Use of P4 Programs in IETF Specifications
draft-hsingh-coinrg-p4use-00

Document Type Active Internet-Draft (individual)
Authors Hemant Singh  , Marie-Jose Montpetit 
Last updated 2020-09-30
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COIN                                                            H. Singh
Internet-Draft                                   MNK Labs and Consulting
Intended status: Informational                            M-J. Montpetit
Expires: April 3, 2021                              Concordia Univeristy
                                                      September 30, 2020

               Use of P4 Programs in IETF Specifications
                      draft-hsingh-coinrg-p4use-00

Abstract

   The IETF specifies several algorithms operating in the data plane of
   a network node, including liveliness detection, congestion control,
   network measurement, security, and load balancing.  Such algorithms
   are commonly specified using English or flow charts.  As an
   alternative, this document proposes that P4 programs can be used to
   specify some data plane algorithms.  P4 is a programming language
   created in 2014 to program the data plane of network nodes such as
   switches, routers, smartNICs, and generic compute targets.

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
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   This Internet-Draft will expire on April 3, 2021.

Copyright Notice

   Copyright (c) 2020 IETF Trust and the persons identified as the
   document authors.  All rights reserved.

   This document is subject to BCP 78 and the IETF Trust's Legal
   Provisions Relating to IETF Documents
   (https://trustee.ietf.org/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

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   to this document.  Code Components extracted from this document must
   include Simplified BSD License text as described in Section 4.e of
   the Trust Legal Provisions and are provided without warranty as
   described in the Simplified BSD License.

Table of Contents

   1.  Requirements Language . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   2
   2.  Introduction  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   2
   3.  Example Use . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   2
   4.  Summary of P4 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   4
   5.  Security Considerations . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   4
   6.  IANA Considerations . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   4
   7.  Acknowledgements  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   4
   8.  References  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   4
     8.1.  Normative References  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   4
     8.2.  Informative References  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   5
   Authors' Addresses  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   5

1.  Requirements Language

   The key words "MUST", "MUST NOT", "REQUIRED", "SHALL", "SHALL NOT",
   "SHOULD", "SHOULD NOT", "RECOMMENDED", "MAY", and "OPTIONAL" in this
   document are to be interpreted as described in RFC 2119 [RFC2119].

2.  Introduction

   Research papers for data plane algorithms already use P4 programs to
   specify algorithms.  The MIT Domino compiler [MIT-Domino] which
   synthesizes hardware logic also outputs a P4 program.  For example,
   the HULA [HULA] data plane congestion control algorithm includes P4
   programming logic in the paper.

   In another section, this document shows an example for how textual
   description and flow chart of an algorithm could be augmented or
   replaced by a P4 program.  Lastly, This document presents a summary
   of the P4 programming language.

3.  Example Use

   An IETF document in [I-D.chen-nvo3-load-banlancing] discusses the
   flowlet algorithm for load balancing.  The draft includes description
   of algorithm in section 4.1 and a state machine diagram in section 5.
   Further, if other tables are used in conjunction with the flowlet
   table, in what sequence does one invoke the tables?  Specifying the
   algorithm of the draft as a P4 program is appropriate.  Open source
   P4 compiler (p4c) already includes a P4 program which implements the
   flowlet algorithm.  See

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