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DHC Working Group                                          Bernard Aboba
INTERNET-DRAFT                                     Microsoft Corporation
Category: Proposed Standard
6 August 2005

               Detecting Network Attachment (DNA) in IPv4

   By submitting this Internet-Draft, each author represents that any
   applicable patent or other IPR claims of which he or she is aware
   have been or will be disclosed, and any of which he or she becomes
   aware will be disclosed, in accordance with Section 6 of BCP 79.

   Internet-Drafts are working documents of the Internet Engineering
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   The list of current Internet-Drafts can be accessed at

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   This Internet-Draft will expire on February 10, 2006.

Copyright Notice

   Copyright (C) The Internet Society 2005.


   The time required to detect movement between networks, and to obtain
   (or continue to use) an IPv4 configuration may be significant as a
   fraction of the total handover latency in moving between points of
   attachment.  This document synthesizes experience in the deployment
   of hosts supporting ARP, DHCP, and IPv4 Link-Local addresses to
   define a set of steps known as Detecting Network Attachment for IPv4
   (DNAv4), in order to decrease the handover latency in moving between
   points of attachment.

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Table of Contents

1.  Introduction..............................................    3
      1.1    Requirements ....................................    3
      1.2    Terminology .....................................    3
2.  Overview .................................................    5
      2.1    Most Likely Network(s) ..........................    6
      2.2    Reachability Test ...............................    6
      2.3    IPv4 Address Acquisition ........................    8
      2.4    IPv4 Link-Local Addresses .......................    9
3.  Constants ................................................   10
4.  IANA Considerations ......................................   10
5.  Security Considerations ..................................   11
6.  References ...............................................   11
      6.1    Normative references ............................   11
      6.2    Informative references ..........................   12
Acknowledgments ..............................................   13
Authors' Addresses ...........................................   13
Appendix A - Hints ...........................................   14
      A.1    Introduction ....................................   14
      A.2    Link Layer Hints ................................   15
      A.3    Internet Layer Hints ............................   16
Intellectual Property Statement ..............................   17
Disclaimer of Validity .......................................   17
Copyright Statement ..........................................   18

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1.  Introduction

   The time required to detect movement between networks and to obtain
   (or continue to use) an operable IPv4 configuration may be
   significant as a fraction of the total handover latency in moving
   between points of attachment.

   This document synthesizes experience in the deployment of hosts
   supporting ARP [RFC826], DHCP [RFC2131], and IPv4 Link-Local
   addresses [RFC3927] to define a set of steps known as Detecting
   Network Attachment for IPv4 (DNAv4).  DNAv4 optimizes the (common)
   case of reattachment to a network that one has been connected to
   previously by attempting to re-use a previous (but still valid)
   configuration, reducing the reattachment time to a few milliseconds
   on LANs.  Since this procedure is dependent on the ARP protocol, it
   is not suitable for use on media that do not support ARP.

1.1.  Requirements

   In this document, several words are used to signify the requirements
   of the specification.  The key words "MUST", "MUST NOT", "REQUIRED",
   and "OPTIONAL" in this document are to be interpreted as described in

1.2.  Terminology

This document uses the following terms:

     ARP packet field: Sender Hardware Address [RFC826]. The hardware
     (MAC) address of the originator of an ARP packet.

     ARP packet field: Sender Protocol Address [RFC826].  For IP Address
     Resolution this is the IPv4 address of the sender of the ARP

     ARP packet field: Target Hardware Address [RFC826].  The hardware
     (MAC) address of the target of an ARP packet.

     ARP packet field: Target Protocol Address [RFC826].  For IPv4
     Address Resolution, the IPv4 address for which one desires to know
     the hardware address.

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DHCP client
     A DHCP client or "client" is an Internet host using the Dynamic
     Host Configuration protocol (DHCP) [RFC2131] to obtain
     configuration parameters such as a network address.

DHCP server
     A DHCP server or "server" is an Internet host that returns
     configuration parameters to DHCP clients.

Link A communication facility or medium over which network nodes can
     communicate.  Each link is associated with a minimum of two
     endpoints.  Each link endpoint has a unique link-layer identifier.

Link Down
     An event provided by the link layer that signifies a state change
     associated with the interface no longer being capable of
     communicating data frames; transient periods of high frame loss are
     not sufficient.  DNAv4 does not utilize "Link Down" indications.

