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ROLL                                                     P. Thubert, Ed.
Internet-Draft                                                     Cisco
Intended status: Standards Track                        November 6, 2012
Expires: May 10, 2013


                Use of the IPv6 Flow Label within an LLN
                    draft-thubert-roll-flow-label-02

Abstract

   This document present how the Flow Label can be used inside a LLN as
   a replacement to the RPL option and provides rules for the root to
   set and reset the Flow Label when forwarding between the inside of
   RPL domain and the larger Internet, in both direction.  This new
   operation aims at saving an IPv6 in IPv6 encapsulation within the RPL
   domain that is required with the RPL option for all packets that
   reach outside of the RPL domain.

Status of this Memo

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

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

   Internet-Drafts are draft documents valid for a maximum of six months
   and may be updated, replaced, or obsoleted by other documents at any
   time.  It is inappropriate to use Internet-Drafts as reference
   material or to cite them other than as "work in progress."

   This Internet-Draft will expire on May 10, 2013.

Copyright Notice

   Copyright (c) 2012 IETF Trust and the persons identified as the
   document authors.  All rights reserved.

   This document is subject to BCP 78 and the IETF Trust's Legal
   Provisions Relating to IETF Documents
   (http://trustee.ietf.org/license-info) in effect on the date of
   publication of this document.  Please review these documents
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   include Simplified BSD License text as described in Section 4.e of



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   the Trust Legal Provisions and are provided without warranty as
   described in the Simplified BSD License.


Table of Contents

   1.  Introduction  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3
   2.  Terminology . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5
   3.  Flow Label Format Within the RPL Domain . . . . . . . . . . . . 5
   4.  Root Operation  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6
     4.1.  Incoming Packets  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6
     4.2.  Outgoing Packets  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7
   5.  RPL node Operation  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7
   6.  Security Considerations . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7
   7.  IANA Considerations . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7
   8.  Acknowledgments . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7
   9.  References  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7
     9.1.  Normative References  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7
     9.2.  Informative References  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8
   Author's Address  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8































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1.  Introduction

   In some Low Power and Lossy Network (LLN) applications such as
   control systems [RFC5673], a packet loss is usually acceptable but
   jitter and latency must be strictly controlled as they can play a
   critical role in the interpretation of the measured information.
   Sensory systems are often distributed, and the control information
   can in fact be originated from multiple sources and aggregated.  As a
   result, it can be a requirement for related measurements from
   multiple sources to be treated as a single flow following a same path
   over the Internet in order to experience similar jitter and latency.
   The traditional tuple of source, destination and ports might then not
   be the proper indication to isolate a meaningful flow.

   In a typical LLN application, the bulk of the traffic consists of
   small chunks of data (in the order few bytes to a few tens of bytes)
   at a time.  In the industrial case, a typical frequency is 4Hz but it
   can be a lot slower than that for, say, environmental monitoring.
   The granularity of traffic from a single source is too small to make
   a lot of sense in load balancing application.

   In such cases, related packets from multiple sources should not be
   load-balanced along their path in the Internet; load-balancing can be
   discouraged by tagging those packets with a same Flow Label in the
   IPv6 [RFC2460] header.  This can be achieved if the Flow Label in
   packets outgoing a RPL domain are set by the root of the RPL
   structure as opposed to the actual source.  It derives that the Flow
   Label could be reused inside the RPL domain.

   In a LLN, each transmitted bit represents energy and every saving
   counts dearly.  Considering that the value for which the Flow Label
   is used in the IPv6 Flow Label Specification [RFC6437] is to serve
   load balancing in the core, it is unlikely that LLN devices will
   consume energy to generate and then transmit a Flow Label to serve
   interests in some other place.  On the other hand, it makes sense to
   recommend the computation of a stateless Flow Label at the root of
   the LLN towards the Internet.

   Reciprocally, [RFC6437] requires that once set, a non-zero flow label
   value is left unchanged.  The value for that setting is consumed once
   the packet has traversed the core and reaches the LLN.  Then again,
   there is little value but a high cost for the LLN in spending 20 bits
   to transport a Flow Label from the Internet over the constrained
   network to the destination node.  It results that the MUST in
   [RFC6437] should be alleviated for packets coming from the outside on
   the LLN, and that it should be acceptable that the compression over
   the LLN erases the original flow label.  It should also be acceptable
   that the Flow Label field is reused in the LLN as proposed in this



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   draft.

