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Versions: 00 01 02 03 04 05 06 07 08 09 RFC 4391

<draft-ietf-ipoib-ip-over-infiniband-06.txt>              H.K. Jerry Chu
Expiration Date: July 2004                              Sun Microsystems
                                                              V. Kashyap
                                                            January 2004

                   Transmission of IP over InfiniBand

Status of this memo

    This document is an Internet-Draft and is in full conformance with
    all provisions of Section 10 of RFC 2026.

    Internet-Drafts are working documents of the Internet Engineering
    Task Force (IETF), its areas, and its working groups. Note that
    other groups may also distribute working documents as Internet-

    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"".

    The list of current Internet-Drafts can be accessed at

    The list of Internet-Draft Shadow Directories can be accessed at

    This memo provides information for the Internet community. This memo
    does not specify an Internet standard of any kind.  Distribution of
    this memo is unlimited.

Copyright Notice

    Copyright (C) The Internet Society (2001).  All Rights Reserved.


    This document specifies a method for encapsulating and transmitting
    IPv4/IPv6 and Address Resolution Protocol (ARP) packets over
    InfiniBand (IB). It describes the link layer address to be used when
    resolving the IP addresses in "IP over InfiniBand (IPoIB)" subnets.
    The document also describes the mapping from IP multicast addresses

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    to InfiniBand multicast addresses.  Additionally this document
    defines the setup and configuration of IPoIB links.

Table of Contents

    1.0            Introduction
    2.0            IP over UD Mode
    3.0            InfiniBand Datalink
    4.0            Multicast Mapping
    4.1            Broadcast-GID Parameters
    5.0            Setting Up an IPoIB Link
    6.0            Frame Format
    7.0            Maximum Transmission Unit
    8.0            IPv6 Stateless Autoconfiguration
    8.1            IPv6 Link Local Address
    9.0            Address Mapping - Unicast
    9.1            Link Information
    9.1.1          Link Layer Address/Hardware Address
    9.1.2          Auxiliary Link Information
    9.2            Address Resolution in IPv4 Subnets
    9.3            Address Resolution in IPv6 Subnets
    9.4            Cautionary Note on QPN Caching
    10.0           IANA Considerations
    11.0           Sending and Receiving IP Multicast Packets
    12.0           IP Multicast Routing
    13.0           New Types of Vulnerability in IB Multicast
    14.0           Security Considerations
    15.0           Acknowledgments
    16.0           References
    17.0           Author's Addresses

1.0 Introduction

    The InfiniBand specification [IBTA] can be found at
    www.infinibandta.org. The document [IPoIB_ARCH] provides a short
    overview of InfiniBand architecture (IBA) along with considerations
    for specifying IP over InfiniBand networks.

    IBA defines multiple modes of transport over which IP may be
    implemented. The unreliable datagram (UD) transport mode best
    matches the needs of IP and the need for universality as described
    in [IPoIB_ARCH].

    This document specifies IPoIB over IB's UD mode. The implementation
    of IP subnets over IB's other transport mechanisms is out of scope
    of this document.

    This document describes the necessary steps required in order to lay

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    out an IP network on top of an IB network. It describes all the
    elements of an IPoIB link, how to configure its associated
    attributes, and how to setup basic broadcast and multicast services
    for it.

    It further describes IP address resolution and the encapsulation of
    IP and ARP packets in InfiniBand frame.

    The key words "MUST", "MUST NOT", "REQUIRED", "SHALL", "SHALL NOT",
    document are to be interpreted as described in RFC 2119.

2.0 IP over UD Mode

    The unreliable datagram mode of communication is supported by all IB
    elements be they IB routers, Host Channel Adapters (HCAs) or Target
    Channel Adapters (TCAs). In addition to being the only universal
    transmission method it supports multicasting, partitioning and a
    32-bit CRC [IBTA]. Though multicasting support is optional in IB
    fabrics, IPoIB architecture requires the participating components to
    support it.

    All IPoIB implementations MUST support IP over the UD transport mode
    of IBA.

