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Versions: (draft-lopez-v6ops-dc-ipv6) 00 01

v6ops                                                           D. Lopez
Internet-Draft                                            Telefonica I+D
Intended status: Informational                                   Z. Chen
Expires: August 7, 2014                                    China Telecom
                                                                 T. Tsou
                                               Huawei Technologies (USA)
                                                                 C. Zhou
                                                     Huawei Technologies
                                                               A. Servin
                                                        February 3, 2014

              IPv6 Operational Guidelines for Datacenters


   This document is intended to provide operational guidelines for
   datacenter operators planning to deploy IPv6 in their
   infrastructures.  It aims to offer a reference framework for
   evaluating different products and architectures, and therefore it is
   also addressed to manufacturers and solution providers, so they can
   use it to gauge their solutions.  We believe this will translate in a
   smoother and faster IPv6 transition for datacenters of these

   The document focuses on the DC infrastructure itself, its operation,
   and the aspects related to DC interconnection through IPv6.  It does
   not consider the particular mechanisms for making Internet services
   provided by applications hosted in the DC available through IPv6
   beyond the specific aspects related to how their deployment on the
   Data Center (DC) infrastructure.

   Apart from facilitating the transition to IPv6, the mechanisms
   outlined here are intended to make this transition as transparent as
   possible (if not completely transparent) to applications and services
   running on the DC infrastructure, as well as to take advantage of
   IPv6 features to simplify DC operations, internally and across the

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

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   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 7, 2014.

Copyright Notice

   Copyright (c) 2014 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
   carefully, as they describe your rights and restrictions with respect
   to this document.  Code Components extracted from this document must
   include Simplified BSD License text as described in Section 4.e of
   the Trust Legal Provisions and are provided without warranty as
   described in the Simplified BSD License.

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Table of Contents

   1.  Introduction . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  4
   2.  Architecture and Transition Stages . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  4
     2.1.  General Architecture . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  5
     2.2.  Experimental Stage. Native IPv4 Infrastructure . . . . . .  7
       2.2.1.  Off-shore v6 Access  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  8
     2.3.  Dual Stack Stage. Internal Adaptation  . . . . . . . . . .  8
       2.3.1.  Dual-stack at the Aggregation Layer  . . . . . . . . . 10
       2.3.2.  Dual-stack Extended OS/Hypervisor  . . . . . . . . . . 12
     2.4.  IPv6-Only Stage. Pervasive IPv6 Infrastructure . . . . . . 12
       2.4.1.  Overlay and Chaining Support . . . . . . . . . . . . . 14
     2.5.  Other Operational Considerations . . . . . . . . . . . . . 15
       2.5.1.  Addressing . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 15
       2.5.2.  Management Systems and Applications  . . . . . . . . . 16
       2.5.3.  Monitoring and Logging . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 16
       2.5.4.  Costs  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 17
     2.6.  Security Considerations  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 17
       2.6.1.  Neighbor Discovery Protocol attacks  . . . . . . . . . 17
       2.6.2.  Addressing . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 18
       2.6.3.  Edge filtering . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 18
       2.6.4.  Final Security Remarks . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 19
     2.7.  IANA Considerations  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 19
     2.8.  Acknowledgements . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 19
   3.  Informative References . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 19
   Authors' Addresses . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 21

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1.  Introduction

   The need for considering the aspects related to IPv4-to-IPv6
   transition for all devices and services connected to the Internet has
   been widely mentioned elsewhere, and it is not our intention to make
   an additional call on it.  Just let us note that many of those
   services are already or will soon be located in Data Centers (DC),
   what makes considering the issues associated to DC infrastructure
   transition a key aspect both for these infrastructures themselves,
   and for providing a simpler and clear path to service transition.

   All issues discussed here are related to DC infrastructure
   transition, and are intended to be orthogonal to whatever particular
   mechanisms for making the services hosted in the DC available through
   IPv6 beyond the specific aspects related to their deployment on the
   infrastructure.  General mechanisms related to service transition
   have been discussed in depth elsewhere (see, for example [RFC6883]
   and [I-D.ietf-v6ops-enterprise-incremental-ipv6]) and are considered
   to be independent to the goal of this discussion.  The applicability
   of these general mechanisms for service transition will, in many
   cases, depend on the supporting DC's infrastructure characteristics.
   However, this document intends to keep both problems (service vs.
   infrastructure transition) as different issues.

   Furthermore, the combination of the regularity and controlled
   management in a DC interconnection fabric with IPv6 universal end-to-
   end addressing should translate in simpler and faster VM migrations,
   either intra- or inter-DC, and even inter-provider.

