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Versions: (draft-kuehlewind-tcpm-accecn-reqs) 00 01 02 03 04 05 06 07 08 RFC 7560

TCP Maintenance and Minor Extensions                  M. Kuehlewind, Ed.
(tcpm)                                           University of Stuttgart
Internet-Draft                                          R. Scheffenegger
Intended status: Informational                              NetApp, Inc.
Expires: August 15, 2013                               February 11, 2013


Problem Statement and Requirements for a More Accurate ECN Feedback
draft-ietf-tcpm-accecn-reqs-00

Abstract

Explicit Congestion Notification (ECN) is an IP/TCP mechanism where
network nodes can mark IP packets instead of dropping them to
indicate congestion to the end-points.  An ECN-capable receiver will
feedback this information to the sender.  ECN is specified for TCP in
such a way that only one feedback signal can be transmitted per
Round-Trip Time (RTT).  Recently, new TCP mechanisms like ConEx or
DCTCP need more accurate ECN feedback information in the case where
more than one marking is received in one RTT.  This documents
specifies requirement for different ECN feedback scheme in the TCP
header to provide more than one feedback signal per RTT.

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 August 15, 2013.

Copyright Notice

Copyright (c) 2013 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



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publication of this document.  Please review these documents
carefully, as they describe your rights and restrictions with respect
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described in the Simplified BSD License.


Table of Contents

1.  Introduction  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3
1.1.  Requirements Language . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3
2.  Overview ECN and ECN Nonce in IP/TCP  . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4
3.  Requirements  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5
4.  Design Approaches . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6
4.1.  Re-use of Header Bits . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6
4.2.  Use of Reserved Bits  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7
4.3.  TCP Option  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7
5.  Acknowledgements  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7
6.  IANA Considerations . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7
7.  Security Considerations . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7
8.  References  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7
8.1.  Normative References  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7
8.2.  Informative References  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8
Authors' Addresses  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8


























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1.  Introduction

Explicit Congestion Notification (ECN) [RFC3168] is an IP/TCP
mechanism where network nodes can mark IP packets instead of dropping
them to indicate congestion to the end-points.  An ECN-capable
receiver will feedback this information to the sender.  ECN is
specified for TCP in such a way that only one feedback signal can be
transmitted per Round-Trip Time (RTT).  Recently, proposed mechanisms
like Congestion Exposure (ConEx) or DCTCP [Ali10] need more accurate
ECN feedback information in case when more than one marking is
received in one RTT.

The following scenarios should briefly show where the accurate
feedback is needed or provides additional value:

A Standard (RFC5681) TCP sender that supports ConEx:
In this case the congestion control algorithm still ignores
multiple marks per RTT, while the ConEx mechanism uses the
extra information per RTT to re-echo more precise congestion
information.

A sender using DCTCP congestion control without ConEx:
The congestion control algorithm uses the extra info per RTT
to perform its decrease depending on the number of congestion
marks.

A sender using DCTCP congestion control and supports ConEx:
Both the congestion control algorithm and ConEx use the
accurate ECN feedback mechanism.

A standard TCP sender (using RFC5681 congestion control algorithm)
without ConEx:
No accurate feedback is necessary here.  The congestion
control algorithm still react only on one signal per RTT.
But it is best to have one generic feedback mechanism,
whether it is used or not.

This documents ...

1.1.  Requirements Language

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 RFC 2119 [RFC2119].

We use the following terminology from [RFC3168] and [RFC3540]:

The ECN field in the IP header:



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CE:      the Congestion Experienced codepoint, and

ECT(0):  the first ECN-Capable Transport codepoint, and

ECT(1):  the second ECN-Capable Transport codepoint.

The ECN flags in the TCP header:



CWR:     the Congestion Window Reduced flag,

ECE:     the ECN-Echo flag, and

NS:      ECN Nonce Sum.

In this document, we will call the ECN feedback scheme as specified
in [RFC3168] the 'classic ECN' and our new proposal the 'more
accurate ECN feedback' scheme.  A 'congestion mark' is defined as an
IP packet where the CE codepoint is set.  A 'congestion event' refers
to one or more congestion marks belong to the same overload situation
in the network (usually during one RTT).