Link Layer
     Conceptual layer of control or processing logic that is responsible
     for maintaining control of the data link.  The data link layer
     functions provide an interface between the higher-layer logic and
     the data link.  The link layer is the layer immediately below IP.

Link Up
     An event provided by the link layer that signifies a state change
     associated with the interface becoming capable of communicating
     data frames.

Most Likely Networks (MLNs)
     The attached network(s) determined by the host to be most likely.

Point of Attachment
     The link endpoint on the link to which the host is currently

Routable address
     In this specification, the term "routable address" refers to any
     IPv4 address other than an IPv4 Link-Local address.  This includes
     private addresses as specified in [RFC1918].

Operable address
     In this specification, the term "operable address" refers to either
     a static IPv4 address, or an address assigned via DHCPv4 which has
     not been relinquished, and whose lease has not yet expired.

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2.  Overview

   DNAv4 consists of three phases: determination of the Most Likely
   Networks (MLNs), reachability testing, and IPv4 address acquisition.

   On connecting to a new point of attachment, the host responds to a
   "Link Up" indication from the link layer by carrying out the DNAv4
   procedure.  Based on the networks that the host has most recently
   connected to as well as hints available from the link and Internet
   layers, the host determines the "Most Likely Networks" (MLNs) and
   determines whether it has an operable IPv4 configuration associated
   with each of them.

   If the host believes that it has an operable IPv4 configuration on a
   MLN, it performs a reachability test in order to confirm that
   configuration.  The reachability test is designed to verify bi-
   directional connectivity to the default gateway(s) on the MLN.  If
   the reachability test is successful, the host SHOULD continue to use
   an operable routable IPv4 address without needing to re-acquire it,
   thereby allowing the host to bypass DHCPv4 as well as Duplicate
   Address Detection (DAD).

   Since DNAv4 represents a performance optimization, it is important to
   avoid compromising robustness.  In some circumstances, DNAv4 may
   result in a host successfully verifying an existing IPv4
   configuration where attempting to obtain configuration via DHCPv4
   would fail (such as when the DHCPv4 server is down).

   To improve robustness, this document suggests that hosts behave
   conservatively with respect to assignment of IPv4 Link-Local
   addresses [RFC3927], configuring them only in situations in which
   they can do no harm.  Experience has shown that IPv4 Link-Local
   addresses are often assigned inappropriately, compromising both
   performance and connectivity.

   In implementations where MLN selection is dependent on hints provided
   to the client, the performance of DNAv4 may be dependent on the
   reliability of the hints.  However, the host will ultimately
   determine the correct IPv4 configuration even in the presence of
   misleading hints.

   Where there is more than one MLN, the host can test reachability to
   the MLNs in serial or in parallel.  An implementation can also
   attempt to obtain IPv4 configuration via DHCPv4 in parallel with one
   or more reachability tests, with the host using the first answer
   returned.  These optimizations improve performance and reduce the
   reliance on link and Internet layer hints, which may not be present
   or may be misleading.

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   Attempting to obtain IPv4 configuration via DHCPv4 in parallel with
   reachability testing is particularly valuable in implementations that
   only test reachability of a single MLN.  Since confirming failure of
   a reachability test requires a timeout, mistakes are costly and
   sending a DHCPREQUEST from the INIT-REBOOT state, as described in
   [RFC2131] Section 3.2 and 4.3.2 may complete more quickly than the
   reachability test.

   DNAv4 does not increase the likelihood of an address conflict.  The
   DNAv4 procedure is only carried out when the host has an operable
   IPv4 configuration on one or more MLNs, implying that duplicate
   address detection has previously been completed.  Restrictions on
   sending ARP Requests and Responses are described in Section 2.2.1.

2.1.  Most Likely Networks (MLNs)

   In order to determine the MLN(s), it is assumed that the host saves
   to stable storage parameters relating to the networks it connects to:

    [1] The IPv4 and MAC address of the default gateway(s) on
        each network.

    [2] The link type, such as whether the link utilizes
        Ethernet, or 802.11 adhoc or infrastructure mode.

    [3] Link and Internet layer hints associated with each
        network.  Appendix A discusses hints useful for the
        determination of MLNs.

   An implementation may select one or more MLNs by matching received
   hints against network parameters previously stored, by including
   networks it has most recently connected to, or by some combination of
   these strategies.

