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Versions: 00 01 02 draft-ietf-alto-incr-update-sse

ALTO WG                                                         W. Roome
Internet-Draft                                            Alcatel-Lucent
Intended status: Standards Track                                  X. Shi
Expires: September 9, 2015                               Yale University
                                                                 Y. Yang
                                                  Tongji/Yale University
                                                           March 8, 2015


        ALTO Incremental Updates Using Server-Sent Events (SSE)
                  draft-roome-alto-incr-update-sse-02

Abstract

   The Application-Layer Traffic Optimization (ALTO) [RFC7285] protocol
   provides network related information to client applications so that
   clients may make informed decisions.  To that end, an ALTO Server
   provides Network and Cost Maps.  Using those maps, an ALTO Client can
   determine the costs between endpoints.

   However, the ALTO protocol does not define a mechanism to allow a
   client to obtain updates to those maps, other than by periodically
   re-fetching them.  Because the maps may be large (potentially tens of
   megabytes), and because only parts of the maps may change frequently
   (especially Cost Maps), that can be extremely inefficient.

   Therefore this document presents a mechanism to allow an ALTO Server
   to provide updates to ALTO Clients.  Updates can be both immediate,
   in that the server can send updates as soon as they are available,
   and incremental, in that if only a small section of a map changes,
   the server can send just the changes.

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].

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/.




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   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 September 9, 2015.

Copyright Notice

   Copyright (c) 2015 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.

Table of Contents

   1.  Introduction  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   3
   2.  Overview of Approach  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   4
   3.  Update Events . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   5
     3.1.  Overview of SSEs  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   5
     3.2.  ALTO Update Events  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   6
     3.3.  Keep-Alive Messages . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   7
   4.  Incremental Update Message Format . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   7
     4.1.  Overview of JSON Merge Patch  . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   7
     4.2.  JSON Merge Patch Applied to Network Map Messages  . . . .   8
     4.3.  JSON Merge Patch Applied to Cost Map Messages . . . . . .  10
   5.  Update Stream Service . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  11
     5.1.  Media Type  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  11
     5.2.  HTTP Method . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  11
     5.3.  Accept Input Parameters . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  11
     5.4.  Capabilities  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  13
     5.5.  Uses  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  13
     5.6.  Response  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  14
       5.6.1.  Event Sequence Requirements . . . . . . . . . . . . .  14
       5.6.2.  Cross-Stream Consistency Requirements . . . . . . . .  14
     5.7.  Example: Simple Network and Cost Map Updates  . . . . . .  15
     5.8.  Example: Advanced Network and Cost Map Updates  . . . . .  16
     5.9.  Example: Endpoint Property Updates  . . . . . . . . . . .  17
   6.  Client Actions When Receiving Update Messages . . . . . . . .  19
   7.  IRD Example . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  20



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   8.  Design Decisions and Discussions  . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  21
     8.1.  HTTP2 Server-Push . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  21
     8.2.  Not Allowing Stream Restart . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  21
     8.3.  Is Incremental Update Useful for Network Maps?  . . . . .  22
     8.4.  Other Incremental Update Message Types  . . . . . . . . .  23
   9.  Security Considerations . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  24
   10. IANA Considerations . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  24
   11. References  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  25
   Authors' Addresses  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  26

1.  Introduction

   The Application-Layer Traffic Optimization (ALTO) [RFC7285] protocol
   provides network related information to client applications so that
   clients may make informed decisions.  To that end, an ALTO Server
   provides Network and Cost Maps, where a Network Map partitions the
   set of endpoints into a manageable number of Provider-Defined
   Identifiers (PIDs), and a Cost Map provides directed costs between
   PIDs.  Given Network and Cost Maps, an ALTO Client can obtain costs
   between endpoints by using the Network Map to get the PID for each
   endpoint, and then using the Cost Map to get the costs between those
   PIDs.

   However, the ALTO protocol does not define a mechanism to allow a
   client to obtain updates to those maps, other than by periodically
   re-fetching them.  Because the maps may be large (potentially tens of
   megabytes), and because parts of the maps may change frequently
   (especially Cost Maps), that can be extremely inefficient.

   Therefore this document presents a mechanism to allow an ALTO Server
   to provide updates to ALTO Clients.  Updates can be both immediate,
   in that the server can send updates as soon as they are available,
   and incremental, in that if only a small section of a map changes,
   the server can send just the changes.

   While primarily intended to provide updates to Network and Cost Maps,
   the mechanism defined in this document can provide updates to any
   ALTO resource, including POST-mode services such as Endpoint Property
   and Endpoint Cost Services, as well as new ALTO services to be
   defined by future extensions.

   The rest of this document is organized as follows.  Section 2 gives
   an overview of the incremental update approach, which is based on
   Server-Sent Events (SSEs).  Section 3 defines the update events, and
   Section 4 defines the format of the incremental update messages.
   Section 5 defines the new Update Stream Service, Section 6 describes
   how a client should handle incoming updates, and Section 7 gives an
   example of the Information Resource Directory (IRD) for an ALTO



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   Server that offers a comprehensive set of Update Services.  Section 8
   discusses the design decisions behind this update mechanism.  The
   remaining sections review the security and IANA considerations.

