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Bidirectional Forwarding Detection (BFD) for IPv4 and IPv6 (Single Hop)

The information below is for an old version of the document that is already published as an RFC.
Document Type
This is an older version of an Internet-Draft that was ultimately published as RFC 5881.
Authors Dave Katz , David Ward
Last updated 2020-01-21 (Latest revision 2010-01-05)
RFC stream Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF)
Intended RFC status Proposed Standard
Additional resources Mailing list discussion
Stream WG state (None)
Document shepherd (None)
IESG IESG state Became RFC 5881 (Proposed Standard)
Action Holders
Consensus boilerplate Unknown
Telechat date (None)
Responsible AD Ross Callon
Send notices to (None)
Network Working Group                                           D. Katz
Internet Draft                                         Juniper Networks
Intended status: Proposed Standard                              D. Ward
                                                       Juniper Networks
Expires: July, 2010                                     January 5, 2010

                   BFD for IPv4 and IPv6 (Single Hop)

Status of this Memo

   This Internet-Draft is submitted to IETF in full conformance with the
   provisions of BCP 78 and BCP 79.

   Internet-Drafts are working documents of the Internet Engineering
   Task Force (IETF), its areas, and its working groups.  Note that
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Copyright Notice

   Copyright (c) 2009 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
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   ( 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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   described in the BSD License.

Katz, Ward                                                      [Page 1]
Internet Draft     BFD for IPv4 and IPv6 (Single Hop)      January, 2010


   This document describes the use of the Bidirectional Forwarding
   Detection protocol over IPv4 and IPv6 for single IP hops.

Conventions used in this document

   The key words "MUST", "MUST NOT", "REQUIRED", "SHALL", "SHALL NOT",
   document are to be interpreted as described in RFC-2119 [KEYWORDS].

1. Introduction

   One very desirable application for BFD [BFD] is to track IPv4 and
   IPv6 connectivity between directly-connected systems.  This could be
   used to supplement the detection mechanisms in routing protocols, or
   to monitor router-host connectivity, among other applications.

   This document describes the particulars necessary to use BFD in this
   environment.  Interactions between BFD and other protocols and system
   functions are described in the BFD Generic Applications document

2. Applications and Limitations

   This application of BFD can be used by any pair of systems
   communicating via IPv4 and/or IPv6 across a single IP hop that is
   associated with an incoming interface.  This includes, but is not
   limited to, physical media, virtual circuits, and tunnels.

   Each BFD session between a pair of systems MUST traverse a separate
   network-layer path in both directions.  This is necessary for
   demultiplexing to work properly, and also because (by definition)
   multiple sessions would otherwise be protecting the same path.

   If BFD is to be used in conjunction with both IPv4 and IPv6 on a
   particular path, a separate BFD session MUST be established for each
   protocol (and thus encapsulated by that protocol) over that link.

   If the BFD Echo function is used, transmitted packets are immediately
   routed back towards the sender on the interface over which they were
   sent. This may interact with other mechanisms that are used on the

Katz, Ward                                                      [Page 2]
Internet Draft     BFD for IPv4 and IPv6 (Single Hop)      January, 2010

   two systems that employ BFD. In particular, ingress filtering [BCP38]
   is incompatible with the way Echo packets need to be sent.
   Implementations that support the Echo function MUST either ensure
   that ingress filtering is not used on an interface that employs the
   Echo function, or need make an exception for ingress filtering Echo

   An implementation of the Echo function also requires Application
   Programming Interfaces (APIs) that may not exist on all systems.  A
   system implementing the Echo function MUST be capable of sending
   packets to its own address, which will typically require  bypassing
   the normal forwarding lookup.  This typically requires access to APIs
   that bypass IP layer functionality.