3.0 InfiniBand Datalink

    An IB subnet is formed by a network of IB nodes interconnected
    either directly or via IB switches. IB subnets may be connected
    using IB routers to form a fabric made of multiple IB subnets. Nodes
    residing in different IB subnets can communicate directly with one
    another through IB routers at the IB network layer. Multiple IP
    subnets may be overlaid over this IB network.

    An IP subnet is configured over a communication facility or medium
    over which nodes can communicate at the "link" layer [IPV6]. E.g. an
    ethernet segment is a link formed by interconnected
    switches/hubs/bridges. The segment is therefore defined by the
    physical topology of the network. This is not the case with IPoIB.
    IPoIB subnets are built over an abstract "link". The link is defined
    by its members and common characteristics such as the P_Key, link
    MTU, and the Q_Key.

    Any two ports using UD communication mode in an IB fabric can
    communicate only if they are in the same partition i.e. have the
    same P_Key and the same Q_Key [IPoIB_ARCH]. The link MTU provides a
    limit to the size of the payload that may be used. The packet
    transmission and routing within the IB fabric is also affected by

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    additional parameters such as the traffic class (TClass), hop limit
    (HopLimit), service level (SL) and the flow label (FlowLabel). The
    determination and use of these values for IPoIB communication is
    described in the following sections.

4.0 Multicast Mapping

    IB identifies multicast groups by the multicast Global Identifiers
    (MGIDs) which follow the same rules as IPv6 multicast addresses.
    Hence the MGIDs follow the same rules regarding the transient
    addresses and scope bits albeit in the context of the IB fabric. The
    resultant address therefore resembles IPv6 multicast addresses. The
    documents [IBTA, IPoIB_ARCH] give a detailed description of IB

    The IPoIB multicast mapping is depicted in figure 1. The same
    mapping function is used for both IPv4 and IPv6 except for the IPoIB
    signature field.

    Unless explicitly stated, all addresses and fields in the protocol
    headers in this document are stored in the network byte order.

    |   8    |  4 |  4 |     16 bits     | 16 bits |      80 bits      |
    +------ -+----+----+-----------------+---------+-------------------+
    |11111111|0001|scop|<IPoIB signature>|< P_Key >|      group ID     |
                                  Figure 1

    Since an MGID allocated for transporting IP multicast datagrams is
    considered only a transient link-layer multicast address
    [IPoIB_ARCH], all IB MGIDs allocated for IPoIB purpose MUST set T-
    flag to 1 [IBTA].

    A special signature is embedded to identify the MGID for IPoIB use
    only. For IPv4 over IB, the signature MUST be "0x401B". For IPv6
    over IB, the signature MUST be "0x601B".

    The IP multicast address is used together with a given IPoIB link
    P_Key to form the MGID of the IB multicast group. For IPv6 the lower
    80-bit of the group ID is used directly in the lower 80-bit of the
    MGID. For IPv4, the group ID is only 28-bit long and the rest of the
    bits are filled with 0.

    E.g. on an IPoIB link that is fully contained within a single IB
    subnet with a P_Key of 0x8000, the MGIDs for the all-router
    multicast group with group ID 2 [AARCH, IGMP2] are:

        FF12:401B:8000::2,  for IPv4 in compressed format, and

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        FF12:601B:8000::2,  for IPv6 in compressed format.

    A special case exists for the IPv4 limited broadcast address
    "" [HOSTS]. The address SHALL be mapped to the
    "broadcast-GID", which is defined as follows:

    |   8    |  4 |  4 |     16 bits    | 16 bits | 48 bits  | 32 bits |
    |11111111|0001|scop|0100000000011011|< P_Key >|00.......0|<all 1's>|
                                  Figure 2

    All MGIDs used in the IPoIB subnet MUST use the scop bits used in
    the broadcast GID.

