Using the IPv6 Flow Label for Server Load Balancing
draft-ietf-intarea-flow-label-balancing-02

The information below is for an old version of the document
Document Type Active Internet-Draft (intarea WG)
Last updated 2013-10-10 (latest revision 2013-10-07)
Replaces draft-carpenter-flow-label-balancing
Stream IETF
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. Carpenter
Internet-Draft                                         Univ. of Auckland
Intended status: Informational                                  S. Jiang
Expires: April 10, 2014                     Huawei Technologies Co., Ltd
                                                              W. Tarreau
                                                              Exceliance
                                                        October 07, 2013

          Using the IPv6 Flow Label for Server Load Balancing
               draft-ietf-intarea-flow-label-balancing-02

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
   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 10, 2014.

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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   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.  Introduction  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   2
   2.  Summary of Flow Label Specification . . . . . . . . . . . . .   3
   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 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  11
   7.  Acknowledgements  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  11
   8.  Change log [RFC Editor: Please remove]  . . . . . . . . . . .  11
   9.  References  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  11
     9.1.  Normative References  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  12
     9.2.  Informative References  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  12
   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.  Both terms refer to mechanisms that distribute the
   workload of a server farm among different servers in order to
   optimize performance.  Server load balancing commonly applies to HTTP
   traffic, but most of the techniques described would apply to other
   upper layer applications as well.  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 load
   balancers operating on IP packets and TCP sessions, commonly known as
   layer 3/4 load balancers.

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   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

   The IPv6 flow label [RFC6437] is a 20 bit field included in every
   IPv6 header [RFC2460].  It is recommended to be supported in all IPv6
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