Congestion and Pre-Congestion                                 B. Briscoe
Notification                                                          BT
Internet-Draft                                              T. Moncaster
Obsoletes: 5696 (if approved)              Moncaster Internet Consulting
Intended status: Standards Track                                M. Menth
Expires: February 19, September 12, 2012                      University of Tuebingen
                                                         August 18, 2011
                                                          March 11, 2012

       Encoding 3 PCN-States in the IP header using a single DSCP


   The objective of Pre-Congestion Notification (PCN) is to protect the
   quality of service (QoS) of inelastic flows within a Diffserv domain.
   The overall rate of the PCN-traffic is metered on every link in the
   PCN domain, and PCN-packets are appropriately marked when certain
   configured rates are exceeded.  Egress nodes pass information about
   these PCN-marks to decision points which then decide whether to admit
   or block new flow requests or to terminate some already-admitted
   flows during serious pre-congestion.

   This document specifies how PCN-marks are to be encoded into the IP
   header by re-using the Explicit Congestion Notification (ECN)
   codepoints within a PCN-domain.  This  The PCN wire protocol for non-IP
   protocol headers will need to be defined elsewhere.  Nonetheless,
   this document clarifies the PCN encoding for MPLS in an informational
   Appendix.  The encoding for IP provides for up to three different PCN
   marking states using a single DSCP: not-marked Not-marked (NM), threshold-marked Threshold-marked
   (ThM) and excess-traffic-marked Excess-traffic-marked (ETM).  Hence, it is called the
   3-in-1 PCN encoding.  This document obsoletes RFC5696.

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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   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 February 19, September 12, 2012.

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   Copyright (c) 2011 2012 IETF Trust and the persons identified as the
   document authors.  All rights reserved.

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Table of Contents

   1.  Introduction . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  4
     1.1.  Requirements Language  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  5
     1.2.  Changes in This Version (to be removed by RFC Editor)  . .  5
   2.  Definitions and Abbreviations  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  7
     2.1.  Terminology  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  7
     2.2.  List of Abbreviations  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  8
   3.  Definition of 3-in-1 PCN Encoding  . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  8  9
   4.  Requirements for and Applicability of 3-in-1 PCN Encoding  . .  9 10
     4.1.  PCN Requirements . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  9 10
     4.2.  Requirements Imposed by Tunnelling . . . . . . . . . . . . 10
     4.3.  Applicability of  Applicable Environments for the 3-in-1 PCN Encoding  . . . . . . . . . . . 10 11
   5.  Behaviour of a PCN-node to Comply with the 3-in-1 PCN
       Encoding . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 11
     5.1.  PCN-ingress Node Behaviour . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 11
     5.2.  PCN-interior Node Behaviour  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 11 14
       5.2.1.  Behaviour Common to all PCN-interior Nodes . . . . . . 11 14
       5.2.2.  Behaviour of PCN-interior Nodes Using Two
               PCN-markings . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 12 14
       5.2.3.  Behaviour of PCN-interior Nodes Using One
               PCN-marking  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 12 14
     5.3.  PCN-egress Node Behaviour  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 13 15
   6.  Backward Compatibility . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 13 16
     6.1.  Backward Compatibility with ECN  . . . . . . . . . . . . . 13 16
     6.2.  Backward Compatibility with the RFC5696 Encoding . . . . . 14 16
   7.  IANA Considerations  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 14 16
   8.  Security Considerations  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 14 17
   9.  Conclusions  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 15 17
   10. Acknowledgements . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 15 17
   11. Comments Solicited . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 15 17
   12. References . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 15 18
     12.1. Normative References . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 15 18
     12.2. Informative References . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 16 18
   Appendix A.  Choice of Suitable DSCPs  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 18 20
   Appendix B.  Co-existence of ECN and PCN . . . . . . . . . . . . . 19 21
   Appendix C.  Example Mapping between Encoding of PCN-Marks in
                IP and in MPLS Shim Headers . . . . . . . . . . . . . 21 24
   Appendix D.  Rationale for Difference Between the Schemes
                using One PCN-Marking . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 22 25

1.  Introduction

   The objective of Pre-Congestion Notification (PCN) [RFC5559] is to
   protect the quality of service (QoS) of inelastic flows within a
   Diffserv domain, in a simple, scalable, and robust fashion.  Two
   mechanisms are used: admission control, to decide whether to admit or
   block a new flow request, and flow termination to terminate some
   existing flows during serious pre-congestion.  To achieve this, the
   overall rate of PCN-traffic is metered on every link in the domain,
   and PCN-packets are appropriately marked when certain configured
   rates are exceeded.  These configured rates are below the rate of the
   link thus providing notification to boundary nodes about overloads
   before any real congestion occurs (hence "pre-congestion

   [RFC5670] provides for two metering and marking functions that are
   generally configured with different reference rates.  Threshold-
   marking marks all PCN packets once their traffic rate on a link
   exceeds the configured reference rate (PCN-threshold-rate).  Excess-
   traffic-marking marks only those PCN packets that exceed the
   configured reference rate (PCN-excess-rate).  The PCN-excess-rate is
   typically larger than the PCN-threshold-rate [RFC5559].  Egress nodes
   monitor the PCN-marks of received PCN-packets and pass information
   about these PCN-marks to decision points which then decide whether to
   admit new flows or terminate existing flows
   [I-D.ietf-pcn-cl-edge-behaviour], [I-D.ietf-pcn-sm-edge-behaviour].