4.1 Broadcast-GID Parameters

    The broadcast-GID is setup with the following attributes:

        1. P_Key
            A "Full Membership" P_Key (high-order bit is set to 1) MUST
            be used so that all members may communicate with one

        2. Q_Key
            It is RECOMMENDED that a controlled Q_Key be used with the
            high order bit set. This is to prevent non-privileged
            software from fabricating and sending out bogus IP

        3. IB MTU
            The value assigned to the broadcast-GID must not be greater
            than any physical link MTU spanned by the IPoIB subnet.

    The following attributes are required in multicast transmissions and
    also in unicast transmissions if an IPoIB link covers more than a
    single subnet.

        4. Other parameters
            The selection of TClass, FlowLabel, and HopLimit values is
            implementation dependent. But it must take into account the
            topology of IB subnets comprising the IPoIB link in order to
            allow successful communication between any two nodes in the
            same IPoIB link.

            An SL also needs to be assigned to the broadcast-GID. This
            SL is used in all multicast communication in the subnet.

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            The broadcast-GID's scope bits need to be set based on
            whether the IPoIB link is confined within an IB subnet or
            the IPoIB link spans multiple IB subnets. A default of
            local-subnet scope i.e. 0x2 is RECOMMENDED. A node might
            determine the scope bits to use by interactively searching
            for a broadcast-GID of ever greater scope by first starting
            with the local-scope. Or, an implementation might include
            the scope bits as a configuration parameter.

5.0 Setting Up an IPoIB Link

    The broadcast-GID, as defined in the previous section MUST be setup
    for an IPoIB subnet to be formed. Every IPoIB interface MUST
    "FullMember" join the IB multicast group defined by the broadcast-
    GID.  This multicast group will henceforth be referred to as the
    broadcast group. The join operation returns the MTU, the Q_Key and
    other parameters associated with the broadcast group. The node then
    associates the parameters received as a result of the join operation
    with its IPoIB interface. The broadcast group also serves to provide
    a link-layer broadcast service for protocols like ARP, net-directed,
    subnet-directed and all-subnets-directed broadcasts in IPv4 over IB

    The join operation is successful only if the Subnet Manager (SM)
    determines that the joining node can support the MTU registered with
    the broadcast group [IPoIB_ARCH] ensuring support for a common link
    MTU. The SM also ensures that all the nodes joining the broadcast-
    GID have paths to one another and can therefore send and receive
    unicast packets. It further ensures that all the nodes do indeed
    form a multicast tree that allows packets sent from any member to be
    replicated to every other member.  Thus the IPoIB link is formed by
    the IPoIB nodes joining the broadcast group. There is no physical
    demarcation of the IPoIB link other than that determined by the
    broadcast group membership.

    The P_Key is a configuration parameter that must be known before the
    broadcast-GID can be formed. For a node to join a partition, one of
    its ports must be assigned the relevant P_Key by the SM

    The method creation of the broadcast group and the assignment/choice
    of its parameters are upto the implementation and/or the
    administrator of the IPoIB subnet. The broadcast group may be
    created by the first IPoIB node to be initialized or it can be
    created administratively before the IPoIB subnet is setup. It is
    advisable to ensure that the creation and deletion of the broadcast
    group are under administrative control.

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    InfiniBand multicast management which includes the creation, joining
    and leaving of IB multicast groups by IB nodes is described in

6.0 Frame Format

    All IP and ARP datagrams transported over InfiniBand are prefixed by
    a 4-octet encapsulation header as illustrated below.

    0                   1                   2                   3
    0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 0 1
    |                               |                               |
    |         Type                  |       Reserved                |
    |                               |                               |
                                  Figure 3

    The type field SHALL indicate the encapsulated protocol as per the
    following table.

                       | Type     |    Protocol |
                       | 0x800    |    IPv4     |
                       | 0x806    |    ARP      |
                       | 0x8035   |    RARP     |
                       | 0x86DD   |    IPv6     |
                                  Table 1

    These values are taken from the "ETHER TYPE" numbers assigned by
    Internet Assigned Numbers Authority (IANA). Other network protocols,
    identified by different values of "ETHER TYPE", may use the
    encapsulation format defined herein but such use is outside of the
    scope of this document.

