locators accessible from the Internet. The figure below illustrates the structure of a globally-routable locator:

|<------------------ Locator -------------------->|
|3 bits| N bits     | M1 bits | M2 bits | M3 bits |       64 bits
| 001  | Global pfx | Cluster |   Rack  |   Host  |    Identifier     |
|<-------------------- 64-bits ------------------>|

For example, a global /32 prefix (N=29) allows for sub-allocation of 2^32 locators. This sub-allocation could be done hierarchically, mapping to the tiers of network topology. Following the /32 example prefix:

The use of unique-local addressing for locators is more limiting in terms of available space, as it only offers 16-bits for sub-allocation. It does, however, have the benefit of ad-hoc allocation. This could work better for smaller deployment, e.g. allocating 10-bits to enumerate Tier-3 switches (physical racks of servers) and 6 bits to enumerate hosts within a rack. For instance, the address structure may look as following, here M1 = 10 bits and M2 = 6 bits.

|<----------------- Locator --------------->|
| 7 bits |1|  40 bits   | M1 bits | M2 bits |          64 bits        |
| FC00   |L| Global ID  |  Rack   |   Host  |        Identifier       |
|                       |<---- 16 bits ---->|
|<--------------- 64-bits ----------------->|

In either case, the addressing scheme is hierarchical, allowing for simple route summarization logic and better routing system scaling (see [RFC2791]). This is especially important in case of IPv6, since contemporary datacenter network switches often have smaller IPv6 lookup tables as compared to IPv4. Route summarization also requires certain network design changes to avoid packet black-holing under link failures. This problem gets more complicated in Clos topologies, and analyzed in more details in [RFC7938].

In greenfield deployments, each ILA host could be assigned a /64 locator prefix prefix during provisioning phase. There are multiple options to accomplish this:

The server itself may use one of the IPv6 addresses in /64 prefix for its own addressing, e.g. for remote access or management purposes. Alternatively, the server may obtain another IPv6 address from a different (non-locator) IPv6 address range allocated for the datacenter. This document recommends using <locator>::1 as the special identifier, naming it as "Common Locator Address" (CLA). Such choice of identifier make it easy to differentiate from regular identifiers. This identifier could be used for connectivity testing.

Route summarization for the locator prefixes is highly desirable to reduce the stress on the network switches forwarding tables and improve control-plane stability, and need to be implemented at least on Tier-3 switches. In simplest case, the switches could be statically preconfigured with the summary routes. These routes need to agree with the prefixes that are assigned to the servers, especially in the case when dynamic prefix injection is used. As a possible alternative, simple virtual aggregation could be employed, where hosts inject both the specific and the summary route, and installation of corresponding FIB entries is suppressed as per the rules defined in [RFC6769]. The latter approach does not improve the control plane scalability, but solves the issues with packet black-holing in presence of network summarization. It also requires the network hardware support, which may not be present.

In retrofitting scenarios, the servers are likely to already have 128-bit IPv6 addresses assigned, allocated from the datacenter address space, e.g. by using a single /64 prefix per Tier-3 switch. In this case, the additional locator prefix needs to be assigned in the same way as described above for greenfield deployments. The only difference is that the new prefix and the old server address may be allocated from different IPv6 address ranges.

5. Deploying ILA routers

ILA routers perform multiple functions within the ILA domain:

The ILA hosts will send the packets destined to identifiers they don't have mappings for to the ILA routers initially to perform the ILA translation, and the hosts outside of the ILA domain will use the ILA routers for all communications with the domain. The ILA routers may also act as ILA hosts and have one or more identifiers assigned.

5.1. ILA Redirect Message

ILA routers may originate and ILA hosts must receive and process ILA redirect messages. The ILA redirect message is carried in UDP packet and destined toward a well-known port. It carries the information binding an identifier to its locator. For security purposes, this message is expected to be authenticated by cryptographic means, such as by using keyed HMAC (message authentication code) procedure. Every host in the domain is then required to be configured with the key information to be able to validate the redirecte messages.

