RADIUS Identifier Attribute

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Network Working Group                                           E. Chen
Internet Draft                                                  N. Shen
Intended Status: Standards Track                          Cisco Systems
Expiration Date: September 28, 2017                      March 27, 2017

                      RADIUS Identifier Attribute

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Chen & Shen                                                     [Page 1]

Internet Draft  draft-chen-radext-extended-header-02.txt      March 2017


   The limitation with the one-octet "Identifier" field in the RADIUS
   packet is well known. In this document we propose extensions to the
   RADIUS protocol to address this fundamental limitation, and thus
   allowing for more efficient and more scalable implementations.

1. Introduction

   The "Identifier" field in the RADIUS packet [RFC2865] is used to
   match outstanding requests and replies.  As the field is one octet in
   size, only 256 requests can be in progress between two endpoints,
   which would present a significant bottleneck for performance.  The
   workaround for this limitation is to use multiple source ports as
   documented and discussed in [RFC2865], [RFC3539], and [RFC6613].

   Currently it is quite common to have hundreds of parallel connections
   between a RADIUS client and a server, especially in the deployment of
   controllers for wireless clients.  As the scale requirement continues
   to increase, the number of "parallel connections" is expected to grow
   (perhaps reaching thousands), which will undoubtedly create a number
   of challenges with resource utilization, efficiency, and connection
   management (with RADIUS over TCP [RFC6613] in particular) on both the
   client and the server.

   In this document we propose extensions to the RADIUS protocol to
   address this fundamental limitation and thus allowing for more
   efficient and more scalable implementations. More specifically, a new
   attribute ("Identifier Attribute") is defined that can be used to
   discover the support of this specification between a client and a
   server using the Status-Server message [RFC5997].  Once the support
   is confirmed, the attribute can then be used to carry the identifier
   parameter in subsequent RADIUS packets.

   The attribute also provides an option for carrying the RADIUS packet
   type "Code" in a larger field just in case that becomes necessary in
   the future.

   For brevity the extensions specified in this document are referred to
   as "the Extended Identifier feature" hereafter.

Chen & Shen                                                     [Page 2]

Internet Draft  draft-chen-radext-extended-header-02.txt      March 2017

1.1. Specification of Requirements

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

2. Protocol Extensions

2.1. The Identifier Attribute

   A new attribute, termed "Identifier Attribute", is specified which
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