    |<------ IB Frame headers -------->|<- Payload ->|<- IB trailers ->|
    |Local  |      |Base     |Datagram |   4-octet   |         |       |
    |Routing| GRH* |Transport|Extended |   header    |Invariant|Variant|
    |Header |Header|Header   |Transport|      +      |  CRC    |  CRC  |
    |       |      |         |Header   |   IP/ARP    |         |       |
                                  Figure 4

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    Figure 4 depicts the IB frame encapsulating an IP/ARP datagram.  The
    InfiniBand specification requires the use of Global Routing Header
    (GRH) [IPoIB_ARCH] when multicasting or when an InfiniBand packet
    traverses from one IB subnet to another through an IB router. Its
    use is optional when used for unicast transmission between nodes
    within an IB subnet. The IPoIB implementation MUST be able to handle
    packets received with or without the use of GRH.

7.0 Maximum Transmission Unit

    IB MTU:
        The IB components i.e. IB links, switches, Channel Adapters
        (CAs), and IB routers, may support maximum payloads of : 256,
        512, 1024, 2048 or 4096 octets. The maximum IB payload supported
        by the IB components in any IB path is the IB MTU for the path.

    IPoIB-Link MTU:
        The IPoIB-link MTU is the MTU value associated with the
        broadcast group. The IPoIB-link MTU can be set to any value upto
        the smallest IB MTU supported by the IB components comprising
        the IPoIB link.

    In order to reduce problems with fragmentation and path-MTU
    discovery, this document requires that all IPoIB implementations
    support an MTU of 2044 octets i.e. a 2048 octet IPoIB-link MTU minus
    the 4 octet encapsulation overhead. Larger and smaller MTUs MAY be
    supported, but the default configuration must support an MTU of 2044

    In IPv6 subnets the MTU may be reduced by a Router Advertisement
    [DISC] containing an MTU option which specifies a smaller MTU, or by
    manual configuration of each node. If a Router Advertisement
    received on an IPoIB interface has an MTU option specifying an MTU
    larger than the link MTU or larger than a manually configured value,
    that MTU option may be logged to system management but must be
    otherwise ignored.

    Similarly, the IPv4 MTU may also be reduced by manual configuration
    of each node.

    For purposes of this document, information received from DHCP is
    considered manually configured.

8.0 IPv6 Stateless Autoconfiguration

    IB architecture associates an EUI-64 identifier termed the GUID
    (Globally Unique Identifier) [IPoIB_ARCH, IBTA] with each port.  The
    Local Identifier (LID) is unique within an IB subnet only.

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    The interface identifier may be chosen from:

        1) The EUI-64 compliant GUID assigned by the manufacturer.

        2) If the IPoIB subnet is fully contained within an IB subnet
        any of the unique 16-bit LIDs of the port associated with the
        IPoIB interface.

        The LID values of a port may change after a reboot/power-cycle
        of the IB node. Therefore, if a persistent value is desired, it
        would be prudent to not use the LID to form the interface

        On the other hand, the LID provides an identifier that can be
        used to create a more anonymous IPv6 address since the LID is
        not globally unique and is subject to change over time.

    It is RECOMMENDED that the link-local address be constructed from
    the port's EUI-64 identifier as per the rules specified in [AARCH].

8.1 IPv6 Link Local Address

    The IPv6 link local address for an IPoIB interface are formed as
    described in [AARCH] using the Interface Identifier as described in
    the previous section.

9.0 Address Mapping - Unicast

    Address resolution in IPv4 subnets is accomplished through Address
    Resolution protocol (ARP) [ARP]. It is accomplished in IPv6 subnets
    using the Neighbor Discovery protocol [DISC].

9.1 Link Information

    An InfiniBand packet over the UD mode includes multiple headers such
    as the LRH (local route header), GRH (global route header), BTH
    (base transport header), DETH (datagram extended header) as depicted
    in figure 4 and specified in the InfiniBand architecture [IBTA]. All
    these headers comprise the link-layer in an IPoIB link.

