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Versions: 00 01 02 03 04 05 06 07 08 09 10 11 12 13 RFC 5856

Network Working Group                                         E. Ertekin
Internet-Draft                                               C. Christou
Intended status: Informational                                 R. Jasani
Expires: April 25, 2007                              Booz Allen Hamilton
                                                        October 22, 2006


   Integration of Header Compression over IPsec Security Associations
                      draft-ietf-rohc-hcoipsec-03

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Copyright Notice

   Copyright (C) The Internet Society (2006).

Abstract

   IP Security (IPsec) [IPSEC] provides various security services for IP
   traffic.  However, the benefits of IPsec come at the cost of
   increased overhead.  This document outlines a framework for
   integrating Header Compression (HC) over IPsec (HCoIPsec).  By
   compressing the inner headers of IP packets, HCoIPsec proposes to
   reduce the amount of overhead associated with the transmission of
   traffic over IPsec Security Associations (SAs).



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Table of Contents

   1.      Introduction . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  3
   2.      Audience . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  3
   3.      Terminology  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  3
   4.      Problem Statement: IPsec Packet Overhead . . . . . . . . .  4
   5.      Overview of the HCoIPsec Framework . . . . . . . . . . . .  5
   5.1.    HCoIPsec Assumptions . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  5
   5.2.    HCoIPsec Summary . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  5
   6.      Details of the HCoIPsec Framework  . . . . . . . . . . . .  6
   6.1.    HC and IPsec Integration . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  7
   6.1.1.  Header Compression Protocol Considerations . . . . . . . .  8
   6.1.2.  Initialization and Negotiation of HC Channel . . . . . . .  9
   6.1.3.  Encapsulation and Identification of Header Compressed
           Packets  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10
   6.2.    HCoIPsec Framework Summary . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10
   7.      Security Considerations  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 11
   8.      IANA Considerations  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 11
   9.      Acknowledgments  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 11
   10.     References . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 12
   10.1.   Normative References . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 12
   10.2.   Informative References . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 12
           Authors' Addresses . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 13
           Intellectual Property and Copyright Statements . . . . . . 14



























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1.  Introduction

   This document outlines a framework for integrating HC over IPsec
   (HCoIPsec).  The goal of HCoIPsec is to reduce the protocol overhead
   associated with packets traversing between IPsec SA endpoints.  This
   can be achieved by compressing the transport layer header (e.g., UDP,
   TCP, etc.) and inner IP header of packets at the ingress of the IPsec
   tunnel, and decompressing these headers at the egress.

   For HCoIPsec, this document assumes traditional HC protocols,
   Internet Protocol Header Compression [IPHC], Compressed Real Time
   Protocol [CRTP], Enhanced Compressed Real Time Protocol [ECRTP], and
   Robust Header Compression [ROHC], will be used to compress the inner
   headers of IP packets traversing an IPsec tunnel.  Since these
   traditional HC protocols are designed to operate on a hop-by-hop
   basis, they may require extensions to enable their operation over
   IPsec SAs.  This document outlines a framework for extending the
   usage of these traditional hop-by-hop HC protocols to operate at
   IPsec SA endpoints.

   HCoIPsec targets the application of HC to tunnel mode SAs.  Transport
   mode SAs only encrypt/authenticate the payload of an IP packet,
   leaving the IP header untouched.  Intermediate routers subsequently
   use the IP header to route the packet to a decryption device.
   Therefore, if traditional HC protocols were to operate over IPsec
   transport-mode SAs, (de)compression functionality can only be applied
   to the transport layer headers, and not to the IP header.  Since
   compression of transport layer headers alone does not provide
   substantial efficiency gains, the HCoIPsec framework outlined by this
   document only concerns the application of HC to tunnel mode SAs.


2.  Audience

   The target audience includes those who are involved with the
   development of HC protocols, and IPsec implementations.  Since
   traditional HC protocols have been designed to operate on a hop-by-
   hop basis, they may need to be modified or extended to be operational
   over IPsec SAs.  Therefore, the authors target various HC and IPsec
   communities who may consider extending existing HC and IPsec
   protocols to meet the requirements put forth in this document.
   Finally, this document is directed towards vendors developing IPsec
   devices that will be deployed in bandwidth-constrained IP networks.