2.  Overview of Approach

   This section presents a non-normative overview of the update
   mechanism.

   An ALTO Server can offer one or more Update Stream resources.  An
   Update Stream is a POST-mode service that returns a continuous
   sequence of update messages for one or more ALTO resources.  An
   Update Stream can provide updates to both GET-mode resources, such as
   Network and Cost Maps, and POST-mode resources, such as Endpoint
   Property Services.

   Each update message updates one resource, and is sent as a Server-
   Sent Event (SSE), as defined by [SSE].  An update message is either a
   full replacement or else an incremental change.  Full replacement
   updates use the JSON message formats defined by the ALTO protocol.
   Incremental updates use JSON Merge Patch ([RFC7386]) to describe the
   changes to the resource.  The ALTO Server decides when to send update
   messages, and whether to send full replacements or incremental
   updates.  These decisions can vary from resource to resource and from
   update to update.

   An ALTO Server may offer any number of Update Stream resources, for a
   collection of the server's resources.  An ALTO Server's Information
   Resource Directory (IRD) defines the Update Stream resources, and
   declares the set of resources for which each Update Stream provides
   updates.  The server selects the resource set for each stream,
   although the set should be closed under the ALTO resource dependency
   relationship (i.e., the "uses" relationship).  Thus the Update Stream
   for a Cost Map should also provide updates for the Network Map upon
   which that Cost Map depends.

   When an ALTO Client requests an Update Stream resource, the client
   establishes a new persistent connection to the server.  The
   connection remains open, and the server continues to send updates,
   until either the client or the server closes it.  A client may
   request any number of Update Streams simultaneously.  Because each
   stream consumes resources on the server, a server may limit the
   number of open Update Streams, may close inactive streams, may
   provide Update Streams via other processors, or may require client
   authorization/authentication.






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3.  Update Events

3.1.  Overview of SSEs

   The following is a non-normative summary of Server-Sent Events
   (SSEs).  See [SSE] for the normative definition.

   Server-Sent Events enable a server to send new data to a client by
   "server-push".  The client establishes an HTTP ([RFC2616]) connection
   to the server, and keeps the connection open.  The server continually
   sends messages.  Messages are delimited by two new-lines (this is a
   slight simplification; see [SSE] for details).  Messages may contain
   three fields: event, id, and data.  All fields are strings as values.
   The data field may contain new-lines; the other two fields cannot.
   The event and id fields are optional.

   Figure 1 is a sample SSE stream, starting with the client request.
   The server sends three events and then closes the stream.  Note that
   the server may "chunk" the returned data (see [RFC2616]); for
   simplicity, we have omitted those details.

     GET /stream HTTP/1.1
     Host: example.com
     Accept: text/event-stream


     HTTP/1.1 200 OK
     Connection: keep-alive
     Content-Type: text/event-stream

     event: start
     id: 1
     data: hello there

     event: middle
     id: 2
     data: let's chat some more ...
     data: and more and more and ...

     event: end
     id: 3
     data: good bye

                      Figure 1: A Sample SSE stream.







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3.2.  ALTO Update Events

   In the events defined in this document, the data field is a JSON
   object.  That object is either a complete specification of an ALTO
   resource, or else a JSON Merge Patch object describing changes to
   apply to an ALTO resource.  We will refer to these as full-
   replacement and Merge Patch messages, respectively.  The data objects
   in full-replacement messages are defined by [RFC7285]; examples are
   Network and Cost Map messages.  The data objects in Merge Patch
   messages are defined by [RFC7386].

   To indicate whether the data is a full-replacement or a Merge Patch
   object, in our update messages, the SSE "event" field has two sub-
   fields: the resource-id of an ALTO resource, and the media-type of
   the JSON message in the data field.  The media-types for full-
   replacement messages are defined by [RFC7285], and include
   "application/alto-networkmap+json" for Network Map messages and
   "application/alto-costmap+json" for Cost Map messages.  The media-
   type for a JSON Merge Patch message is "application/merge-
   patch+json", and is defined by [RFC7386].  An extension document may
   introduce other media-types to indicate new types of update messages.

   Specifically, the two sub-fields of the event field are encoded as:

         resource-id , media-type

   Note that commas (character code 0x2c) are allowed in ALTO resource-
   ids, but not in media-type names.  Hence when parsing the SSE event
   field to obtain the two sub-fields, a client MUST split the string on
   the last comma.

   This document does not use the SSE "id" field.

   Figure 2 shows some examples of ALTO update events:

     event: my-network-map,application/alto-networkmap+json
     data: { ... full Network Map message ... }

     event: my-routingcost-map,application/alto-costmap+json
     data: { ... full Cost Map message ... }

     event: my-routingcost-map,application/merge-patch+json
     data: { ... Merge Patch update for the Cost Map ... }

                 Figure 2: Examples of ALTO update events.






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3.3.  Keep-Alive Messages

   An SSE event with an empty "event" field is a keep-alive message.  An
   ALTO Server MAY send keep-alive messages as needed.  An ALTO Client
   MUST ignore any keep-alive messages.