   The Routing Protocol for Low Power and Lossy Networks (RPL) [RFC6550]
   specification defines a generic Distance Vector protocol that is
   adapted to a variety of LLNs.  RPL forms Destination Oriented
   Directed Acyclic Graphs (DODAGs) which root often acts as the Border
   Router to connect the RPL domain to the Internet.  The root is
   responsible to select the RPL Instance that is used to forward a
   packet coming from the Internet into the RPL domain.

   A classical RPL implementation will use the RPL Option for Carrying
   RPL Information in Data-Plane Datagrams [RFC6553] to tag a packet
   with the Instance ID and other information that RPL requires for its
   operation within the RPL domain.  Sadly, the Option must be placed in
   a Hop-by-Hop header that must be added to or removed from packets
   that cross the border of the RPL domain.  For reasons such as the
   capability to send ICMP errors, back, this operation involves an
   extra 6in6 encapsulation within the RPL domain that is detrimental to
   the LLN operation, in particular with regards to bandwidth and
   battery constraints.  The extra encapsulation may cause a containing
   frame to grow above maximum frame size, leading to Layer 2 or 6LoWPAN
   [RFC4944] fragmentation, which in turn cause even more energy
   spending and issues discussed in the LLN Fragment Forwarding and
   Recovery [I-D.thubert-roll-forwarding-frags].


              ------+---------
                    |          Internet                   |
                    |                                     | Native IPv6
                 +-----+                                  |
                 |     | Border Router (RPL Root)         |
                 |     |                             ||   |   ||
                 +-----+                             ||   |   || IPv6 +
                    |                                ||   |   || HbH
              o    o   o    o                        ||   |   || headers
          o o   o  o   o  o  o o   o                 ||   |   ||
         o  o o  o o    o   o   o  o  o              ||   |   ||
         o   o    o  o     o  o    o  o  o           ||   |   ||
             o  o   o  o   o         o   o o
             o        o  o         o        o o
               o          o             o     o

                          LLN

                Figure 1: 6in6 Encapsulation within the LLN

   Additionally, Compression Format for IPv6 Datagrams over IEEE
   802.15.4-Based Networks [RFC6282] and its variants for other types of



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   LLNs do not provide an efficient compression for the RPL option so
   the cost in current implementations can not be alleviated in any
   fashion.  So even for packets that are confined within the RPL domain
   and do not need the 6in6 encapsulation, the use of the flow label
   instead of the RPL option is a valuable saving.

   All the packets that are leaving a DODAG of a RPL domain towards the
   Internet will transit via a same root.  The root is an ideal place to
   set the IPv6 Flow Label to a same value across multiple sources of a
   same flow when that operation is needed, ensuring complience with the
   rules defined by the IPv6 Flow Label Specification [RFC6437] within
   the Internet.  At the same time, the root segragates the Internet and
   the RPL domain, allowing to reuse the Flow Label within the RPL
   domain.

   It can be noted that [RFC6282] provides an efficient header
   compression for packets that do have the Flow Label set in the IPv6
   header.  It results that the same information as transported in the
   RPL option itself represents actually less bits in the air when the
   Flow Label is used instead.  This document specifies how the Flow
   Label can be reused within the RPL domain as a replacement to the RPL
   option.  The use of the Flow Label within a RPL domain is an instance
   of the stateful scenarios as discussed in [RFC6437] where the states
   include the rank of a node and the RPLInstanceID that identifies the
   routing topology.


2.  Terminology

   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].

   The Terminology used in this document is consistent with and
   incorporates that described in `Terminology in Low power And Lossy
   Networks' [I-D.ietf-roll-terminology] and [RFC6550].


3.  Flow Label Format Within the RPL Domain

   [RFC6550] section 11.2 specifies the fields that are to be placed
   into the packets for the purpose of Instance Identification, as well
   as Loop Avoidance and Detection.  Those fields include an 'O', and
   'R' and an 'F' bits, the 8-bit RPLInstanceID, and the 16-bit
   SenderRank.  SenderRank is the result of the DAGRank operation on the
   rank of the sender, where the DAGRank operation is defined in section
   3.5.1 as:




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      DAGRank(rank) = floor(rank/MinHopRankIncrease)

   If MinHopRankIncrease is set to a multiple of 256, it appears that
   the most significant 8 bits of the SenderRank will be all zeroes and
   could be ommitted.  In that case, the Flow Label MAY be used as a
   replacement to the [RFC6553] RPL option.  To achive this, the
   SenderRank is expressed with 8 least significant bits, and the
   information carried within the Flow Label in a packet is constructed
   follows:


           0                   1                   2
           0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 0 1 2 3
          +-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+
                  | |O|R|F|  SenderRank   | RPLInstanceID |
                  +-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+


                       Figure 1: The RPL Flow Label

   The first (leftmost) bit of the Flow Label is reserved and should be
   set to zero.