3.  Terminology

   Terminology specific to HCoIPsec is introduced in this section.



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   Compressed Traffic

      Traffic that is processed by the compressor.  Packet headers are
      compressed using a specific header compression protocol.

   Uncompressed Traffic

      Traffic that is not processed by the compressor.  Instead, this
      type of traffic bypasses the HC process.

   HC Process

      Generic reference to either the compressor, decompressor, or any
      supporting header compression (HC) components.

   IPsec Process

      Generic reference to the Internet Protocol Security (IPsec)
      process [IPSEC].

   Next Header

      Refers to the Protocol (IPv4) or Next Header (IPv6, Extension)
      field (see IANA web page at
      http://www.iana.org/assignments/protocol-numbers).


4.  Problem Statement: IPsec Packet Overhead

   IPsec mechanisms provide various security services for IP networks.
   However, the benefits of IPsec come at the cost of increased per-
   packet overhead.  For example, traffic flow confidentiality
   (generally leveraged at security gateways) requires the tunneling of
   IP packets between IPsec implementations.  Although these IPsec
   tunnels will effectively mask the source-destination patterns that an
   intruder can ascertain, IPsec tunnels come at the cost of increased
   per-packet overhead.  Specifically, an ESP tunnel mode SA applied to
   an IPv6 flow results in at least 50 bytes of additional overhead per
   packet.  This additional overhead may be undesirable for many
   bandwidth-constrained wireless and/or satellite communications
   networks, as these types of infrastructure are not overprovisioned.
   HC applied on a per-hop basis over bandwidth-constrained link
   technologies will also suffer from reduced performance when
   encryption is used on the tunneled header, since encrypted headers
   can not be compressed.  Consequently, the additional overhead
   incurred by an IPsec tunnel may result in the inefficient utilization
   of bandwidth.




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   Packet overhead is particularly significant for traffic profiles
   characterized by small packet payloads.  Some applications that
   emanate small packet payloads include various voice codecs.  In
   addition, if these small packets are afforded the security services
   of an IPsec tunnel mode SA, the amount of per-packet overhead is
   magnified.  Thus, a mechanism is needed to reduce the overhead
   associated with such flows.


5.  Overview of the HCoIPsec Framework

5.1.  HCoIPsec Assumptions

   The goal for HCoIPsec is to provide efficient transport of IP packets
   between source and destination IPsec devices, without compromising
   the security services offered by IPsec.  As such, the HCoIPsec
   framework was developed based on the following assumptions:
   o  Existing HC protocols (e.g., IPHC, CRTP, ECRTP, ROHC) will be
      leveraged to reduce the amount of overhead associated with packets
      traversing an IPsec SA
   o  HC algorithms will be instantiated at the IPsec SA endpoints, and
      HC is applied on a per-SA basis

5.2.  HCoIPsec Summary

   HC protocols reduce packet overhead in a network by exploiting intra-
   and inter-packet redundancies of network and transport-layer header
   fields of a flow.

   Existing HC protocols compress packet headers on a hop-by-hop basis.
   However, IPsec SAs are instantiated between two IPsec
   implementations, with multiple hops between the IPsec
   implementations.  Therefore, to fully integrate HC with IPsec SAs,
   traditional hop-by-hop protocols may need to be extended to operate
   at IPsec SA endpoints.

   The migration of traditional hop-by-hop HC protocols over IPsec SAs
   is straightforward, since SA endpoints provide source/destination
   pairs where (de)compression operations can take place.  Compression
   in such a manner offers a reduction of per-packet protocol overhead
   between the two SA endpoints, and does not require compression and
   decompression cycles at the intermediate hops between IPsec
   implementations.  Since traditional HC protocols will now essentially
   operate over multiple hops, it is imperative that their performance
   is not severely impacted due to increased packet reordering and/or
   packet loss between the compressor and decompressor.