   The encoding defined in [RFC5696] described how two PCN marking
   states (Not-marked and PCN-Marked) could be encoded into the IP
   header using a single Diffserv codepoint.  It defined 01 as an
   experimental codepoint (EXP), along with guidelines for its use.  Two
   PCN marking states are sufficient for the Single Marking edge
   behaviour [I-D.ietf-pcn-sm-edge-behaviour].  However, PCN-domains
   utilising the controlled load edge behaviour
   [I-D.ietf-pcn-cl-edge-behaviour] require three PCN marking states.
   This document extends the RFC5696 encoding by redefining the
   experimental codepoint as a third PCN marking state in the IP header,
   but still using a single Diffserv codepoint.  This encoding scheme is
   therefore called the "3-in-1 PCN encoding".  It obsoletes the
   [RFC5696] encoding, which provides only a sub-set of the same

   The full version of this the 3-in-1 encoding requires any tunnel endpoint
   within the PCN-domain to support the normal tunnelling rules defined
   in [RFC6040].  There is one limited exception to this constraint
   where the PCN-domain only uses the excess-traffic-marking behaviour
   and where the threshold-marking behaviour is deactivated.  This is
   discussed in Section

   This document only concerns the PCN wire protocol encoding for IP
   headers, whether IPv4 or IPv6.  It makes no changes or
   recommendations concerning algorithms for congestion marking or
   congestion response.  Other documents will define the PCN wire
   protocol for other header types.  Appendix C discusses a possible
   mapping between IP and MPLS.

1.1.  Requirements Language

   The key words "MUST", "MUST NOT", "REQUIRED", "SHALL", "SHALL NOT",
   document are to be interpreted as described in [RFC2119].

1.2.  Changes in This Version (to be removed by RFC Editor)

   From draft-ietf-pcn-3-in-1-encoding-08 to -09:

      *  Added note about fail-safe to protect other traffic in the
         event of tunnel misconfiguration.

      *  Changed section heading to be about applicability of
         environments to the encoding, rather than the encoding to the

      *  Completely re-wrote PCN-ingress Node Behaviour section.

      *  Changed PCN interior node to PCN-node where the term was
         intended to include all PCN-nodes.

      *  Clarified status of ECN/PCN co-existence appendix.  Removed
         inconsistent assertion in this appendix that an admission-
         control DSCP alone can indicate that arriving traffic is PCN-

      *  A few clarifying editorial amendments and updated refs.

   From draft-ietf-pcn-3-in-1-encoding-07 to -08:  Editorial corrections
      and clarifications.

   From draft-ietf-pcn-3-in-1-encoding-06 to -07:

      *  Clarified that each operator not the IETF chooses which DSCP(s)
         are PCN-compatible, and made it unambiguous that only PCN-nodes
         recognise that PCN-compatible DSCPs enable the 3-in-1 encoding.

      *  Removed statements about the PCN working group, given RFCs are
         meant to survive beyond the life of a w-g.

      *  Corrected the final para of "Rationale for Different Behaviours
         in Schemes with Only One Marking"

   From draft-ietf-pcn-3-in-1-encoding-05 to -06:

      *  Draft re-written to obsolete baseline encoding [RFC5696].

      *  New section defining utilising this encoding for only one PCN-
         Marking.  Added an appendix explaining an apparent
         inconsistency within this section.

      *  Moved (and updated) informative appendixes from [RFC5696] to
         this document.  Original Appendix C was omitted as it is now

      *  Significant re-structuring of document.

   From draft-ietf-pcn-3-in-1-encoding-04 to -05:

      *  Draft moved to standards track as per working group

      *  Added Appendix B discussing ECN handling in the PCN-domain.

      *  Clarified that this document modifies [RFC5696].

   From draft-ietf-pcn-3-in-1-encoding-03 to -04:

      *  Updated document to reflect RFC6040.

      *  Re-wrote introduction.

      *  Re-wrote section on applicability.

      *  Re-wrote section on choosing encoding scheme.

      *  Updated author details.

   From draft-ietf-pcn-3-in-1-encoding-02 to -03:

      *  Corrected mistakes in introduction and improved overall

      *  Added new terminology.

      *  Rewrote a good part of Section 4 and 5 to achieve more clarity.

      *  Added appendix explaining when to use which encoding scheme and
         how to encode them in MPLS shim headers.

      *  Added new co-author.

   From draft-ietf-pcn-3-in-1-encoding-01 to -02:

      *  Corrected mistake in introduction, which wrongly stated that
         the threshold-traffic rate is higher than the excess-traffic
         rate.  Other minor corrections.

      *  Updated acks & refs.

   From draft-ietf-pcn-3-in-1-encoding-00 to -01:

      *  Altered the wording to make sense if
         draft-ietf-tsvwg-ecn-tunnel moves to proposed standard.

      *  References updated

   From draft-briscoe-pcn-3-in-1-encoding-00 to

      *  Filename changed to draft-ietf-pcn-3-in-1-encoding.

      *  Introduction altered to include new template description of

      *  References updated.

      *  Terminology brought into line with [RFC5670].

      *  Minor corrections.

2.  Definitions and Abbreviations

2.1.  Terminology

   The terms PCN-domain, PCN-node, PCN-interior-node, PCN-ingress-node,
   PCN-egress-node, PCN-boundary-node, PCN-traffic, PCN-packets and PCN-
   marking are used as defined in [RFC5559].  The following additional
   terms are defined in this document:

   PCN encoding:  mapping of PCN marking states to specific codepoints
      in the packet header.

   PCN-compatible Diffserv codepoint:  a Diffserv codepoint indicating
      packets for which the ECN field carries PCN-markings rather than
      [RFC3168] markings.  Note that an operator configures PCN-nodes to
      recognise PCN-compatible DSCPs, whereas the same DSCP has no PCN-
      specific meaning to a node outside the PCN domain.

   Threshold-marked codepoint:  a codepoint that indicates a packet has
      been threshold-marked; that is a packet that has been marked at a
      PCN-interior-node as a result of an indication from the threshold-
      metering function [RFC5670].  Abbreviated to ThM.

   Excess-traffic-marked codepoint:  a codepoint that indicates packets
      that have been marked at a PCN-interior-node as a result of an
      indication from the excess-traffic-metering function [RFC5670].
      Abbreviated to ETM.

   Not-marked codepoint:  a codepoint that indicates PCN-packets that
      are not PCN-marked.  Abbreviated to NM.


