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Versions: (draft-daigle-napstr) 00 01 RFC 3958

Network Working Group                                          L. Daigle
Internet-Draft                                                 A. Newton
Expires: December 28, 2004                                VeriSign, Inc.
                                                           June 29, 2004



    Domain-based Application Service Location Using SRV RRs and the
              Dynamic Delegation Discovery Service (DDDS)
                       draft-daigle-snaptr-01.txt


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
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   This Internet-Draft will expire on December 28, 2004.


Copyright Notice


   Copyright (C) The Internet Society (2004).  All Rights Reserved.


Abstract


   This memo defines a generalized mechanism for application service
   naming that allows service location without relying on rigid domain
   naming conventions (so-called name hacks).  The proposal defines a
   Dynamic Delegation Discovery System (DDDS) Application to map domain
   name, application service name, and application protocol to target
   server and port, dynamically.


   [Note to be removed for RFC publication:  this work was originally
   referred to as "napstr", and draft-daigle-napstr-04 is the immediate
   precursor of draft-daigle-snaptr-00.]




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Table of Contents


   1.  Introduction . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  4
   2.  Straightforward-NAPTR (S-NAPTR) Specification  . . . . . . . .  4
     2.1   Key Terms  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  4
     2.2   S-NAPTR DDDS Application Usage . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  5
       2.2.1   Ordering and Preference  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  5
       2.2.2   Matching and non-Matching NAPTR Records  . . . . . . .  6
       2.2.3   Terminal and Non-Terminal NAPTR Records  . . . . . . .  6
       2.2.4   S-NAPTR and Successive Resolution  . . . . . . . . . .  6
       2.2.5   Clients Supporting Multiple Protocols  . . . . . . . .  7
   3.  Guidelines . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  7
     3.1   Guidelines for Application Protocol Developers . . . . . .  7
       3.1.1   Registration of application service and protocol
               tags . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  8
       3.1.2   Definition of conditions for retry/failure . . . . . .  8
       3.1.3   Server identification and handshake  . . . . . . . . .  9
     3.2   Guidelines for Domain Administrators . . . . . . . . . . .  9
     3.3   Guidelines for Client Software Writers . . . . . . . . . .  9
   4.  Illustrations  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10
     4.1   Use Cases  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10
     4.2   Service Discovery within a Domain  . . . . . . . . . . . . 10
     4.3   Multiple Protocols . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 11
     4.4   Remote Hosting . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 12
     4.5   Sets of NAPTR RRs  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 13
     4.6   Sample sequence diagram  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 14
   5.  Motivation and Discussion  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 15
     5.1   So, why not just SRV records?  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 15
     5.2   So, why not just NAPTR records?  . . . . . . . . . . . . . 16
   6.  Formal Definition of <Application Service Location>
       Application of DDDS  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 16
     6.1   Application Unique String  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 17
     6.2   First Well Known Rule  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 17
     6.3   Expected Output  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 17
     6.4   Flags  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 17
     6.5   Service Parameters . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 17
       6.5.1   Application Services . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 18
       6.5.2   Application Protocols  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 18
     6.6   Valid Rules  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 18
     6.7   Valid Databases  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 18
   7.  IANA Considerations  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 19
     7.1   Application Service Tag IANA Registry  . . . . . . . . . . 19
     7.2   Application Protocol Tag IANA Registry . . . . . . . . . . 19
     7.3   Registration Process . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 19
   8.  Security Considerations  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 20
   9.  Acknowledgements . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 21
   10.   References . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 21
   10.1  Normative References . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 21




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   10.2  Informative References . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 22
       Authors' Addresses . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 22
   A.  Pseudo pseudocode for S-NAPTR  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 22
     A.1   Finding the first (best) target  . . . . . . . . . . . . . 22
     A.2   Finding subsequent targets . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 23
   B.  Availability of Sample Code  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 24
       Intellectual Property and Copyright Statements . . . . . . . . 25













































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1.  Introduction


   This memo defines a generalized mechanism for application service
   naming that allows service location without relying on rigid domain
   naming conventions (so-called name hacks).  The proposal defines a
   Dynamic Delegation Discovery System (DDDS -- see [4]) Application to
   map domain name, application service name, and application protocol
   to target server and port, dynamically.


   As discussed in Section 5, existing approaches to using DNS records
   to dynamically determining the current host for a given application
   service are limited in terms of the use cases supported.  To address
   some of the limitations, this document defines a DDDS Application to
   map service+protocol+domain to specific server addresses using both
   NAPTR [5] and SRV ([3]) DNS resource records.  This can be viewed as
   a more general version of the use of SRV and/or a very restricted
   application of the use of NAPTR resource records.


   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 RFC2119 ([1]).


2.  Straightforward-NAPTR (S-NAPTR) Specification


   The precise details of the specification of this DDDS application are
   given in Section 6.  This section defines the usage of the DDDS
   application.