   In addition, since HC protocols will operate at IPsec SA endpoints,



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   HC protocols can no longer rely on the underlying link layer for HC
   parameter configuration and packet identification.  Traditional HC
   protocols use the underlying link layer to establish a set of
   configuration parameters at each end of the link, and some HC
   protocols (e.g., IPHC, CRTP, ECRTP) are also dependent on the link
   layer framing for identifying different types of header-compressed
   packets.  The HCoIPsec framework proposes that HC channel parameter
   configuration is accomplished by the SA management protocol (e.g.,
   IKEv2), while identification of compressed header packets (in
   contrast to uncompressed packets) is provided through the Next Header
   field of the security protocol (e.g., AH, ESP).  In addition, HC
   protocols that require the identification of different types of
   header-compressed packets will have to be extended with such a
   mechanism.

   Using the HCoIPsec framework proposed below, outbound IP traffic
   processing at an IPsec device is augmented to compress appropriate
   packet headers, and subsequently encrypt and/or integrity-protect the
   packet.  For tunnel mode SAs, compression may be applied to the
   transport layer protocol and the inner IP header.

   Inbound IP traffic processing at an IPsec device is modified in a
   similar fashion.  For inbound packets, an IPsec device must first
   decrypt and/or integrity-check the packet.  Then, the IPsec device
   determines if the packet was received on an HC-enabled SA (see
   section 6.1) and if the packet maintains compressed headers.  If both
   of these conditions are met, decompression of the inner packet
   headers is performed.  After decompression, the packet is checked
   against the access controls imposed on all inbound traffic associated
   with the SA (as specified in RFC 4301).

      Note: Compression of inner headers is independent from compression
      of the security protocol (e.g., ESP) and outer IP headers.  HC
      protocols such as ROHC are capable of compressing the security
      protocol and outer IP headers on a hop-by-hop basis.  Further
      discussion on the compression of outer headers is outside the
      scope of this document.

   If IPsec NULL encryption is applied to packets, HC protocols may
   still be applied to the inner headers at the IPsec SA endpoints.
   Inbound and outbound packets are still processed as was previously
   described.


6.  Details of the HCoIPsec Framework






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6.1.  HC and IPsec Integration

   Based on these assumptions, Figure 1 illustrates the components
   required to integrate HC with the IPsec process, i.e., HCoIPsec.


                  +-------------------------------+
                  | HC Module                     |
                  |                               |
                  |                               |
        +-----+   |     +-----+     +---------+   |
        |     |   |     |     |     |    HC   |   |
      --|  A  |---------|  B  |-----| Process |------> Path 1
        |     |   |     |     |     |         |   |   (HC-enabled SA)
        +-----+   |     +-----+     +---------+   |
           |      |        |                      |
           |      |        |-------------------------> Path 2
           |      |                               |   (HC-enabled SA)
           |      +-------------------------------+
           |
           |
           |
           |
           +-----------------------------------------> Path 3
                                                      (HC-disabled SA)

   Figure 1: Integration of HC with IPsec.

   The process illustrated in Figure 1 augments the IPsec processing
   model for outbound IP traffic(protected-to-unprotected).  Initial
   IPsec processing is consistent with RFC 4301 (Steps 1-2, Section
   5.1).  The HC data item (part of the SA state information) retrieved
   from the "relevant SAD entry" (RFC4301, Section 5.1, Step3a)
   determines if the traffic traversing the SA is handed to the HC
   module (Figure 1, decision block A).  Packets selected to an HC-
   disabled SA must follow normal IPsec processing and must not be sent
   to the HC module (Figure 1, Path 3).  Conversely, packets selected to
   an HC-enabled SA must be sent to the HC module.  The decision at
   block B then determines if the packet can be compressed.  If it is
   determined that the packet will be compressed, the Next Header field
   of the security protocol header (e.g., ESP, AH) is populated with a
   "compressed headers" value, and packet headers are compressed based
   on the compression protocol (Figure 1, Path 1).  However, if it is
   determined that the packet will not be compressed (e.g., due to one
   the reasons described in Section 6.1.3), the Next Header field is
   populated with the appropriate value indicating the next level
   protocol (Figure 1, Path 2).  After the HC process completes, IPsec
   processing resumes, as described in Section 5.1, Step3a, of RFC4301



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   (specifically, "IPsec processing is as previously defined...").