   Not-PCN codepoint:  a codepoint that indicates packets that are not

2.2.  List of Abbreviations

   The following abbreviations are used in this document:

   o  AF = Assured Forwarding [RFC2597]

   o  CE = Congestion Experienced [RFC3168]

   o  CS = Class Selector [RFC2474]

   o  DSCP = Diffserv codepoint

   o  e2e = end-to-end

   o  ECN = Explicit Congestion Notification [RFC3168]

   o  ECT = ECN Capable Transport [RFC3168]

   o  EF = Expedited Forwarding [RFC3246]

   o  ETM = Excess-traffic-marked

   o  EXP = Experimental

   o  IP = Internet protocol

   o  NM = Not-marked
   o  PCN = Pre-Congestion Notification

   o  ThM = Threshold-marked

3.  Definition of 3-in-1 PCN Encoding

   The 3-in-1 PCN encoding scheme allows for two or supports networks that need three PCN-marking PCN-
   marking states to be encoded within the IP header. header, as well as those
   that need only two.  The full encoding is shown in Figure 1.

   |        |           Codepoint in ECN field of IP header      |
   |  DSCP  |               <RFC3168 codepoint name>             |
   |        +--------------+-------------+-------------+---------+
   |        | 00 <Not-ECT> | 10 <ECT(0)> | 01 <ECT(1)> | 11 <CE> |
   | DSCP n |    Not-PCN   |      NM     |     ThM     |   ETM   |

                       Figure 1: 3-in-1 PCN Encoding

   A PCN-node (i.e. a node within a PCN-domain) will be configured to recognise certain DSCPs as PCN-compatible. PCN-
   compatible.  Appendix A discusses the choice of suitable DSCPs.  In
   Figure 1 'DSCP n' indicates such a PCN-
   compatible PCN-compatible DSCP.  Within  In the PCN-domain, PCN-
   domain, any packet carrying a PCN-
   compatible PCN-compatible DSCP and with the ECN-field ECN-
   field anything other than 00 (Not-
   PCN) (Not-PCN) is a PCN-packet as defined in

   PCN-nodes MUST interpret the ECN field of a PCN-packet using the
   3-in-1 PCN encoding, rather than [RFC3168].  This does not change the
   behaviour for any packet with a DSCP that is not PCN-compatible, or
   for any node outside a PCN-domain.  In all such cases the 3-in-1
   encoding is not applicable and so by default the node will interpret
   the ECN field using [RFC3168].

   When using the 3-in-1 encoding, the codepoints of the ECN field have
   the following meanings:

   Not-PCN:  indicates a non-PCN-packet, i.e., a packet that uses a PCN-
      compatible DSCP but is not subject to PCN metering and marking.

   NM:  Not-marked.  Indicates a PCN-packet that has not yet been marked
      by any PCN marker.

   ThM:  Threshold-marked.  Indicates a PCN-packet that has been marked
      by a threshold-marker [RFC5670].

   ETM:  Excess-traffic-marked.  Indicates a PCN-packet that has been
      marked by an excess-traffic-marker [RFC5670].

4.  Requirements for and Applicability of 3-in-1 PCN Encoding

4.1.  PCN Requirements

   In accordance with the PCN architecture [RFC5559], PCN-ingress-nodes
   control packets entering a PCN-domain.  Packets belonging to PCN-
   controlled flows are subject to PCN-metering and -marking, and PCN-
   ingress-nodes mark them as Not-marked (PCN-colouring).  Any node  All nodes in
   the PCN-domain may perform PCN-metering and -marking and mark PCN-
   packets PCN-mark PCN-packets if
   needed.  There are two different metering and marking behaviours:
   threshold-marking and excess-traffic-marking [RFC5670].  Some edge behaviors
   behaviours require only a single marking behaviour
   [I-D.ietf-pcn-sm-edge-behaviour], others require both
   [I-D.ietf-pcn-cl-edge-behaviour].  In the latter case, three PCN
   marking states are needed: not-marked Not-marked (NM) to indicate not-marked
   packets, threshold-marked Threshold-marked (ThM) to indicate packets marked by the
   threshold-marker, and excess-traffic-marked Excess-traffic-marked (ETM) to indicate packets
   marked by the excess-traffic-marker [RFC5670].  Threshold-marking and
   excess-traffic-marking are configured to start marking packets at
   different load conditions, so one marking behaviour indicates more
   severe pre-congestion than the other.  Therefore, a fourth PCN
   marking state indicating that a packet is marked by both markers is
   not needed.  However a fourth codepoint is required to indicate
   packets that use a PCN-compatible DSCP but do not use PCN-marking
   (the not-PCN Not-PCN codepoint).

   In all current PCN edge behaviors behaviours that use two marking behaviours
   [RFC5559], [I-D.ietf-pcn-cl-edge-behaviour], excess-traffic-marking
   is configured with a larger reference rate than threshold-marking.
   We take this as a rule and define excess-traffic-marked as a more
   severe PCN-mark than threshold-marked. Threshold-marked.

4.2.  Requirements Imposed by Tunnelling

   [RFC6040] defines rules for the encapsulation and decapsulation of
   ECN markings within IP-in-IP tunnels.  The publication of RFC6040
   removed the tunnelling constraints that existed when the encoding of
   [RFC5696] was written (see section 3.3.2 of

   Nonetheless, there is still a problem if there are any legacy (pre-
   RFC6040) decapsulating tunnel endpoints within a PCN domain.  If a
   PCN node
   PCN-node Threshold-marks the outer header of a tunnelled packet that
   has a Not-marked codepoint on the inner header, a legacy decapsulator
   will forward the packet as Not-marked, losing the threshold marking. Threshold-marking.

   The rules on applicability in Section 4.3 below are designed to avoid
   this problem.

4.3.  Applicability

   Even if an operator accidentally breaks these applicability rules,
   the order of severity of the 3-in-1 codepoints was chosen to protect
   other PCN Encoding

   The or non-PCN traffic.  Although legacy pre-RFC6040 tunnels
   did not propagate '01', all tunnels pre-RFC6040 and post-RFC6040 have
   always propagated '11' correctly.  Therefore '11' was chosen to
   signal the most severe pre-congestion (ETM), so it would act as a
   reliable fail-safe even if an overlooked legacy tunnel was
   suppressing 01 (ThM) signals.