2.1  Key Terms


   An "application service" is a generic term for some type of
   application, indpendent of the protocol that may be used to offer it.
   Each application service will be associated with an IANA-registered
   tag.  For example, retrieving mail is a type of application service,
   which can be implemented by different application-layer protocols
   (e.g., POP3, IMAP4).  A tag, such as "RetMail", could be registered
   for it.  (N.B.:  this has not been done, and there are no plans to do
   so at the time of this writing).


   An "application protocol" is used to implement the application
   service.  These are also associated with IANA-registered tags.  Using
   the mail example above, "POP3" and "IMAP4" could be registered as
   application protocol tags.  In the case where multiple transports are
   available for the application, separate tags should be defined for
   each transport.


   The intention is that the combination of application service and
   protocol tags should be specific enough that finding a known pair




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   (e.g., "RetMail:POP3" is sufficient for a client to identify a server
   with which it can communicate.


   Some protocols support multiple application services.  For example,
   LDAP is an application protocol, and can be found supporting various
   services (e.g., "whitepages", "directory enabled networking", etc).


2.2  S-NAPTR DDDS Application Usage


   As defined in Section 6, NAPTR records are used to store application
   service+protocol information for a given domain.  Following the DDDS
   standard, these records are looked up,  and the rewrite rules
   (contained in the NAPTR records) are used to determine the successive
   DNS lookups, until a desirable target is found.


   For the rest of this section, refer to the set of NAPTR resource
   records for example.com shown in the figure below, where "WP" is the
   imagined application service tag for "white pages", and "EM" is the
   application service tag for an imagined "Extensible Messaging"
   application service.


   example.com.
   ;;       order pref flags
   IN NAPTR 100   10   ""    "WP:whois++"      ( ; service
                             ""                  ; regexp
                             bunyip.example.     ; replacement
                                               )
   IN NAPTR 100   20   "s"   "WP:ldap"         ( ; service
                             ""                  ; regexp
                            _ldap._tcp.myldap.example.com. ; replacement
                                               )
   IN NAPTR 200   10   ""    "EM:protA"        ( ; service
                             ""                  ; regexp
                             someisp.example.    ; replacement
                                               )
   IN NAPTR 200   30   "a"   "EM:protB"          ; service
                             ""                  ; regexp
                             myprotB.example.com.; replacement
                                               )



2.2.1  Ordering and Preference


   A client retrieves all of the NAPTR records associated with the
   target domain name (example.com, above).  These are to be sorted in
   terms of increasing ORDER, and increasing PREF within each ORDER.






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2.2.2  Matching and non-Matching NAPTR Records


   Starting with the first sorted NAPTR record, the client examines the
   SERVICE field to find a match.  In the case of the S-NAPTR DDDS
   application, that means a SERVICE field that includes the tags for
   the desired application service and a supported application protocol.


   If more than one NAPTR record matches, they are processed in
   increasing sort order.


2.2.3  Terminal and Non-Terminal NAPTR Records


   A NAPTR record with an empty FLAG field is "non-terminal".  That is,
   more NAPTR RR lookups are to be performed.  Thus, to process a NAPTR
   record with an empty FLAG field in S-NAPTR, the REPLACEMENT field is
   used as the target of the next DNS lookup -- for NAPTR RRs.


   In S-NAPTR, the only terminal flags are "S" and "A".  These are
   called "terminal" NAPTR lookups because they denote the end of the
   DDDS/NAPTR processing rules.  In the case of an "S" flag, the
   REPLACEMENT field is used as the target of a DNS query for SRV RRs,
   and normal SRV processing is applied.  In the case of an "A" flag, an
   address record is sought for the REPLACEMENT field target (and the
   default protocol port is assumed).


2.2.4  S-NAPTR and Successive Resolution


   As shown in the example NAPTR RR set above, it is possible to have
   multiple possible targets for a single application service+protocol
   pair.  These are to be pursued in order until a server is
   successfully contacted or all possible matching NAPTR records have
   been successively pursued to terminal lookups and servers contacted.
   That is, a client must backtrack and attempt other resolution paths
   in the case of failure.


   "Failure" is declared, and backtracking must be used when


   o  the designated remote server (host and port) fail to provide
      appropriate security credentials for the *originating* domain
   o  connection to the designated remote server otherwise fails -- the
      specifics terms of which are defined when an application protocol
      is registered
   o  the S-NAPTR-designated DNS lookup fails to yield expected results
      -- e.g., no A RR for an "A" target, no SRV record for an "S"
      target, or no NAPTR record with appropriate application service
      and protocol for a NAPTR lookup.  Except in the case of the very
      first NAPTR lookup, this last is a configuration error:  the fact
      that example.com has a NAPTR record pointing to "bunyip.example"




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      for the "WP:Whois++" service and protocol means the administrator
      of example.com believes that service exists.  If bunyip.example
      has no "WP:Whois++" NAPTR record, the application client MUST
      backtrack and try the next available "WP:Whois++" option from
      example.com.  As there is none, the whole resolution fails.


   An application client first queries for the NAPTR RRs for the domain
   of a named application service.  The application client MUST select
   one protocol to choose The PREF field of the NAPTR RRs may be used by
   the domain administrator to The first DNS query is for the NAPTR RRs
   in the original target domain (example.com, above).