4.  Root Operation

   [RFC6437] section 3 intentionally does not consider flow label values
   in which any of the bits have semantic significance.  However, the
   present specification assigns semantics to various bits in the flow
   label, destroying within the edge network that is the RPL domaina
   property of belonging to a statistically uniform distribution that is
   desirable in the rest of the Internet.  This property MUST be
   restored by the root for outgoing packets.

   It can be noted that the rationale for the statistically uniform
   distribution does not necessarily bring a lot of value within the RPL
   domain.  In a specific use case where it would, that value must be
   compared with that of the battery savings in order to decide which
   technique the deployment will use to transport the RPL information.

4.1.  Incoming Packets

   When routing a packet towards the RPL domain, the root applies a
   policy to determine whether the Flow Label is to be used to carry the
   RPL information.  If so, the root MUST reset the Flow Label and then
   it MUST set all the fields in the Flow Label as prescribed by
   [RFC6553] using the format specified in Figure 1.  In particular, the
   root selects the Instance that will be used to forward the packet



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   within the RPL domain.

4.2.  Outgoing Packets

   When routing a packet outside the RPL domain, the root applies a
   policy to determine whether the Flow Label was used to carry the RPL
   information.  If so, the root MUST reset the Flow Label.  The root
   SHOULD recompute a Flow Label following the rules prescribed by
   [RFC6553].  In particular, the root MAY ignore the source address but
   it SHOULD use the RPLInstanceID for the computation.


5.  RPL node Operation

   Depending on the policy in place, the source of a packet will decide
   whether to use this specification to transport the RPL information in
   the IPv6 packets.  If it does, the source in the LLN SHOULD set the
   Flow Label to zero and MUST NOT expect that the flow label will be
   conserved end-to-end".


6.  Security Considerations

   The process of using the Flow Label as opposed to the RPL option does
   not appear to create any opening for new threat compared to
   [RFC6553].


7.  IANA Considerations

   No IANA action is required for this specification.


8.  Acknowledgments

   The author wishes to thank Brian Carpenter for his in-depth review
   and constructive approach to the problem and its resolution.


9.  References

9.1.  Normative References

   [RFC2119]  Bradner, S., "Key words for use in RFCs to Indicate
              Requirement Levels", BCP 14, RFC 2119, March 1997.

   [RFC2460]  Deering, S. and R. Hinden, "Internet Protocol, Version 6
              (IPv6) Specification", RFC 2460, December 1998.



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   [RFC6282]  Hui, J. and P. Thubert, "Compression Format for IPv6
              Datagrams over IEEE 802.15.4-Based Networks", RFC 6282,
              September 2011.

   [RFC6550]  Winter, T., Thubert, P., Brandt, A., Hui, J., Kelsey, R.,
              Levis, P., Pister, K., Struik, R., Vasseur, JP., and R.
              Alexander, "RPL: IPv6 Routing Protocol for Low-Power and
              Lossy Networks", RFC 6550, March 2012.

   [RFC6553]  Hui, J. and JP. Vasseur, "The Routing Protocol for Low-
              Power and Lossy Networks (RPL) Option for Carrying RPL
              Information in Data-Plane Datagrams", RFC 6553,
              March 2012.

9.2.  Informative References

   [I-D.ietf-roll-terminology]
              Vasseur, J., "Terminology in Low power And Lossy
              Networks", draft-ietf-roll-terminology-06 (work in
              progress), September 2011.

   [I-D.thubert-roll-forwarding-frags]
              Thubert, P. and J. Hui, "LLN Fragment Forwarding and
              Recovery", draft-thubert-roll-forwarding-frags-00 (work in
              progress), March 2012.

   [RFC4944]  Montenegro, G., Kushalnagar, N., Hui, J., and D. Culler,
              "Transmission of IPv6 Packets over IEEE 802.15.4
              Networks", RFC 4944, September 2007.

   [RFC5673]  Pister, K., Thubert, P., Dwars, S., and T. Phinney,
              "Industrial Routing Requirements in Low-Power and Lossy
              Networks", RFC 5673, October 2009.

   [RFC6437]  Amante, S., Carpenter, B., Jiang, S., and J. Rajahalme,
              "IPv6 Flow Label Specification", RFC 6437, November 2011.















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Author's Address

   Pascal Thubert (editor)
   Cisco Systems
   Village d'Entreprises Green Side
   400, Avenue de Roumanille
   Batiment T3
   Biot - Sophia Antipolis  06410
   FRANCE

   Phone: +33 4 97 23 26 34
   Email: pthubert@cisco.com







































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