4.3.  Applicable Environments for the 3-in-1 PCN Encoding

   The 3-in-1 encoding is applicable in situations where two marking
   behaviours are being used in the PCN-domain.  The 3-in-1 encoding can
   also be used with only one marking behaviour, in which case one of
   the codepoints MUST NOT be used throughout anywhere in the PCN-domain (see
   Section 5.2.3).

   With one exception (see next paragraph), any tunnel endpoints
   (IP-in-IP and IPsec) within the PCN-domain MUST comply with the ECN
   encapsulation and decapsulation rules set out in [RFC6040] (see
   Section 4.2).


   Operators may not be possible able to upgrade every pre-RFC6040 tunnel
   endpoint within a PCN-domain.  In such circumstances a limited
   version of the 3-in-1 encoding can still be used but only under the
   following stringent condition.  If any pre-RFC6040 tunnel endpoint
   decapsulator exists within a PCN-domain then every PCN-node in the
   PCN-domain MUST be configured so that it never sets the ThM
   codepoint.  PCN-interior
   nodes  PCN-interior-nodes in this case MUST solely use the Excess Traffic marking
   Excess-traffic-marking function, as defined in Section  In
   all other situations where legacy tunnel endpoints decapsulators might be
   present within the PCN domain, the 3-in-1 encoding is not applicable.

5.  Behaviour of a PCN-node to Comply with the 3-in-1 PCN Encoding

   Any tunnel endpoint implementation on a PCN-node MUST comply with
   [RFC6040].  Since PCN is a new capability, this is considered a
   reasonable requirement.

5.1.  PCN-ingress Node Behaviour

   PCN-traffic MUST be marked

   Each ingress link into a PCN domain will apply the four functions
   described in section 4.2 of [RFC5559] to arriving packets.  These
   functions are applied in the following order: classify, police, PCN-
   colour, meter.  This section describes these four steps, but only the
   aspects relevant to packet encoding:

   1. Packet classification:  The PCN-ingress-node determines whether
      each packet matches the filter spec of an admitted flow.  Packets
      that match are defined as PCN-packets.

   1b. Extra step if ECN and PCN co-exist:  If a packet classified as a
      PCN-packet arrives with the ECN field already set to a value other
      than Not-ECT (i.e. it is from an ECN-capable transport) then to
      comply with BCP 124 [RFC4774] it MUST pass through one of the
      following preparatory steps before the PCN-policing and PCN-
      colouring steps.  The choice between these four actions depends on
      local policy:

      *  Tunnel ECN-capable PCN-packets across the PCN-domain, using an
         RFC6040 tunnel.  This tunnelling step MUST precede PCN-policing
         and PCN-colouring so that the tunnel is logically outside the
         PCN domain (see Appendix B and specifically Figure 2).

         This tunnelling policy is the RECOMMENDED choice, and
         implementations SHOULD use it as the default.

      *  If tunnelling is not possible, the PCN-ingress-node can allow
         through ECN-capable packets without tunnelling, but it MUST
         drop CE-marked packets at this stage.  Failure to drop CE would
         risk congestion collapse, because without a tunnel there is no
         mechanism to propagate the CE markings across the PCN-domain
         (see Appendix B).

         This policy is emphatically NOT RECOMMENDED because there is no
         tunnel to protect the e2e ECN capability, which is otherwise
         disabled when the PCN-egress-node zeroes the ECN field.

      *  Drop the packet.

         This policy is also emphatically NOT RECOMMENDED, because it
         precludes the possibility that e2e ECN can co-exist with PCN as
         a means of controlling congestion.

      *  Any other action that complies with [RFC4774] (see Appendix B
         for an example).

      Appendix B provides more information about the co-existence of PCN
      and ECN.

   2. PCN-Policing:  The PCN-policing function only allows appropriate
      packets into the PCN behaviour aggregate.  Per-flow policing
      actions may be required, but these are specified in the relevant
      edge-behaviour document, e.g.  [I-D.ietf-pcn-sm-edge-behaviour],

      Here we only specify packet-level PCN-policing, which prevents
      packets that are not PCN-packets from being forwarded into the
      PCN-domain if PCN-interior-nodes would otherwise mistake them for
      PCN-packets.  A non-PCN-packet will be confused with a PCN-packet
      if on arrival it meets all three of the following conditions:

      a)  it is not classified as a PCN-packet

      b)  it already carries a PCN-compatible DSCP

      c)  its ECN field carries a codepoint other than Not-ECT.

      The PCN-ingress-node MUST police packets that meet all three
      conditions (a-c) by subjecting them to one of the following

      *  re-mark the DSCP to a DSCP that is not PCN-compatible;

      *  tunnel the packet to the PCN-egress with a DSCP in the outer
         header that is not PCN-compatible;

      *  drop the packet (NOT RECOMMENDED--see below).

      The choice between these actions depends on local policy.  In the
      absence of any operator-specific configuration for this case, by
      default an implementation SHOULD re-mark the DSCP to zero.

      Traffic that meets all three of the above conditions (a-c) is not
      PCN-traffic, therefore ideally a PCN-ingress ought not to
      interfere with it, but it has to do something to avoid ambiguous
      packet markings.  Clearing the ECN field is not an appropriate
      policing action, because a network node ought not to interfere
      with an e2e signal.  Even if such packets seem like an attack,
      drop would be overkill, because such an attack can be neutralised
      by just re-marking the DSCP.  And DSCP re-marking in the network
      is legitimate, because the DSCP is not considered an e2e signal.

   3. PCN-colouring:  If a packet has been classified as a PCN-packet,
      once it has been policed, the PCN-ingress-node:

      *  MUST set a PCN-compatible Diffserv codepoint. codepoint on all PCN-
         packets.  To conserve DSCPs, Diffserv codepoints SHOULD be
         chosen that are already defined for use with admission-controlled admission-
         controlled traffic.  Appendix A gives guidance to implementors
         on suitable DSCPs.
   Guidelines for mixing traffic types within a PCN-domain are given in

   If a packet arrives at the PCN-ingress-node that shares a PCN-
   compatible DSCP and is not a PCN-packet, the PCN-ingress-node MUST
   mark it as not-PCN.

   If a PCN-packet arrives at the PCN-ingress-node, the PCN-ingress-node

      *  MUST change set the PCN codepoint of all PCN-packets to Not-marked.