The ILA redirect message might be signed with multiple HMAC keys to facilitate key transition in the domain. The redirect message will carry multiple signatures along with corresponding numeric key-identigier, and the ILA hosts are expected to use the signature with the highest locally known identifier. As the old key leaves rotation, eventually every host will get updated and the signature made using the old key could be removed.

5.2. Configuration parameters

The ILA routers need the following configured for their operation:

5.3. ILA router operation

Upon booting, the ILA router is first required to join the control plane mesh and learn of the mappings that exist in the ILA domain. It is also aware of the SIR prefix that is used within its domain. After the router has learned of the mappings, it may inject the anycast SIR prefix in the datacenter network and join the operational group of ILA routers.

Just like any ILA node, the ILA router is required to have a 64-bit locator configured. Special identifier ::1 is used to build the source and destination addresses of the ILA redirect messages.

When ILA router receives a packet with the upper 64-bits of the destination IPv6 address matching its configured SIR prefix, it performs the following:

If the source IPv6 address check reveals that the packet is not coming from the ILA domain the router belongs to (i.e. the SIR prefix does not match), the ILA router does not need to send back the ILA redirect message, but instead simply continue to forward the packet as if the locator for the destination identifier could be found. The ILA router will still send the ICMPv6 "Destinationa Unreachable" message for unknown mappings.

5.4. Scaling considerations

Due to high load and reliability concerns, the ILA domain needs multiple ILA routers. The simplest way to provide redundancy is by letting the ILA routers inject the /64 SIR IPv6 prefix into the datacenter network in anycast fashion ([RFC4786]). This will allow to naturally use the datacenter network's Equal-Cost Multipath (ECMP) capabilities to distribute traffic among the ILA routers.

For redundancy purposes, the ILA routers would need to be spread across multiple physical racks in the datacenter. More ILA routers could be added incrementally to reduce the load and scale capacity horizontally, and join the operational ILA group in non-disruptive fashion, after they have learned the full mapping table for the ILA domain.

Use of anycast method does have some resulting routing implications. For example, using the network described in Section 4.1 will result in ILA hosts preferring to use the ILA routers in the same cluster, since those are closer based on the routing metric. Thus, the network may not evenly spread their packets across all ILA routers in the datacenter. It is therefore possible that some ILA routers will receive more traffic than the others. This issue is specific to anycast routing in general, and not specifically to ILA.

6. Deploying ILA hosts

This section reviews the deployment considerations for the ILA hosts.

6.1. Configuration parameters

The ILA hosts need to be configured with the following:

By disabling both the ILA mapping expiration time and the sending of ILA redirect messages the host is effectively configured for the "push" ILA mapping distribution distribution mode (see Section 8). In this mode, the BGP (control plane) is assumed to update/synchronize all of the ILA mapping entries in response to the identifier move events, and redirect messages are not used.

The host is expected to recevive ILA redirect messages destined to its locator and identifier value of "::1". The source of such message must also use the identifier value of "::1" to be considered a redirect message.

6.2. Providing task isolation

In simplest case, the host only needs to implement the ILA address rewrite function and inform the tasks starting on the host of the ILA addresses they can use. However, it might be desirable to provide the tasks with strong networking isolation guarantees, i.e. making sure tasks are only allowed to use the IPv6 ILA address they have been allocated. For instance, with Linux operating system, this is possible by using the [LINUX-NAMESPACES] and [IPVLAN] techniques together.

Each task running on the host will be contained to its own networking namespace, and has the allocated ILA address bound to an interface that belongs to this namespace. The task would then only be able to bind to the single IPv6 ILA addresses delegated to the namespace.