2.  Architecture and Transition Stages

   This document presents a transition framework structured along
   transition stages and operational guidance associated with the degree
   of penetration of IPv6 into the DC communication fabric.  It is worth
   noting we are using these stages as a classification mechanism, and
   they have not to be associated with any a succession of steps from a
   v4-only infrastructure to full-fledged v6, but to provide a framework
   that operators, users, and even manufacturers could use to assess
   their plans and products.

   There is no (explicit or implicit) requirement on starting at the
   stage describe in first place, nor to follow them in successive
   order.  According to their needs and the available solutions, DC
   operators can choose to start or remain at a certain stage, and
   freely move from one to another as they see fit, without contravening
   this document.  In this respect, the classification intends to
   support the planning in aspects such as the adaptation of the

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   different transition stages to the evolution of traffic patterns, or
   risk assessment in what relates to deploying new components and
   incorporating change control, integration and testing in highly-
   complex multi-vendor infrastructures.

   Three main transition stages can be considered when analyzing IPv6
   deployment in the DC infrastructure, all compatible with the
   availability of services running in the DC through IPv6:

   o  Experimental.  The DC keeps a native IPv4 infrastructure, with
      gateway routers (or even application gateways when services
      require so) performing the adaptation to requests arriving from
      the IPv6 Internet.

   o  Dual stack.  Native IPv6 and IPv4 are present in the
      infrastructure, up to whatever the layer in the interconnection
      scheme where L3 is applied to packet forwarding.

   o  IPv6-Only.  The DC has a fully pervasive IPv6 infrastructure,
      including full IPv6 hypervisors, which perform the appropriate
      tunneling or NAT if required by internal applications running

2.1.  General Architecture

   The diagram in Figure 1 depicts a generalized interconnection schema
   in a DC.

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             |               |
       +-----+-----+   +-----+-----+
       |  Gateway  |   |  Gateway  |          Internet / Remote Access
       +-----+-----+   +-----+-----+                  Modules
             |               |
                 |     |
         +---+---+     +---+---+
         | Core0 |     | CoreN |              Core
         +---+---+     +---+---+
               /  \    /      /
              /    \-----\   /
             /   /---/    \ /
           +--------+       +--------+
         +/-------+ |     +/-------+ |
         | Aggr01 | +-----| AggrN1 | +        Aggregation
         +---+---+/       +--------+/
          /     \         /      \
         /       \       /        \
   +-----+    +-----+   +-----+    +-----+
   | T11 |... | T1x |   | T21 |... | T2y |    Access
   +-----+    +-----+   +-----+    +-----+
   | HyV |    | HyV |   | HyV |    | HyV |    Physical Servers
   +:::::+    +:::::+   +:::::+    +:::::+
   | VMs |    | VMs |   | VMs |    | VMs |    Virtual Machines
   +-----+    +-----+   +-----+    +-----+
   . . . .    . . . .   . . . .    . . . .
   +-----+    +-----+   +-----+    +-----+
   | HyV |    | HyV |   | HyV |    | HyV |
   +:::::+    +:::::+   +:::::+    +:::::+
   | VMs |    | VMs |   | VMs |    | VMs |
   +-----+    +-----+   +-----+    +-----+

                   Figure 1: DC Interconnnection Schema

   o  Hypervisors provide connection services (among others) to virtual
      machines running on physical servers.

   o  Access elements provide connectivity directly to/from physical
      servers.  The access elements are typically placed either top-of-
      rack (ToR) or end-of-row(EoR).

   o  Aggregation elements group several (many) physical racks to
      achieve local integration and provide as much structure as
      possible to data paths.

   o  Core elements connect all aggregation elements acting as the DC

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   o  One or several gateways connecting the DC to the Internet, Branch
      Offices, Partners, Third-Parties, and/or other DCs.  The
      interconnectivity to other DC may be in the form of VPNs, WAN
      links, metro links or any other form of interconnection.

   In many actual deployments, depending on DC size and design
   decisions, some of these elements may be combined (core and gateways
   are provider by the same routers, or hypervisors act as access
   elements) or virtualized to some extent, but this layered schema is
   the one that best accommodates the different options to use L2 or L3
   at any of the different DC interconnection layers, and will help us
   in the discussion along the document.

2.2.  Experimental Stage. Native IPv4 Infrastructure

   This transition stage corresponds to the first step that many
   datacenters may take (or have taken) in order to make their external
   services initially accessible from the IPv6 Internet and/or to
   evaluate the possibilities around it, and corresponds to IPv6 traffic
   patterns totally originated out of the DC or their tenants, being a
   small percentage of the total external requests.  At this stage, DC
   network scheme and addressing do not require any important change, if

   It is important to remark that in no case this can be considered a
   permanent stage in the transition, or even a long-term solution for
   incorporating IPv6 into the DC infrastructure.  This stage is only
   recommended for experimentation or early evaluation purposes.