   Please note that BFD is intended as a connectivity check/connection
   verification OAM mechanism.  It is applicable for network-based
   services (e.g. router-to-router, subscriber-to-gateway, LSP/circuit
   endpoints and service appliance failure detection).  In these
   scenarios it is required that the operator correctly provision the
   rates at which BFD is transmitted to avoid congestion (e.g link, I/O,
   CPU) and false failure detection.  It is not applicable for
   application-to-application failure detection across the Internet
   because it does not have sufficient capability to do necessary
   congestion detection and avoidance and therefore cannot prevent
   congestion collapse. Host-to-host or application-to-application
   deployment across the Internet will require the encapsulation of BFD
   within a transport that provides "TCP-friendly" [TFRC] behavior.

3. Initialization and Demultiplexing

   In this application, there will be only a single BFD session between
   two systems over a given interface (logical or physical) for a
   particular protocol.  The BFD session must be bound to this
   interface.  As such, both sides of a session MUST take the "Active"
   role (sending initial BFD Control packets with a zero value of Your
   Discriminator) and any BFD packet from the remote machine with a zero
   value of Your Discriminator MUST be associated with the session bound
   to the remote system, interface, and protocol.

Katz, Ward                                                      [Page 3]
Internet Draft     BFD for IPv4 and IPv6 (Single Hop)      January, 2010

4. Encapsulation

   BFD Control packets MUST be transmitted in UDP packets with
   destination port 3784, within an IPv4 or IPv6 packet.  The source
   port MUST be in the range 49152 through 65535.  The same UDP source
   port number MUST be used for all BFD Control packets associated with
   a particular session.  The source port number SHOULD be unique among
   all BFD sessions on the system.  If more than 16384 BFD sessions are
   simultaneously active, UDP source port numbers MAY be reused on
   multiple sessions, but the number of distinct uses of the same UDP
   source port number SHOULD be minimized.  An implementation MAY use
   the UDP port source number to aid in demultiplexing incoming BFD
   Control packets, but ultimately the mechanisms in [BFD] MUST be used
   to demultiplex incoming packets to the proper session.

   BFD Echo packets MUST be transmitted in UDP packets with destination
   UDP port 3785 in an IPv4 or IPv6 packet.  The setting of the UDP
   source port is outside the scope of this specification.  The
   destination address MUST be chosen in such a way as to cause the
   remote system to forward the packet back to the local system.  The
   source address MUST be chosen in such a way as to preclude the remote
   system from generating ICMP or Neighbor Discovery Redirect messages.
   In particular, the source address SHOULD NOT be part of the subnet
   bound to the interface over which the BFD Echo packet is being
   transmitted, and it SHOULD NOT be an IPv6 link-local address, unless
   it is known by other means that the remote system will not send

   BFD Echo packets MUST be transmitted in such a way as to ensure that
   they are received by the remote system.  On multiaccess media, for
   example, this requires that the destination datalink address
   corresponds to the remote system.

   The above requirements may require the bypassing of some common IP
   layer functionality, particularly in host implementations.

Katz, Ward                                                      [Page 4]
Internet Draft     BFD for IPv4 and IPv6 (Single Hop)      January, 2010

5. TTL/Hop Limit Issues

   If BFD authentication is not in use on a session, all BFD Control
   packets for the session MUST be sent with a TTL or Hop Limit value of
   255.  All received BFD Control packets that are demultiplexed to the
   session MUST be discarded if the received TTL or Hop Limit is not
   equal to 255.  A discussion of this mechanism can be found in [GTSM].

   If BFD authentication is in use on a session, all BFD Control packets
   MUST be sent with a TTL or Hop Limit value of 255.  All received BFD
   Control packets that are demultiplexed the session MAY be discarded
   if the received TTL or Hop Limit is not equal to 255.  If the TTL/Hop
   Limit check is made, it MAY be done before any cryptographic
   authentication takes place if this will avoid unnecessary calculation
   that would be detrimental to the receiving system.

   In the context of this section, "authentication in use" means that
   the system is sending BFD control packets with the Authentication bit
   set and with the Authentication Section included, and that all
   unauthenticated packets demultiplexed to the session are discarded,
   per the BFD base specification.