    The parameters needed in these IBA headers constitute the link-layer
    information that needs to be determined before an IP packet may be
    transmitted across the IPoIB link.

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    The parameters that need to be determined are:

        a) LID

            The LID is always needed. A packet always includes the LRH
            that is targeted at the remote node's LID, or an IB router's
            LID to get to the remote node in another IB subnet.

        b) Global Identifier (GID)

            The GID is not needed when exchanging information within an
            IB subnet though it may be included in any packet. It is an
            absolute necessity when transmitting across the IB subnet
            since the IB routers use the GID to correctly forward the
            packets. The source and destination GIDs are fields included
            in the GRH.

            The GID, if formed using the GUID, can be used to
            unambiguously identify an endpoint.

        c) Queue Pair Number (QPN)

            Every unicast UD communication is always directed to a
            particular queue pair (QP) at the peer.

        d) Q_Key

            A Q_Key is associated with each unreliable datagram QPN. The
            received packets must contain a Q_Key that matches the QP's
            Q_Key to be accepted.

        e) P_Key

            A successful communication between two IB nodes using UD
            mode can occur only if the two nodes have compatible P_Keys.
            This is referred to as being in the same partition [IBTA].

        f) SL

            Every IBA packet contains an SL value. A path in IBA is
            defined by the three-tuple (source LID, destination LID,
            SL). The SL in turns is mapped to a virtual lane (VL) at
            every CA, switch that sends/forwards the packet
            [IPoIB_ARCH]. Multiple SLs may be used between two endpoints
            to provide for load-balancing, SLs may be used for providing
            a QoS infrastructure, or may be used to avoid deadlocks in
            the IBA fabric.

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    Another auxiliary piece of information, not included in the IBA
    headers, is :

        g) Path rate

            IBA defines multiple link speeds. A higher speed transmitter
            can swamp switches and the CAs. To avoid such congestion
            every source transmitting at greater than 1x speeds is
            required to determine the "path rate" before the data may be
            transmitted [IBTA].

9.1.1 Link Layer Address/Hardware Address

    Though the list of information required for a successful transmittal
    of an IPoIB packet is large, not all the information need be
    determined during the IP address resolution process.

    The IPoIB link-layer address used in the source/target link-layer
    address option in IPv6 and the "hardware address" in IPv4/ARP has
    the same format.

    The format is as described below:

         0                   1                   2                   3
         0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 0 1
        |    Reserved   |              Queue Pair Number                |
        |                                                               |
        +                                                               +
        |                                                               |
        +                            GID                                +
        |                                                               |
        +                                                               +
        |                                                               |
                                  Figure 5

        a) Reserved Flags

            These 8 bits are reserved for future use. These bits MUST be
            set to zero on send and ignored on receive unless specified
            differently in a future document.

        b) QPN

            Every unicast communication in IB architecture is directed
            to a specific QP [IBTA]. This QP number is included in the

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            link description. All IP communication to the relevant IPoIB
            interface MUST be directed to this QPN. In the case of IPv4
            subnets the address resolution protocol (ARP) reply packets
            are also directed to the same QPN.

            The choice of the QPN for IP/ARP communication is up to the

        c) GID

            This is one of the GIDs of the port associated with the
            IPoIB interface [IBTA]. IB associates multiple GIDs with a
            port. It is RECOMMENDED that the GID formed by the
            combination of the IB subnet prefix and the port's "Port
            GUID" [IBTA] be included in the link-layer/hardware address.

9.1.2  Auxiliary Link Information

    The rest of the parameters are determined as follows:

        a) LID

            The method of determining the peer's LID is not defined in
            this document. It is up to the implementation to use any of
            the IBA approved methods to determine the destination LID.
            One such method is to use the GID determined during the
            address resolution, to retrieve the associated LID from the
            IB routing infrastructure or the Subnet Administrator (SA).

            It is the responsibility of the administrator to ensure that
            the IB subnet(s) have unicast connectivity between the IPoIB
            nodes. The GID exchanged between two endpoints in a
            multicast message (ARP/ND) does not guarantee the existence
            of a unicast path between the two.