   If a PCN-packet arrives at the PCN-ingress-node with its ECN field
   already set to a value other than not-ECT, then appropriate action
   MUST Not-marked

   4. PCN rate-metering:  This fourth step may be taken to meet necessary depending on
      the requirements of [RFC4774].  The simplest
   appropriate action edge-behaviour in force.  It is listed for completeness, but
      it is not relevant to just drop such packets.  However, this is a
   drastic action that an operator may feel is undesirable.  Appendix B
   provides more information and summarises other alternative actions
   that might be taken. encoding document.

5.2.  PCN-interior Node Behaviour

5.2.1.  Behaviour Common to all PCN-interior Nodes

   Interior nodes MUST NOT change not-PCN Not-PCN to any other codepoint.

   Interior nodes MUST NOT change NM to not-PCN. Not-PCN.

   Interior nodes MUST NOT change ThM to NM or not-PCN. Not-PCN.

   Interior nodes MUST NOT change ETM to any other codepoint.

5.2.2.  Behaviour of PCN-interior Nodes Using Two PCN-markings

   If the threshold-meter function indicates a need to mark a packet,
   the PCN-interior node PCN-interior-node MUST change NM to ThM.

   If the excess-traffic-meter function indicates a need to mark a

   o  the PCN-interior node PCN-interior-node MUST change NM to ETM;

   o  the PCN-interior node PCN-interior-node MUST change ThM to ETM.

   If both the threshold meter and the excess-traffic meter indicate the
   need to mark a packet, the Excess-traffic-marking rules MUST take

5.2.3.  Behaviour of PCN-interior Nodes Using One PCN-marking

   Some PCN edge behaviours require only one PCN-marking within the PCN-
   domain.  The Single Marking edge behaviour
   [I-D.ietf-pcn-sm-edge-behaviour] requires PCN-interior nodes PCN-interior-nodes to mark
   packets using the excess-traffic-meter function [RFC5670].  It is
   possible that future schemes may require only the threshold-meter
   function.  Appendix D explains the rationale for the behaviours
   defined in this section.  Marking Using only the Excess-traffic-meter Function

   The threshold-traffic-meter function SHOULD be disabled and MUST NOT
   trigger any packet marking.

   The PCN-interior node PCN-interior-node SHOULD raise a management alarm if it receives
   a ThM packet, but the frequency of such alarms SHOULD be limited.

   If the excess-traffic-meter function indicates a need to mark the

   o  the PCN-interior node PCN-interior-node MUST change NM to ETM;

   o  the PCN-interior node PCN-interior-node MUST change ThM to ETM.  It SHOULD also
      raise an alarm as above.  Marking using only the Threshold-meter Function

   The excess-traffic-meter function SHOULD be disabled and MUST NOT
   trigger any packet marking.

   The PCN-interior node PCN-interior-node SHOULD raise a management alarm if it receives
   an ETM packet, but the frequency of such alarms SHOULD be limited.

   If the threshold-meter function indicates a need to mark the packet:

   o  the PCN-interior node PCN-interior-node MUST change NM to ThM;

   o  the PCN-interior node PCN-interior-node MUST NOT change ETM to any other codepoint.
      It SHOULD raise an alarm as above if it encounters an ETM packet.

5.3.  PCN-egress Node Behaviour

   A PCN-egress-node SHOULD set the not-PCN Not-PCN (00) codepoint on all
   packets it forwards out of the PCN-domain.

   The only exception to this is if the PCN-egress-node is certain that
   revealing other codepoints outside the PCN-domain won't contravene
   the guidance given in [RFC4774].  For instance, if the PCN-ingress-
   node has explicitly informed the PCN-egress-node that this flow is
   ECN-capable, then it might be safe to expose other ECN codepoints.
   Appendix B gives details of how such schemes might work, but such
   schemes are currently only tentative ideas.

   If the PCN-domain is configured to use only excess-traffic marking, Excess-traffic-marking,
   the PCN-egress node PCN-egress-node MUST treat ThM as ETM and, if only threshold-
   marking is used, it SHOULD treat ETM as ThM.  However it SHOULD raise
   a management alarm in either instance case since this means there is some
   misconfiguration in the PCN-domain.

6.  Backward Compatibility

6.1.  Backward Compatibility with ECN

   BCP 124 [RFC4774] gives guidelines for specifying alternative
   semantics for the ECN field.  It sets out a number of factors to be
   taken into consideration.  It also suggests various techniques to
   allow the co-existence of default ECN and alternative ECN semantics.
   The encoding specified in this document uses one of those techniques;
   it defines PCN-compatible Diffserv codepoints as no longer supporting
   the default ECN semantics within a PCN domain.  As such, this
   document is compatible with BCP 124.

   On its own,

   There is not enough space in one IP header for the 3-in-1 encoding cannot to
   support both ECN marking end-
   to-end (e2e) end-to-end and PCN-marking within a PCN-domain. PCN-
   domain.  The non-normative Appendix B discusses possible ways to do
   this, e.g. by carrying e2e ECN across a PCN-domain within the inner
   header of an IP-in-IP tunnel.  Although
   Appendix B recommends various approaches over others, it is merely
   informative and all such schemes are beyond the  The normative scope text in Section 5.1
   requires one of
   this document. these methods to be configured at the PCN-ingress-
   node and recommends that implementations offer tunnelling as the

   In any PCN deployment, traffic can only enter the PCN-domain through
   PCN-ingress-nodes and leave through PCN-egress-nodes.  PCN-ingress-
   nodes ensure that any packets entering the PCN-domain have the ECN
   field in their outermost IP header set to the appropriate codepoint.
   PCN-egress-nodes then guarantee that the ECN field of any packet
   leaving the PCN-domain has appropriate ECN semantics.  This prevents
   unintended leakage of ECN marks into or out of the PCN-domain, and
   thus reduces backward-compatibility issues.