2.2.  Reachability Test

   If the host has an operable routable IPv4 address on a MLN, a host
   conforming to this specification SHOULD perform a reachability test
   for that MLN, in order to confirm the configuration.

   The host skips the reachability test for a MLN if any of the
   following conditions are true:

   [a] The host does not have an operable routable IPv4
       address on a MLN.  In this case, the reachability
       test cannot confirm that the host has an operable
       routable IPv4 address, so completing the
       reachability test would serve no purpose.

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       A host MUST NOT use the reachability test to
       confirm configuration of an IPv4 Link-Local

   [b] The host does not know the default gateway(s) on
       a MLN.  In this case, insufficient information
       is available to carry out the reachability test.

   [c] If secure detection of network attachment is required.
       The reachability test utilizes ARP which is insecure,
       whereas DHCPv4 can be secured via DHCPv4 authentication,
       described in [RFC3118].  See Section 5 for details.

   For a particular MLN, the host MAY test the reachability of the
   primary default gateway, or it MAY test reachability of the primary
   and secondary default gateways in series or in parallel.  In order to
   ensure configuration validity,  the host SHOULD only configure
   default gateway(s) which pass the reachability test.

   In situations where more than one network is available on a given
   link, and more than one reachability test is performed in parallel,
   potentially with an attempt to obtain IPv4 configuration via DHCPv4,
   it is possible for the host to confirm more than one configuration.
   In this case, a DNAv4 implementation SHOULD prefer the configuration
   provided via DHCPv4.

2.2.1.  Packet Format

   The reachability test is performed by sending an ARP Request.  The
   host MUST set the target protocol address (ar$tpa) to the IPv4
   address of the default gateway being tested, and the sender protocol
   address field (ar$spa) to its own IPv4 address.  The ARP Request MUST
   use the host's MAC address as the source, and the default gateway MAC
   address as the destination.  The host includes its MAC address in the
   sender hardware address field (ar$sha), and sets the target hardware
   address field (ar$tha) to 0.

   If a valid ARP Reply is received, the MAC address in the sender
   hardware address field (ar$sha) in the ARP Reply is matched against
   the target hardware address field (ar$tpa) in the ARP Request, and
   the and the IPv4 address in the sender protocol address field
   (ar$spa) of the ARP Reply is matched against the target protocol
   address field (ar$tpa) in the ARP Request. If a match is found, then
   if the host has an operable routable IPv4 address on the matched
   network, the host continues to use that IPv4 address, subject to the
   lease re- acquisition and expiration behavior described in [RFC2131],
   Section 4.4.5.

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   The risk of an address conflict is greatest when the host moves
   between private networks, since in this case the completion of
   Duplicate Address Detection on the former network does not provide
   assurance against an address conflict on the new network.  Until a
   host with a private address has confirmed the operability of its IPv4
   configuration, it SHOULD NOT respond to ARP Requests, and SHOULD NOT
   broadcast ARP Requests containing its address within the sender
   protocol address field (ar$spa).  However, where the host has an
   operable routable non-private address on a MLN, it MAY send ARP
   Requests using its address within the sender protocol address field
   (ar$spa) prior to confirming its IPv4 configuration, and MAY respond
   to ARP Requests.

   Sending an ICMP Echo Request [RFC792] to the default gateway IPv4
   address does not provide the same level of assurance since where the
   host has moved between two private networks, an ICMP Echo Request can
   result in an ICMP Echo Response even when the default gateway has
   changed, as long as the IPv4 address remains the same.  This can
   occur,  for example, where a host moves from one home network using
   prefix 192.168/16 to another one.  In addition, if the ping is sent
   with TTL > 1, then an ICMP Echo Response can be received from an off-
   link gateway.  As a result, if the MAC address of the default gateway
   is not checked, the host can mistakenly confirm attachment to a MLN,
   potentially resulting in an address conflict.  In addition, if the
   ICMP Echo Request results in a broadcast ARP Request being sent with
   the host's IPv4 address in ar$spa,  this can result in ARP cache
   pollution.  As a result, sending an ICMP Echo Request SHOULD NOT be
   used as a substitute for the DNAv4 procedure.