            There may be multiple LIDs, and hence paths, between the
            endpoints. The criteria for selection of the LIDs are beyond
            the scope of this document.

        b) Q_Key

            The Q_Key received on joining the broadcast group MUST be
            used for all IPoIB communication over the particular IPoIB

        c) P_Key

            The P_Key to be used in the IP subnet is not discovered but

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            is a configuration parameter.

        d) SL

            The method of determining the SL is not defined in this
            document. The SL is determined by any of the IBA approved

        e) Path rate

            The implementation must leverage IB methods to determine the
            path rate as required.

9.2 Address Resolution in IPv4 Subnets

    The ARP packet header is as defined in [ARP]. The hardware type is
    set to 32 (decimal) as specified by IANA. The rest of the fields are
    used as per [ARP].

               16 bits: hardware type
               16 bits: protocol
                8 bits: length of hardware address
                8 bits: length of protocol address
               16 bits: ARP operation

    The remaining fields in the packet hold the sender/target hardware
    and protocol addresses.

                [ sender hardware address ]
                [ sender protocol address ]
                [ target hardware address ]
                [ target protocol address ]

    The hardware address included in the ARP packet will be as specified
    in section 9.1.1 and depicted in figure 5.

    The length of the hardware address used in ARP packet header
    therefore is 20.

9.3 Address Resolution in IPv6 Subnets

    The Source/Target Link-layer address option is used in Router
    Solicit, Router advertisements, Redirect, Neighbor Solicitation and
    Neighbor Advertisement messages when such messages are transmitted
    on InfiniBand networks.

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    The source/target address option is specified as follows:

            Source Link-layer address       1
            Target Link-layer address       2

        Length: 3

        Link-layer address:

            The link-layer address is as specified in section 9.1.1 and
            depicted in figure 5.

9.4 Cautionary Note on QPN Caching

    The link-layer address for IPoIB includes the QPN which might not be
    constant across reboots or even across network interface resets.
    Cached QPN entries, such as in static ARP entries or in RARP servers
    will only work if the implementation(s) using these options ensure
    that the QPN associated with an interface is invariant across
    reboots/network resets.

10.0 IANA Considerations

    To support ARP over InfiniBand, a value for the Address Resolution
    Parameter "Number Hardware Type (hrd)" is required. IANA has
    assigned the number "32" to indicate InfiniBand [IANA_ARP].

11.0 Sending and Receiving IP Multicast Packets

    Multicast in InfiniBand differs in a number of ways from multicast
    in Ethernet. This adds some complexity to an IPoIB implementation
    when supporting IP multicast over IB.

    A) An IB multicast group must be explicitly created through the SA
    before it can be used.

    This implies that in order to send a packet destined for an IP
    multicast address, the IPoIB implementation must check with the SA
    on the outbound link first for a "MCMemberRecord" that matches the
    MGID. If one does exist, the MLID associated with the multicast
    group is used as the DLID for the packet. Otherwise, it implies no
    member exists on the local link. If the scope of the IP multicast
    group is beyond link-local, the packet must be sent to the on-link
    routers through the use of the all-router multicast group or the
    broadcast group. This is to allow local routers to forward the
    packet to multicast listeners on remote networks. The all-router
    multicast group is preferred over the broadcast group for better

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    efficiency. If the all-router multicast group does not exist, the
    sender can assume that there are no routers on the local link; hence
    the packet can be safely dropped.

