[Docs] [txt|pdf] [Tracker] [Email] [Nits]

Versions: 00 01 02 draft-ietf-avt-rtp-framing-contrans

INTERNET-DRAFT                                              John Lazzaro
January 16, 2003                                             CS Division
Expires: July 16, 2003                                       UC Berkeley


    Framing RTP and RTCP Packets over Connection-Oriented Transport

            <draft-lazzaro-avt-rtp-framing-contrans-00.txt>


Status of this Memo

This document is an Internet-Draft and is subject to all provisions of
Section 10 of RFC2026.

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-Drafts.

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
http://www.ietf.org/1id-abstracts.html

The list of Internet-Draft Shadow Directories can be accessed at
http://www.ietf.org/shadow.html

                                Abstract

     This memo defines a method for framing Real Time Protocol (RTP) and
     Real Time Control Protocol (RTCP) packets onto connection-oriented
     transport (such as TCP and TLS). We show how a session description
     may specify the use of the framing method. We also show how to use
     the framing method with the Real Time Streaming Protocol (RTSP).














Lazzaro                                                         [Page 1]


INTERNET-DRAFT                                          16 January 2003


1. Introduction

The Audio/Video Profile (AVP, [1]) for the Real-Time Protocol (RTP, [2])
does not define a method for framing RTP and Real Time Control Protocol
(RTCP) packets onto connection-oriented transport protocols (such as TCP
and TLS).  However, earlier versions of [1] did define a framing method,
and this method is in use in several implementations.

In this memo, we document this framing method. We show how a session
description [4] may specify the use of the framing method, and show how
to use the framing method with the Real Time Streaming Protocol (RTSP,
[5]).


2. The Framing Method

Figure 1 defines the framing method. A 16-bit unsigned integer LENGTH
field, coded in network byte order (big-endian), begins the frame.


 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
 ---------------------------------------------------------------
|             LENGTH            |  RTP or RTCP packet ...       |
 ---------------------------------------------------------------


     Figure 1 -- The bitfield definition of the framing method


If LENGTH is non-zero, an RTP or RTCP packet follows the LENGTH field.
The value coded in the LENGTH field MUST equal the number of octets in
the RTP or RTCP packet. Zero is a valid value for LENGTH, and codes the
null packet.

This framing method does not use frame markers (i.e. an octet of
constant value that would precede the LENGTH field). Frame markers are
useful for detecting errors in the LENGTH field. In lieu of a frame
marker, receivers SHOULD monitor the RTP and RTCP header fields whose
values are predictable (for example, the RTP version number).











Lazzaro                                                         [Page 2]


INTERNET-DRAFT                                          16 January 2003


3. Undefined Properties

The framing method does not specify properties above the level of a
single packet. In particular, Section 2 does not specify:

  o  The number of RTP or RTCP streams on the connection. The
     framing method is commonly used for sending a single
     RTP or RTCP stream over a connection. However, Section
     2 does not define this common use as normative, so that
     (for example) a memo that defines an RTP SSRC multiplexing
     protocol may use the framing method.

  o  Bi-directional issues. Section 2 defines a framing method
     for use in one direction on a connection. The relationship
     between framed packets flowing in defined direction and in
     the reverse direction is not specified.

  o  Packet loss and reordering. The reliable nature of a
     connection does not imply that a framed RTP stream
     has a contiguous sequence number ordering. For example,
     if the connection is used to tunnel a UDP stream through
     a network middlebox that only passes TCP, the sequence
     numbers in the framed stream reflect any packet loss or
     reordering on the UDP portion of the end-to-end flow.

  o  Out-of-band semantics. Section 2 does not define the RTP
     or RTCP semantics for closing a TCP socket, or of any
     other "out of band" signal for the connection.

Memos that normatively include the framing method MAY specify these
properties.




















Lazzaro                                                         [Page 3]


INTERNET-DRAFT                                          16 January 2003


4. Session Descriptions for RTP/AVP over TCP or TLS

[3] defines how to specify connection-oriented media streams in session
descriptions. In this section, we show how to use [3] with the framing
method.

Figure 2 shows the syntax of a media (m=) line [4] of a session
description:


      "m=" media SP port ["/" integer] SP proto 1*(SP fmt) CRLF


       Figure 2 -- Syntax for an SDP media (m=) line (from [4]).


