Considerations on Information Passed between Networks and Applications
draft-arkko-path-signals-information-00

Document Type Active Internet-Draft (individual)
Author Jari Arkko 
Last updated 2021-02-22
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Network Working Group                                           J. Arkko
Internet-Draft                                                  Ericsson
Intended status: Informational                          22 February 2021
Expires: 26 August 2021

 Considerations on Information Passed between Networks and Applications
              draft-arkko-path-signals-information-00

Abstract

   Path signals are messages seen by on-path elements examining
   transport protocols.  Current preference for good protocol design
   indicates desire for constructing explict rather than implicit
   signals to carry information.  For instance, the ability of various
   middleboxes to read TCP messaging was an implicit signal that lead to
   difficulties in evolving the TCP protocol without breaking
   connectivity through some of those middleboxes.

   This document discusses the types of information that could be passed
   in these path signals, and provides some advice on what types of
   information might be provided in a beneficial manner, and which
   information might be less likely to be revealed or used by
   applications or networks.

Status of This Memo

   This Internet-Draft is submitted in full conformance with the
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   This Internet-Draft will expire on 26 August 2021.

Copyright Notice

   Copyright (c) 2021 IETF Trust and the persons identified as the
   document authors.  All rights reserved.

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   Please review these documents carefully, as they describe your rights
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Table of Contents

   1.  Introduction  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   2
   2.  Past Experiences and Guidance . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   2
   3.  Principles  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   3
     3.1.  Information Specificity . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   3
     3.2.  Granularity . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   5
   4.  Acknowledgments . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   5
   5.  Informative References  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   5
   Author's Address  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   6

1.  Introduction

   [RFC8558] discusses the topic of path signals: Path signals are
   messages seen by on-path elements examining transport protocols.
   There's a difference between implicit and explicit signals.  For
   instance, TCP's well-known messages [RFC0793] are in the clear, and
   often interpreted in various ways by on-path elements.  In contrast,
   QUIC protects almost all of this information, and hence end-to-end
   signaling becomes opaque for network elements in between.  QUIC does
   provide some information, but has chosen to make these signals (such
   as the Spin bit) explicit [I-D.ietf-quic-transport].

   Many attempts have been made at network - application collaboration
   using path signals.  Section 2 discusses some of the experiences and
   guidelines determine from those attempts.  This draft then focuses on
   the specific question of what kind of data can be passed.

2.  Past Experiences and Guidance

   Incentives are a well understood problem in general but perhaps not
   fully internalised for various collaborative like designs.  The
   principle is that both receiver and sender of information must
   acquire tangible and immediate benefits from the communication, such
   as improved performance,

   A related issue is understanding whether there is or is not a
   business model or ecosystem change.  Some designs may work well
   without any monetary or payment or cross-administrative domains

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   agreements.  For instance, I could ask my packets to be prioritised
   relative to each other and that shouldn't affect anything else.  Some
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