2.2.5  Clients Supporting Multiple Protocols


   In the case of an application client that supports more than one
   protocol for a given application service, it MUST pursue S-NAPTR
   resolution completely for one protocol, exploring all potential
   terminal lookups in PREF and ORDER ranking, until the application
   connects successfully or there are no more possibilities for that
   protocol.


   That is, what the client MUST NOT do is start looking for one
   protocol, observe that a successive NAPTR RR set supports another of
   its preferred protocols, and continue the S-NAPTR resolution based on
   that protocol.  For example, even if someisp.example offers the "EM"
   service with protocol "ProtB", there is no reason to believe it does
   so on behalf of example.com (since there is no such pointer in
   example.com's NAPTR RR set).


   It MAY choose which protocol to try first based on its own
   preference, or from the PREF ranking in the first set of NAPTR
   records (i.e., those for the target named domain).  However, the
   chosen protocol MUST be listed in that first NAPTR RR set.


   It MAY choose to run simultaneous DDDS resolutions for more than one
   protocol, in which case the requirements above apply for each
   protocol independently.  That is, do not switch protocols
   mid-resolution.


3.  Guidelines


3.1  Guidelines for Application Protocol Developers


   The purpose of S-NAPTR is to provide application standards developers
   with a more powerful framework (than SRV RRs alone) for naming
   service targets, without requiring each application protocol (or
   service) standard to define a separate DDDS application.





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   Note that this approach is intended specifically for use when it
   makes sense to associate services with particular domain names (e.g.,
   e-mail addresses, SIP addresses, etc).  A non-goal is having all
   manner of label mapped into domain names in order to use this.


   Specifically not addressed in this document is how to select the
   domain for which the service+protocol is being sought.  It is up to
   other conventions to define how that might be used (e.g., new
   messaging standards can define what domain to use from their URIs,
   how to step down from foobar.example.com to example.com, and so on,
   if that is applicable).


   Although this document proposes a DDDS application that does not use
   all the features of NAPTR resource records, it does not mean to imply
   that DNS resolvers should fail to implement all aspects of the NAPTR
   RR standard.  A DDDS application is a client use convention.


   The rest of this section outlines the specific elements that protocol
   developers must determine and document in order to make use of
   S-NAPTR.


3.1.1  Registration of application service and protocol tags


   Application protocol developers that wish to make use of S-NAPTR must
   make provision to register any relevant application service and
   application protocol tags, as described in Section 7.


3.1.2  Definition of conditions for retry/failure


   One other important aspect that must be defined is the expected
   behaviour for interacting with the servers that are reached via
   S-NAPTR.  Specifically,  under what circumstances should the client
   retry a target that was found via S-NAPTR?  What should it consider a
   failure that causes it to return to the S-NAPTR process to determine
   the next serviceable target (a less preferred target)?


   For example, if the client gets a "connection refused" from a server,
   should it retry for some (protocol-dependent) period of time?  Or,
   should it try the next-preferred target in the S-NAPTR chain of
   resolution?  Should it only try the next-preferred target if it
   receives a protocol-specific permanent error message?


   The most important thing is to select one expected behaviour and
   document it as part of the use of S-NAPTR.


   As noted earlier, failure to provide appropriate credentials to
   identify the server as being authoritative for the original taret
   domain is always considered a failure condition.




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3.1.3  Server identification and handshake


   As noted in Section 8, use of the DNS for server location increases
   the importance of using protocol-specific handshakes to determine and
   confirm the identity of the server that is eventually reached.


   Therefore, application protocol developers using S-NAPTR should
   identify the mechanics of the expected identification handshake when
   the client connects to a server found through S-NAPTR.


3.2  Guidelines for Domain Administrators


   Although S-NAPTR aims to provide a "straightforward" application of
   DDDS and use of NAPTR records, it is still possible to create very
   complex chains and dependencies with the NAPTR and SRV records.


   Therefore, domain administrators are called upon to use S-NAPTR with
   as much restraint as possible, while still achieving their service
   design goals.


   The complete set of NAPTR, SRV and A RRs that are "reachable" through
   the S-NAPTR process for a particular application service can be
   thought of as a "tree".  Each NAPTR RR retrieved points to more NAPTR
   or SRV records; each SRV record points to several A record lookups.
   Even though a particular client can "prune" the tree to use only
   those records referring to application protocols supported by the
   client, the tree could be quite deep, and retracing the tree to retry
   other targets can become expensive if the tree has many branches.


   Therefore,
   o  Fewer branches is better:  for both NAPTR and SRV records, provide
      different targets with varying preferences where appropriate
      (e.g., to provide backup services, etc), but don't look for
      reasons to provide more.
   o  Shallower is better:  avoid using NAPTR records to "rename"
      services within a zone.  Use NAPTR records to identify services
      hosted elsewhere (i.e., where you cannot reasonably provide the
      SRV records in your own zone).


3.3  Guidelines for Client Software Writers


   To properly understand DDDS/NAPTR, an implementor must read [4].
   However, the most important aspect to keep in mind is that, if one
   target fails to work for the application, it is expected that the
   application will continue through the S-NAPTR tree to try the (less
   preferred) alternatives.