   The translation of IPv6 requests into the internal infrastructure
   addressing format occurs at the outmost level of the DC Internet
   connection.  This can be typically achieved at the DC gateway
   routers, that support the appropriate address translation mechanisms
   for those services required to be accessed through native IPv6
   requests.  The policies for applying adaptation can range from
   performing it only to a limited set of specified services to
   providing a general translation service for all public services.
   More granular mechanisms, based on address ranges or more
   sophisticated dynamic policies are also possible, as they are applied
   by a limited set of control elements.  These provide an additional
   level of control to the usage of IPv6 routable addresses in the DC
   environment, which can be especially significant in the
   experimentation or early deployment phases this stage is applicable

   Even at this stage, some implicit advantages of IPv6 application come
   into play, even if they can only be applied at the ingress elements:

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   o  Flow labels can be applied to enhance load distribution, as
      described in [RFC7098].  If the incoming IPv6 requests are
      adequately labeled the gateway systems can use the flow labels as
      a hint for applying load-balancing mechanisms when translating the
      requests towards the IPv4 internal network.

   o  During VM migration (intra- or even inter-DC), Mobile IPv6
      mechanisms can be applied to keep service availability during the
      transient state.

2.2.1.  Off-shore v6 Access

   This model is also suitable to be applied in an "off-shore" mode by
   the service provider connecting the DC infrastructure to the
   Internet, as described in [I-D.sunq-v6ops-contents-transition].

   When this off-shore mode is applied, the original source address will
   be hidden to the DC infrastructure, and therefore identification
   techniques based on it, such as geolocation or reputation evaluation,
   will be hampered.  Unless there is a specific trust link between the
   DC operator and the ISP, and the DC operator is able to access
   equivalent identification interfaces provided by the ISP as an
   additional service, the off-shore experimental stage cannot be
   considered applicable when source address identification is required.

2.3.  Dual Stack Stage. Internal Adaptation

   This stage requires dual-stack elements in some internal parts of the
   DC infrastructure.  This brings some degree of partition in the
   infrastructure, either in a horizontal (when data paths or management
   interfaces are migrated or left in IPv4 while the rest migrate) or a
   vertical (per tenant or service group), or even both.

   Although it may seem an artificial case, situations requiring this
   stage can arise from different requirements from the user base, or
   the need for technology changes at different points of the
   infrastructure, or even the goal of having the possibility of
   experimenting new solutions in a controlled real-operations
   environment, at the price of the additional complexity of dealing
   with a double protocol stack, as noted in [RFC6883] and elsewhere.

   This transition stage can accommodate different traffic patterns,
   both internal and external, though it better fits to scenarios of a
   clear differentiation of different types of traffic (external vs.
   internal, data vs management...), and/or a more or less even
   distribution of external requests.  A common scenario would include
   native dual stack servers for certain services combined with single
   stack ones for others (web server in dual stack and database servers

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   only supporting v4, for example).

   At this stage, the advantages outlined above on load balancing based
   on flow labels and Mobile IP mechanisms are applicable to any L3-
   based mechanism (intra- as well as inter-DC).  They will translate
   into enhanced VM mobility, more effective load balancing, and higher
   service availability.  Furthermore, the simpler integration provided
   by IPv6 to and from the L2 flat space to the structured L3 one can be
   applied to achieve simpler deployments, as well as alleviating
   encapsulation and fragmentation issues when traversing between L2 and
   L3 spaces.  With an appropriate prefix management, automatic address
   assignment, discovery, and renumbering can be applied not only to
   public service interfaces, but most notably to data and management
   paths.  Other potential advantages include the application of
   multicast scopes to limit broadcast floods, and the usage of specific
   security headers to enhance tenant differentiation.

   In general, all these advantages are especially significative to
   overlay techniques applied to support multi-tenancy and inter-DC

   On the other hand, this stage requires a much more careful planning
   of addressing (please refer to ([RFC5375]) schemas and access
   control, according to security levels.  While the experimental stage
   implies relatively few global routable addresses, this one brings the
   advantages and risks of using different kinds of addresses at each
   point of the IPv6-aware infrastructure.

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2.3.1.  Dual-stack at the Aggregation Layer

    | Internet / External |
        |  Gateway |
              .           Core Level
           | FW  |
              |           Aggregation Level
           | MB  |
           _ / \_
          /       \
    +--+--+     +--+--+
    | Web | ... | Web |
    +--+--+     +--+--+
       | \ __ _ _/ |
       | /       \ |
    +--+--+     +--+--+
    |Cache|     | DB  |
    +-----+     +-----+

                 Figure 2: Data Center Application Scheme

   An initial approach corresponding to this transition stage relies on
   taking advantage of specific elements at the aggregation layer
   described in Figure 1, and make them able to provide dual-stack
   gatewaying to the IPv4-based servers and data infrastructure.

