Understanding IKEv2: Tutorial, and rationale for decisions

Document Type Expired Internet-Draft (ipsec WG)
Author Radia Perlman 
Last updated 2003-03-05
Stream Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF)
Intended RFC status (None)
Expired & archived
pdf htmlized (tools) htmlized bibtex
Stream WG state WG Document
Document shepherd No shepherd assigned
IESG IESG state Expired
Consensus Boilerplate Unknown
Telechat date
Responsible AD (None)
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This Internet-Draft is no longer active. A copy of the expired Internet-Draft can be found at


The main job of a protocol specification is to document how the protocol works. It is sometimes difficult to learn how a protocol works from such a document, because there are so many details, and the necessary formalism for accuracy makes a specification long and intimidating to read. What also is usually lost in the process of creating an RFC for a protocol is documentation of the tradeoffs that were considered when making controversial choices. Sometimes it is possible to find this information on the email archives, but that is a daunting task. This document is intended to work both as a tutorial to understanding IKEv2, and a summary of the controversial issues, with the reasoning on all sides of each issue. If any differences in details exist between this document and the IKEv2 specification, the IKEv2 specification is authoritative. This document is intended only to make the IKEv2 specification more understandable on the first reading, as well as documenting reasoning behind decisions.


Radia Perlman (radia@alum.mit.edu)

(Note: The e-mail addresses provided for the authors of this Internet-Draft may no longer be valid.)