With "ipvlan" technique, the packets arriving on physical host's NIC need to have their locator field adjusted before delivering to the task (the locator field is set to the /64 prefix assigned to the host). No additional routing lookups need to be performed on the physical host. On the egress path, all IPv6 lookups and rewrites happen in the default namespace, in Linux terminology. The figure below demonstrates a host with two tasks running, each in its own networking namespace. The namespace names are "ns0" and "ns1", and the corresponding task ILA identifiers are ID0 and ID1.

|  Host: host1                                                |
|                                                             |
|   +----------------------+      +----------------------+    |
|   |   NS:ns0, ID0        |      |  NS:ns1, ID1         |    |
|   |                      |      |                      |    |
|   |                      |      |                      |    |
|   |        ipvl0         |      |         ipvl1        |    |
|   +----------#-----------+      +-----------#----------+    |
|              #                              #               |
|              ################################               |
|                              # eth0                         |

Tasks running in Linux namespaces with ipvlan

The use of "ipvlan"-like techniques is not strictly necessary. An alternative would be use the ILA host as a proper IPv6 router and treating the attached namespaces as hosts. This, however, has higher performance overhead, due to multiple forwarding lookups that need to be done in the kernel.

6.3. ILA host operation

When ILA host boots up, it joins the control-plane mesh by peering with the BGP route-reflectors. It may learn the active ILA mappings from the BGP route reflectors, or may initially keep the ILA mapping table empty, depending whether "push" or "pull" distribution model has been selected.

When a tasks starts it will have an ILA identifier allocated, and the corresponding IPv6 address (built out of SIR prefix + the allocated identifier) bound to an interface within the networking namespace created for the task. The mapping is then propagated over BGP peering sessions to all ILA routers.

For outgoing packets, the ILA host performs the following:

For packets with destination IPv6 addresses that do not match the SIR prefix, usual forwarding rules apply. If no match is found for the SIR address, the packet is sent as is, and is expected to be delivered to the ILA routers, since those advertise the SIR prefix into the routing domain (without getting the locator portion rewritten - the packet has the SIR prefix in place of the locator).

For incoming packets, the ILA host should perform the following:

Sending an ILA redirect message by the ILA host requires the host to translate the source identifier of the original message. Assuming that flow was likely bi-directional, the entry should be readily available in the local ILA mapping table. If not, the ILA redirect message will be routed toward the originator via the ILA routers, i.e. sent back with locator equal to the SIR prefix. It is possible that both source and destination identifiers of the flow have moved, resulting in mutual sending of ILA redirect messages, and temporarily falling back to using the ILA routers.

If the ILA mapping entry expiration time is set to non-zero, the unused ILA mapping entries will eventually be deleted. The entry expiration needs to be disabled if the mappings are learned in event-driven fashion via the BGP mesh ("push" distribution mode).

7. Using BGP as the ILA control plane

This section discusses the use of BGP for ILA mapping information dissemination. The choice of BGP is made to allow for easier integration of hardware appliance, e.g. network switches with extended functionality, where BGP is commonly used as the control plane. Furthermore, BGP itself offers a simple way of disseminating data and converging on a key-value mapping across multiple nodes in eventually consistent fashion, and has proven track record of use in the industry. Furthermore, use of BGP allows for leveraging the monitoring extensions developed for the protocol. For example, [I-D.ietf-grow-bmp] could be used to observe ILA mapping changes in the network using existing tooling.

7.1. BGP topology

Per the common practice, a group of BGP route-reflectors (see [RFC4456]) should be deployed and peered over IBGP with all ILA hosts and ILA routers in the ILA domain. The reflectors themselves would also be peered in full-mesh fashion to provide backup paths for mapping information distribution, e.g. in case if one of reflectors loses a session to a host. Those reflectors do not need to be in the data-path, but merely serve for the purpose of information distribution. The number of route-reflectors should be at least two, to allow for redundancy. See below sections for discussion of route-reflection settings.

It is possible to co-locate the BGP route-reflectors with the ILA routers. This saves on having additional nodes for the purpose of just BGP route-reflection, but puts extra memory and CPU stress on the ILA routers, and therefore is less desirable. Furthermore, it makes capacity-planning more difficult, and therefore is not recommended.