4.  Incremental Update Message Format

4.1.  Overview of JSON Merge Patch

   The following is a non-normative summary of JSON Merge Patch.  See
   [RFC7386] for the normative definition.

   JSON Merge Patch is intended to allow applications to update server
   resources via the HTTP PATCH method [RFC5789].  This document adopts
   the JSON Merge Patch message format to encode the changes, but uses a
   different transport mechanism.

   Informally, a Merge Patch object is a JSON data structure that
   defines how to transform one JSON value into another.  Merge Patch
   treats the two JSON values as trees of nested JSON Objects
   (dictionaries of name-value pairs), where the leaves are values other
   than JSON Objects (e.g., JSON Arrays, Strings, Numbers, etc.), and
   the path for each leaf is the sequence of keys leading to that leaf.
   When the second tree has a different value for a leaf at a path, or
   adds a new leaf, the Merge Patch tree has a leaf, at that path, with
   the new value.  When a leaf in the first tree does not exist in the
   seond tree, the Merge Patch tree has a leaf with a JSON "null" value.
   The Merge Patch tree does not have an entry for any leaf that has the
   same value in both versions.

   As a result, if all leaf values are simple scalars, JSON Merge Patch
   is a very efficient representation of the change.  It is less
   efficient when leaf values are arrays, because JSON Merge Patch
   replaces arrays in their entirety, even if only one entry changes.

   Formally, the process of applying a Merge Patch is defined by the
   following recursive algorithm, as specified in [RFC7386]:













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     define MergePatch(Target, Patch) {
       if Patch is an Object {
         if Target is not an Object {
           Target = {} # Ignore the contents and
                       # set it to an empty Object
         }
         for each Name/Value pair in Patch {
           if Value is null {
             if Name exists in Target {
               remove the Name/Value pair from Target
             }
           } else {
             Target[Name] = MergePatch(Target[Name], Value)
           }
         }
         return Target
       } else {
         return Patch
       }
     }

   Note that null as the value of a name/value pair will delete the
   element with "name" in the original JSON value.

4.2.  JSON Merge Patch Applied to Network Map Messages

   Section 11.2.1.6 of [RFC7285] defines the format of a Network Map
   message.  Here is a simple example:























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     {
       "meta" : {
         "vtag": {
           "resource-id" : "my-network-map",
           "tag" : "da65eca2eb7a10ce8b059740b0b2e3f8eb1d4785"
         }
       },
       "network-map" : {
         "PID1" : {
           "ipv4" : [ "192.0.2.0/24", "198.51.100.0/25" ]
         },
         "PID2" : {
           "ipv4" : [ "198.51.100.128/25" ]
         },
         "PID3" : {
           "ipv4" : [ "0.0.0.0/0" ],
           "ipv6" : [ "::/0" ]
         }
       }
     }

   When applied to that message, the following Merge Patch update
   message adds the ipv6 prefix "2000::/3" to "PID1", deletes "PID2",
   and assigns a new "tag" to the Network Map:

     {
       "meta" : {
         "vtag" : {
           "tag" : "a10ce8b059740b0b2e3f8eb1d4785acd42231bfe"
         }
       },
       "network-map": {
         "PID1" : {
           "ipv6" : [ "2000::/3" ]
         },
         "PID2" : null
       }
     }

   Here is the updated Network Map:











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     {
       "meta" : {
         "vtag": {
           "resource-id" : "my-network-map",
           "tag" : "a10ce8b059740b0b2e3f8eb1d4785acd42231bfe"
         }
       },
       "network-map" : {
         "PID1" : {
           "ipv4" : [ "192.0.2.0/24", "198.51.100.0/25" ],
           "ipv6" : [ "2000::/3" ]
         },
         "PID3" : {
           "ipv4" : [ "0.0.0.0/0" ],
           "ipv6" : [ "::/0" ]
         }
       }
     }

4.3.  JSON Merge Patch Applied to Cost Map Messages

   Section 11.2.3.6 of [RFC7285] defines the format of a Cost Map
   message.  Here is a simple example:

     {
       "meta" : {
         "dependent-vtags" : [
           {"resource-id": "my-network-map",
            "tag": "a10ce8b059740b0b2e3f8eb1d4785acd42231bfe"
           }
         ],
         "cost-type" : {
           "cost-mode"  : "numerical",
           "cost-metric": "routingcost"
         }
       },
       "cost-map" : {
         "PID1": { "PID1": 1,  "PID2": 5,  "PID3": 10 },
         "PID2": { "PID1": 5,  "PID2": 1,  "PID3": 15 },
         "PID3": { "PID1": 20, "PID2": 15  }
       }
     }

   The following Merge Patch message updates the example cost map so
   that PID1->PID2 is 9 instead of 5, PID3->PID1 is no longer available,
   and PID3->PID3 is now defined as 1:





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     {
       "cost-map" : {
         "PID1" : { "PID2" : 9 },
         "PID3" : { "PID1" : null, "PID3" : 1 }
       }
     }

   Here is the updated cost map:

     {
       "meta" : {
         "dependent-vtags" : [
           {"resource-id": "my-network-map",
            "tag": "a10ce8b059740b0b2e3f8eb1d4785acd42231bfe"
           }
         ],
         "cost-type" : {
           "cost-mode"  : "numerical",
           "cost-metric": "routingcost"
         }
       },
       "cost-map" : {
         "PID1": { "PID1": 1,  "PID2": 9,  "PID3": 10 },
         "PID2": { "PID1": 5,  "PID2": 1,  "PID3": 15 },
         "PID3": {             "PID2": 15, "PID3": 1  }
       }
     }

5.  Update Stream Service

   An Update Stream Service returns a stream of SSE messages, as defined
   in Section 3.2.

5.1.  Media Type

   The media type of an ALTO Update Stream resource is "text/event-
   stream".

5.2.  HTTP Method

   An ALTO Update Stream resource is requested using the HTTP POST
   method.

5.3.  Accept Input Parameters

   An ALTO Client supplies filtering parameters by specifying media type
   "application/alto-updatestreamparams+json" with an HTTP POST body
   containing a JSON object of type UpdateStreamReq, where:



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     object-map {
        ResourceID -> ResourceUpdateReq;
     } UpdateStreamReq;

     object {
        [String      tag;]
        [Boolean     incremental-updates;]
        [Object      input;]
     } ResourceUpdateReq;

   The keys are the resource-ids of the resources for which the client
   wants updates.  Each resource-id MUST be one of those in the Update
   Streams's "uses" list (see Section 5.5).  The ResourceUpdateReq
   values give additional parameters for the updates for each resource.

   If any resource-id is invalid, or is not associated with this Update
   Stream, the server MUST return an E_INVALID_FIELD_VALUE error
   response (see Section 8.5.2 of [RFC7285]), and MUST close the stream
   without sending any update events.

   If the client wants to receive updates for a resource, but does not
   need to set any of the sub-fields described below, the client MUST
   provide an entry for that resource-id whose value is an empty JSON
   Object (e.g., "{}").

   If the "incremental-updates" field for a resource-id is "true", the
   server MAY send incremental update events for this resource-id
   (assuming the server supports incremental updates for that resource;
   see Section 5.4).  If the "incremental-updates" field is "false", the
   ALTO Server MUST NOT send incremental update events for that
   resource.  In this case, whenever a change occurs, the server MUST
   send a full-replacement update instead of an incremental update.  The
   ALTO Server SHOULD send the full-replacement message soon after the
   change, although the server MAY wait until more changes are
   available.  Thus an ALTO Client which declines to accept incremental
   updates may not get updates as quickly as a client which does.

   The default for "incremental-updates" is "true", so to suppress
   incremental updates, the client MUST explicitly set "incremental-
   updates" to "false".  Note that the client cannot suppress full-
   replacement update events.

   If the resource-id is a GET-mode resource with a version tag (or
   "vtag"), as defined in Sections 6.3 and 10.3 of [RFC7285], and if the
   client has already retrieved that resource from the server, the
   client MAY set the "tag" field to "tag" part of the resource's
   version tag.  If that version is still current, the ALTO Server MAY




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   omit sending a full replacement update at the start of the stream
   (see Section 5.6.1).

   If the resource-id is a POST-mode service that requires input, the
   client MUST set the "input" field to a JSON Object with the
   parameters that resource expects.  If the "input" field is missing or
   invalid, the ALTO Server MUST return the same error response that
   that resource would return for missing or invalid input (see
   [RFC7285]).  In this case, the server MUST close the Update Stream
   without sending any update events.  If the inputs for several POST-
   mode resources are missing or invalid, the server MUST pick one error
   response and return it.

5.4.  Capabilities

   The capabilities are defined by an object of type
   UpdateStreamCapabilities:

     object {
       IncrementalUpdateMediaTypes incremental-update-media-types;
     } UpdateStreamCapabilities;

     object-map {
        ResourceID -> String;
     } IncrementalUpdateMediaTypes;

   If this Update Stream can provide incremental update events for a
   resource, the "incremental-update-media-types" field has an entry for
   that resource-id, and the value is the media-type of the incremental
   update message.  Normally this will be "application/merge-
   patch+json", because, as described in Section 3.2, JSON Merge Patch
   is the only incremental update event type supported by this document.
   However future extensions may allow other types of incremental
   updates.

5.5.  Uses

   The "uses" attribute MUST be an array with the resource-ids of every
   resource for which this stream can provide updates.

   This set can include any subset of the resources proved by the ALTO
   Server, and may include resources defined in linked IRDs.  However,
   it is RECOMMENDED that the ALTO Server select a set that is closed
   under the resource dependency relationship.  That is, if an Update
   Stream's "uses" set includes resource R1, and resource R1 depends on
   ("uses") resource R0, then the Update Stream's "uses" set should
   include R0 as well as R1.  For example, an Update Stream for a Cost




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   Map SHOULD also provide updates for the Network Map upon which that
   Cost Map depends.

5.6.  Response

   The response is a stream of SSE update events.  Section 3.2 defines
   the events, and [SSE] defines how they are encoded into a stream.

   There are additional requirements between events in the stream, as
   described below.

5.6.1.  Event Sequence Requirements

   o  As soon as possible after the client initiates the connection, the
      ALTO Server MUST send a full-replacement update event for each
      resource-id requested by the client.  The only exception is for a
      GET-mode resource with a version tag: the server MAY omit the
      initial full-replacement event for that resource if the "tag"
      field the client provided for that resource-id matches the tag of
      the server's current version.

   o  If this stream provides updates for resource-ids R0 and R1, and if
      R1 depends on R0, then the ALTO Server MUST send the update for R0
      before sending the related update for R1.  For example, suppose a
      stream provides updates to a Network Map and its dependent Cost
      Maps.  When the Network Map changes, the ALTO Server MUST send the
      Network Map update before sending the Cost Map updates.

   o  If this stream provides updates for resource-ids R0 and R1, and if
      R1 depends on R0, then the ALTO Server SHOULD send an update for
      R1 as soon as possible after sending the update for R0.  For
      example, when a Network Map changes, the ALTO Server SHOULD send
      update events for the dependent Cost Maps as soon as possible
      after the update event for the Network Map.

5.6.2.  Cross-Stream Consistency Requirements

   If several distinct Update Stream resources offer updates for the
   same resource-id, the ALTO Server MUST send the same update data on
   all of those Update Streams.  Similarly, the server MUST send the
   same updates to all clients connected to the that stream.  However,
   the server MAY pack data items into different Merge Patch events, as
   long as the net result of applying those updates is the same.

   For example, suppose two different clients open the same Cost Map
   Update Stream, and suppose the ALTO Server processes three separate
   cost point updates with a brief pause between each update.  The
   server MUST send all three new cost points to both clients.  But the



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   server MAY send a single Merge Patch event (with all three cost
   points) to one client, while sending three separate Merge Patch
   events (with one cost point per event) to the other client.

5.7.  Example: Simple Network and Cost Map Updates

   Here is an example of a client's request and the server's immediate
   response, using the Update Stream resource "my-costs-update-stream"
   defined in the IRD in Section 7.  The client requests updates for the
   Network Map and "routingcost" Cost Map, but not for the "hopcount"
   Cost Map.  Because the client does not provide a "tag" for the
   Network Map, the server must send a full update for the Network Map
   as well as for the Cost Map.  The client does not set "incremental-
   updates" to "false", so it defaults to "true".  Thus server will send
   Merge Patch updates for the Cost Map, but not for the Network Map,
   because this Update Stream resource does not provide incremental
   updates for the Network Map.

   Note that the server may "chunk" the returned data (see [RFC2616]);
   for simplicity, we have omitted those details.

     POST /updates/costmaps HTTP/1.1
     Host: alto.example.com
     Accept: text/event-stream,application/alto-error+json
     Content-Type: application/alto-updatestreamparams+json
     Content-Length: ###

     { "my-network-map": {},
       "my-routingcost-map": {}
     }


     HTTP/1.1 200 OK
     Connection: keep-alive
     Content-Type: text/event-stream

     event: my-network-map,application/alto-networkmap+json
     data: { ... full Network Map message ... }

     event: my-routingcost-map,application/alto-costmap+json
     data: { ... full routinccost Cost Map message ... }

   After sending those two events immediately, the ALTO Server will send
   additional events as the maps change.  For example, the following
   represents a small change to the Cost Map:

     event: my-routingcost-map,application/merge-patch+json
     data: {"cost-map": {"PID1" : {"PID2" : 9}}}



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   If a major change to the Network Map occurs, the ALTO Server MAY
   choose to send full Network and Cost Map messages rather than Merge
   Patch messages:

     event: my-network-map,application/alto-networkmap+json
     data: { ... full Network Map message ... }

     event: my-routingcost-map,application/alto-costmap+json
     data: { ... full Cost Map message ... }

5.8.  Example: Advanced Network and Cost Map Updates

   This example is similar to the previous one, except that the client
   requests updates for the "hopcount" as well as "routingcost" Cost
   Map, and provides the current version tag of the Network Map, so the
   server does not send the full Network Map update event at the
   beginning of the stream.  After that, the ALTO Server sends updates
   for the Network Map and Cost Maps as they become available:

































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     POST /updates/costmaps HTTP/1.1
     Host: alto.example.com
     Accept: text/event-stream,application/alto-error+json
     Content-Type: application/alto-updatestreamparams+json
     Content-Length: ###

     { "my-network-map": {
           "tag": "a10ce8b059740b0b2e3f8eb1d4785acd42231bfe"
       },
       "my-routingcost-map": {}
       "my-hopcount-map": {}
     }


     HTTP/1.1 200 OK
     Connection: keep-alive
     Content-Type: text/event-stream

     event: my-routingcost-map,application/alto-costmap+json
     data: { ... full routingcost Cost Map message ... }

     event: my-hopcount-map,application/alto-costmap+json
     data: { ... full hopcount Cost Map message ... }

        (pause)

     event: my-routingcost-map,application/merge-patch+json
     data: {"cost-map": {"PID2" : {"PID3" : 31}}}

     event: my-hopcount-map,application/merge-patch+json
     data: {"cost-map": {"PID2" : {"PID3" : 4}}}

5.9.  Example: Endpoint Property Updates

   As another example, here is how a client can request updates for the
   property "priv:ietf-bandwidth" for a set of endpoints.  The ALTO
   Server immediately sends a full-replacement message with the property
   values for all endpoints.  After that, the server sends update events
   for the individual endpoints as their property values change.

     POST /updates/properties HTTP/1.1
     Host: alto.example.com
     Accept: text/event-stream
     Content-Type: application/alto-updatestreamparams+json
     Content-Length: ###

     { "my-properties": {
         "input": {



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           "properties" : [ "priv:ietf-bandwidth" ],
           "endpoints" : [
              "ipv4:1.0.0.1",
              "ipv4:1.0.0.2",
              "ipv4:1.0.0.3"
           ]
         }
       }
     }

     { "update-events": [
         "my-properties,application/alto-endpointprops+json",
         "my-properties,application/merge-patch+json"
       ],
       "inputs": {
         "my-properties": {
           "properties" : [ "priv:ietf-bandwidth" ],
           "endpoints" : [
              "ipv4:1.0.0.1",
              "ipv4:1.0.0.2",
              "ipv4:1.0.0.3"
           ]
         }
       }
     }


     HTTP/1.1 200 OK
     Connection: keep-alive
     Content-Type: text/event-stream

     event: my-properties,application/alto-endpointprops+json
     data: { "endpoint-properties": {
     data:     "ipv4:1.0.0.1" : { "priv:ietf-bandwidth": "13" },
     data:     "ipv4:1.0.0.2" : { "priv:ietf-bandwidth": "42" },
     data:     "ipv4:1.0.0.3" : { "priv:ietf-bandwidth": "27" }
     data:  } }

        (pause)

     event: my-properties,application/merge-patch+json
     data: { "endpoint-properties":
     data:   {"ipv4:1.0.0.1" : {"priv:ietf-bandwidth": "3"}}
     data: }

        (pause)

     event: my-properties,application/merge-patch+json



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     data: { "endpoint-properties":
     data:   {"ipv4:1.0.0.3" : {"priv:ietf-bandwidth": "38"}}
     data: }

6.  Client Actions When Receiving Update Messages

   In general, when a client receives a full-replacement update message
   for a resource, the client should replace the current version with
   the new version.  When a client receives a Merge Patch update message
   for a resource, the client should apply those patches to the current
   version of the resource.

   However, because resources can depend on other resources (e.g., Cost
   Maps depend on Network Maps), an ALTO Client MUST NOT use a dependent
   resource if the resource on which it depends has changed.  There are
   at least two ways a client can do that.  We will illustrate these
   techniques by referring to Network and Cost Map messages, although
   these techniques apply to any dependent resources.

   One approach is for the ALTO Client to save the Network Map update
   message in a buffer, and continue to use the previous Network Map,
   and the associated Cost Maps, until the client receives the update
   messages for all dependent Cost Maps.  The client then applies all
   Network and Cost Map updates atomically.

   Alternatively, the client MAY update the Network Map immediately.  In
   this case, the client MUST mark each dependent Cost Map as
   temporarily invalid, and MUST NOT use that map until the client
   receives a Cost Map update message with the new Network Map version
   tag.  Note that the client MUST NOT delete the Cost Maps, because the
   server may send Merge Patch update messages.

   The ALTO Server SHOULD send updates for dependent resources in a
   timely fashion.  However, if the client does not receive the expected
   updates, the client MUST close the Update Stream connection, discard
   the dependent resources, and reestablish the Update Stream.  The
   client MAY retain the version tag of the last version of any tagged
   resources, and give those version tags when requesting the new Update
   Stream.  In this case, if a version is still current, the ALTO Server
   will not re-send that resource.

   Although not as efficient as possible, this recovery method is simple
   and reliable.








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7.  IRD Example

   Here is an example of an IRD that offers two Update Stream services.
   The first provides updates for the Network Map and "routingcost" and
   "hopcount" Cost Maps.  The second provides updates to the Endpoint
   Properties service.

     "my-network-map": {
       "uri": "http://alto.example.com/networkmap",
       "media-type": "application/alto-networkmap+json",
     },
     "my-routingcost-map": {
       "uri": "http://alto.example.com/costmap",
       "media-type": "application/alto-costmap+json",
       "uses": ["my-networkmap+json"],
       "capabilities": {
         "cost-type-names": ["num-routingcost"]
       }
     },
     "my-hopcount-map": {
       "uri": "http://alto.example.com/costmap",
       "media-type": "application/alto-costmap+json",
       "uses": ["my-networkmap+json"],
       "capabilities": {
         "cost-type-names": ["num-hopcount"]
       }
     },
     "my-properties": {
       "uri": "http://alto.example.com/properties",
       "media-type": "application/alto-endpointprops+json",
       "accepts": "application/alto-endpointpropparams+json",
       "capabilities": {
         "prop-types": ["priv:ietf-bandwidth"]
       }
     },
     "my-costs-update-stream": {
       "uri": "http://alto.example.com/updates/costs",
       "media-type": "text/event-stream",
       "accepts": "application/alto-updatestreamparams+json",
       "uses": [
          "my-network-map",
          "my-routingcost-map",
          "my-hopcount-map"
       ],
       "capabilities": {
         "incremental-update-media-types": {
           "my-routingcost-map": application/merge-patch+json",
           "my-hopcount-map": "application/merge-patch+json"



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         }
       }
     },
     "my-properties-update-stream": {
       "uri": "http://alto.example.com/updates/properties",
       "media-type": "text/event-stream",
       "uses": [ "my-properties" ],
       "accepts": "application/alto-updatestreamparams+json",
       "capabilities": {
         "incremental-update-media-types": {
           "my-properties": "application/merge-patch+json"
         }
       }
     }

8.  Design Decisions and Discussions

8.1.  HTTP2 Server-Push

   An alternative would be to use HTTP 2 Server-Push [I-D-ietf-http2],
   instead of SSE over HTTP 1.1, as the transport mechanism for update
   messages.  That would have several advantages: HTTP 2 Server-Push is
   designed to allow a server to send asynchronous messages to the
   client, and HTTP library packages should make it simple for servers
   to send those asynchronous messages, and for clients to receive them.

   The disadvantage is HTTP 2 is a new protocol, and it is considerably
   more complicated than HTTP 1.1.  While there is every reason to
   expect that HTTP library packages will eventually support HTTP 2, we
   do not want to delay deployment of an ALTO incremental update
   mechanism until that time.

   Hence we have chosen to base ALTO updates on HTTP 1.1 and SSE.  When
   HTTP 2 support becomes ubiquitous, a future extension of this
   document may define updates via HTTP 2 Server-Push.

8.2.  Not Allowing Stream Restart

   If an update stream is closed accidentally, when the client
   reconnects, the server must resend the full maps.  This is clearly
   inefficient.  To avoid that inefficiency, the SSE specification
   allows a server to assign an id to each event.  When a client
   reconnects, the client can present the id of the last successfully
   received event, and the server restarts with the next event.

   However, that mechanism adds additional complexity.  The server must
   save SSE messages in a buffer, in case clients reconnect.  But that
   mechanism will never be perfect: if the client waits too long to



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   reconnect, or if the client sends an invalid id, then the server will
   have to resend the complete maps anyway.

   Also, although this is a theoretical inefficiency, in practice it is
   unlikely to be a problem.  Clients who want continuous updates for
   large resources, such as full Network and Cost Maps, are likely to be
   things like P2P trackers.  These clients will be well connected to
   the network; they will rarely drop connections.

   Mobile devices certainly can and do drop connections, and will have
   to reconnect.  But mobile devices will not need continuous updates
   for multi-megabyte Cost Maps.  If mobile devices need continuous
   updates at all, they will need them for small queries, such as the
   costs from a small set of media servers from which the device can
   stream the currently playing movie.  If the mobile device drops the
   connection and reestablishes the Update Stream, the ALTO Server will
   have to retransmit only a small amount of redundant data.

   In short, using event ids to avoid resending the full map adds a
   considerable amount of complexity to avoid a situation which is
   hopefully very rare.  We believe that complexity is not worth the
   benefit.

   The Update Stream service does allow the client to specify the tag of
   the last received version of any tagged resource, and if that is
   still current, the server need not retransmit the full resource.
   Hence clients can use this to avoid retransmitting full Network Maps.
   Cost Maps are not tagged, so this will not work for them.  Of course,
   the ALTO protocol could be extended by adding version tags to Cost
   Maps, which would solve the retransmission-on-reconnect problem.
   However, adding tags to Cost Maps might add a new set of
   complications.

8.3.  Is Incremental Update Useful for Network Maps?

   It is not clear whether incremental updates (that is, Merge Patch
   updates) are useful for Network Maps.  For minor changes, such as
   moving a prefix from one PID to another, they can be useful.  But
   more involved changes to the Network Map are likely to be "flag
   days": they represent a completely new Network Map, rather than a
   simple, well-defined change.

   At this point we do not have sufficient experience with ALTO
   deployments to know how frequently Network Maps will change, or how
   extensive those changes will be.  For example, suppose a link goes
   down and the network uses an alternative route.  This is a frequent
   occurrence.  If an ALTO Server models that by moving prefixes from
   one PID to another, then Network Maps will change frequently.



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   However, an ALTO Server might model that as a change in costs between
   PIDs, rather than a change in the PID definitions.  If a server takes
   that approach, simple routing changes will affect Cost Maps, but not
   Network Maps.

   So while we allow a server to use Merge Patch on Network Maps, we do
   not require the server to do so.  Each server may decide on its own
   whether to use Merge Patch for Network Maps.

   This is not to say that Network Map updates are not useful.  Clearly
   Network Maps will change, and update events are necessary to inform
   clients of the new map.

8.4.  Other Incremental Update Message Types

   Other JSON-based incremental update formats have been defined, in
   particular JSON Patch ([RFC6902]).  The update events defined in this
   document have the media-type of the update data.  JSON Patch has its
   own media type ("application/json-patch+json"), so this update
   mechanism could easily be extended to allow servers to use JSON Patch
   for incremental updates.

   However, we think that JSON Merge Patch is clearly superior to JSON
   Patch for describing incremental updates to Cost Maps, Endpoint
   Costs, and Endpoint Properties.  For these data structures, JSON
   Merge Patch is more space-efficient, as well as simpler to apply; we
   see no advantage to allowing a server to use JSON Patch for those
   resources.

   The case is not as clear for incremental updates to Network Maps.
   For example, suppose a prefix moves from one PID to another.  JSON
   Patch could encode that as a simple insertion and deletion, while
   Merge Patch would have to replace the entire array of prefixes for
   both PIDs.  On the other hand, to process a JSON Patch update, the
   client would have to retain the indexes of the prefixes for each PID.
   Logically, the prefixes in a PID are an unordered set, not an array;
   aside from handling updates, a client has no need to retain the array
   indexes of the prefixes.  Hence to take advantage of JSON Patch for
   Network Maps, clients would have to retain additional, otherwise
   unnecessary, data.

   However, it is entirely possible that JSON Patch will be appropriate
   for describing incremental updates to new, as yet undefined ALTO
   resources.  In this case, the extensions defining those new resources
   can use the update framework defined in this document, but recommend
   using JSON Patch, or some other method, to describe the incremental
   changes.




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9.  Security Considerations

   Allowing persistent update stream connections enables a new class of
   Denial-of-Service attacks.  An ALTO Server MAY choose to limit the
   number of active streams, and reject new requests when that threshold
   is reached.  In this case the server should return the HTTP status
   "503 Service Unavailable".

   Alternatively an ALTO Server MAY return the HTTP status "307
   Temporary Redirect" to redirect the client to another ALTO Server
   which can better handle a large number of update streams.

   This extension does not introduce any privacy issues not already
   present in the ALTO protocol.

10.  IANA Considerations

   This document defines a new media-type, "application/alto-
   updatestreamparams+json", as described in Section 5.3.  All other
   media-types used in this document have already been registered,
   either for ALTO or JSON Merge Patch.

   Type name:  application

   Subtype name:  alto-updatestreamparams+json

   Required parameters:  n/a

   Optional parameters:  n/a

   Encoding considerations:  Encoding considerations are identical to
      those specified for the "application/json" media type.  See
      [RFC7159].

   Security considerations:  Security considerations relating to the
      generation and consumption of ALTO Protocol messages are discussed
      in Section 9 of this document and Section 15 of [RFC7285].

   Interoperability considerations:  This document specifies format of
      conforming messages and the interpretation thereof.

   Published specification:  Section 5.3 of this document.

   Applications that use this media type:  ALTO servers and ALTO clients
      either stand alone or are embedded within other applications.

   Additional information:




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      Magic number(s):  n/a

      File extension(s):  This document uses the mime type to refer to
         protocol messages and thus does not require a file extension.

      Macintosh file type code(s):  n/a

   Person & email address to contact for further information:  See
      Authors' Addresses section.

   Intended usage:  COMMON

   Restrictions on usage:  n/a

   Author:  See Authors' Addresses section.

   Change controller:  Internet Engineering Task Force
      (mailto:iesg@ietf.org).

11.  References

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

   [RFC2616]  Fielding, R., Gettys, J., Mogul, J., Frystyk, H.,
              Masinter, L., Leach, P., and T. Burners-Lee, "Hypertext
              Transfer Protocol -- HTTP/1.1", RFC 2616, June 1999.

   [RFC5789]  Dusseault, L. and J. Snell, "PATCH Method for HTTP", RFC
              5789, March 2010.

   [RFC6902]  Bryan, P. and M. Nottingham, "JavaScript Object Notation
              (JSON) Patch", RFC 6902, April 2013.

   [RFC7159]  Bray, T., "The JavaScript Object Notation (JSON) Data
              Interchange Format", RFC 7159, March 2014.

   [RFC7285]  Almi, R., Penno, R., Yang, Y., Kiesel, S., Previdi, S.,
              Roome, W., Shalunov, S., and R. Woundy, "Application-Layer
              Traffic Optimization (ALTO) Protocol", RFC 7285, September
              2014.

   [RFC7386]  Hoffman, P. and J. Snell, "JSON Merge Patch", RFC 7386,
              October 2014.







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   [I-D-ietf-http2]
              Belshe, M., Peon, R., and M. Thomson, "Hypertext Transfer
              Protocol version 2", draft-ietf-httpbis-http2-16 (work in
              progress), November 2014.

   [SSE]      Hickson, I., "Server-Sent Events (W3C)", December 2012.

Authors' Addresses

   Wendy Roome
   Alcatel-Lucent/Bell Labs
   600 Mountain Ave, Rm 3B-324
   Murray Hill, NJ  07974
   USA

   Phone: +1-908-582-7974
   Email: w.roome@alcatel-lucent.com


   Xiao Shi
   Yale University
   51 Prospect Street
   New Haven, CT  06511
   USA

   Email: xiao.shi@yale.edu


   Y. Richard Yang
   Tongji/Yale University
   51 Prospect St
   New Haven  CT
   USA

   Email: yang.r.yang@gmail.com
















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