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Stateless and Scalable Network Slice Identification for SRv6

Document Type Active Internet-Draft (individual)
Authors Clarence Filsfils , Francois Clad , Pablo Camarillo , Syed Raza , Daniel Voyer , Reza Rokui
Last updated 2023-08-01
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SPRING                                                  C. Filsfils, Ed.
Internet-Draft                                              F. Clad, Ed.
Intended status: Standards Track                            P. Camarillo
Expires: 2 February 2024                                         K. Raza
                                                     Cisco Systems, Inc.
                                                                D. Voyer
                                                             Bell Canada
                                                                R. Rokui
                                                           1 August 2023

      Stateless and Scalable Network Slice Identification for SRv6


   This document defines a stateless and scalable solution to achieve
   network slicing with SRv6.

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

   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 2 February 2024.

Copyright Notice

   Copyright (c) 2023 IETF Trust and the persons identified as the
   document authors.  All rights reserved.

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   This document is subject to BCP 78 and the IETF Trust's Legal
   Provisions Relating to IETF Documents (
   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 Revised BSD License text as
   described in Section 4.e of the Trust Legal Provisions and are
   provided without warranty as described in the Revised BSD License.

Table of Contents

   1.  Introduction  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   2
   2.  Slice Identifier  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   3
   3.  SLID Presence Indicator . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   3
   4.  Ingress PE SLID Assignment  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   3
   5.  Per-Slice Forwarding  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   4
   6.  Bandwidth-Allocation Slice  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   4
   7.  Backward Compatibility  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   4
   8.  Acknowledgements  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   5
   9.  References  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   5
     9.1.  Normative References  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   5
     9.2.  Informative References  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   5
   Authors' Addresses  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   6

1.  Introduction

   SRv6 Network Programming[RFC8986] enables the creation of overlays
   with underlay optimization to be deployed in an SR domain[RFC8402].

   As defined in [RFC8754], all inter-domain packets are encapsulated
   for the part of the packet journey that is within the SR domain.  The
   outer IPv6 header is originated by a node of the SR domain and is
   destined to a node of the SR domain.

   This document describes a stateless encoding of slice identification
   in the outer IPv6 header of an SR domain.  The slice identification
   is independent of topology and the QoS/DiffServ policy of the
   network, thus enabling scalable network slicing for SRv6 overlays.

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   The definition of network slicing in the context of networks built
   from IETF technologies is specified in
   [I-D.ietf-teas-ietf-network-slices].  It defines the term "IETF
   Network Slice" and establishes the general principles of network
   slicing in the IETF context.  It also discusses the general framework
   for requesting and operating IETF Network Slices, the characteristics
   of an IETF Network Slice, the necessary system components and
   interfaces, and how abstract requests can be mapped to more specific
   technologies.  The document also discusses related considerations
   with monitoring and security.

2.  Slice Identifier

   The Slice Identifier (SLID) is a value encoded within the IPv6 packet
   that allows transit routers to process the packet according to
   network slice-based policy.  An example of slice-based policy that
   can be enforced using the SLID is described in Section 6.

   The SLID may identify a unique IETF network slice or a group of
   slices that share the same policy.  For example, a SLID may identify
   a slice aggregate [I-D.bestbar-teas-ns-packet].

   This document proposes to encode the SLID in a portion of the IPv6
   Flow Label.

   The precise SLID location within the IPv6 Flow Label and the number
   of bits used to encode it are governed by local policy and uniform
   within the SR domain.

3.  SLID Presence Indicator

   The SLID Presence Indicator (SPI) is set by a SLID-capable IPv6
   source node to inform transit routers that a SLID is encoded in the

   The SPI is encoded as a specific bit or range of values in the
   Traffic Class field of the IPv6 header.

   The encoding of the SPI in the IPv6 header is governed by local
   policy and uniform within the SR domain.

4.  Ingress PE SLID Assignment

   When an ingress PE receives a packet that traverses the SR domain, it
   encapsulates the packet in an outer IPv6 header and optional SRH as
   defined in [RFC8754].  The ingress PE MAY also classify the packet
   into a slice and set the slice identifier as follows:

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   *  Set the SPI in the outer IPv6 header.

   *  Write the SLID in the outer IPv6 header.