6.2.  Backward Compatibility with the RFC5696 Encoding

   A PCN node PCN-node implemented to use the obsoleted RFC5696 encoding could
   conceivably have been configured so that the Threshold-meter function
   marked what is now defined as the ETM codepoint in the 3-in-1
   encoding.  However, there is no known deployment of such an
   implementation this rather
   unlikely variant of RFC5696 and no reason to believe that such an
   implementation would ever have been built.  Therefore, it seems safe
   to ignore this issue.

7.  IANA Considerations

   This memo includes no request to IANA.

   Note to RFC Editor: this section may be removed on publication as an

8.  Security Considerations

   PCN-marking only carries a meaning within the confines of a PCN-
   domain.  This encoding document is intended to stand independently of
   the architecture used to determine how specific packets are
   authorised to be PCN-marked, which will be described in separate
   documents on PCN-boundary-node behaviour.

   This document assumes the PCN-domain to be entirely under the control
   of a single operator, or a set of operators who trust each other.
   However, future extensions to PCN might include inter-domain versions
   where trust cannot be assumed between domains.  If such schemes are
   proposed, they must ensure that they can operate securely despite the
   lack of trust.  However, such considerations are beyond the scope of
   this document.

   One potential security concern is the injection of spurious PCN-marks
   into the PCN-domain.  However, these can only enter the domain if a
   PCN-ingress-node is misconfigured.  The precise impact of any such
   misconfiguration will depend on which of the proposed PCN-boundary-
   node behaviours is used, but in general spurious marks will lead to
   admitting fewer flows into the domain or potentially terminating too
   many flows.  In either case, good management should be able to
   quickly spot the problem since the overall utilisation of the domain
   will rapidly fall.

9.  Conclusions

   The 3-in-1 PCN encoding uses a PCN-compatible DSCP and the ECN field
   to encode PCN-marks.  One codepoint allows non-PCN traffic to be
   carried with the same PCN-compatible DSCP and three other codepoints
   support three PCN marking states with different levels of severity.
   In general, the use of this PCN encoding scheme presupposes that any
   tunnel endpoints within the PCN-domain comply with [RFC6040].

10.  Acknowledgements

   Many thanks to Phil Philip Eardley for providing extensive feedback,
   criticism and advice.  Thanks also to Teco Boot, Kwok Ho Chan,
   Ruediger Geib, Georgios Karaginannis Karagiannis, Adrian Farrel and everyone else
   who has commented on the document.

11.  Comments Solicited

   To be removed by RFC Editor: Comments and questions are encouraged
   and very welcome.  They can be addressed to the IETF Congestion and
   Pre-Congestion working group mailing list <>, and/or to
   the authors.

12.  References

12.1.  Normative References

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

   [RFC2474]                           Nichols, K., Blake, S., Baker,
                                       F., and D. Black, "Definition of
                                       the Differentiated Services Field
                                       (DS Field) in the IPv4 and IPv6
                                       Headers", RFC 2474,
                                       December 1998.

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

   [RFC5559]                           Eardley, P., "Pre-Congestion
                                       Notification (PCN) Architecture",
                                       RFC 5559, June 2009.

   [RFC5670]                           Eardley, P., "Metering and
                                       Marking Behaviour of PCN-Nodes",
                                       RFC 5670, November 2009.

   [RFC6040]                           Briscoe, B., "Tunnelling of
                                       Explicit Congestion
                                       Notification", RFC 6040,
                                       November 2010.

12.2.  Informative References

   [I-D.ietf-pcn-cl-edge-behaviour]    Charny, A., Huang, F.,
                                       Karagiannis, G., Menth, M., and
                                       T. Taylor, "PCN Boundary Node
                                       Behaviour for the Controlled Load
                                       (CL) Mode of Operation", draft-
                                       (work in progress), June 2011.
                                       February 2012.

   [I-D.ietf-pcn-encoding-comparison]  Karagiannis, G., Chan, K.,
                                       Moncaster, T., Menth, M.,
                                       Eardley, P., and B. Briscoe,
                                       "Overview of Pre-Congestion
                                       Notification Encoding", draft-
                                       (work in progress), June 2011. March 2012.

   [I-D.ietf-pcn-sm-edge-behaviour]    Charny, A., Karagiannis, G.,
                                       Menth, M., and T. Taylor, "PCN
                                       Boundary Node Behaviour for the
                                       Single Marking (SM) Mode of
                                       Operation", draft-ietf-pcn-sm-
                                       edge-behaviour-09 (work in
                                       progress), June 2011. February 2012.

   [RFC2597]                           Heinanen, J., Baker, F., Weiss,
                                       W., and J. Wroclawski, "Assured
                                       Forwarding PHB Group", RFC 2597,
                                       June 1999.

   [RFC3246]                           Davie, B., Charny, A., Bennet,
                                       J., Benson, K., Le Boudec, J.,
                                       Courtney, W., Davari, S., Firoiu,
                                       V., and D. Stiliadis, "An
                                       Expedited Forwarding PHB (Per-Hop
                                       Behavior)", RFC 3246, March 2002.

   [RFC3540]                           Spring, N., Wetherall, D., and D.
                                       Ely, "Robust Explicit Congestion
                                       Notification (ECN) Signaling with
                                       Nonces", RFC 3540, June 2003.

   [RFC4594]                           Babiarz, J., Chan, K., and F.
                                       Baker, "Configuration Guidelines
                                       for DiffServ Service Classes",
                                       RFC 4594, August 2006.

   [RFC4774]                           Floyd, S., "Specifying Alternate
                                       Semantics for the Explicit
                                       Congestion Notification (ECN)
                                       Field", BCP 124, RFC 4774,
                                       November 2006.

   [RFC5127]                           Chan, K., Babiarz, J., and F.
                                       Baker, "Aggregation of DiffServ
                                       Service Classes", RFC 5127,
                                       February 2008.

   [RFC5129]                           Davie, B., Briscoe, B., and J.
                                       Tay, "Explicit Congestion Marking
                                       in MPLS", RFC 5129, January 2008.

   [RFC5462]                           Andersson, L. and R. Asati,
                                       "Multiprotocol Label Switching
                                       (MPLS) Label Stack Entry: "EXP"
                                       Field Renamed to "Traffic Class"
                                       Field", RFC 5462, February 2009.