   Typically, firewalls (FW) are deployed as the security edge of the
   whole service domain and provides safe access control of this service
   domain from other function domains.  In addition, some application
   optimization based on devices and security devices (generally known
   as middleboxes, e.g.  Load Balancers, SSL VPN, IPS and etc.) may be
   deployed in the aggregation level to alleviate the burden of the
   server and to guarantee deep security, as shown in Figure 2.  The
   choice of a particular kind of middlebox for this dual-stack approach
   shall be based on the nature of the services and the deployment of
   the middleboxes in the DC infrastructure.

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   The middlebox could be upgraded to support the data transmission.
   There may be two ways to achieve this at the edge of the DC:
   Encapsulation and NAT.  In the encapsulation case, the middlebox
   function carries the IPv6 traffic over IPv4 using an encapsulation
   (IPv6-in-IPv4).  In the NAT case, there are already some technologies
   to solve this problem.  For example, DNS and NAT devices could be
   concatenated for IPv4/IPv6 translation if IPv6 host needs to visit
   IPv4 servers.  However, this may require the concatenation of
   multiple network devices, which means the NAT tables needs to be
   synchronized at different devices.  As described below, a simplified
   IPv4/IPv6 translation model can be applied, which could be
   implemented in the device.  The mapping information of IPv4 and IPv6
   will be generated automatically based on the information of the
   middlebox.  The host IP address will be translated without port

                           |Dual Stack| IPv4-only       +----------+ |
                           |          |            +----|Web Server| |
                           |   +------|------+    /     +----------+ |
   +--------+  +-------+   |   |      |      |   /                   |
   |Internet|--|Gateway|---|---+Load-Balancer+-- \                   |
   |        |  |       |   |   |      |      |    \     +----------+ |
   +--------+  +-------+   |   +------|------+     +----|Web Server| |
                           |          |                 +----------+ |

         Figure 3: Dual Stack middlebox (Load-Balancer) mechanism

   As shown in Figure 3,the middlebox (a load-balancer, LB, in this
   case) can be considered divided into two parts: The dual-stack part
   facing the external border, and the IPv4-only part which contains the
   traditional LB functions.  The IPv4 DC is allocated an IPv6 prefix
   which is for the VSIPv6 (Virtual Service IPv6 Address).  We suggest
   that the IPv6 prefix is not the well-known prefix in order to avoid
   the IPv4 routings of the services in different DCs spread to the IPv6
   network.  The VSIPv4 (Virtual Service IPv4 Address) is embedded in
   VSIPv6 using the allocated IPv6 prefix.  In this way, the LB has the
   stateless IP address mapping between VSIPv6 and VSIPv4, and
   synchronization is not required between LB and DNS64 server.

   The dual-stack part of the LB has a private IPv4 address pool.  When
   IPv6 packets arrive, the dual-stack part does the one-on-one SIP
   (source IP address) mapping (as defined in
   [I-D.sunq-v6ops-contents-transition]) between IPv4 private address
   and IPv6 SIP.  Because there will be too many UDP/TCP sessions
   between the DC and Internet, the IP addresses binding tables between

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   IPv6 and IPv4 are not session-based, but SIP-based.  Thus, the dual-
   stack part of LB builds IP binding stateful tables for the host IPv6
   address and private IPv4 address of the pool.  When the following
   IPv6 packets of the host come from Internet to the LB, the dual stack
   part does the IP address translation for the packets.  Thus, the IPv6
   packets were translated to IPv4 packets and sent to the IPv4 only
   part of the LB.

2.3.2.  Dual-stack Extended OS/Hypervisor

   Another option for deploying a infrastructure at the dual-stack stage
   would bring dual-stack much closer to the application servers, by
   requiring hypervisors, VMs and applications in the v6-capable zone of
   the DC to be able to operate in dual stack.  This way, incoming
   connections would be dealt in a seamless manner, while for outgoing
   ones an OS-specific replacement for system calls like gethostbyname()
   and getaddrinfo() would accept a character string (an IPv4 literal,
   an IPv6 literal, or a domain name) and would return a connected
   socket or an error message, having executed a happy eyeballs
   algorithm ([RFC6555]).

   If these hypothetical system call replacements were smart enough,
   they would allow the transparent interoperation of DCs with different
   levels of v6 penetration, either horizontal (internal data paths are
   not migrated, for example) or vertical (per tenant or service group).
   This approach requires, on the other hand, all the involved DC
   infrastructure to become dual-stack, as well as some degree of
   explicit application adaptation.