The route-reflectors are required to peer with potentially a very large number of ILA hosts, which may put scaling limits on the size of the ILA domain due to the overhead of maintaining large amount of BGP peering sessions. To alleviate this problem, the pool of ILA hosts may be split into "shards" and each shard would peer with a different group of route-reflectors. For example, the ILA domain may have four groups of route reflectors, each with four route-reflectors. The sixteen route-reflectors may then peer in a full-mesh fashion, to exchange the mappings they have received from the corresponding "shard" of the ILA domain. This method avoid the issues related to maintaining large amount of TCP sessions, but every BGP route-reflector is still required to maintain the full ILA mapping table.

In addition to ILA AFI/SAFI's, other AFI/SAFIs could be configured on BGP speakers, e.g. using [I-D.lapukhov-bgp-opaque-signaling] for opaque information dissemination in the ILA domain, e.g. to facilitate in distributed address allocation.

7.2. Any-to-any mapping distribution

In this mode, the ILA routers could act as IBGP route-reflectors [RFC4456] for all of the IBGP sessions they have, and relay the mapping information among the ILA hosts. This would allow the hosts to avoid initially sending packets to the ILA routers, at the expense of maintaining the ILA mapping table. Additionally, this allows for completely disabling the ILA redirect messages and using only the mapping information propagated by BGP.

7.3. Hub-and-spoke mapping distribution

Alternatively, BGP could be used to deliver the mappings from ILA hosts to ILA routers only. The hosts and the routers would establish IBGP peering sessions with the route-reflectors in hub-and-spoke fashion, with BGP reflectors being the hubs. The ILA router sessions will be configured as the "route-reflector clients" on the route-reflectors, while the ILA hosts sessions will be left as ordinary IBGP sessions. This will propagate all needed mappings to the ILA routers and allow them to properly redirect the hosts. The ILA hosts are responsible for withdrawing and announcing the mappings as they change.

8. Push vs pull mapping distribution modes

The default mode of operations in ILA is "pull" mode, where mappings are learned by the ILA hosts via ILA redirect messages. Effectively, the process of populating the ILA mapping table is reactive and driven by data-plane events. In some case, e.g. upon identifier move, this may result in short periods of packet loss, while the sender receives the ILA redirect message and falls back to forwarding via the ILA routers. Furthermore, the use of ILA redirect messages requires security configuration to avoid message spoofing and cache poisoning attacks.

An alternative to "pull" mapping distribution on the hosts, is "push" mode, where all ILA hosts receive exactly the same mapping information as the ILA routers. In fact, every ILA host may even operate as an ILA router. In this case, the ILA message sending could be disabled in the ILA domain altogether. The "push" mode allows for proactive creation of the ILA mappings, and avoiding the packet loss, provided that the new mapping reaches the sending host before the destination identifier has moved. The trade-off here is the overhead of maintaining full mapping set on all ILA hosts.

For simplicity, this document recommends that all ILA hosts in the domain operate either in "push" or "pull" modes. In "push" mode the ILA mapping entries expiration needs to be turned off, along with sending of ILA messages. If an ILA host receives a packet for the ILA address it cannot map to locally, it is expected to send an ILA redirect message. If sending the ILA messages is disabled, the host must at least send an ICMPv6 "Destination Unreachable" message with code "3" - "Address Unreachable" to aid in debugging of missing mapping message. Notice that the ILA routers always operate in "push" mode, i.e. they only learn of mappings via the control plane exchange.

9. ILA address management

The ILA control plane and redirect messages perform mapping information dissemination, but the identifier allocation needs to be done separately. The address management process also depends on whether there is some hierarchy desired in the ILA namespace, e.g. if allocating a prefix per-tenant is needed.