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4.  Illustrations


4.1  Use Cases


   The basic intended use cases for which S-NAPTR has been developed
   are:
   o  Service discovery within a domain.  For example, this can be used
      to find the "authoritative" server for some type of service within
      a domain (see the specific example in Section 4.2).
   o  Multiple protocols.  This is increasingly common as new
      application services are defined.  This includes the case of
      extensible messaging (a hypothetical service) which can be offered
      with multiple protocols (see Section 4.3).
   o  Remote hosting.  Each of the above use cases applies within the
      administration of a single domain.  However, one domain operator
      may elect to engage another organization to provide an application
      service.  See Section 4.4 for an example that cannot be served by
      SRV records alone.


4.2  Service Discovery within a Domain


   There are occasions when it is useful to be able to determine the
   "authoritative" server for a given application service within a
   domain.  This is "discovery", because there is no a priori knowledge
   as to whether or where the service is offered; it is therefore
   important to determine the location and characteristics of the
   offered service.


   For example, there is growing discussion of having a generic
   mechanism for locating the keys or certificates associated with
   particular application (servers) operated in (or for) a particular
   domain.  Here's a hypothetical case for storing application key or
   certificate data for a given domain.  The premise is that some
   credentials registry (CredReg) service has been defined to be a leaf
   node service holding the keys/certs for the servers operated by (or
   for) the domain.  Furthermore, it is assumed that more than one
   protocol is available to provide the service for a particular domain.
   This DDDS-based approach is used to find the CredReg server that
   holds the information.


   Thus, the set of NAPTR records for thinkingcat.example might look
   like this:


   thinkingcat.example.
   ;;       order pref flags
   IN NAPTR 100   10   ""    "CREDREG:ldap:iris.beep"   ( ; service
                             ""                           ; regexp
                             theserver.thinkingcat.example. ; replacement




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                                                        )


   Note that another domain, offering the same application service,
   might offer it using a different set of application protocols:


   anotherdomain.example.
   ;;       order pref flags
   IN NAPTR 100   10   ""    "CREDREG:iris.lwz:iris.beep"  ( ; service
                             ""                              ; regexp
                             foo.anotherdomain.example.      ; replacement
                                                           )



4.3  Multiple Protocols


   A hypothetical application service, extensible messaging, will be
   used for the purpose of illustration.  (For an example of a real
   application service with multiple protocols, see [9] and [10]).
   Assuming that "EM" was registered as an application service, this
   DDDS application could be used to determine the available services
   for delivering to a target.


   Two particular features of this hypothetical extensible messaging
   should be noted:
   1.  gatewaying is expected to bridge communications across protocols
   2.  extensible messaging servers are likely to be operated out of a
       different domain than the extensible messaging address, and
       servers of different protocols may be offered by independent
       organizations


   For example, "thinkingcat.example" may support its own servers for
   the "ProtA" extensible messaging protocol, but rely on outsourcing
   from "example.com" for "ProtC" and "ProtB" servers.


   Using this DDDS-based approach, thinkingcat.example can indicate a
   preference ranking for the different types of servers for the
   extensible messaging service, and yet the out-sourcer can
   independently rank the preference and ordering of servers.  This
   independence is not achievable through the use of SRV records alone.


   Thus, to find the EM services for thinkingcat.example, the NAPTR
   records for thinkingcat.example are retrieved:










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   thinkingcat.example.
   ;;   order pref flags
   IN NAPTR 100  10   "s"   "EM:ProtA"                  (   ; service
                            ""                              ; regexp
                           _ProtA._tcp.thinkingcat.example. ; replacement
                                                        )
   IN NAPTR 100  20   "s"   "EM:ProtB"                  (   ; service
                            ""                              ; regexp
                            _ProtB._tcp.example.com.        ; replacement
                                                        )
   IN NAPTR 100  30   "s"   "EM:ProtC"                  (   ; service
                            ""                              ; regexp
                            _ProtC._tcp.example.com.        ; replacement
                                                        )


   and then the administrators at example.com can manage the preference
   rankings of the servers they use to support the ProtB service:


   _ProtB._tcp.example.com.
    ;;    Pref Weight Port  Target
   IN SRV 10    0     10001 bigiron.example.com.
   IN SRV 20    0     10001 backup.em.example.com.
   IN SRV 30    0     10001 nuclearfallout.australia-isp.example.



4.4  Remote Hosting


   In the Instant Message hosting example in Section 4.3, the service
   owner (thinkingcat.example) had to host pointers to the hosting
   service's SRV records in the thinkingcat.example domain.