   The slice classification method is outside the scope of this

5.  Per-Slice Forwarding

   Any router within the SR domain that forwards a packet with SPI bit
   set uses the SLID to select a slice and apply per-slice policies.

   There are many different policies that could define a slice for a
   particular application or service.  The most basic of these is
   bandwidth-allocation, an implementation complying with this
   specification SHOULD support the bandwidth-allocation slice as
   defined in the next section.

6.  Bandwidth-Allocation Slice

   A per-slice policy is configured at each interface of each router in
   the SR domain, with one traffic shaper per SLID.  The bitrate of each
   shaper is configured to reflect the bandwidth allocation of the per-
   slice policy.

   If shapers are not available, or desirable, an implementation MAY
   configure one scheduling queue per SLID with a guaranteed bandwidth
   equal to the bandwidth-allocation for the slice.  This option allows
   a slice to consume more bandwidth than its allocation when available.

   Per-slice shapers or queues effectively provides a virtual port per
   slice.  This solution MAY be complemented with a per-virtual-port
   hierarchical DiffServ policy.  Within the context of one specific
   slice, packets are further classified into children DiffServ queues
   which hang from the virtual port.  The DSCP value in the IPv6 header
   SHOULD be used for queue selection.

7.  Backward Compatibility

   The Flow Label usage described in this document is consistent with
   [RFC6437] and [RFC6438].

   PE routers that do not set the SPI do not enable the SLID semantic of
   the Flow Label bits.  Hence, SLID-aware routers would not attempt to
   classify these packets into a slice.

   Any router that does not process the SPI nor the SLID forwards
   packets as usual.

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8.  Acknowledgements

   The authors would like to thank Darren Dukes, Ketan Talaulikar, Jisu
   Bhattacharya, John Bettink, Aman Manot, and David Melman for their
   insightful feedback on this document.

9.  References

9.1.  Normative References

   [RFC8402]  Filsfils, C., Ed., Previdi, S., Ed., Ginsberg, L.,
              Decraene, B., Litkowski, S., and R. Shakir, "Segment
              Routing Architecture", RFC 8402, DOI 10.17487/RFC8402,
              July 2018, <>.

   [RFC8754]  Filsfils, C., Ed., Dukes, D., Ed., Previdi, S., Leddy, J.,
              Matsushima, S., and D. Voyer, "IPv6 Segment Routing Header
              (SRH)", RFC 8754, DOI 10.17487/RFC8754, March 2020,

   [RFC8986]  Filsfils, C., Ed., Camarillo, P., Ed., Leddy, J., Voyer,
              D., Matsushima, S., and Z. Li, "Segment Routing over IPv6
              (SRv6) Network Programming", RFC 8986,
              DOI 10.17487/RFC8986, February 2021,

9.2.  Informative References

              Saad, T., Beeram, V. P., Dong, J., Wen, B., Ceccarelli,
              D., Halpern, J. M., Peng, S., Chen, R., Liu, X.,
              Contreras, L. M., Rokui, R., and L. Jalil, "Realizing
              Network Slices in IP/MPLS Networks", Work in Progress,
              Internet-Draft, draft-bestbar-teas-ns-packet-10, 5 May
              2022, <

              Farrel, A., Drake, J., Rokui, R., Homma, S., Makhijani,
              K., Contreras, L. M., and J. Tantsura, "A Framework for
              IETF Network Slices", Work in Progress, Internet-Draft,
              draft-ietf-teas-ietf-network-slices-22, 24 July 2023,

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   [RFC6437]  Amante, S., Carpenter, B., Jiang, S., and J. Rajahalme,
              "IPv6 Flow Label Specification", RFC 6437,
              DOI 10.17487/RFC6437, November 2011,

   [RFC6438]  Carpenter, B. and S. Amante, "Using the IPv6 Flow Label
              for Equal Cost Multipath Routing and Link Aggregation in
              Tunnels", RFC 6438, DOI 10.17487/RFC6438, November 2011,

Authors' Addresses

   Clarence Filsfils (editor)
   Cisco Systems, Inc.

   Francois Clad (editor)
   Cisco Systems, Inc.

   Pablo Camarillo
   Cisco Systems, Inc.

   Kamran Raza
   Cisco Systems, Inc.

   Daniel Voyer
   Bell Canada

   Reza Rokui

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