9.1. Decentralized address management

In simplest case, each ILA host may independently allocate unique identifier per task when it first starts, and the task will retain it for the duration of its lifetime (see Appendix A of [I-D.herbert-nvo3-ila]). The chances of collision are very low given the 60-bit value of the identifier. The scheduler is responsible for starting and moving the task in the ILA domain. The tasks belonging to the same tenant may discover each other's addresses by some out-of-band signaling mechanism, e.g. a key-value store such as ([MEMCACHED]) or [ETCD] or use BGP for the same purpose as described in [I-D.lapukhov-bgp-opaque-signaling]. For instance, the task may publish its own identifier, consisting of the tenant name and task name, mapped to the SIR address of the task.

Decentralized allocation is still possible even if the unit of address allocation is prefix, e.g. when multiple tenants are sharing the infrastructure, and unique VNID (see [I-D.herbert-nvo3-ila] for definition) is needed per tenant to build the 96-bit prefixes allocated to tenants from the /64 SIR prefix. Since the size of VNID space is rather small, generating random VNIDs becomes more prone to collision. In this case, decentralized address allocation schemes, such as one described in [RFC7695] could be used. These techniques require the ILA nodes to have some shared communication medium for nodes to "claim" the prefixes and avoid collisions. Once again, various distributed key-value stores could be used to accomplish this.

9.2. Centralized address management

In the case where high level of control is needed to allocate the addresses, e.g. per-tenant prefixes, centralized address management schemes could be used in the ILA domain. This could be either proprietary address allocation system, or system built on top of protocols such as DHCPv6.

9.3. Role of Task scheduler

The ILA domain needs a tasks scheduler responsible for resource allocation and starting of tenant's tasks on the ILA nodes. Defining functions of such scheduler is outside of scope of this document. At the very minimum, the scheduler would need agents running on every ILA host, participating in ILA address allocation, and communicating with the ILA control plane to publish and remove the mappings. Since it's the scheduler that is responsible for task movements, it makes sense for the scheduler to update the mappings in the domain.

The scheduler needs some kind of API to interact with the BGP process on the box. Defining the exact API is outside of scope of this document, but as an option the scheduler may use a BGP session to inject prefixes into the BGP process running on the box.

10. ILA domain federation

In default operation mode, the ILA domains act as if the other domain is unaware of mappings that exist in another. It is possible to let the two domains exchange the mapping information and honor the ILA redirect messages from another domain by "merging" full or partial mapping tables of the two domains. For example, one can envision multiple compute clusters, each being its own ILA domain. In standard ILA model, those clusters would need to communicate via the ILA routers only, increasing stress on the data-plane. To allow traffic flowing directly between the hosts in each cluster and bypassing the ILA routers, the ILA domains may exchange the mapping information, and program the ILA mappings in ILA hosts to facilitate direct paths.

Since each domain may re-use the 64-bit identifier space on its own, the use of SIR prefix is required to make the identifiers globally unique. This requirement is easily fulfilled since the SIR prefix is required to be globally routable in the Internet.

To enable ILA domain federation, the BGP route-reflectors in each domain need need to be fully meshed and configured to use the "VPN-ILA" SAFI with "ILA AFI" (see [I-D.lapukhov-bgp-ila-afi]). This will propagate the mappings known to each route-reflector scoped with the SIR prefix of the local domain. If multiple domains are federated in this way, intermediate route-reflectors could be used, and filtering techniques such as described in [RFC5291] and [RFC4684] could be employed. The filtering may be further used to allow leaking of only select mappings, e.g. for the identifiers or tenants that carry lots of traffic.

If "push" distribution model is chosen with ILA domain federation, the ILA hosts will need to be configured to use "VPN-ILA" SAFI on their peering sessions with the BGP route reflectors. The ILA mapping entries lookup then need to be keyed both on the SIR prefix and the identifier to be resolved. Given the large volume of mappings that may exist in federated model, the "pull" model might become more preferable.