   If the initial ARP Request does not elicit a response, the host waits
   for REACHABILITY_TIMEOUT.  Where IPv4 address acquisition occurs in
   parallel, the host MAY retransmit;  otherwise the host SHOULD move on
   to the IPv4 address acquisition phase.  If a valid ARP Reply is
   received, but cannot be matched against known networks, the host
   assumes it does not have an operable IPv4 configuration.

2.3.  IPv4 Address Acquisition

   If the host has an operable routable IPv4 address on one or more
   MLNs, but the reachability test(s) fail, the host SHOULD attempt to
   revalidate the configuration by entering the INIT-REBOOT state, and
   sending a DHCPREQUEST to the broadcast address as specified in
   [RFC2131] Section 4.4.2.  As noted in Section 2, it is also possible
   for IPv4 address acquisition to occur in parallel with the
   reachability test.

   If the host does not have an operable routable IPv4 address on any
   MLN, the host enters the INIT state and sends a DHCPDISCOVER packet

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   to the broadcast address, as described in [RFC2131] Section 4.4.1.
   If the host supports the Rapid Commit Option [RFC4039], it is
   possible that the exchange can be shortened from a 4-message exchange
   to a 2-message exchange.

   If the host does not receive a response to a DHCPREQUEST or
   DHCPDISCOVER, then it retransmits as specified in [RFC2131] Section

   As discussed in [RFC2131], Section 4.4.4, a host in INIT or REBOOTING
   state that knows the address of a DHCP server may use that address in
   the DHCPDISCOVER or DHCPREQUEST rather than the IPv4 broadcast
   address.  In the INIT-REBOOT state a DHCPREQUEST is sent to the
   broadcast address so that the host will receive a response regardless
   of whether the previously configured IPv4 address is correct for the
   network to which it has connected.

   Sending a DHCPREQUEST to the unicast address in INIT-REBOOT state is
   not appropriate, since if the DHCP client has moved to another
   subnet,  a DHCP server response cannot be routed back to the client
   since the DHCPREQUEST will bypass the DHCP relay and will contain an
   invalid source address.

2.4.  IPv4 Link-Local Addresses

   To avoid inappropriate assignment of IPv4 Link-Local addresses, it is
   recommended that hosts behave conservatively, assigning them only
   when they can do no harm.  As described in [RFC3927] Section 1.9, use
   of a routable address is preferred when it is available:

      2. If a host finds that an interface that was previously
         configured with an IPv4 Link-Local address now has an operable
         routable address available, the host MUST use the routable
         address when initiating new communications, and MUST cease
         advertising the availability of the IPv4 Link-Local address
         through whatever mechanisms that address had been made known to

   Where the host does not have an operable routable IPv4 address on any
   MLN, the host MAY configure an IPv4 Link-Local address prior to
   entering the INIT state and sending a DHCPDISCOVER packet, as
   described in [RFC2131] Section 2.3.  However, should a routable IPv4
   address be obtained, the IPv4 Link-Local address is deprecated, as
   noted in [RFC3927] Section 1.9.

   Where a host has an operable routable IPv4 address on one or more
   MLNs, but the DHCP client does not receive a response after employing
   the retransmission algorithm, [RFC2131] Section 3.2 states that the

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   client MAY choose to use the previously allocated network address and
   configuration parameters corresponding to one of the MLNs for the
   remainder of the unexpired lease.   Where a host can confirm that it
   remains connected to a network on which it possesses an operable
   routable IPv4 address, that address SHOULD be used, rather than
   assigning a IPv4 Link-Local address.

   Since a IPv4 Link-Local address is often configured because a DHCP
   server failed to respond to an initial query or is inoperative for
   some time, it is desirable to abandon the IPv4 Link-Local address
   assignment as soon as an IPv4 address lease can be obtained.

   As described in [RFC3927] Appendix A, once a Link-Local IPv4 address
   is assigned, existing implementations do not query the DHCPv4 server
   again for five minutes.  This behavior violates [RFC2131] Section

       The retransmission delay SHOULD be doubled with
       subsequent retransmissions up to a maximum of 64 seconds.

   Instead of waiting for five minutes, a DHCP client should continue to
   retry every 64 seconds, even after allocating a IPv4 Link-Local
   address.  If the DHCP client succeeds in obtaining a routable
   address, then the IPv4 Link-Local address is deprecated, as noted in
   [RFC3927] Section 1.9.