    B) A multicast sender must join the target multicast group before
    outgoing multicast messages from it can be successfully routed.  The
    "SendOnlyNonMember" join is different from the regular "FullMember"
    join in two aspects. First, both types of joins enable multicast
    packets to be routed FROM the local port, but only the "FullMember"
    join causes multicast packets to be routed TO the port. Second, the
    sender port of a "SendOnlyNonMember" join will not be counted as a
    member of the multicast group for purposes of group creation and

    The following code snippet demonstrates the steps in a typical
    implementation when processing an egress multicast packet.

    if the egress port is already a "SendOnlyNonMember", or a
        => send the packet

    else if the target multicast group exists
        => do "SendOnlyNonMember" join
        => send the packet

    else if scope > link-local AND the all-router multicast group exists
        => send the packet to all routers

        => drop the packet

    Implementations should cache the information about the existence of
    an IB multicast group, its MLID and other attributes. This is to
    avoid expensive SA calls on every outgoing multicast packet.
    Senders MUST subscribe to the multicast group create and delete
    traps in order to monitor the status of specific IB multicast
    groups. E.g., multicast packets directed to the all-router multicast
    group due to a lack of listener on the local subnet must be
    forwarded to the right multicast group if the group is created
    later. This happens when a listener shows up on the local subnet.

    A node joining an IP multicast group must first construct a MGID
    according to the rule described in section 4 above. Once the correct
    MGID is calculated, the node must call the SA of the outbound link
    to attempt a "FullMember" join of the IB multicast group
    corresponding to the MGID. If the IB multicast group doesn't already
    exist, one must be created first with the IPoIB link MTU.  The MGID
    MUST use the same P_Key, Q_Key, SL, MTU and HopLimit as those used

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    in the broadcast-GID. For the rest of attributes too, the values
    used in the broadcast-GID SHOULD be used.

    The join request will cause the local port to be added to the
    multicast group. It also enables the SM to program IB switches and
    routers with the new multicast information to ensure the correct
    forwarding of multicast packets for the group.

    When a node leaves an IP multicast group, it SHOULD make a
    "FullMember" leave request to the SA. This gives SM an opportunity
    to update relevant forwarding information, to delete an IB multicast
    group if the local port is the last FullMember to leave, and free up
    the MLID allocated for it. The specific algorithm is implementation-
    dependent, and is out of the scope of this document.

    Note that for an IPoIB link that spans more than one IB subnet
    connected by IB routers, an adequate multicast forwarding support at
    the IB level is required for multicast packets to reach listeners on
    a remote IB subnet. The specific mechanism for this is beyond the
    scope of IPoIB.

12.0 IP Multicast Routing

    IP multicast routing requires multicast routers to receive a copy of
    every link multicast packet on a locally connected link [IPMULT,
    IP6MLD]. For Ethernet this is usually achieved by turning on the
    promiscuous multicast mode on a locally connected Ethernet

    IBA does not provide any hardware support for promiscuous multicast
    mode. Fortunately a promiscuous multicast mode can be emulated in
    the software running on a router through the following steps.

    A) Obtain a list of all active IB multicast groups from the local

    B) Make a "NonMember" join request to the SA for every group that
    has a signature in its MGID matching the one for either IPv4 or

    C) Subscribe to the IB multicast group creation events using a
    wildcarded MGID so that the router can "NonMember" join all IB
    multicast groups created subsequently for IPv4 or IPv6.

    The "NonMember" join has the same effect as a "FullMember" join
    except that the former will not be counted as a member of the
    multicast group for purposes of group creation or deletion. That is,
    when the last "FullMember" leaves a multicast group, the group can

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    be safely deleted by the SA without concerning any "NonMember"

13.0 New Types of Vulnerability in IB Multicast

    Many IB multicast functions are subject to failures due to a number
    of possible resource constraints. These include the creation of IB
    multicast groups, the join calls ("SendOnlyNonMember", "FullMember",
    and "NonMember"), and the attaching of a QP to a multicast group.

    In general, the occurrence of these failure conditions is highly
    implementation dependent, and is believed to be rare. Usually a
    failed multicast operation at the IB level can be propagated back to
    the IP level, causing the original operation to fail, and the
    initiator of the operation to be notified. But some IB multicast
    functions are not tied to any foreground operation, making their
    failures hard to detect. E.g., if an IP multicast router attempts to
    "NonMember" join a newly created multicast group in the local
    subnet, but the join call fails, packet forwarding for that
    particular multicast group will likely to fail silently, that is,
    without the attention of local multicast senders. This type of
    problems can add more vulnerability to the already unreliable IP
    multicast operations.