2.  Overview ECN and ECN Nonce in IP/TCP

ECN requires two bits in the IP header.  The ECN capability of a
packet is indicated when either one of the two bits is set.  An ECN
sender can set one or the other bit to indicate an ECN-capable
transport (ECT) which results in two signals, ECT(0) and ECT(1).  A
network node can set both bits simultaneously when it experiences
congestion.  When both bits are set the packet is regarded as
"Congestion Experienced" (CE).

In the TCP header the first two bits in byte 14 are defined for the
use of ECN.  The TCP mechanism for signaling the reception of a
congestion mark uses the ECN-Echo (ECE) flag in the TCP header.  To
enable the TCP receiver to determine when to stop setting the ECN-
Echo flag, the CWR flag is set by the sender upon reception of the
feedback signal.  This leads always to a full RTT of ACKs with ECE
set.  Thus any additional CE markings arriving within this RTT can
not signaled back anymore.

ECN-Nonce [RFC3540] is an optional addition to ECN that is used to
protect the TCP sender against accidental or malicious concealment of
marked or dropped packets.  This addition defines the last bit of



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byte 13 in the TCP header as the Nonce Sum (NS) bit.  With ECN-Nonce
a nonce sum is maintain that counts the occurrence of ECT(1) packets.

0   1   2   3   4   5   6   7   8   9  10  11  12  13  14  15
+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+
|               |           | N | C | E | U | A | P | R | S | F |
| Header Length | Reserved  | S | W | C | R | C | S | S | Y | I |
|               |           |   | R | E | G | K | H | T | N | N |
+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+---+

Figure 1: The (post-ECN Nonce) definition of the TCP header flags


3.  Requirements

The requirements of the accurate ECN feedback protocol for the use of
e.g.  Conex or DCTCP are to have a fairly accurate (not necessarily
perfect), timely and protected signaling.  This leads to the
following requirements:

Resilience
The ECN feedback signal is carried within the TCP
acknowledgment.  TCP ACKs can get lost.  Moreover, delayed
ACK are mostly used with TCP.  That means in most cases only
every second data packets triggers an ACK.  In a high
congestion situation where most of the packet are marked with
CE, an accurate feedback mechanism must still be able to
signal sufficient congestion information.  Thus the accurate
ECN feedback extension has to take delayed ACK and ACK loss
into account.

Timely
The CE marking is induced by a network node on the
transmission path and echoed by the receiver in the TCP
acknowledgment.  Thus when this information arrives at the
sender, its naturally already about one RTT old.  With a
sufficient ACK rate a further delay of a small number of ACK
can be tolerated but with large delays this information will
be out dated due to high dynamic in the network.  TCP
congestion control which introduces parts of these dynamics
operates on a time scale of one RTT.  Thus the congestion
feedback information should be delivered timely (within one
RTT).

Integrity
With ECN Nonce, a misbehaving receiver or network node can be
detected with a certain probability.  As this accurate ECN
feedback is reusing the NS bit, it is encouraged to ensure



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integrity as least as good as ECN Nonce.  If this is not
possible, alternative approaches should be provided how a
mechanism using the accurate ECN feedback extension can re-
ensure integrity or give strong incentives for the receiver
and network node to cooperate honestly.

Accuracy
Classic ECN feeds back one congestion notification per RTT,
as this is supposed to be used for TCP congestion control
which reduces the sending rate at most once per RTT.  The
accurate ECN feedback scheme has to ensure that if a
congestion events occurs at least one congestion notification
is echoed and received per RTT as classic ECN would do.  Of
course, the goal of this extension is to reconstruct the
number of CE marking more accurately.  However, a sender
should not assume to get the exact number of congestion
marking in all situations.

Complexity
Of course, the more accurate ECN feedback can also be used,
even if only one ECN feedback signal per RTT is need.  The
implementation should be as simple as possible and only a
minimum of addition state information should be needed.  A
proposal fulfilling this for a more accurate ECN feedback can
then also be the standard ECN feedback mechanism.