   Since it is inevitable that hosts will inappropriately configure IPv4
   Link-Local addresses at some point, hosts with routable IPv4
   addresses need to be able to respond to peers with IPv4 Link-Local
   addresses, as per [RFC3927] Section 1.8.  For example, a host
   configured with a routable address may receive a datagram from a
   link-local source address.  In order to respond, the host will use
   ARP to resolve the target hardware address and send the datagram
   directly, not to a router for forwarding.

3.  Constants

   The suggested default value of REACHABILITY_TIMEOUT is 200 ms.  This
   value was chosen so as to accommodate the maximum retransmission
   timer likely to be experienced on an Ethernet network.

4.  IANA Considerations

   This specification does not request the creation of any new parameter
   registries, nor does it require any other IANA assignments.

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5.  Security Considerations

   Detecting Network Attachment for IPv4 (DNAv4) is based on ARP and
   DHCP and inherits the security vulnerabilities of these two

   ARP [RFC826] traffic is not secured, so that an attacker gaining
   access to the network can spoof a response to the reachability test
   described in Section 2.2, leading the querier to falsely conclude
   that it is attached to a network that it is not connected to.

   Similarly, where DHCPv4 traffic is not secured, an attacker could
   masquerade as a DHCPv4 server, in order to convince the host that it
   was attached to a particular network.  This and other threats
   relating to DHCPv4 are described in "Authentication for DHCP
   Messages" [RFC3118].

   The effect of these attacks will typically be limited to denial of
   service, unless the host utilizes its IP configuration for other
   purposes, such as security configuration or location determination.
   For example, a host that disables its personal firewall based on
   evidence that it had attached to a home network could be compromised
   by spoofing of the DNAv4 reachability test.  In general, adjustment
   of the security configuration based on DNAv4 is NOT RECOMMENDED.

   Hosts that depend on secure IP configuration SHOULD NOT use DNAv4,
   but SHOULD instead utilize DHCP authentication [RFC3118], possibly in
   combination with the Rapid Commit Option [RFC4039].

6.  References

6.1.  Normative References

[RFC792]  Postel, J., "Internet Control Message Protocol", RFC 792,
          USC/Information Sciences Institute, September 1981.

[RFC826]  D. Plummer, "An Ethernet Address Resolution Protocol -or-
          Converting Network Addresses to 48-bit Ethernet Address for
          Transmission on Ethernet Hardware", STD 37, RFC 826, November

[RFC1256] Deering, S., "ICMP Router Discovery Messages", RFC 1256, Xerox
          PARC, September 1991.

[RFC2119] Bradner, S., "Key words for use in RFCs to Indicate
          Requirement Levels", RFC 2119, March, 1997.

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[RFC2131] Droms, R., "Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol", RFC 2131,
          March 1997.

[RFC3118] Droms, R. and W. Arbaugh, "Authentication for DHCP Messages",
          RFC 3118, June 2001.

[RFC3927] Cheshire, S., Aboba, B. and E. Guttman, "Dynamic Configuration
          of IPv4 Link-Local Addresses",  RFC 3927, May 2005.

6.2.  Informative References

[DNALINK] Yegin, A., Njedjou, E., Veerepalli, S., Montavont, N. and T.
          Noel, "Link-layer Event Notifications for Detecting Network
          Attachments", draft-ietf-dna-link-information-01.txt, February

[RFC1058] Hedrick, C., "Routing Information Protocol", RFC 1058, June

[RFC1661] Simpson, W., Editor, "The Point-to-Point Protocol (PPP)", STD
          51, RFC 1661, Daydreamer, July 1994.

[RFC1918] Rekhter, Y.,  Moskowitz, B., Karrenberg, D., de Groot, G. and
          E. Lear, "Address Allocation for Private Internets", RFC 1918,
          February 1996.

[RFC2453] Malkin, G., "RIP Version 2", RFC 2453, STD 56, November 1998.

[RFC3580] Congdon, P., Aboba, B., Smith, A., Zorn, G., and J. Roese,
          "IEEE 802.1X Remote Authentication Dial In User Service
          (RADIUS) Usage Guidelines", RFC 3580, September 2003.

[RFC3748] Aboba, B.,  Blunk, L., Vollbrecht, J., Carlson, J. and H.
          Levkowetz, "Extensible Authentication Protocol (EAP)", RFC
          3748, June 2004.

