Using the IPv6 Flow Label for Server Load Balancing
draft-ietf-intarea-flow-label-balancing-01

The information below is for an old version of the document
Document Type Active Internet-Draft (intarea WG)
Last updated 2013-10-03 (latest revision 2013-05-25)
Replaces draft-carpenter-flow-label-balancing
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Intended RFC status Informational
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Responsible AD Ted Lemon
Send notices to intarea-chairs@tools.ietf.org, draft-ietf-intarea-flow-label-balancing@tools.ietf.org
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IntArea                                                  B. E. Carpenter
Internet-Draft                                         Univ. of Auckland
Intended status: Informational                                  S. Jiang
Expires: November 26, 2013                  Huawei Technologies Co., Ltd
                                                              W. Tarreau
                                                              Exceliance
                                                            May 25, 2013

          Using the IPv6 Flow Label for Server Load Balancing
               draft-ietf-intarea-flow-label-balancing-01

Abstract

   This document describes how the IPv6 flow label as currently
   specified can be used to enhance layer 3/4 load distribution and
   balancing for large server farms.

Status of This Memo

   This Internet-Draft is submitted in full conformance with the
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   This Internet-Draft will expire on November 26, 2013.

Copyright Notice

   Copyright (c) 2013 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
   (http://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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   described in the Simplified BSD License.

Table of Contents

   1.  Introduction  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   2
   2.  Summary of Flow Label Specification . . . . . . . . . . . . .   2
   3.  Summary of Load Balancing Techniques  . . . . . . . . . . . .   4
   4.  Applying the Flow Label to L3/L4 Load Balancing . . . . . . .   7
   5.  Security Considerations . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   9
   6.  IANA Considerations . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  10
   7.  Acknowledgements  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  10
   8.  Change log [RFC Editor: Please remove]  . . . . . . . . . . .  10
   9.  References  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  11
     9.1.  Normative References  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  11
     9.2.  Informative References  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  11
   Authors' Addresses  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  12

1.  Introduction

   The IPv6 flow label has been redefined [RFC6437] and is now a
   recommended IPv6 node requirement [RFC6434].  Its use for load
   sharing in multipath routing has been specified [RFC6438].  Another
   scenario in which the flow label could be used is in load
   distribution for large server farms.  Load distribution is a slightly
   more general term than load balancing, but the latter is more
   commonly used.  This document starts with brief introductions to the
   flow label and to load balancing techniques, and then describes how
   the flow label can be used to enhance layer 3/4 load balancers in
   particular.

   The motivation for this approach is to improve the performance of
   most types of layer 3/4 load balancers, especially for traffic
   including multiple IPv6 extension headers and in particular for
   fragmented packets.  Fragmented packets, often the result of
   customers reaching the load balancer via a VPN with a limited MTU,
   are a common performance problem.

2.  Summary of Flow Label Specification

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   The IPv6 flow label is a 20 bit field included in every IPv6 header
   [RFC2460].  It is recommended to be supported in all IPv6 nodes by
   [RFC6434] and it is defined in [RFC6437].  There is additional
   background material in [RFC6436] and [RFC6294].  According to its
   definition, the flow label should be set to a constant value for a
   given traffic flow (such as an HTTP connection), and that value will
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