4.  Design Approaches

4.1.  Re-use of Header Bits

The idea is to use the ECE, CWR and NS bits for additional capability
negotiation during the TCP handshake exchange, and then for the more
accurate ECN feedback itself on subsequent packets in the flow (where
SYN is not set).  This appraoch only provide a limited resiliency
against ACK lost.

There have been several codings proposed so far: The one bit scheme
sends one ECE for each CE received (+ redundancy in next ACK using
the CWR bit).  The 3 bit counter scheme uses all three bits for
continuesly feeding the three most significant bits of a CE counter
back.  The 3 bit codepoint scheme encodes either a CE counter or an
ECT(1) counter in 8 codepoints.

Discussion on ACK loss and ECN...

ToDo: Use of other header bit?




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4.2.  Use of Reserved Bits

As seen in Figure 1, there are currently three unused flag bits in
the TCP header.  The proposed scheme could be extended by one or more
bits, to add higher resiliency against ACK loss.  The relative gain
would be proportionally higher resiliency against ACK loss, while the
respective drawbacks would remain identical.

4.3.  TCP Option

Alternatively, a new TCP option could be introduced, to help maintain
the accuracy, and integrity of the ECN feedback between receiver and
sender.  Such an option could provide more information.  E.g.  ECN
for RTP/UDP provides explicit the number of ECT(0), ECT(1), CE, non-
ECT marked and lost packets.  However, deploying new TCP options has
its own challenges.  A separate document proposes a new TCP Option
for accurate ECN feedback [I-D.kuehlewind-tcpm-accurate-ecn-option].
This option could be used in addition to a more accurate ECN feedback
scheme described here or in addition to classic ECN, when available
and needed.


5.  Acknowledgements


6.  IANA Considerations

This memo includes no request to IANA.


7.  Security Considerations

TBD


8.  References

8.1.  Normative References

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

[RFC3168]  Ramakrishnan, K., Floyd, S., and D. Black, "The Addition
of Explicit Congestion Notification (ECN) to IP",
RFC 3168, September 2001.

[RFC3540]  Spring, N., Wetherall, D., and D. Ely, "Robust Explicit
Congestion Notification (ECN) Signaling with Nonces",



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RFC 3540, June 2003.

8.2.  Informative References

[Ali10]    Alizadeh, M., Greenberg, A., Maltz, D., Padhye, J., Patel,
P., Prabhakar, B., Sengupta, S., and M. Sridharan, "DCTCP:
Efficient Packet Transport for the Commoditized Data
Center", Jan 2010.

[I-D.briscoe-tsvwg-re-ecn-tcp]
Briscoe, B., Jacquet, A., Moncaster, T., and A. Smith,
"Re-ECN: Adding Accountability for Causing Congestion to
TCP/IP", draft-briscoe-tsvwg-re-ecn-tcp-09 (work in
progress), October 2010.

[I-D.kuehlewind-tcpm-accurate-ecn-option]
Kuehlewind, M. and R. Scheffenegger, "Accurate ECN
Feedback Option in TCP",
draft-kuehlewind-tcpm-accurate-ecn-option-01 (work in
progress), July 2012.

[RFC5562]  Kuzmanovic, A., Mondal, A., Floyd, S., and K.
Ramakrishnan, "Adding Explicit Congestion Notification
(ECN) Capability to TCP's SYN/ACK Packets", RFC 5562,
June 2009.

[RFC5681]  Allman, M., Paxson, V., and E. Blanton, "TCP Congestion
Control", RFC 5681, September 2009.

[RFC5690]  Floyd, S., Arcia, A., Ros, D., and J. Iyengar, "Adding
Acknowledgement Congestion Control to TCP", RFC 5690,
February 2010.


Authors' Addresses

Mirja Kuehlewind (editor)
University of Stuttgart
Pfaffenwaldring 47
Stuttgart  70569
Germany

Email: mirja.kuehlewind@ikr.uni-stuttgart.de








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Richard Scheffenegger
NetApp, Inc.
Am Euro Platz 2
Vienna,   1120
Austria

Phone: +43 1 3676811 3146
Email: rs@netapp.com











































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