[RFC4039] Park, S., Kim, P., and B. Volz, "Rapid Commit Option for the
          Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol version 4 (DHCPv4)", RFC
          4039, March 2005.

          IEEE Standards for Local and Metropolitan Area Networks:
          Station and Media Access Control - Connectivity Discovery,
          IEEE Std 802.1AB, March 2005.

          IEEE Standards for Local and Metropolitan Area Networks: Port
          based Network Access Control, IEEE Std 802.1X-2004, December

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          IEEE Standards for Local and Metropolitan Area Networks:
          Overview and Architecture, ANSI/IEEE Std 802, 1990.

          IEEE Standards for Local and Metropolitan Area Networks: Draft
          Standard for Virtual Bridged Local Area Networks, P802.1Q,
          January 1998.

          Information technology - Telecommunications and information
          exchange between systems - Local and metropolitan area
          networks - Specific Requirements Part 11:  Wireless LAN Medium
          Access Control (MAC) and Physical Layer (PHY) Specifications,
          IEEE Std. 802.11-2003, 2003.


   The authors would like to acknowledge Greg Daley of Monash
   University, Erik Guttman, James Carlson, and Erik Nordmark of Sun
   Microsystems, Ralph Droms of Cisco Systems, Ted Lemon of Nominum,
   John Loughney of Nokia, Thomas Narten of IBM, Stuart Cheshire of
   Apple Computer and David Hankins of ISC for contributions to this

Authors' Addresses

   Bernard Aboba
   Microsoft Corporation
   One Microsoft Way
   Redmond, WA 98052

   EMail: bernarda@microsoft.com
   Phone: +1 425 818 4011
   Fax:   +1 425 936 7329

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Appendix A - Hints

A.1  Introduction

   In order to assist in detecting network attachment, information
   associated with each network may be retained by the host.  Based on
   Internet and link-layer information, the host may be able to make an
   educated guess as to whether it has moved between networks, or has
   remained on the same network, as well as whether it has connected to
   an infrastructure or adhoc network.

   If the host is likely to have moved between networks, it may be
   possible to make an educated guess as to which network it has moved
   to.  Since an educated guess may be incorrect, prior to concluding
   that the host remains on the same network, further tests (such as a
   reachability test or a DHCPREQUEST sent from the INIT-REBOOT state)
   are REQUIRED.

   In practice, it is necessary for hints to be highly reliable before
   they are worth considering, if the penalty paid for an incorrect hint
   is substantial.  For this reason, implementations may wish to test
   reachability to multiple MLNs simultaneously, or attempt IPv4 address
   acquisition in parallel with one or more reachability tests.

   In order to examine the tradeoffs in implementations that only test
   reachability to a single MLN, assume that a DHCPREQUEST requires
   DHCPREQUEST_TIME to determine if a host has remained on the same
   network, while a reachability test typically completes in REACH_TIME
   and times out in REACHABILITY_TIMEOUT, after which a DHCPREQUEST is

   If a hint that the host has remained on the same network cannot be
   confirmed x fraction of the time, then it only worth considering if:



   x <               DHCPREQUEST_TIME - REACH_TIME

   If we assume that DHCPREQUEST_TIME = 50 ms, REACH_TIME = 10 ms, and
   REACHABILITY_TIMEOUT = 200ms, then:

   x < (50 - 10)/(200 + 50 - 10) = 16.67 percent

   In this example, if the hint cannot be confirmed more than one sixth

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   of the time, it is not worth considering.  A hint may not be
   confirmable because it is wrong (the host has changed networks) or
   because of packet loss in the reachability test.

   If instead in the above example IPv4 address acquisition were carried
   out simultaneously with the reachability test, then performance would
   not suffer, even where hints are unreliable.

A.2  Link-Layer Hints

   "Link-layer Event Notifications for Detecting Network Attachments"
   [DNALINK] discusses the definition of link layer events on various
   media.  Therefore this section focuses solely on hints useful in
   determining MLN(s).

   For networks running IPv4 over PPP [RFC1661], IPv4 parameters
   negotiated in IPCP provide direct information on whether a previously
   obtained address remains operable on the link.