   A better way to approach this is to have one NAPTR RR in the
   thinkingcat.example domain pointing to all the hosted services, and
   the hosting domain has NAPTR records for each service to map them to
   whatever local hosts it chooses (and may change from time to time).


   thinkingcat.example.
   ;;      order pref flags
   IN NAPTR 100  10   "s"   "EM:ProtA"                ( ; service
                            ""                          ; regexp
                           _ProtA._tcp.thinkingcat.example. ; replacement
                                                      )
   IN NAPTR 100  20   ""    "EM:ProtB:ProtC"          ( ; service
                            ""                          ; regexp
                            thinkingcat.example.com.    ; replacement
                                                      )






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   and then the administrators at example.com can break out the
   individual application protocols and manage the preference rankings
   of the servers they use to support the ProtB service (as before):


   thinkingcat.example.com.
   ;;      order pref flags
   IN NAPTR 100  10   "s"   "EM:ProtC"                ( ; service
                            ""                          ; regexp
                            _ProtC._tcp.example.com.    ; replacement
                                                      )
   IN NAPTR 100  20   "s"   "EM:ProtB"                ( ; service
                            ""                          ; regexp
                            _ProtB._tcp.example.com.    ; replacement
                                                      )




   _ProtC._tcp.example.com.
    ;;    Pref Weight Port  Target
   IN SRV 10    0     10001 bigiron.example.com.
   IN SRV 20    0     10001 backup.em.example.com.
   IN SRV 30    0     10001 nuclearfallout.australia-isp.example.



4.5  Sets of NAPTR RRs


   Note that the above sections assumed that there was one service
   available (via S-NAPTR) per domain.  Often, that will not be the
   case.  Assuming thinkingcat.example had the CredReg service set up as
   described in Section 4.2 and the extensible messaging service set up
   as described in Section 4.4, then a client querying for the NAPTR RR
   set from thinkingcat.com would get the following answer:


   thinkingcat.example.
   ;;       order pref flags
   IN NAPTR 100   10   "s"   "EM:ProtA"               ( ; service
                             ""                         ; regexp
                             _ProtA._tcp.thinkingcat.example. ; replacement
                                                      )
   IN NAPTR 100   20   ""    "EM:ProtB:ProtC"         ( ; service
                             ""                         ; regexp
                             thinkingcat.example.com.   ; replacement
                                                      )
   IN NAPTR 200   10   ""    "CREDREG:ldap:iris-beep" ( ; service
                             ""                         ; regexp
                             bouncer.thinkingcat.example. ; replacement
                                                      )





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   Sorting them by increasing "ORDER", the client would look through the
   SERVICE strings to determine if there was a NAPTR RR that matched the
   application service it was looking for, with an application protocol
   it could use.  The first (lowest PREF) record that so matched is the
   one the client would use to continue.


4.6  Sample sequence diagram


   Consider the example in Section 4.3.  Visually, the sequence of steps
   required for the client to reach the final server for a "ProtB"
   service for EM for the thinkingcat.example domain is as follows:



   Client   NS for                NS for
            thinkingcat.example   example.com    backup.em.example.com
                |                     |                  |
     1 -------->|                     |                  |
     2 <--------|                     |                  |
     3 ------------------------------>|                  |
     4 <------------------------------|                  |
     5 ------------------------------>|                  |
     6 <------------------------------|                  |
     7 ------------------------------>|                  |
     8 <------------------------------|                  |
     9 ------------------------------------------------->|
    10 <-------------------------------------------------|
    11 ------------------------------------------------->|
    12 <-------------------------------------------------|
   (...)




   1.  the name server (NS) for thinkingcat.example is reached with a
        request for all NAPTR records
   2.  the server responds with the NAPTR records shown in Section 4.3.
   3.  the second NAPTR record matches the desired criteria; that has an
        "s" flag and a replacement fields of "_ProtB._tcp.example.com".
        So, the client looks up SRV records for that target, ultimately
        making the request of the NS for example.com.
   4.  the response includes the SRV records listed in Section 4.3.
   5.  the client attempts to reach the server with the lowest PREF in
        the SRV list -- looking up the A record for the SRV record's
        target (bigiron.example.com).
   6.  the example.com NS responds with an error message -- no such
        machine!
   7.  the client attempts to reach the second server in the SRV list,
        and looks up the A record for backup.em.example.com





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   8.  the client gets the A record with the IP address for
        backup.em.example.com from example.com's NS.
   9.  the client connects to that IP address, on port 10001 (from the
        SRV record), using ProtB over tcp.
   10.  the server responds with an "OK" message.
   11.  the client uses ProtB to challenge that this server has
        credentials to operate the service for the original domain
        (thinkingcat.example)
   12.  the server responds, and the rest is EM.


5.  Motivation and Discussion


   Increasingly, application protocol standards are using domain names
   to identify server targets, and stipulating that clients should look
   up SRV resource records to determine the host and port providing the
   server.  This enables a distinction between naming an application
   service target and actually hosting the server.  It also increases
   flexibility in hosting the target service:
   o  the server may be operated by a completely different organization
      without having to list the details of that organization's DNS
      setup (SRVs)
   o  multiple instances can be set up (e.g., for load balancing or
      secondaries)
   o  it can be moved from time to time without disrupting clients'
      access, etc.
   This is quite useful, but Section 5.1 outlines some of the
   limitations inherent in the approach.