   [RFC5696]                           Moncaster, T., Briscoe, B., and
                                       M. Menth, "Baseline Encoding and
                                       Transport of Pre-Congestion
                                       Information", RFC 5696,
                                       November 2009.

   [RFC5865]                           Baker, F., Polk, J., and M.
                                       Dolly, "A Differentiated Services
                                       Code Point (DSCP) for Capacity-
                                       Admitted Traffic", RFC 5865,
                                       May 2010.

Appendix A.  Choice of Suitable DSCPs

   This appendix is informative, not normative.

   A single DSCP has not been defined for use with PCN for several
   reasons.  Firstly, the PCN mechanism is applicable to a variety of
   different traffic classes.  Secondly, Standards Track DSCPs are in
   increasingly short supply.  Thirdly, PCN is not a scheduling
   behaviour -- rather, it should be seen as being a marking behaviour
   similar to ECN but intended for inelastic traffic.  The choice of
   which DSCP is most suitable for a given PCN-domain is dependent on
   the nature of the traffic entering that domain and the link rates of
   all the links making up that domain.  In PCN-domains with sufficient
   aggregation, the appropriate DSCPs would currently be those for the
   Real-Time Treatment Aggregate [RFC5127].  It is suggested that
   admission control could be used for the following service classes
   (defined in [RFC4594] unless otherwise stated):

   o  Telephony (EF)

   o  Real-time interactive (CS4)

   o  Broadcast Video (CS3)

   o  Multimedia Conferencing (AF4)
   o  the VOICE-ADMIT codepoint defined in [RFC5865].

   CS5 is excluded from this list since PCN is not expected to be
   applied to signalling traffic.

   PCN-marking is intended to provide a scalable admission-control
   mechanism for traffic with a high degree of statistical multiplexing.
   PCN-marking would therefore be appropriate to apply to traffic in the
   above classes, but only within a PCN-domain containing sufficiently
   aggregated traffic.  In such cases, the above service classes may
   well all be subject to a single forwarding treatment (treatment
   aggregate [RFC5127]).  However, this does not imply all such IP
   traffic would necessarily be identified by one DSCP -- each service
   class might keep a distinct DSCP within the highly aggregated region

   Guidelines for conserving DSCPs by allowing non-admission-controlled-
   traffic to compete with PCN-traffic are given in Appendix B.1 of

   Additional service classes may be defined for which admission control
   is appropriate, whether through some future standards action or
   through local use by certain operators, e.g., the Multimedia
   Streaming service class (AF3).  This document does not preclude the
   use of PCN in more cases than those listed above.

   Note: The above discussion is informative not normative, as operators
   are ultimately free to decide whether to use admission control for
   certain service classes and whether to use PCN as their mechanism of

Appendix B.  Co-existence of ECN and PCN

   This appendix is informative, not normative.  It collects together
   material relevant to co-existence of ECN and PCN, including that
   spread throughout the body of this specification.  If this results in
   any conflict or ambiguity, the normative text in the body of the
   specification takes precedence.

   ECN [RFC3168] is an e2e congestion notification mechanism.  As such
   it is possible that some traffic entering the PCN-domain may also be
   ECN-capable.  The PCN encoding described in this document re-uses the
   bits of the ECN field in the IP header.  Consequently, this disables
   ECN within the PCN domain.  Appendix B of [RFC5696] (obsoleted) included advice
   on handling ECN traffic within a PCN-domain.  This appendix
   reiterates and clarifies that advice.

   For the purposes of this appendix we define two forms of traffic that
   might arrive at a PCN-ingress-node.  These are admission-controlled
   traffic (PCN-traffic) and non-admission-controlled traffic.

   Admission-controlled traffic will be re-marked to a PCN-compatible
   DSCP by the PCN-ingress-node.  Two mechanisms can be used to identify
   such traffic:

   a. (non-PCN-

   Flow signalling, which associates signalling identifies admission controlled traffic, by
   associating a filterspec with a the need for admission control (e.g.
   through RSVP or some equivalent message, e.g. from a SIP server to
   the ingress); the ingress or from a logically centralised network control system).
   The PCN-ingress-node re-
       marks re-marks admission-conrolled traffic matching
   that filterspec to a PCN-compatible DSCP.

   b.  Traffic arrives with a DSCP  Note that implies it requires admission
       control such as VOICE-ADMIT [RFC5865] or Real-Time Interactive,
       Broadcast Video when used for video the term flow
   need not imply just one microflow, but instead could match an
   aggregate and/or could depend on demand, and multimedia
       conferencing [RFC4594][RFC5865] the incoming DSCP (see Appendix A).

   All other traffic can be thought of as non-admission-controlled (and
   therefore outside the scope of PCN).  However such traffic may still
   need to share the same DSCP as the admission-controlled traffic.
   This may be due to policy (for instance if it is high priority voice
   traffic), or may be because there is a shortage of local DSCPs.

   ECN [RFC3168] is an end-to-end congestion notification mechanism.  As
   such it is possible that some traffic entering the PCN-domain may
   also be ECN capable.

   Unless specified otherwise, for any of the cases in the list below,
   an IP-in-IP tunnel that complies with[RFC6040] can be used to
   preserve ECN markings across the PCN domain.  The tunnelling action
   should be applied wholly outside the PCN-domain as illustrated in
   Figure 2.  Then, by the following figure: rules of RFC6040, the tunnel egress
   propagates the ECN field from the inner header, because the PCN-
   egress will have zeroed the outer ECN field.

                ,  .  .  .  .  .  PCN-domain  .  .  .  .  .  .
               .   ,--------.                   ,--------.    .
              .   _|  PCN-   |___________________|  PCN-  |_   .
              .  / | ingress |                   | egress | \  .
               .|  '---------'                   '--------'  |.
                | .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .|
           ,--------.                                     ,--------.
     _____| Tunnel  |                                     | Tunnel |____
          | Ingress | - - ECN preserved inside tunnel - - | Egress |
          '---------'                                     '--------'

            Figure 2: Separation of tunnelling and PCN actions

   There are three cases for how e2e ECN traffic may wish to be treated
   while crossing a PCN domain:

   a) Traffic that does not require PCN admission control:
      For example, traffic that does not match flow signaling being used
      for admission control.  In this case the e2e ECN traffic is not
      treated as PCN-traffic.  There are two possible scenarios:

      *  Arriving traffic does not carry a PCN-compatible DSCP: no
         action required.