   The process illustrated in Figure 1 also augments the IPsec
   processing model for inbound IP traffic (unprotected-to-protected).
   For inbound packets, IPsec processing is performed (RFC4301, Section 
   5.2, Steps 1-3) followed by AH or ESP processing (RFC4301, Section 
   5.2, Step 4) .  After AH or ESP processing, the HC data item
   retrieved from the SAD entry will indicate if traffic traversing the
   SA is handed to the HC module (RFC4301, Section 5.2, Step 3a).
   Packets traversing an HC-disabled SA must follow normal IPsec
   processing and must not be sent to the HC module.  Conversely,
   packets traversing an HC-enabled SA must be sent to the HC module.
   The decision at block B is determined by the value of the Next Header
   field.  If "compressed headers" is indicated, decompression is
   applied using the appropriate HC protocol (Figure 1, Path 1).
   However, if the Next Header field does not contain the "compressed
   headers" value, the decompressor must not attempt decompression
   (Figure 1, Path 2).  IPsec processing resumes once the HC module
   completes processing, as described in Section 5.2, Step 4 of RFC
   4301(specifically "Then match the packet against the inbound
   selectors identified by the SAD ...").

6.1.1.  Header Compression Protocol Considerations

   Traditional hop-by-hop HC protocols must be extended to operate
   efficiently over IPsec SAs.  Compressor and decompressor
   implementation considerations therefore must account for increased
   tolerance to packet reordering and packet loss between the compressor
   and decompressor, and minimizing the amount of feedback sent from the
   decompressor to the compressor.

   The ability to tolerate increased packet reordering between the
   compressor and decompressor is a necessity for any HC protocol that
   is extended to operate over an IPsec SA.  The following provides a
   summary of the candidate HC solutions, and their tolerance to packet
   loss and reordering between the compressor and decompressor:
   o  IPHC has been identified as a HC protocol that performs poorly
      over long round trip time (RTT), high BER links [ROHC].
      Extensions to IPHC to compress TCP/IP headers over an IPsec SA
      should take into consideration longer RTTs, increased potential
      for packet reordering and packet loss between the compressor and
      decompressor.
   o  CRTP has also been identified as a HC protocol that performs
      poorly over long RTT, high BER links [CRTPE].  Recent
      modifications to the CRTP protocol, such as ECRTP, enable the CRTP
      HC protocol to tolerate long RTTs and packet loss between the
      compressor and decompressor.  However, the reordering tolerance of
      ECRTP still needs to be evaluated, as detailed in [ECRTPE].  Such



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      implementation aspects should be taken into consideration when
      extending ECRTP to operate over IPsec SAs.
   o  ROHC is a protocol that is designed for high BER, long RTT links.
      ROHC can be used to compress not only RTP/UDP/IP headers, but also
      other traffic profiles such as TCP/IP, as defined in [ROHCTCP].
      Similar to CRTP and IPHC, ROHC has been identified as vulnerable
      to packet reordering events between the compressor and
      decompressor[ROHCE].  Recent work [ROHCWEXT] suggests that the
      implementation aspects of ROHC can be modified to achieve
      tolerance to packet reordering events.  Such implementation
      aspects should be taken into consideration when extending ROHC to
      operate over IPsec SAs.

   Note that additional techniques may be used to augment a traditional
   HC protocol's tolerance to packet reordering.  For example, various
   security protocols are equipped with a sequence number; this value
   may be used by the decompressor to identify a packet as "sequentially
   late".  This knowledge can increase the likelihood of successful
   decompression of a reordered packet.

   In addition, HC protocols should minimize the amount of feedback
   between decompressor and compressor.  If a feedback channel from the
   decompressor to the compressor is not used sparingly, the overall
   gains from HCoIPsec can be significantly reduced.  For example,
   assume that ROHC is operating in bi-directional reliable mode, and is
   instantiated over an IPsec tunnel mode SA.  In this scenario, any
   feedback sent from the decompressor to the compressor must be
   tunneled.  As such, the additional overhead incurred by tunneling
   feedback will reduce the overall benefits of HC.