   That is, while SRV records can be used to map from a specific service
   name and protocol for a specific domain to a specific server, SRV
   records are limited to one layer of indirection, and are focused on
   server administration rather than on application naming.  And, while
   the DDDS specification and use of NAPTR allows multiple levels of
   redirection before locating the target server machine with an SRV
   record, this proposal requires only a subset of NAPTR strictly bound
   to domain names, without making use of the REGEXP field of NAPTR.
   These restrictions make the client's resolution process much more
   predictable and efficient than with some potential uses of NAPTR
   records.  This is dubbed "S-NAPTR" -- a "S"traightforward use of
   NAPTR records.


5.1  So, why not just SRV records?


   An expected question at this point is: this is so similar in
   structure to SRV records, why are we doing this with DDDS/NAPTR?


   Limitations of SRV include:





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   o  SRV provides a single layer of indirection -- the outcome of an
      SRV lookup is a new domain name for which the A RR is to be found.
   o  the purpose of SRV is focused on individual server administration,
      not application naming: as stated in [3] "The SRV RR allows
      administrators to use several servers for a single domain, to move
      services from host to host with little fuss, and to designate some
      hosts as primary servers for a service and others as backups."
   o  target servers by "service" (e.g., "ldap") and "protocol" (e.g.,
      "tcp") in a given domain.  The definition of these terms implies
      specific things (e.g., that protocol should be one of UDP or TCP)
      without being precise.  Restriction to UDP and TCP is insufficient
      for the uses described here.


   The basic answer is that SRV records provide mappings from protocol
   names to host and port.  The use cases described herein require an
   additional layer -- from some service label to servers that may in
   fact be hosted within different administrative domains.  We could
   tweak SRV to say that the next lookup could be something other than
   an address record, but that is more complex than is necessary for
   most applications of SRV.


5.2  So, why not just NAPTR records?


   That's a trick question.  NAPTR records cannot appear in the wild --
   see [4].  They must be part of a DDDS application.


   The purpose here is to define a single, common mechanism (the DDDS
   application) to use NAPTR when all that is desired is simple
   DNS-based location of services.  This should be easy for applications
   to use -- some simple IANA registrations and it's done.


   Also, NAPTR has very powerful tools for expressing "rewrite" rules.
   That power (==complexity) makes some protocol designers and service
   administrators nervous.  The concern is that it can translate into
   unintelligible, noodle-like rule sets that are difficult to test and
   administer.


   This proposed DDDS application specifically uses a subset of NAPTR's
   abilities.  Only "replacement" expressions are allowed, not "regular
   expressions".


6.  Formal Definition of <Application Service Location> Application of
   DDDS


   This section formally defines the DDDS application, as described in
   [4].






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6.1  Application Unique String


   The Application Unique String is domain label for which an
   authoritative server for a particular service is sought.


6.2  First Well Known Rule


   The "First Well Known Rule" is identity -- that is, the output of the
   rule is the Application Unique String, the domain label for which the
   authoritative server for a particular service is sought.


6.3  Expected Output


   The expected output of this Application is the information necessary
   to connect to authoritative server(s) (host, port, protocol) for an
   application service within a given a given domain.


6.4  Flags


   This DDDS Application uses only 2 of the Flags defined for the URI/
   URN Resolution Application ([6]): "S" and "A".  No other Flags are
   valid.


   Both are for terminal lookups.  This means that the Rule is the last
   one and that the flag determines what the next stage should be.  The
   "S" flag means that the output of this Rule is a domain label for
   which one or more SRV [3] records exist.  "A" means that the output
   of the Rule is a domain name and should be used to lookup address
   records for that domain.


   Consistent with the DDDS algorithm, if the Flag string is empty the
   next lookup is for another NAPTR record (for the replacement target).


6.5  Service Parameters


   Service Parameters for this Application take the form of a string of
   characters that follow this ABNF ([2]):















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      service-parms = [ [app-service] *(":" app-protocol)]
      app-service   = experimental-service  / iana-registered-service
      app-protocol  = experimental-protocol / iana-registered-protocol
      experimental-service      = "x-" 1*30ALPHANUMSYM
      experimental-protocol     = "x-" 1*30ALPHANUMSYM
      iana-registered-service   = ALPHA *31ALPHANUMSYM
      iana-registered-protocol  = ALPHA *31ALPHANUM
      ALPHA         =  %x41-5A / %x61-7A   ; A-Z / a-z
      DIGIT         =  %x30-39 ; 0-9
      SYM           =  %x2B / %x2D / %x2E  ; "+" / "-" / "."
      ALPHANUMSYM   =  ALPHA / DIGIT / SYM
      ; The app-service and app-protocol tags are limited to 32
      ; characters and must start with an alphabetic character.
      ; The service-parms are considered case-insensitive.


   Thus, the Service Parameters may consist of an empty string, just an
   app-service, or an app-service with one or more app-protocol
   specifications separated by the ":" symbol.


   Note that this is similar to, but not the same as the syntax used in
   the URI DDDS application ([6]).  The DDDS DNS database requires each
   DDDS application to define the syntax of allowable service strings.
   The syntax here is expanded to allow the characters that are valid in
   any URI scheme name (see [8]).  Since "+" (the separator used in the
   RFC3404 service parameter string) is an allowed character for URI
   scheme names, ":" is chosen as the separator here.