[3] defines "TCP" and "TLS" as the <proto> tokens that specify TCP or
TLS transport. We now define how to specify that an RTP/AVP stream that
uses the framing method appears on the TCP or TLS connection.

At least two <fmt> tokens MUST follow <proto>. The first <fmt> token
MUST be the constant "RTP/AVP".  Subsequent <fmt> tokens MUST be unique
unsigned integers in the range 0 to 127, that specify an RTP payload
type associated with the stream.



























Lazzaro                                                         [Page 4]


INTERNET-DRAFT                                          16 January 2003


The session descriptions in Figure 3 and Figure 4 show how to apply this
<fmt> syntax definition.


v=0
o=first 2520644554 2838152170 IN IP4 first.example.net
s=Example
t=0 0
c=IN IP4 192.0.2.105
m=audio 9 TCP RTP/AVP 11
a=direction:active

       Figure 3 -- TCP session description for first participant.


v=0
o=second 2520644554 2838152170 IN IP4 second.example.net
s=Example
t=0 0
c=IN IP4 192.0.2.94
m=audio 16112 TCP RTP/AVP 10 11
a=direction:passive

       Figure 4 -- TCP session description for second participant.


Figures 3 and 4 define two parties that participate in a connection-
oriented RTP/AVP session. The first party (Figure 3) is capable of
receiving stereo L16 streams (static payload type 11, as defined in
[1]). The second party (Figure 4) is capable of receiving mono (static
payload type 10, as defined in [1]) or stereo L16 streams.

[3] defines procedures for initiating TCP and TLS connections at the
start of a session. Session descriptions may use the "direction"
attribute to customize these procedures.

For example, the direction attribute in Figure 3 specifies that the
first party is an "active" party that initiates TCP connections. The
direction attribute in Figure 4 specifies that the second party is a
"passive" party that accepts TCP connections. In the example, the first
party connects to the network address (192.0.2.94) and port (16112) of
the second party. Once the connection is established, it is used bi-
directionally: each party sends and receives on the connection.








Lazzaro                                                         [Page 5]


INTERNET-DRAFT                                          16 January 2003


We now normatively define the RTP/AVP semantics for the port information
on media lines that use TCP or TLS <proto> tokens:

   The connection a receiver accepts on the port specified on
   the media line exclusively carries RTP packets.

   If a media stream uses RTCP, a second connection exclusively
   carries RTCP packets.

   The port number on which the receiver accepts a connection for
   RTCP is chosen using the algorithms defined in [4] and related
   documents. These algorithms may use the RTP port number as a
   parameter.

In our example, the first party initiates a TCP connection to port 16112
of the second party. Once the connection is established, the first party
sends framed RTP packets to the second party on one direction of the
connection, and the second party sends framed RTP packets to the first
party in the other direction of the connection.

In addition, the first party initiates an RTCP TCP connection to port
16113 (16112 + 1, as defined in [4]) of the second party. Once the
connection is established, the first party sends framed RTCP packets to
the second party on one direction of the connection, and the second
party sends framed RTCP packets to the first party in the other
direction of the connection.

To conclude this session, we revisit the list of undefined framing
properties in Section 3. For each property, we define the normative
semantics when used with [3].

  o  The number of RTP or RTCP streams on the connection. The
     connection carries RTP or RTCP packets for the streams
     defined on the media lines associated with the connection.

  o  Bi-directional issues. Both directions of a connection
     carry the same type of packets (RTP or RTCP).

  o  Packet loss and reordering. An RTP stream has a
     contiguous sequence number ordering. Packets in an
     RTCP stream are never "lost", and appear in the order
     defined in [2].

  o  Out-of-band semantics. As defined in [3].







Lazzaro                                                         [Page 6]


INTERNET-DRAFT                                          16 January 2003


5. RTP/AVP streams over TCP or TLS in RTSP.

The Real Time Streaming Protocol (RTSP, [5]) is a session management
tool for content streaming applications. RTSP defines the SETUP method,
that clients and servers may use to agree on the network transport for
an RTP/AVP media stream.

The SETUP method provides a way to specify that a TCP connection will be
established to carry an RTP/AVP stream. To specify this behavior in a
SETUP request or reply, the "transport-spec" parameter on the Transport
line should be set to "RTP/AVP/TCP", and the "interleaved" parameter
should NOT present on the Transport line.