2.4.  IPv6-Only Stage. Pervasive IPv6 Infrastructure

   We can consider a DC infrastructure at the final stage when all
   network layer elements, including hypervisors, are IPv6-aware and
   apply it by default.  Conversely with the experimental stage, access
   from the IPv4 Internet is achieved, when required, by protocol
   translation performed at the edge infrastructure elements, or even
   supplied by the service provider as an additional network service.

   There are different drivers that could motivate DC managers to
   transition to this stage.  In principle the scarcity of IPv4
   addresses may require to reclaim IPv4 resources from portions of the
   network infrastructure which no longer need them.  Furthermore, the
   unavailability of IPv4 address would make dual-stack environments not
   possible anymore and careful assessments will be perfumed to asses
   where to use the remaining IPv4 resources.

   Another important motivation to move DC operations from dual-stack to
   IPv6-only is to save costs and operation activities that managing a

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   single-stack network could bring in comparison with managing two
   stacks.  Today, besides of learning to manage two different stacks,
   network and system administrators require to duplicate other tasks
   such as IP address management, firewalls configuration, system
   security hardening and monitoring among others.  These activities are
   not just costly for the DC management, they may also may lead to
   configuration errors and security holes.  In particular, a few
   activities have special impact on costs for dual-stacked

   o  Development.  When a new device or app version is released, it
      must be tested three times: IPv4, dual-stack, and IPv6-only.
      Though this does not imply a triple the effort once the
      development environment is set up, a general estimate is that it
      implies a 10% additional cost.

   o  Test.  Everything QA procedure must be performed at least twice
      and in many cases three times, with an estimate 10% incremental

   o  Operation and troubleshooting.  While for L1/L2 problems we would
      be talking of 1% incremental effort (in a few words, once ping6
      works, checking ping is very little effort), for L3 problems a
      rough estimate would an increment of 5%.

   o  Application development.  Many applications would require to keep
      two branches, with a 10-30% additional cost.  The estimate here
      implies a higher range, as applications cover a wide variety of

   o  Addition on new L3 devices, that should handle IPv4 and IPv6
      flows, and provide higher performance to deal with both at the
      same time.  It comes with a cost increment of 5-10%.

   o  Network management.  The incremental costs of managing two L3
      network plane would come at around a 10% incremental cost.

   In summary, a full dual-stack datacenter would come at an additional
   5-10% operating cost than a single-stack one.

   This stage can be also of interest for new deployments willing to
   apply a fresh start aligned with future IPv6 widespread usage, when a
   relevant amount of requests are expected to be using IPv6, or to take
   advantage of any of the potential benefits that an IPv6 support
   infrastructure can provide.  Other, and probably more compelling in
   many cases, drivers for this stage may be either a lack of enough
   IPv4 resources (whether private or globally unique) or a need to
   reclaim IPv4 resources from portions of the network which no longer

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   need them.  In these circumstances, a careful evaluation of what
   still needs to speak IPv4 and what does not will need to happen to
   ensure judicious use of the remaining IPv4 resources.

   The potential advantages mentioned for the previous stages (load
   distribution based on flow labels, mobility mechanisms for transient
   states in VM or data migration, controlled multicast, and better
   mapping of L2 flat space on L3 constructs) can be applied at any
   layer, even especially tailored for individual services.  Obviously,
   the need for a careful planning of address space is even stronger
   here, though the centralized protocol translation services should
   reduce the risk of translation errors causing disruptions or security

   [V6DCS] proposes an approach to a next generation DC deployment,
   already demonstrated in practice, and claims the advantages of
   materializing the stage from the beginning, providing some rationale
   for it based on simplifying the transition process.  It relies on
   stateless NAT64 ([RFC6052], [RFC6145]) to enable access from the IPv4

2.4.1.  Overlay and Chaining Support

   A DC infrastructure in this final stage is in the position of
   providing a much better support to requirements that have been
   recently formulated, mostly in the scope of other recently created
   IETF working groups.

   In particular, support for highly scalable VPN and multi-tenancy
   according to the key requirements defined in

   o  Traffic isolation, so that a tenant's traffic is not visible to
      any other tenant.

   o  Address independence, so that one tenant's addressing scheme does
      not collide with other tenant's addressing schemes or with
      addresses used within the data center itself.

   o  Support the placement and migration of VMs anywhere within the
      data center, without being limited by DC network constraints such
      as the IP subnet boundaries of the underlying DC network.

   With a pervasive IPv6 infrastructure, these goals can be achieved by
   means of native addressing and direct interaction of the applications
   with the network infrastructure of the datacenter, and across
   multiple datacenters connected via WAN links.  Virtual networks can
   be constructed by a natural consequence of addressing rules, traffic

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   isolation guaranteed by routing mechanisms, and migration directly
   supported by signaling protocols.