11. Operational Considerations

ILA introduces additional step in packet routing and thus adds more complexity to network troubleshooting process. At the same time, relative to the virtualization techniques that employ encapsulation and tunneling, ILA makes the underlying physical network fully visible to the tasks, and thus make tenant-driven troubleshooting simpler. This section discusses some operational procedures specific to ILA and the additional fault models that are possible in presence of ILA.

11.1. Operational procedures for ILA routers

ILA routers may be added/removed from the network at any time. Adding a router is commonly needed to scale the capacity of the ILA router group when peak loads increases. Adding an ILA router is non-disruptive procedure. It starts by configuring the ILA router to peer with the BGP mesh to learn of all mappings in the domain. The use of BGP graceful restart (see [RFC4724]) would allow the new router to learn when all mappings have been advertised. At this time, the router may inject the SIR prefix, joining the operational group of ILA routers and start forwarding ILA traffic.

To gracefully take the ILA router out of service, it may be instructed to stop announcing the SIR prefix, or, in case of BGP, announce it with less preferable path attributes. This will allow the router to still accept and forward all in-flight packets, but will redirect the remaining packets toward the remaining ILA routers.

11.2. ICMPv6 Message generation by transit devices

Upong some conditions the transit, ILA-unware devices, may need to generate ICMPv6 messages, e.g. when IPv6 hop limit exceedes. The source of the packet sent by an ILA application would have SIR as the prefix, and hence the ICMPv6 message will need to transit an ILA router before getting back to the host that sent the original packet. This has some operational downside, as it adds path stretch to the control message flow, and needs to be accounted for operational reasons.

When an ICMPv6 message generated by an intermediate device arrives back to the sender of the original packet, the ILA may need to translate the payload of the ICMPv6 message, as it often contain the IPv6 header of the original packet. This is needed so that the control message could be properly correlated to transport level connection. Thus, it is expected that the ILA host stack will be able to perform this translation, and replace the ILA locator with SIR prefix in the destination address field of the encapsulated IPv6 header.

The last case is generating ICMPv6 message by transint device for packet sourced by non-ILA host (or outside of local ILA domain) and translated by an ILA router. In this case, the response will be directed back to the non-ILA host, bypassing the ILA router, and there will be no easy way to perform the translation of the location portion in ILA destination address back to the SIR prefix. The non-ILA sender would be able to process the ICMPv6 message.

11.3. Multicast routing

Defining multicast routing and group membership dissemination is outside of scope of this document.

11.4. Potential ILA mapping table complications

Every packet egressing from an ILA host and matching the SIR prefix is subject to lookup and translation in the local ILA mapping table. If entry is not found, the packet is forwarded to the ILA router(s) by the virtue of SIR prefix injected in the datacenter network. If the ILA router does not have the mapping, either the ICMPv6 "Destination Unreachable" or "ILA mapping not found" message will be sent back, depending on whether the original sender is ILA or non-ILA host. There are few observations to make here:

Thus, the case of missing mapping is easily debuggable, though the "transition period" when the mapping is not yet in the ILA mapping table might confuse the operator using the "traceroute" command.

The most difficult case of ILA mapping table malfunction would be presence of incorrect mapping, i.e mappings pointing to a non-existent or incorrect locator.

Next possible failure is dropped ILA redirect messages. However, given that the ILA redirect message sending process is memoryless, the recipient will eventually receive one of them, or at least finish the communication via an ILA router.

11.5. Potential ILA routers complications

The ILA routers serve as proxies for traffic entering the ILA domain, as well as temporary transit hops for traffic between the ILA hosts when they don't have matching mappings, in case if "pull" distribution model is utilized. The following operational observations apply:

To sum the above up - the health of ILA router is critical to the ILA domain functions, even if "push" model is employed and the ILA routers are used mostly for external communications. The ILA routers should be monitored closely for vital parameters, such as CPU and memory utilization, traffic rates on their network interfaces, and packet loss toward the ILA routers themselves.

12. Deployment Scenario Primer

Building upon the concepts presented above, this section provides a simple ILA deployment scenario.