   On media supporting EAP [RFC3748], network identification information
   may be passed within the EAP-Request/Identity or within an EAP method
   exchange.  For example, the EAP-Request/Identity may contain the name
   of the authenticator.  During the EAP method exchange the
   authenticator may supply information that may be helpful in
   identifying the network to which the device is attached.   However,
   as noted in [RFC3580], it is possible for the VLANID defined in
   [IEEE-802.1Q] to be assigned dynamically, so that static
   advertisements may not prove definitive.

   On IEEE 802 [IEEE-802] wired networks, hints can be obtained via the
   Link Layer Discovery Protocol (LLDP) defined in [IEEE-802.1AB].  LLDP
   advertisements can include the chassis ID, which represents the
   authenticator's chassis identification, enabling a host to determine
   if it has attached to a previously encountered device.  However,
   since a device may support dynamic VLANs, re-attachment does not
   necessarily imply that the VLAN has remained the same, although this
   is likely.

   LLDP also enables advertisement of the port's VLAN identifier, as
   well as a VLAN name, allowing the host to determine whether it has
   attached to a VLAN on which it had previously obtained an operable
   IPv4 configuration.  Since such an advertisement cannot be heard
   until 802.1X authentication has completed, the advertised VLAN will
   reflect a dynamic VLAN assignment if one has been made, so that it is
   likely to be definitive.

   In IEEE 802.11 [IEEE-802.11] stations provide information in Beacon
   and/or Probe Response messages, such as the SSID, BSSID, and

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   capabilities, as well as information on whether the station is
   operating in Infrastructure or Ad hoc mode.  As described in
   [RFC3580], it is possible to assign a Station to a VLAN dynamically,
   based on the results of IEEE 802.1X [IEEE-802.1X] authentication.
   This implies that a single SSID may offer access to multiple VLANs,
   and in practice most large WLAN deployments offer access to multiple
   subnets.  While a Station associating to the same SSID may not remain
   within the same subnet, a Station associating to a different SSID is
   likely to have changed subnets.

   In IEEE 802.11, the SSID is a non-unique identifier, and SSIDs such
   as "default", "linksys" and "tsunami" are often configured by
   manufacturers by default.  As a result,  matching an advertised SSID
   against those of previously encountered networks may be misleading.
   Where an SSID known to be configured by default is encountered, it is
   recommended that the BSSID be stored and subsequently compared
   against the advertised BSSID to determine whether a match exists.

   In order to provide additional guidance on the subnets to which a
   given AP offers access, additional subnet-related Information
   Elements (IEs) have been proposed for addition to the IEEE 802.11
   Beacon and Probe Response messages.  As noted earlier, VLANs may be
   determined dynamically so that these information elements may not be

   In IEEE 802.11, the presence of an IBSS can be used as a hint that a
   link supports adhoc networking, and therefore that assignment of a
   IPv4 Link-Local address is likely.  When running IPv4 over PPP, if an
   IPv4 address is not statically configured or  assigned via IPv4CP,
   this can also be taken as a hint that assignment of an IPv4 Link-
   Local address is likely.  Media such as USB or IEEE 1394 may be
   considered inherently more likely to support adhoc operation, so that
   attachment to these media may by itself be considered a hint.

A.3  Internet Layer Hints

   Aside from utilizing link layer indications, a host may also be able
   to utilize Internet layer information in order to determine MLN(s).
   IPv4 ICMP Router Discovery messages [RFC1256] provide information
   relating to prefix(es) available on the link, as well as the routers
   that serve those prefix(es).  A host may use ICMP Router Discovery to
   conclude that an advertised prefix is available; however it cannot
   conclude the converse -- that prefixes not advertised are

   However, since [RFC1256] is not widely implemented, it is NOT
   RECOMMENDED that hosts utilize ICMP Router Discovery messages as an
   alternative to the reachability test outlined in Section 2.2.

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   Instead, ICMP Router Advertisements can be used to obtain information
   on available prefixes and default gateway(s).  This can provide
   additional resilience in the case where default gateway(s) become

   Similarly hosts that support routing protocols such as RIP [RFC2453]
   can use these protocols to determine the prefix(es) available on a
   link and the default gateway(s) that serve those prefixes.  Full
   support is not required to glean this information.  A host that
   passively observes routing protocol traffic may deduce this
   information without supporting a fully conformant routing protocol
   implementation.  For a description of "Silent RIP", see [RFC1058]
   Section 3.1.

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Disclaimer of Validity

   This document and the information contained herein are provided on an

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Copyright Statement

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Open issues

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