   On the other hand, service chaining is consolidating as a technique
   for dynamically structuring network services, adapting them to user
   requirements, provider policies, and network state.  In this model,
   service functions, whether physical or virtualized, are not required
   to reside on the direct data path and traffic is instead steered
   through required service functions, wherever they are deployed

   Service function chaining requires packets in a given flow intended
   to follow a particular path to be tagged by a classifier, so
   intermediate service nodes in the path can route them accordingly.
   The usage of flow labels can greatly simplify this classification and
   allow a much simpler deployment of service function chains.
   Furthermore, it offers much richer possibilities for network
   architects building chains and paths inside them as well as to
   application developers willing to get advantage of service chaining,
   since it provides the possibility of providing rich metadata for any
   given flow, in a generalization of the use cases described in
   [RFC6294] and [RFC7098].

2.5.  Other Operational Considerations

   In this section we review some operation considerations related
   addressing and management issues in V6 DC infrastructure.

2.5.1.  Addressing

   There are different considerations related on IPv6 addressing topics
   in DC.  Many of these considerations are already documented in a
   variety of IETF documents and in general the recommendations and best
   practices mentioned on them apply in IPv6 DC environments.  However
   we would like to point out some topics that we consider important to

   The first question that DC managers often have is the type of IPv6
   address to use; that is Provider Aggregated (PA), Provider
   Independent (PI) or Unique Local IPv6 Addresses (ULAs) [RFC4193]
   Related to the use of PA vs. PI, we concur with [RFC6883] and
   [I-D.ietf-v6ops-enterprise-incremental-ipv6] that PI provides
   independence from the ISP and decreases renumbering issues, it may
   bring up other considerations as a fee for the allocation, a request
   process and allocation maintenance to the Regional Internet Registry,
   etc.  In this respect, there is not a specific recommendation to use
   either PI vs. PA as it would depend also on business and management
   factors rather than pure technical.

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   ULAs should be used only in DC infrastructure that does not require
   access to the public Internet; such devices may be databases servers,
   application-servers, and management interfaces of webservers and
   network devices among others.  This practice may decrease the
   renumbering issues when PA addressing is used, as only public faced
   devices would require an address change.  Also we would like to know
   that although ULAs may provide some security the main motivation for
   it used should be address management.

   Another topic to discuss is the length of prefixes within the DC.  In
   general we recommend the use of subnets of 64 bits for each VLAN or
   network segment used in the DC.  Although subnet with prefixes longer
   than 64 bits may work, it is necessary that the reader understands
   that this may break stateless autoconfiguration and at least manual
   configuration must be employed.  For details please read [RFC5375].

   Address plans should follow the principles of being hierarchical and
   able to aggregate address space.  We recommend at least to have a /48
   for each data-center.  If the DC provides services that require
   subassigment of address space we do not offer a single recommendation
   (i.e. request a /40 prefix from an RIR or ISP and assign /48 prefixes
   to customers), as this may depend on other no technical factors.
   Instead we refer the reader to [RFC6177].

   For point-to-point links please refer to the recommendations in

2.5.2.  Management Systems and Applications

   Data-centers may use Internet Protocol address management (IPAM)
   software, provisioning systems and other variety of software to
   document and operate.  It is important that these systems are
   prepared and possibly modified to support IPv6 in their data models.
   In general, if IPv6 support for these applications has not been
   previously done, changes may take sometime as they may be not just
   adding more space in input fields but also modifying data models and
   data migration.

2.5.3.  Monitoring and Logging

   Monitoring and logging are critical operations in any network
   environment and they should be carried at the same level for IPv6 and
   IPv4.  Monitoring and management operations in V6 DC are by no means
   different than any other IPv6 networks environments.  It is important
   to consider that the collection of information from network devices
   is orthogonal to the information collected.  For example it is
   possible to collect data from IPv6 MIBs using IPv4 transport.
   Similarly it is possible to collect IPv6 data generated by Netflow9/

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   IPFIX agents in IPv4 transport.  In this way the important issue to
   address is that agents (i.e. network devices) are able to collect
   data specific to IPv6.

   And as final note on monitoring, although IPv6 MIBs are supported by
   SNMP versions 1 and 2, we recommend to use SNMP version 3 instead.

2.5.4.  Costs

   It is very possible that moving from a single stack data-center
   infrastructure to any of the IPv6 stages described in this document
   may incur in capital expenditures.  This may include but it is not
   confined to routers, load-balancers, firewalls and software upgrades
   among others.  However the cost that most concern us is operational.
   Moving the DC infrastructure operations from a single-stack to a
   dual-stack may infer in a variety of extra costs such as application
   development and testing, operational troubleshooting and service
   deployment.  At the same time, this extra cost may be seeing as
   saving when moving from a dual-stack DC to an IPv6-Only DC.