    Implementations should log error messages upon any failure from an
    IB multicast operation. Network administrators should be aware of
    this vulnerability, and preserve enough multicast resources at the
    points where IP multicast will be used heavily. E.g., HCAs with
    ample multicast resources should be used at any IP multicast router.

14.0 Security Considerations

    This document specifies IP transmission over a multicast network.
    Any network of this kind is vulnerable to a sender claiming
    another's identity and forging traffic or eavesdropping. It is the
    responsibility of the higher layers or applications to implement
    suitable counter-measures if this is a problem.

    Successful transmission of IP packets depends on the correct setup
    of the IPoIB link , creation of the broadcast GID, creation of the
    QP and its attachment to the broadcast-GID, and the correct
    determination of various link parameters such as the LID, service
    level, path rate etc. These operations, many of which involve
    interactions with the SM/SA, MUST be protected by the underlying
    operating system. This is to prevent malicious, non- privileged
    software from hijacking important resources and configurations.

    Controlled Q_Keys SHOULD be used in all transmissions. This is to

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    prevent non-privileged software from fabricating IP datagrams.

15.0 Acknowledgments

    The authors would like to thank Bruce Beukema, David Brean, Dan
    Cassiday, Aditya Dube, Yaron Haviv, Michael Krause, Thomas Narten,
    Erik Nordmark, Greg Pfister, Jim Pinkerton, Renato Recio, Kevin
    Reilly, Kanoj Sarcar, Satya Sharma, Madhu Talluri, and David L.
    Stevens for their suggestions and many clarifications on the IBA

16.0 References

    [AARCH]       Hinden, R. and S. Deering "IP Version 6 Addressing
                  Architecture", RFC 3513.

    [DISC]        Narten, T., Nordmark, E. and W. Simpson, "Neighbor
                  Discovery for IP Version 6 (IPv6)", RFC 2461.

    [HOSTS]       Braden R., "Requirements for Internet Hosts --
                  Communication Layers", RFC 1122.

    [IBTA]        InfiniBand Architecture Specification,

    [IGMP2]       Fenner W., "Internet Group Management Protocol,
                  Version 2", RFC 2236.

    [IP6MLD]      Deering S., Fenner W., Haberman B., "Multicast
                  Listener Discovery (MLD) for IPv6", RFC 2710.

    [IPMULT]      Deering S., "Host Extensions for IP Multicasting",
                  RFC 1112.

    [IPoIB_ARCH]  Kashyap V., "IP over InfiniBand (IPoIB) Architecture",

    [IPV6]        Deering, S. and R. Hinden, "Internet Protocol,
                  Version 6 (IPv6) Specification", RFC 2460.

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

    [ARP]         Plummer D.C., "Ethernet Address Resolution Protocol",
                  RFC 826.

    [IANA]        Internet Assigned Numbers Authority, www.iana.org

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    [IANA_ARP]    www.iana.org/assignments/arp-parameters

17.0 Authors" Addresses

    H.K. Jerry Chu

    17 Network Circle, UMPK17-201
    Menlo Park, CA 94025
    Phone: +1 650 786 5146
    Email: jerry.chu@sun.com

    Vivek Kashyap

    15350, SW Koll Parkway
    Beaverton, OR 97006
    Phone: +1 503 578 3422
    Email: vivk@us.ibm.com

Full Copyright Statement

    Copyright (C) The Internet Society (2001). All Rights Reserved.

    This document and translations of it may be copied and furnished to
    others, and derivative works that comment on or otherwise explain it
    or assist in its implementation may be prepared, copied, published
    and distributed, in whole or in part, without restriction of any
    kind, provided that the above copyright notice and this paragraph
    are included on all such copies and derivative works. However, this
    document itself may not be modified in any way, such as by removing
    the copyright notice or references to the Internet Society or other
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    The limited permissions granted above are perpetual and will not be
    revoked by the Internet Society or its successors or assigns.

    This document and the information contained herein is provided on an

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