6.5.1  Application Services


   The "app-service" must be an IANA-registered service; see Section 7
   for instructions on registering new application service tags.


6.5.2  Application Protocols


   The protocol identifiers that are valid for the "app-protocol"
   production are standard, registered protocols; see Section 7 for
   instructions on registering new application protocol tags.


6.6  Valid Rules


   Only substitution Rules are permitted for this application.  That is,
   no regular expressions are allowed.


6.7  Valid Databases


   At present only one DDDS Database is specified for this Application.
   [5] specifies a DDDS Database that uses the NAPTR DNS resource record
   to contain the rewrite rules.  The Keys for this database are encoded




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   as domain-names.


   The First Well Known Rule produces a domain name, and this is the Key
   that is used for the first lookup -- the NAPTR records for that
   domain are requested.


   DNS servers MAY interpret Flag values and use that information to
   include appropriate NAPTR, SRV or A records in the Additional
   Information portion of the DNS packet.  Clients are encouraged to
   check for additional information but are not required to do so.  See
   the Additional Information Processing section of [5] for more
   information on NAPTR records and the Additional Information section
   of a DNS response packet.


7.  IANA Considerations


   This document calls for 2 IANA registries:  one for application
   service tags, and one for application protocol tags.


7.1  Application Service Tag IANA Registry


   IANA is to establish and maintain a registry for S-NAPTR Application
   Service Tags, listing at least the following information for each
   such tag:
   o  Application Service Tag:  a string conformant with the
      iana-registered-service defined in Section 6.5.
   o  Defining publication:  the RFC used to define the Application
      Service Tag, as defined in the registration process, below.


   An initial Application Service Tag registration is contained in [9].


7.2  Application Protocol Tag IANA Registry


   IANA is to establish and maintain a registry for S-NAPTR Application
   Protocol Tags, listing at least the following information for each
   such tag:
   o  Application Protocol Tag:  a string conformant with the
      iana-registered-protocol defined in Section 6.5.
   o  Defining publication:  the RFC used to define the Application
      Protocol Tag, as defined in the registration process, below.


   An initial Application Protocol Tag registration is defined in [10].


7.3  Registration Process


   All application service and protocol tags that start with "x-" are
   considered experimental, and no provision is made to prevent
   duplicate use of the same string.  Use them at your own risk.




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   All other application service and protocol tags are registered based
   on the "specification required" option defined in [7], with the
   further stipulation that the "specification" is an RFC (of any
   category).


   There are no further restrictions placed on the tags other than that
   they must conform with the syntax defined below (Section 6.5).


   The defining RFC must clearly identify and describe, for each tag
   being registered:
   o  Application protocol or service tag
   o  Intended usage
   o  Interoperability considerations
   o  Security considerations (see Section 8 of this document for
      further discussion of the types of considerations that are
      applicable)
   o  Any relevant related publications


8.  Security Considerations


   The security of this approach to application service location is only
   as good as the security of the DNS servers along the way.  If any of
   them is compromised, bogus NAPTR and SRV records could be inserted to
   redirect clients to unintended destinations.  This problem is hardly
   unique to S-NAPTR (or NAPTR in general).  A full discussion of the
   security threats pertaining to DNS can be found in [11].


   To protect against DNS-vectored attacks, secured DNS (DNSSEC) [12]
   can be used to ensure the validity of the DNS records received.


   Whether or not DNSSEC is used, applications should define some form
   of end-to-end authentication to ensure that the correct destination
   has been reached.  Many application protocols such as HTTPS, BEEP,
   IMAP, etc...  define the necessary handshake mechansims to accomplish
   this task.  Newly-defined application protocols should take this into
   consideration and incorporate appropriate mechanisms.


   The basic mechanism works in the following way:
   1.  During some portion of the protocol handshake, the client sends
       to the server the original name of the desired destination (i.e.
       no transformations that may have resulted from NAPTR
       replacements, SRV targets, or CNAME changes).  In certain cases
       where the application protocol does not have such a feature but
       TLS may be used, it is possible to use the "server_name" TLS
       extension.
   2.  The server sends back to the client a credential with the
       appropriate name.  For X.509 certificates, the name would either
       be in the subjectDN or subjectAltName fields.  For Kerberos, the




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       name would be a service principle name.
   3.  Using the matching semantics defined by the application protocol,
       the client compares the name in the credential with the name sent
       to the server.
   4.  If the names match and the credentials have integrity, there is
       reasonable assurance that the correct end point has been reached.
   5.  The client and server establish an integrity-protected channel.


   It is important to note that this document does not define either the
   handshake mechanism, the specific credential naming fields, nor the
   name matching semantics.  Definitions of S-NAPTR for particular
   application protocols MUST define these.


9.  Acknowledgements


   Many thanks to Dave Blacka, Patrik Faltstrom, Sally Floyd, and Ted
   Hardie for discussion and input that has (hopefully!) provoked
   clarifying revisions of this document.


10.  References


10.1  Normative References


   [1]  Bradner, S., "Key words for use in RFCs to Indicate Requirement
        Levels", BCP 14, RFC 2119, March 1997.