However, [5] does not define operational details for this mode of
operation. Below, we define semantics for using the framing method with
RTSP.


  o The Transport line parameters "destination" and "source" indicate
    the network addresses on which the client (destination) and server
    (source) are willing to accept a TCP connection.

  o The Transport line parameter "client_port" codes the port on
    which a client wishes to accept a TCP connection that carries
    RTP packets. The Transport line parameter "server_port" codes
    the port on which a server wishes to accept a TCP connection
    that carries RTP packets. The discard port value (9) codes an
    unwillingness to accept connections.

  o The Transport line parameter "client_rtcp_port" codes the port
    on which a client wishes to accept a TCP connection that carries
    RTCP packets. The Transport line parameter "server_rtcp_port"
    codes the port on which a server wishes to accept a TCP connection
    that carries RTCP packets. The discard port value (9) codes an
    unwillingness to accept connections. If client_rtcp_port and
    server_rtcp_port are not present on the Transport line, the
    stream does not use RTCP.

  o The semantics for establishing connections follow [3]. If
    both client_port and server_port parameter values are not 9,
    the semantics of the "both" direction attribute [3] apply.
    Otherwise, the party whose port is set to 9 follows the
    semantics of the "active" direction attribute, and the
    party whose port it not set to 9 follows the semantics
    of the "passive" direction attribute. The semantics for
    client_rtcp_port and server_rtcp_port work in the same way.





Lazzaro                                                         [Page 7]


INTERNET-DRAFT                                          16 January 2003


Once an RTP TCP connection is established, the server uses the framing
method to send RTP packets over the connection to the server. If two RTP
TCP connections are inadvertently established, server and client follow
the instructions in [3] to manage the two connections.

If RTCP is in use, once the RTCP TCP connection is established, the
server and client use the framing method to exchange RTCP packets over
the connection. If two RTCP TCP connections are inadvertently
established, server and client follow the instructions in [3] to manage
the two connections.

The undefined framing properties (Section 3) for these connections
follow the properties defined in Section 4 for use with [3].


6. Congestion Control

Applications that send RTP/AVP streams over UDP transport have a
responsibility to implement congestion control, in order to protect the
network. Applications are relieved of this responsibility for RTP/AVP
streams framed on connection-oriented transport, as the transport
implements its own congestion control.

However, apart from responsibility issues, senders SHOULD implement RTP
congestion control over connection-oriented transport, in order to
improve the quality of the received media stream under adverse network
conditions.


7. Security Considerations

Attackers may send framed packets with large LENGTH values, to exploit
security holes in applications. For example, a C implementation may
declare a 1500-byte array as a stack variable, and use LENGTH as the
bound on the loop that reads the framed packet into the array. This code
would work fine for friendly applications that use Etherframe-sized RTP
packets, but may be open to exploit by an attacker.


8. Acknowledgements

This memo, in part, documents discussions on the AVT mailing list about
TCP and RTP. Thanks to all of the participants in these discussions.








Lazzaro                                                         [Page 8]


INTERNET-DRAFT                                          16 January 2003


Appendix A. Normative References

[1] H. Schulzrinne and S. Casner. RTP Profile for Audio and Video
Conferences with Minimal Control. Work in progress,
draft-ietf-avt-profile-new-12.txt.

[2] H. Schulzrinne, S. Casner, R. Frederick, and V. Jacobson. RTP: A
transport protocol for real-time applications. Work in progress,
draft-ietf-avt-rtp-new-11.txt.

[3] D. Yon. Connection-Oriented Media Transport in SDP.
<draft-ietf-mmusic-sdp-comedia-04.txt>.

[4] M. Handley, V. Jacobson and C. Perkins. SDP: Session Description
Protocol. Work in progress, draft-ietf-mmusic-sdp-new-10.txt.

[5] H. Schulzrinne, A. Rao, and R. Lanphier. Real Time Streaming
Protocol (RTSP). Work in progress,
draft-ietf-mmusic-rfc2326bis-00.txt.


Appendix A. Author Address

John Lazzaro
UC Berkeley
CS Division
315 Soda Hall
Berkeley CA 94720-1776
Email: lazzaro@cs.berkeley.edu






















Lazzaro                                                         [Page 9]


Html markup produced by rfcmarkup 1.129d, available from https://tools.ietf.org/tools/rfcmarkup/