6.1.2.  Initialization and Negotiation of HC Channel

   Hop-by-hop HC protocols use the underlying link layer (e.g., PPP) to
   negotiate HC channel parameters.  To remove HC protocol dependencies
   on the underlying link layer, an additional mechanism is needed to
   initialize a HC channel and its associated parameters prior to HC
   protocol operation.

   Initialization of the HC channel will either be achieved manually
   (i.e., administratively configured for manual SAs), or be performed
   by IPsec SA establishment protocols, e.g.  IKEv2.  During SA
   initialization, the SA establishment protocol will be extended to
   negotiate the HC protocol's channel parameters.  The specifics for
   this proposal are detailed in [IKE-HC].

   If the HC protocol requires bi-directional communications, two SAs
   must be instantiated between the IPsec implementations.  One of the
   two SAs is used for carrying traffic from the compressor to the



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   decompressor, while the other is used to communicate feedback from
   the decompressor to the compressor.  Note that this requirement for
   two SAs aligns with the operation of IKE, which is capable of
   creating SA pairs.  However, IPsec implementations will dictate how
   decompressor feedback received on one SA is associated with a
   compressor on the other SA.

6.1.3.  Encapsulation and Identification of Header Compressed Packets

   As indicated in section 6.1, new state information (i.e., a new HC
   data item) is defined for each SA.  The HC data item is used by the
   IPsec process to determine whether it sends all traffic traversing a
   given SA to the HC module (HC-enabled) or bypasses the HC module and
   sends the traffic through regular IPsec processing (HC-disabled).

   In addition, the Next Header field of the IPsec security protocol
   (e.g., AH or ESP) header is used to demultiplex header-compressed
   traffic from uncompressed traffic traversing an HC-enabled SA.  This
   functionality is needed in situations where packets traversing an HC-
   enabled SA are not compressed by the compressor.  Such situations may
   occur when, for example, a compressor supports strictly n compressed
   flows and can not compress the n+1 flow that arrives.  Another
   example is when traffic (e.g., TCP/IP) is selected (by IPsec) to an
   HC-enabled SA, but cannot be compressed by the HC process (e.g.,
   because the compressor does not support TCP/IP compression).  In
   these situations, the compressor must indicate that the packet
   contains uncompressed headers.  Similarly, the decompressor must be
   able to identify packets with uncompressed headers and not attempt to
   decompress them.  As such, the Next Header field is used to
   demultiplex these header-compressed versus uncompressed packets, as a
   "compressed header" value will indicate the packet contains
   compressed headers.
      Note: As indicated in the description of HCoIPsec inbound and
      outbound processing, the Next Header field is used to identify
      compressed packets on an HC-enabled SA.  Because the Next Header
      field value is only leveraged at the IPsec implementations, an
      official IANA allocation from the ProtocolID registry may not be
      required.  Future discussions of HCoIPsec will determine the
      appropriate path forward.

6.2.  HCoIPsec Framework Summary

   To summarize, the following items are needed to achieve HCoIPsec:
   o  Extensions to traditional HC protocols which enable their
      operation at IPsec SA enpoints
   o  Extensions to IKEv2 to Support Header Compression over IPsec
      (HCoIPsec)




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   o  Allocation of one value for "compressed headers" from the IANA
      "Protocol Numbers" registry (This specification may not be
      necessary, as indicated in Section 6.1.3)


7.  Security Considerations

   A malfunctioning header compressor (i.e., the compressor located at
   the ingress of the IPsec tunnel) has the ability to send packets to
   the decompressor (i.e., the decompressor located at the egress of the
   IPsec tunnel) that do not match the original packets emitted from the
   end-hosts.  Such a scenario will result in a decreased efficiency
   between compressor and decompressor.  Furthermore, this may result in
   Denial of Service, as the decompression of a significant number of
   invalid packets may drain the resources of an IPsec device.