13. IANA Considerations


14. Manageability Considerations

ILA requires both one-time deployment efforts, and recurring management work. The initial involvement is reasonably high, as it required extending the existing network and host configuration. It does not require any significant changes to the existing applications, though, aside from making the applications use newly allocated IPv6 addresses. Majority of the required changes could be done without any disruption to the existing infrastructure.

ILA address management schemes could be arbitrarily complex, but in the most basic form do not require any centralized coordination. Thus, in many cases it could be a simple local subroutine that generates a pseudo-random identifier.

Recurring management efforts are mostly concentrated on monitoring the component of ILA deployment, primarily the ILA routers and the BGP route reflectors. Troubleshooting these components follows the standard process and uses regular tooling, with the caveat of having more logical components to deal with, primarily the ILA routers and the ILA mapping tables on the ILA hosts. This increases the complexity of troubleshooting process, as more state needs to be inspected and validated.

15. Security Considerations

ILA introduces new security considerations described below.

15.1. ILA host security

If unsecured ILA redirect messages are used, the ILA hosts could be exposed to cache poisoning attacks. This calls for ILA redirect message authentication, e.g. by use of digital signatures, such as [ED25519]. This will also require to use some mechanism for propagation of public keys associated with the SIR prefix (the ILA routers) and every locator in the domain, since the ILA redirect message could be sent by either.

To prevent tasks from every being able to sent packets directly bypassing the mapping layer, the ILA hosts should prohibit the task from sending packets toward the address space associated with the locators. Given that all locators will likely to belong to one large prefix, this could be accomplished by installing a single filtering rule on the ILA host.

15.2. BGP Security

Standard means of improving BGP security as described in [RFC7454] could be applied to harden the mapping dissemination system. Among them, the most important one is likely to be the "TCP Authentication Option" described in the referenced document. Notice that the BGP subsystem used to distribute the ILA mappings is not as vulnerable as the Internet BGP mesh, since it only work within the boundaries of a privately managed data-center.

15.3. ILA router security

ILA routers are primarily susceptible to various form of rate-based DDoS attacks. Primary concern would be overrruning the capabilities of ILA routers with too many packets sent from non-ILA hosts toward the SIR addresses, or "thundering herds" problem when ILA translation tables on the ILA hosts expire synchronously, or due to poisoning attack. Primary ways to address this concern would be closely monitoring server utilization and potentially rate-limiting packet flow to the ILA router on the upstream network device (ToR switch).

15.4. Tenant security

ILA does not natively isolate the tenant traffic from each other, nor from the underlying physical infrastructure. In fact, this is seen as one benefit that makes many troubleshooting processes easier. The access control then become responsibility of the tenant itself, by employing traffic filtering rules. To this point, implementing filtering rules gets simpler if the tenant is allocated single prefix, as opposed to each task getting an unique identifier.