   Depending of the complexity of the DC network, provisioning and other
   factors we estimate that the extra costs (and later savings) may be
   around between 15 to 20%.

2.6.  Security Considerations

   A thorough collection of operational security aspects for IPv6
   network is made in [I-D.ietf-opsec-v6].  Most of them, with the
   probable exception of those specific to residential users, are
   applicable in the environment we consider in this document.

2.6.1.  Neighbor Discovery Protocol attacks

   The first important issue that V6 DC manager should be aware is the
   attacks against Neighbor Discovery Protocol [RFC6583].  This attack
   is similar to ARP attacks [RFC4732] in IPv4 but exacerbated by the
   fact that the common size of an IPv6 subnet is /64.  In principle an
   attacker would be able to fill the Neighbor Cache of the local router
   and starve its memory and processing resources by sending multiple ND
   packets requesting information of non-existing hosts.  The result
   would be the inability of the router to respond to ND requests, to
   update its Neighbor Cache and even to forward packets.  The attack
   does need to be launched with malicious purposes; it could be just
   the result of bad stack implementation behavior.

   R[RFC6583] mentions some options to mitigate the effects of the
   attacks against NDP.  For example filtering unused space, minimizing
   subnet size when possible, tuning rate limits in the NDP queue and to

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   rely in router vendor implementations to better handle resources and
   to prioritize NDP requests.

2.6.2.  Addressing

   Other important security considerations in V6 DC are related to
   addressing.  Because of the large address space is commonly thought
   that IPv6 is not vulnerable to reconnaissance techniques such as
   scanning.  Although that may be true to force brute attacks,
   [I-D.ietf-opsec-ipv6-host-scanning] shows some techniques that may be
   employed to speed up and improve results in order to discover IPv6
   address in a subnet.  The use of virtual machines and SLACC aggravate
   this problem due the fact that they tent to use automatically-
   generated MAC address well known patterns.

   To mitigate address-scanning attacks it is recommended to avoid using
   SLAAC and if used stable privacy-enhanced addresses
   [I-D.ietf-6man-stable-privacy-addresses] should be the method of
   address generation.  Also, for manually assigned addresses try to
   avoid IID low-byte address (i.e. from 0 to 256), IPv4-based addresses
   and wordy addresses especially for infrastructure without a fully
   qualified domain name.

   In spite of the use of manually assigned addresses is the preferred
   method for V6 DC, SLACC and DHCPv6 may be also used for some special
   reasons.  However we recommend paying special attention to RA
   [RFC6104] and DHCP [I-D.ietf-opsec-dhcpv6-shield] hijack attacks.  In
   these kinds of attacks the attacker deploys rogue routers sending RA
   messages or rogue DHCP servers to inject bogus information and
   possibly to perform a man in the middle attack.  In order to mitigate
   this problem it is necessary to apply some techniques in access
   switches such as RA-Guard [RFC6105] at least.

   Another topic that we would like to mention related to addressing is
   the use of ULAs.  As we previously mentioned, although ULAs may be
   used to hide host from the outside world we do not recommend to rely
   on them as a security tool but better as a tool to make renumbering

2.6.3.  Edge filtering

   In order to avoid being used as a source of amplification attacks is
   it important to follow the rules of BCP38 on ingress filtering.  At
   the same time it is important to filter-in on the network border all
   the unicast traffic and routing announcement that should not be
   routed in the Internet, commonly known as "bogus prefixes".

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2.6.4.  Final Security Remarks

   Finally, let us just emphasize the need for careful configuration of
   access control rules at the translation points.  This latter one is
   specially sensitive in infrastructures at the dual-stack stage, as
   the translation points are potentially distributed, and when protocol
   translation is offered as an external service, since there can be
   operational mismatches.

2.7.  IANA Considerations


2.8.  Acknowledgements

   We would like to thank Tore Anderson, Wes George, Ray Hunter, Joel
   Jaeggli, Fred Baker, Lorenzo Colitti, Dan York, Carlos Martinez, Lee
   Howard, Alejandro Acosta, Alexis Munoz, Nicolas Fiumarelli, Santiago
   Aggio and Hans Velez for their questions, suggestions, reviews and

3.  Informative References

              Gont, F., "A Method for Generating Semantically Opaque
              Interface Identifiers with IPv6 Stateless Address
              Autoconfiguration (SLAAC)",
              draft-ietf-6man-stable-privacy-addresses-17 (work in
              progress), January 2014.

              Narten, T., Gray, E., Black, D., Fang, L., Kreeger, L.,
              and M. Napierala, "Problem Statement: Overlays for Network
              draft-ietf-nvo3-overlay-problem-statement-04 (work in
              progress), July 2013.