      *  Arriving traffic carries a DSCP that clashes with a PCN-
         compatible DSCP.  There are two options:

         1.  The ingress maps the DSCP to a local DSCP with the same
             scheduling PHB as the original DSCP, and the egress re-maps
             it to the original PCN-compatible DSCP.

         2.  The ingress tunnels the traffic, setting not-PCN the DSCP in the
             outer header to a local DSCP with the same scheduling PHB
             as the original DSCP.

         3.  The ingress tunnels the traffic, using the original DSCP in
             the outer but setting Not-PCN in the outer header; note
             that this turns off ECN for this traffic within the PCN

         The first option is or second options are recommended unless the operator
         is short of local DSCPs.

   b) Traffic that requires admission-control:
      In this case the e2e ECN traffic is treated as PCN-traffic across
      the PCN domain.  There are two options.

      *  The PCN-ingress-node places this traffic in a tunnel with a
         PCN-compatible DSCP in the outer header.  The PCN-egress zeroes
         the ECN-field before decapsulation.

      *  The PCN-ingress-node drops CE-marked packets and otherwise sets
         the ECN-field to NM and sets the DCSP to a PCN-compatible DSCP.
         The PCN-egress zeroes the ECN field of all PCN packets; note
         that this turns off e2e ECN.

      The second option is emphatically not recommended, unless perhaps
      as a last resort if tunnelling is not possible for some
      insurmountable reason.

   c) Traffic that requires PCN admission control where the endpoints
   ask to see PCN marks:
      Note that this scheme is currently only a tentative idea.

      For real-time data generated by an adaptive codec, schemes have
      been suggested where PCN marks may be leaked out of the PCN-domain
      so that end hosts can drop to a lower data rate, data-rate, thus deferring
      the need for admission control.  Currently such schemes require
      further study and the following is for guidance only.

      The PCN-ingress-node needs to tunnel the traffic as in Figure 2,
      taking care to comply with [RFC6040].  In this case the PCN-egress
      does not zero the ECN field contrary to the recommendation in
      Section 5.3, so that the [RFC6040] tunnel egress will preserve any
      PCN-marking.  Note that a PCN interior node PCN-interior-node may change the ECN-
      field from 10 to 01 (NM to ThM), which would be interpreted by the
      e2e ECN as a change from ECT(0) into ECT(1).  This would not be
      compatible with the (currently experimental) ECN nonce [RFC3540].

Appendix C.  Example Mapping between Encoding of PCN-Marks in IP and in
             MPLS Shim Headers

   This appendix is informative not normative.

   The 6 bits of the DS field in the IP header provide for 64
   codepoints.  When encapsulating IP traffic in MPLS, it is useful to
   make the DS field information accessible in the MPLS header.
   However, the MPLS shim header has only a 3-bit traffic class (TC)
   field [RFC5462] providing for 8 codepoints.  The operator has the
   freedom to define a site-local mapping of the 64 codepoints of the DS
   field onto the 8 codepoints in the TC field.

   [RFC5129] describes how ECN markings in the IP header can also be
   mapped to codepoints in the MPLS TC field.  Appendix A of [RFC5129]
   gives an informative description of how to support PCN in MPLS by
   extending the way MPLS supports ECN.  [RFC5129] was written while PCN
   specifications were in early draft stages.  The following provides a
   clearer example of a mapping between PCN in IP and in MPLS using the
   PCN terminology and concepts that have since been specified.

   To support PCN in a MPLS domain, a PCN-compatible DSCP ('DSCP n')
   needs codepoints to be provided in the TC field for all the PCN-marks
   used.  That means, when for instance only excess-traffic-marking is
   used for PCN purposes, the operator needs to define a site-local
   mapping to two codepoints in the MPLS TC field for IP headers with:

   o  DSCP n and NM

   o  DSCP n and ETM

   If both excess-traffic-marking and threshold-marking are used, the
   operator needs to define a site-local mapping to codepoints in the
   MPLS TC field for IP headers with all three of the 3-in-1 codepoints:

   o  DSCP n and NM

   o  DSCP n and ThM

   o  DSCP n and ETM
   In either case, if the operator wishes to support the same Diffserv
   PHB but without PCN marking, it will also be necessary to define a
   site-local mapping to an MPLS TC codepoint for IP headers marked

   o  DSCP n and Not-PCN

   The above sets of codepoints are required for every PCN-compatible
   DSCP.  Clearly, given so few TC codepoints are available, it may be
   necessary to compromise by merging together some capabilities.
   Guidelines for conserving TC codepoints by allowing non-admission-
   controlled-traffic to compete with PCN-traffic are given in Appendix
   B.1 of [RFC5670].

Appendix D.  Rationale for Difference Between the Schemes using One PCN-

   Readers may notice a difference between the two behaviours in
   Section and Section  With only excess-traffic Excess-traffic-
   marking enabled, an unexpected ThM packet can be re-marked to ETM.
   However, with only Threshold-marking, an unexpected ETM packet cannot
   be re-marked to ThM.

   This apparent inconsistency is deliberate.  The behaviour with only
   threshold marking
   Threshold-marking keeps to the rule of Section 5.2.1 that ETM is more
   severe and must never be changed to ThM even though ETM is not a
   valid marking in this case.  Otherwise implementations would have to
   allow operators to configure an exception to this rule, which would
   not be safe practice and would require different code in the data data-
   plane compared to the common behaviour.

Authors' Addresses

   Bob Briscoe
   B54/77, Adastral Park
   Martlesham Heath
   Ipswich  IP5 3RE

   Phone: +44 1473 645196
   Toby Moncaster
   Moncaster Internet Consulting
   Layer Marney
   Colchester  CO5 9UZ

   Phone: +44 7764 185416

   Michael Menth
   University of Tuebingen
   Sand 13
   Tuebingen  72076

   Phone: +49 7071 2970505