6. Addressing Issues

   Implementations MUST ensure that all BFD Control packets are
   transmitted over the one-hop path being protected by BFD.

   On a multiaccess network, BFD Control packets MUST be transmitted
   with source and destination addresses that are part of the subnet
   (addressed from and to interfaces on the subnet.)

   On a point-to-point link, the source address of a BFD Control packet
   MUST NOT be used to identify the session.  This means that the
   initial BFD packet MUST be accepted with any source address, and that
   subsequent BFD packets MUST be demultiplexed solely by the Your
   Discriminator field (as is always the case.)  This allows the source
   address to change if necessary.  If the received source address
   changes, the local system MUST NOT use that address as the
   destination in outgoing BFD Control packets;  rather it MUST continue
   to use the address configured at session creation.  An implementation
   MAY notify the application that the neighbor's source address has
   changed, so that the application might choose to change the
   destination address or take some other action.  Note that the TTL/Hop
   Limit check described in section 5 (or the use of authentication)
   precludes the BFD packets from having come from any source other than
   the immediate neighbor.

Katz, Ward                                                      [Page 5]
Internet Draft     BFD for IPv4 and IPv6 (Single Hop)      January, 2010

7. BFD for use with Tunnels

   A number of mechanisms are available to tunnel IPv4 and IPv6 over
   arbitrary topologies.  If the tunnel mechanism does not decrement the
   TTL or Hop Limit of the network protocol carried within, the
   mechanism described in this document may be used to provide liveness
   detection for the tunnel.  The BFD Authentication mechanism SHOULD be
   used and is strongly encouraged.

8. IANA Considerations

   Ports 3784 and 3875 were assigned by IANA for use with this protocol.

9. Security Considerations

   In this application, the use of TTL=255 on transmit and receive,
   coupled with an association to an incoming interface, is viewed as
   supplying equivalent security characteristics to other protocols used
   in the infrastructure, as it is not trivially spoofable.  The
   security implications of this mechanism are further discussed in

   The security implications of the use of BFD Authentication are
   discussed in [BFD].

   The use of the TTL=255 check simultaneously with BFD Authentication
   provides a low overhead mechanism for discarding a class of
   unauthorized packets and may be useful in implementations in which
   cryptographic checksum use is susceptible to denial of service
   attacks.  The use or non-use of this mechanism does not impact

Katz, Ward                                                      [Page 6]
Internet Draft     BFD for IPv4 and IPv6 (Single Hop)      January, 2010

10. References

10.1. Normative References

   [BFD] Katz, D., and Ward, D., "Bidirectional Forwarding Detection",
       draft-ietf-bfd-base-10.txt, January, 2010.

   [BFD-GENERIC] Katz, D., and Ward, D., "Generic Application of BFD",
       draft-ietf-bfd-generic-05.txt, February, 2009.

   [GTSM] Gill, V., et al, "The Generalized TTL Security Mechanism
       (GTSM)", RFC 5082, October, 2007.

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

10.2. Informative References

   [BCP38] Ferguson, P, and Senie, D., "Network Ingress Filtering:
       Defeating Denial of Service Attacks which employ IP Source
       Address Spoofing", RFC 2827, May 2000.

   [TFRC] Floyd, S., et al, "TCP Friendly Rate Control (TFRC): Protocol
       Specification", RFC 5348, September, 2008.

Authors' Addresses

    Dave Katz
    Juniper Networks
    1194 N. Mathilda Ave.
    Sunnyvale, California 94089-1206 USA
    Phone: +1-408-745-2000

    Dave Ward
    Juniper Networks
    1194 N. Mathilda Ave.
    Sunnyvale, California 94089-1206 USA
    Phone: +1-408-745-2000

Katz, Ward                                                      [Page 7]
Internet Draft     BFD for IPv4 and IPv6 (Single Hop)      January, 2010

Changes from the previous draft

   The applications section was clarified.

This document expires in July, 2010.

Katz, Ward                                                      [Page 8]