16. Acknowledgements


17. Informative References

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[RFC4271] Rekhter, Y., Li, T. and S. Hares, "A Border Gateway Protocol 4 (BGP-4)", RFC 4271, DOI 10.17487/RFC4271, January 2006.
[RFC4456] Bates, T., Chen, E. and R. Chandra, "BGP Route Reflection: An Alternative to Full Mesh Internal BGP (IBGP)", RFC 4456, DOI 10.17487/RFC4456, April 2006.
[RFC4684] Marques, P., Bonica, R., Fang, L., Martini, L., Raszuk, R., Patel, K. and J. Guichard, "Constrained Route Distribution for Border Gateway Protocol/MultiProtocol Label Switching (BGP/MPLS) Internet Protocol (IP) Virtual Private Networks (VPNs)", RFC 4684, DOI 10.17487/RFC4684, November 2006.
[RFC5291] Chen, E. and Y. Rekhter, "Outbound Route Filtering Capability for BGP-4", RFC 5291, DOI 10.17487/RFC5291, August 2008.
[RFC6740] Atkinson, RJ. and SN. Bhatti, "Identifier-Locator Network Protocol (ILNP) Architectural Description", RFC 6740, DOI 10.17487/RFC6740, November 2012.
[RFC2791] Yu, J., "Scalable Routing Design Principles", RFC 2791, DOI 10.17487/RFC2791, July 2000.
[RFC3633] Troan, O. and R. Droms, "IPv6 Prefix Options for Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol (DHCP) version 6", RFC 3633, DOI 10.17487/RFC3633, December 2003.
[RFC4724] Sangli, S., Chen, E., Fernando, R., Scudder, J. and Y. Rekhter, "Graceful Restart Mechanism for BGP", RFC 4724, DOI 10.17487/RFC4724, January 2007.
[RFC4760] Bates, T., Chandra, R., Katz, D. and Y. Rekhter, "Multiprotocol Extensions for BGP-4", RFC 4760, DOI 10.17487/RFC4760, January 2007.
[RFC4786] Abley, J. and K. Lindqvist, "Operation of Anycast Services", BCP 126, RFC 4786, DOI 10.17487/RFC4786, December 2006.
[RFC6769] Raszuk, R., Heitz, J., Lo, A., Zhang, L. and X. Xu, "Simple Virtual Aggregation (S-VA)", RFC 6769, DOI 10.17487/RFC6769, October 2012.
[RFC6830] Farinacci, D., Fuller, V., Meyer, D. and D. Lewis, "The Locator/ID Separation Protocol (LISP)", RFC 6830, DOI 10.17487/RFC6830, January 2013.
[RFC7454] Durand, J., Pepelnjak, I. and G. Doering, "BGP Operations and Security", BCP 194, RFC 7454, DOI 10.17487/RFC7454, February 2015.
[RFC7695] Pfister, P., Paterson, B. and J. Arkko, "Distributed Prefix Assignment Algorithm", RFC 7695, DOI 10.17487/RFC7695, November 2015.
[RFC7938] Lapukhov, P., Premji, A. and J. Mitchell, "Use of BGP for Routing in Large-Scale Data Centers", RFC 7938, DOI 10.17487/RFC7938, August 2016.
[I-D.herbert-nvo3-ila] Herbert, T., "Identifier-locator addressing for IPv6", Internet-Draft draft-herbert-nvo3-ila-03, October 2016.
[I-D.lapukhov-bgp-opaque-signaling] Lapukhov, P., Aries, E., Marques, P. and E. Nkposong, "Use of BGP for Opaque Signaling", Internet-Draft draft-lapukhov-bgp-opaque-signaling-02, April 2016.
[I-D.ietf-v6ops-dc-ipv6] Lopez, D., Chen, Z., Tsou, T., Zhou, C. and A. Servin, "IPv6 Operational Guidelines for Datacenters", Internet-Draft draft-ietf-v6ops-dc-ipv6-01, February 2014.
[I-D.lapukhov-bgp-ila-afi] Lapukhov, P., "Use of BGP for dissemination of ILA mapping information", Internet-Draft draft-lapukhov-bgp-ila-afi-01, March 2016.
[I-D.ietf-grow-bmp] Scudder, J., Fernando, R. and S. Stuart, "BGP Monitoring Protocol", Internet-Draft draft-ietf-grow-bmp-17, January 2016.
[I-D.ietf-nvo3-arch] Black, D., Hudson, J., Kreeger, L., Lasserre, M. and T. Narten, An Architecture for Data Center Network Virtualization Overlays (NVO3)", Internet-Draft draft-ietf-nvo3-arch-08, September 2016.
[ED25519]Ed25519: high-speed high-security signatures"
[ROUTED-DESIGN]High Availability Campus Network Design", 2008.
[LINUX-NAMESPACES]Namespaces in operation, part 1: namespaces overview", 2013.

Author's Address

Petr Lapukhov Facebook 1 Hacker Way Menlo Park, CA 94025 US EMail: