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Obsoleted by: 2772 INFORMATIONAL

Network Working Group                                          A. Durand
Request for Comments: 2546                                          IMAG
Category: Informational                                        B. Buclin
                                                        AT&T Labs Europe
                                                              March 1999

                         6Bone Routing Practice

Status of this Memo

   This memo provides information for the Internet community.  It does
   not specify an Internet standard of any kind.  Distribution of this
   memo is unlimited.

Copyright Notice

   Copyright (C) The Internet Society (1999).  All Rights Reserved.

1.  Introduction

   The 6Bone is an environment supporting experimentation with the IPv6
   protocols and products implementing it. As the network grows, the
   need for common operation rules emerged. In particular, operation of
   the 6Bone backbone is a challenge due to the frequent insertion of
   bogus routes by leaf or even backbone sites.

   This memo identifies guidelines on how 6Bone sites might operate, so
   that the 6Bone can remain a quality experimentation environment and
   to avoid pathological situations that have been encountered in the
   past. It defines the 'best current practice' acceptable in the 6Bone
   for the configuration of both Interior Gateway Protocols (such as
   RIPng [RFC 2080]) and Exterior Gateway Protocols (like BGP4+ [RFC

   The key words "MUST", "MUST NOT", "REQUIRED", "SHALL", "SHALL NOT",
   document are to be interpreted as described in [RFC 2119].

2.  Basic principles

   The 6Bone is structured as a hierarchical network with pseudo Top
   Level Aggregator (pTLA) sites, pseudo Next Level Aggregator (pNLA)
   sites and leaf sites. This topology supports the IPv6 address
   aggregation architecture as described in [1]. The 6Bone backbone is
   made of a mesh interconnecting pTLAs only. pNLAs connect to one or
   more pTLAs and provide transit service for leaf sites.

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RFC 2546                 6Bone Routing Practice               March 1999

   pTLA sites MUST use BGP4+ [RFC 2283] as the mandatory routing
   protocol for exchanging routing information among them.

   Multi-homed sites or pNLAs SHOULD also use BGP4+. Regular sites MAY
   use a simple default route to their ISP.

3.  Common Rules

   This section details common rules governing the routing on the 6Bone.
   They are derived from issues encountered on the 6Bone, with respect
   to the routes advertised, handling of special addresses, and

    1) link local prefixes

    2) site local prefixes

    3) loopback prefix & unspecified prefix

    4) multicast prefixes

    5) IPv4-compatible prefixes

    6) IPv4-mapped prefixes

    7) default routes

    8) Yet undefined unicast prefixes (from a different /3 prefix)

    9) Inter site links issues

    10) aggregation & advertisement issues

3.1  Link-local prefix

   The link-local prefix (FE80::/10) MUST NOT be advertised through
   either an IGP or an EGP.

   By definition, the link-local prefix has a scope limited to a
   specific link. Since the prefix is the same on all IPv6 links,
   advertising it in any routing protocol does not make sense and,
   worse, may introduce nasty error conditions.

   Well known cases where link local prefixes could be advertised by
   mistake include:

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   - a router advertising all directly connected network prefixes
     including the link-local one.

   - Subnetting of the link-local prefix.

   In such cases, vendors should be urged to correct their code.

3.2  Site-local prefixes

   Site local prefixes (in the FEC0::/10 range) MAY be advertized by
   IGPs or EGPs within a site. The precise definition of a site is
   ongoing work discussed in the IPng working group.

   Site local prefixes MUST NOT be advertised to transit pNLAs or pTLAs.

3.3  Loopback and unspecified prefixes

   The loopback prefix (::1/128) and the unspecified prefix (::0/128)
   MUST NOT be advertised by any routing protocol.

3.4  Multicast prefixes

   Multicast prefixes MUST NOT be advertised by any unicast routing
   protocol.  Multicast routing protocols are designed to respect the
   semantics of multicast and MUST therefore be used to route packets
   with multicast destination addresses (in the range FF00::/8).

   Multicast address scopes MUST be respected on the 6Bone. Only global
   scope multicast addresses MAY be routed across transit pNLAs and
   pTLAs. There is no requirement on a pTLA to route multicast packets.

   Organization-local multicasts (in the FF08::/16 or FF18::/16 ranges)
   MAY be routed across a pNLA to its leaf sites.

   Site-local multicasts MUST NOT be routed toward transit pNLAs or

   Obviously, link-local multicasts and node-local multicasts MUST NOT
   be routed at all.

3.5  IPv4-compatible prefixes

   Sites may choose to use IPv4 compatible addresses (::a.b.c.d)
   internally.  As there is no real rationale today for doing that,
   these addresses SHOULD

   NOT be used in the 6Bone.

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   The ::/96 IPv4-compatible prefixes MAY be advertised by IGPs.

   IPv4-compatible prefixes MUST NOT be advertised by EGPs to transit
   pNLAs or pTLAs.

3.6  IPv4-mapped prefixes

   IPv4-mapped prefixes (::FFFF:a.b.c.d where a.b.c.d is an IPv4
   address) MAY be advertised by IGPs within a site. It may be useful
   for some IPv6 only nodes within a site to have such a route pointing
   to a translation device.

   IPv4-mapped prefixes MUST NOT be advertised by EGPs.

3.7  Default routes

   6Bone core pTLA routers MUST be default-free.

   pTLAs MAY advertise a default route to their pNLAs. Transit pNLAs MAY
   do the same for their leaf sites.

3.8  Yet undefined unicast prefixes

   Yet undefined unicast prefixes from a format prefix other than
   2000::/3 MUST NOT be advertised by any routing protocol in the 6Bone.
   In particular, RFC 2471 test addresses MUST NOT be advertised on the

   Routing of global unicast prefixes outside of the 6Bone range
   (3FFE::/16) is discussed in section 4, Routing policies, below.

3.9  Inter-site links

   Global IPv6 addresses MUST be used for the end points of the inter-
   site links. In particular, IPv4 compatible addresses MUST NOT be used
   for tunnels.

   Prefixes for those links MUST NOT be injected in the global routing

3.10  Aggregation & advertisement issues

   Route aggregation MUST be performed by any border router.

   Sites or pNLAs MUST only advertise to their upstream provider the
   prefixes assigned by that ISP unless otherwise agreed.

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   Site border router MUST NOT advertise prefixes more specific than the
   /48 ones allocated by their ISP.

   pTLA MUST NOT advertise prefixes longer than 24 to other pTLAs unless
   special peering agreements are implemented. When such special peering
   agreements are in place between any two or more pTLAs, care MUST be
   taken not to leak the more specific prefixes to other pTLAs not
   participating in the peering agreement.

4.  Routing policies

   6Bone backbone sites maintain the mesh into the backbone and provide
   an as reliable as possible service, granted the 6Bone is an
   experimentation tool.  To achieve their mission, 6Bone backbone sites
   MUST maintain peerings with at least 3 (three) other back bone sites.

   The peering agreements across the 6Bone are by nature non-commercial,
   and therefore SHOULD allow transit traffic through.

   Eventually, the Internet registries will assign other TLAs than the
   6Bone one (currently 3FFE::/16). The organizations bearing those TLAs
   will establish a new IPv6 network, parallel to the 6Bone. The 6Bone
   MIGHT interconnect with this new IPv6 Internet, b ut transit across
   the 6Bone will not be guaranteed. It will be left to each 6Bone
   backbone site to decide whether it will carry traffic to or from the
   IPv6 Internet.

5.  The 6Bone registry

   The 6Bone registry is a RIPE-181 database with IPv6 extensions used
   to store information about the 6Bone. Each 6Bone site MUST maintain
   the relevant entries in the 6Bone registry (whois.6bone.net). In
   particular, the following objects MUST be present:

   - IPv6-site: site description

   - Inet6num: prefix delegation

   - Mntner: coordinate of site maintenance staff

   Other objects MAY be maintained at the discretion of the sites, such
   as routing policy descriptors, person or role objects. The Mntner
   object MUST make reference to a role or person object, but those must
   not necessarily reside in the 6Bone registry, they can be stored
   within any of the Internet registry databases (RIPE, InterNIC, APNIC,

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6.  Guidelines for new sites joining the 6Bone

   New sites joining the 6Bone should seek to connect to a transit pNLA
   or a pTLA within their region, and preferably as close as possible to
   their existing IPv4 physical and routing path for Internet service.
   The 6Bone registry is available to find out candidate ISPs.

   Any site connected to the 6Bone MUST maintain a DNS server for
   forward name looking and reverse address translation. The joining
   site MUST maintain the 6Bone registry objects relative to its site,
   and in particular the IPv6- site and the MNTNER objects.

   The upstream ISP MUST delegate the reverse address translation zone
   in DNS to the joining site. The ISP MUST also create 6Bone registry
   objects reflecting the delegated address space (inet6num:).

   Up to date information about how to join the 6Bone is available on
   the 6Bone Web site at http://www.6bone.net.

7.  Guidelines for 6Bone pTLA sites

   6Bone pTLA sites are altogether forming the backbone of the 6Bone. In
   order to ensure the highest level possible of availability and
   stability for the 6Bone environment, a few constraints are placed
   onto sites wishing to become or stay a 6Bone pTLA:

   1. The site MUST have experience with IPv6 on the 6Bone, at least as
      a leaf site and preferably as a transit pNLA under an existing

   2. The site MUST have the ability and intent to provide "production-
      like" 6Bone backbone service to provide a robust and operationally
      reliable 6Bone backbone.

   3. The site MUST have a potential "user community" that would be
      served by becoming a pTLA, e.g., the requester is a major player
      in a region, country or focus of interest.

   4. Must commit to abide by the 6Bone backbone operational rules and
      policies as defined in the present document.

   When a candidate site seeks to become a pTLA site, it will apply for
   it to the 6Bone Operations group (see below) by bringing evidences it
   meets the above criteria.

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8.  6Bone Operations group

   The 6Bone Operations group is the body in charge of monitoring the
   adherence to the present rules, and will take the appropriate actions
   to correct deviations. Membership in the 6Bone Operations group is
   mandatory for, and restricted to, any site connected to the 6Bone.

   The 6Bone Operations group is currently defined by those members of
   the existing 6Bone mailing list, i.e., 6bone@isi.edu, who represent
   sites participating on the 6Bone. Therefore it is incumbent on
   relevant site contacts to join the mailing list. Instructions on how
   to join the list are maintained on the 6Bone web site at

9.  Common rules enforcement

   Participation in the 6Bone is a voluntary and benevolent undertaking.
   However, participating sites are expected to adhere to the rules
   described in this document, in order to maintain the 6Bone as quality
   tool for experimenting with the IPv6 protocols and products
   implementing them.

   The following processes are proposed to help enforcing the 6Bone

   - Each pTLA site has committed when requesting their pTLA to
     implement the rules, and to ensure they are respected by sites
     within their administrative control (i.e. those to who prefixes
     have been delegated).

   - When a site detects an issue, it will first use the 6Bone registry
     to contact the site maintainer and work the issue.

   - If nothing happens, or there is disagreement on what the right
     solution is, the issue can be brought to the 6Bone Operations

   - When the problem is related to a product issue, the site(s)
     involved is responsible for contact the product vendor and work
     toward its resolution.

   - When an issue causes major operational problems, backbone sites may
     decide to temporarily set filters in order to restore service.

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RFC 2546                 6Bone Routing Practice               March 1999

10.  Security Considerations

     The result of bogus entries in routing tables is usually
     unreachable sites.  Having guidelines to aggregate or reject routes
     will clean up the routing tables. It is expected that using these
     guidelines, routing on the 6Bone will be less sensitive to denial
     of service attacks due to misleading routes.

     The 6Bone is a test network. Therefore, denial of service, packet
     disclosure, are to be expected.

11.  Acknowledgements

     This document is the result of shared experience on the 6Bone.
     Special thanks go to Bob Fink for the hard work make to date to
     direct the 6Bone effort, to David Kessens for the 6Bone registry,
     and to Guy Davies for his insightful contributions.

12.  References

   [1]        Hinden, R. and S. Deering, "IP Version 6 Addressing
              Architecture", RFC 2373, July 1998.

   [RFC 2471] Hinden, R., Fink, R. and J. Postel (deceased), "IPv6
              Testing Address Allocation", RFC 2471, December 1998.

   [RFC 2080] Malkin, G. and R. Minnear, "RIPng for IPv6", RFC 2080,
              January 1997.

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

   [RFC 2283] Bates, T., Chandra, R., Katz, D. and Y. Rekhter,
              "Multiprotocol Extensions for BGP-4", RFC 2283, March

   [RIPE-181] Bates, T., Gerich, E., Joncheray, L., Jouanigot, J.,
              Karrenberg, D., Terpstra, M. and J.  Yu,  Representation
              of IP Routing Policies in a Routing Registry.  Technical
              Report ripe-181, RIPE, RIPE NCC, Amsterdam, Netherlands,
              October 1994.

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13.  Authors' Addresses

   Alain Durand
   Institut d'Informatique et de Mathematiques Appliquees de Grenoble
   IMAG BP 53
   38041 Grenoble CEDEX 9 France

   Phone : +33 4 76 63 57 03
   Fax   : +33 4 76 51 49 64
   EMail: Alain.Durand@imag.fr

   Bertrand Buclin
   AT&T International S.A.
   Route de l'aeroport 31, CP 72
   CH-1215 Geneve 15 (Switzerland)

   Phone : +41 22 929 37 40
   Fax   : +41 22 929 39 84
   EMail: Bertrand.Buclin@ch.att.com

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RFC 2546                 6Bone Routing Practice               March 1999

14.  Full Copyright Statement

   Copyright (C) The Internet Society (1999).  All Rights Reserved.

   This document and translations of it may be copied and furnished to
   others, and derivative works that comment on or otherwise explain it
   or assist in its implementation may be prepared, copied, published
   and distributed, in whole or in part, without restriction of any
   kind, provided that the above copyright notice and this paragraph are
   included on all such copies and derivative works.  However, this
   document itself may not be modified in any way, such as by removing
   the copyright notice or references to the Internet Society or other
   Internet organizations, except as needed for the purpose of
   developing Internet standards in which case the procedures for
   copyrights defined in the Internet Standards process must be
   followed, or as required to translate it into languages other than

   The limited permissions granted above are perpetual and will not be
   revoked by the Internet Society or its successors or assigns.

   This document and the information contained herein is provided on an

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