   [2]  Crocker, D. and P. Overell, "Augmented BNF for Syntax
        Specifications: ABNF", RFC 2234, November 1997.


   [3]  Gulbrandsen, A., Vixie, P. and L. Esibov, "A DNS RR for
        specifying the locatio n of services (DNS SRV)", RFC 2782,
        February 2000.


   [4]  Mealling, M., "Dynamic Delegation Discovery System (DDDS) Part
        One: The Comprehensive DDDS", RFC 3401, October 2002.


   [5]  Mealling, M., "Dynamic Delegation Discovery System (DDDS) Part
        Three: The Domain Name System (DNS) Database", RFC 3403, October
        2002.


   [6]  Mealling, M., "Dynamic Delegation Discovery System (DDDS) Part
        Four: The Uniform Resource Identifiers (URI)", RFC 3404, October
        2002.


   [7]  Narten, T. and H. Alvestrand, "Guidelines for Writing an IANA
        Considerations Section in RFCs", BCP 26, RFC 2434, October 1998.






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10.2  Informative References


   [8]   Berners-Lee, T., Fielding, R. and L. Masinter, "Uniform
         Resource Identifiers (URI): Generic Syntax", RFC 2396, August
         1998.


   [9]   Newton, A. and M. Sanz, "IRIS Domain Registry Schema",
         draft-ietf-crisp-iris-dreg-06 (work in progress), April 2004.


   [10]  Newton, A. and M. Sanz, "Using the Internet Registry
         Information Service (IRIS) over the Blocks  Extensible Exchange
         Protocol (BEEP)", draft-ietf-crisp-iris-beep-04 (work in
         progress), April 2004.


   [11]  Atkins, D. and R. Austein, "Threat Analysis Of The Domain Name
         System", draft-ietf-dnsext-dns-threats-07 (work in progress),
         April 2004.


   [12]  Arends, R., Larson, M., Austein, R. and D. Massey, "Protocol
         Modifications for the DNS Security Extensions",
         draft-ietf-dnsext-dnssec-protocol-06 (work in progress), May
         2004.



Authors' Addresses


   Leslie Daigle
   VeriSign, Inc.
   21355 Ridgetop Circle
   Dulles, VA  20166
   US


   EMail: leslie@verisignlabs.com; leslie@thinkingcat.com



   Andrew Newton
   VeriSign, Inc.
   21355 Ridgetop Circle
   Dulles, VA  20166
   US


   EMail: anewton@verisignlabs.com


Appendix A.  Pseudo pseudocode for S-NAPTR


A.1  Finding the first (best) target


   Assuming the client supports 1 protocol for a particular application




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   service, the following pseudocode outlines the expected process to
   find the first (best) target for the client, using S-NAPTR.



    target = [initial domain]
    naptr-done = false


    while (not naptr-done)
     {
      NAPTR-RRset = [DNSlookup of NAPTR RRs for target]
      [sort NAPTR-RRset by ORDER, and PREF within each ORDER]
      rr-done = false
      cur-rr = [first NAPTR RR]


      while (not rr-done)
         if ([SERVICE field of cur-rr contains desired application
              service and application protocol])
            rr-done = true
            target= [REPLACEMENT target of NAPTR RR]
         else
            cur-rr = [next rr in list]


         if (not empty [FLAG in cur-rr])
            naptr-done = true
     }


    port = -1


    if ([FLAG in cur-rr is "S"])
     {
      SRV-RRset = [DNSlookup of SRV RRs for target]
      [sort SRV-RRset based on PREF]
      target = [target of first RR of SRV-RRset]
      port = [port in first RR of SRV-RRset]
     }


    ; now, whether it was an "S" or an "A" in the NAPTR, we
    ; have the target for an A record lookup


    host = [DNSlookup of target]


    return (host, port)




A.2  Finding subsequent targets


   The pseudocode in Appendix A is crafted to find the first, most




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   preferred, host-port pair for a particular application service an
   protocol.  If, for any reason, that host-port pair did not work
   (connection refused, application-level error), the client is expected
   to try the next host-port in the S-NAPTR tree.


   The pseudocode above does not permit retries -- once complete, it
   sheds all context of where in the S-NAPTR tree it finished.
   Therefore, client software writers could
   o  entwine the application-specific protocol with the DNS lookup and
      RRset processing described in the pseudocode and continue the
      S-NAPTR processing if the application code fails to connect to a
      located host-port pair;
   o  use callbacks for the S-NAPTR processing;
   o  use an S-NAPTR resolution routine that finds *all* valid servers
      for the required application service and protocol from the
      originating domain, and provides them in sorted order for the
      application to try in order.


Appendix B.  Availability of Sample Code


   Sample Python code for S-NAPTR resolution is available from
   http://www.verisignlabs.com/pysnaptr-0.1.tgz .






























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Intellectual Property Statement


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   HEREIN WILL NOT INFRINGE ANY RIGHTS OR ANY IMPLIED WARRANTIES OF
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Acknowledgment


   Funding for the RFC Editor function is currently provided by the
   Internet Society.












































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