              Gont, F., Will, W., and G. Velde, "DHCPv6-Shield:
              Protecting Against Rogue DHCPv6 Servers",
              draft-ietf-opsec-dhcpv6-shield-02 (work in progress),
              February 2014.

              Gont, F. and T. Chown, "Network Reconnaissance in IPv6
              Networks", draft-ietf-opsec-ipv6-host-scanning-03 (work in
              progress), January 2014.

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              Chittimaneni, K., Kaeo, M., and E. Vyncke, "Operational
              Security Considerations for IPv6 Networks",
              draft-ietf-opsec-v6-04 (work in progress), October 2013.

              Quinn, P. and T. Nadeau, "Service Function Chaining
              Problem Statement", draft-ietf-sfc-problem-statement-00
              (work in progress), January 2014.

              Chittimaneni, K., Chown, T., Howard, L., Kuarsingh, V.,
              Pouffary, Y., and E. Vyncke, "Enterprise IPv6 Deployment
              draft-ietf-v6ops-enterprise-incremental-ipv6-05 (work in
              progress), January 2014.

              Sun, Q., Liu, D., Zhao, Q., Liu, Q., Xie, C., Li, X., and
              J. Qin, "Rapid Transition of IPv4 contents to be IPv6-
              accessible", draft-sunq-v6ops-contents-transition-03 (work
              in progress), March 2012.

   [RFC4193]  Hinden, R. and B. Haberman, "Unique Local IPv6 Unicast
              Addresses", RFC 4193, October 2005.

   [RFC4732]  Handley, M., Rescorla, E., and IAB, "Internet Denial-of-
              Service Considerations", RFC 4732, December 2006.

   [RFC5375]  Van de Velde, G., Popoviciu, C., Chown, T., Bonness, O.,
              and C. Hahn, "IPv6 Unicast Address Assignment
              Considerations", RFC 5375, December 2008.

   [RFC6052]  Bao, C., Huitema, C., Bagnulo, M., Boucadair, M., and X.
              Li, "IPv6 Addressing of IPv4/IPv6 Translators", RFC 6052,
              October 2010.

   [RFC6104]  Chown, T. and S. Venaas, "Rogue IPv6 Router Advertisement
              Problem Statement", RFC 6104, February 2011.

   [RFC6105]  Levy-Abegnoli, E., Van de Velde, G., Popoviciu, C., and J.
              Mohacsi, "IPv6 Router Advertisement Guard", RFC 6105,
              February 2011.

   [RFC6145]  Li, X., Bao, C., and F. Baker, "IP/ICMP Translation
              Algorithm", RFC 6145, April 2011.

   [RFC6164]  Kohno, M., Nitzan, B., Bush, R., Matsuzaki, Y., Colitti,

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              L., and T. Narten, "Using 127-Bit IPv6 Prefixes on Inter-
              Router Links", RFC 6164, April 2011.

   [RFC6177]  Narten, T., Huston, G., and L. Roberts, "IPv6 Address
              Assignment to End Sites", BCP 157, RFC 6177, March 2011.

   [RFC6294]  Hu, Q. and B. Carpenter, "Survey of Proposed Use Cases for
              the IPv6 Flow Label", RFC 6294, June 2011.

   [RFC6555]  Wing, D. and A. Yourtchenko, "Happy Eyeballs: Success with
              Dual-Stack Hosts", RFC 6555, April 2012.

   [RFC6583]  Gashinsky, I., Jaeggli, J., and W. Kumari, "Operational
              Neighbor Discovery Problems", RFC 6583, March 2012.

   [RFC6883]  Carpenter, B. and S. Jiang, "IPv6 Guidance for Internet
              Content Providers and Application Service Providers",
              RFC 6883, March 2013.

   [RFC7098]  Carpenter, B., Jiang, S., and W. Tarreau, "Using the IPv6
              Flow Label for Load Balancing in Server Farms", RFC 7098,
              January 2014.

   [V6DCS]    "The case for IPv6-only data centres", <https://

Authors' Addresses

   Diego R. Lopez
   Telefonica I+D
   Don Ramon de la Cruz, 84
   Madrid  28006

   Phone: +34 913 129 041
   Email: diego@tid.es

   Zhonghua Chen
   China Telecom

   Email: 18918588897@189.cn

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   Tina Tsou
   Huawei Technologies (USA)
   2330 Central Expressway
   Santa Clara, CA  95050

   Phone: +1 408 330 4424
   Email: Tina.Tsou.Zouting@huawei.com

   Cathy Zhou
   Huawei Technologies
   Bantian, Longgang District
   Shenzhen  518129
   P.R. China

   Email: cathy.zhou@huawei.com

   Arturo Servin
   Rambla Republica de Mexico 6125
   Montevideo  11300

   Phone: +598 2604 2222
   Email: aservin@lacnic.net

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