8.  IANA Considerations

   None.


9.  Acknowledgments

   The authors would like to thank Mr. Sean O'Keeffe, Mr. James Kohler,
   and Ms. Linda Noone of the Department of Defense, and well as Mr.
   Rich Espy of OPnet for their contributions and support in the
   development of this document.  In addition, the authors would like to
   thank the following for their numerous reviews and comments to this
   document:

   o  Dr. Stephen Kent
   o  Dr. Carsten Bormann
   o  Mr. Tero Kivinen
   o  Mr. Lars-Erik Jonsson
   o  Mr. Jan Vilhuber
   o  Mr. Dan Wing
   o  Mr. Kristopher Sandlund
   o  Mr. Ghyslain Pelletier

   Finally, the authors would also like to thank Mr. Tom Conkle, Ms.
   Renee Esposito, Mr. Etzel Brower, and Mr. Jonah Pezeshki of Booz
   Allen Hamilton for their assistance in completing this work.


10.  References





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10.1.  Normative References

   [IPSEC]    Kent, S. and K. Seo, "Security Architecture for the
              Internet Protocol", RFC 4301, December 2005.

   [IPHC]     Nordgren, M., Pink, B., and S. Pink, "IP Header
              Compression", RFC 2507, February 1999.

   [CRTP]     Casner, S. and V. Jacobson, "Compressing IP/UDP/RTP
              Headers for Low-Speed Serial Links", RFC 2508,
              February 1999.

   [ECRTP]    Koren, et al., "Compressing IP/UDP/RTP Headers on Links
              with High Delay, Packet Loss, and Reordering", RFC 3545,
              July 2003.

   [ROHC]     Bormann, C., Burmeister, C., Degermark, M., Fukushima, H.,
              Hannu, H., Jonsson, L., Hakenberg, R., Koren, T., Le, K.,
              Liu, Z., Martensson, A., Miyazaki, A., Svanbro, K.,
              Wiebke, T., Yoshimura, T., and H. Zheng, "RObust Header
              Compression (ROHC): Framework and four profiles: RTP, UDP,
              ESP, and uncompressed", RFC 3095, July 2001.

   [ECRTPE]   Knutsson, C., "Evaluation and Implemenation[sic] of Header
              Compression Algorithm ECRTP", November 2004.

   [ROHCTCP]  Pelletier, et al., "Robust Header Compression: A Profile
              For TCP/IP (ROHC-TCP)", work in progress , January 2006.

   [ROHCWEXT]
              Pelletier, et al., "ROHC over Channels That Can Reorder
              Packets", RFC 4224, January 2006.

   [IKE-HC]   Jasani, et al., "Extensions to IKEv2 to Support HCoIPsec",
              work in progress , September 2006.

10.2.  Informative References

   [ESP]      Kent, S., "IP Encapsulating Security Payload", RFC 4303,
              December 2005.

   [HCOMPLS]  Ash, J. and et. al, "Protocol Extensions for Header
              Compression over MPLS", April 2005.

   [CRTPE]    Degermark, M., Hannu, H., Jonsson, L., and K. Svanbro,
              "Evaluation of CRTP Performance over Cellular Radio
              Networks", IEEE Personal Communication Magazine , Volume
              7, number 4, pp. 20-25, August 2000.



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   [ROHCE]    Ash, J. and et. al, "Requirements for ECRTP over MPLS",
              RFC 4247, November 2005.


Authors' Addresses

   Emre Ertekin
   Booz Allen Hamilton
   13200 Woodland Park Dr.
   Herndon, VA  20171
   US

   Email: ertekin_emre@bah.com


   Chris Christou
   Booz Allen Hamilton
   13200 Woodland Park Dr.
   Herndon, VA  20171
   US

   Email: christou_chris@bah.com


   Rohan Jasani
   Booz Allen Hamilton
   13200 Woodland Park Dr.
   Herndon, VA  20171
   US

   Email: jasani_rohan@bah.com




















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Internet-Draft      Integration of HC over IPsec SAs        October 2006


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