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Anycast-RP Using Protocol Independent Multicast (PIM)

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 4610.
Authors Yiqun Cai , Dino Farinacci
Last updated 2015-10-14 (Latest revision 2006-02-09)
Replaces draft-farinacci-pim-anycast-rp
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 4610 (Proposed Standard)
Action Holders
Consensus boilerplate Unknown
Telechat date (None)
Responsible AD Bill Fenner (ˢˣˠ)
Send notices to (None)
Network Working Group                                     Dino Farinacci
INTERNET-DRAFT                                                 Yiqun Cai
Expiration Date: August 2006                               cisco Systems
                                                        February 7, 2006

                          Anycast-RP using PIM

Status of this Memo

   By submitting this Internet-Draft, each author represents that any
   applicable patent or other IPR claims of which he or she is aware
   have been or will be disclosed, and any of which he or she becomes
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Copyright Notice

   Copyright (C) The Internet Society (2006). This document is subject
   to the rights, licenses and restrictions contained in BCP 78, and
   except as set forth therein, the authors retain all their rights.

   This document and the information contained herein are provided on an

Farinacci, Cai                                                  [Page 1]

Internet Draft            Anycast-RP using PIM          February 7, 2006


   This specification allows Anycast-RP (Rendezvous Point) to be used
   inside a domain that runs Protocol Independent Multicast (PIM) only.
   There are no other multicast protocols required to support Anycast-
   RP, such as MSDP, which has been used traditionally to solve this

1.0 Introduction

   Anycast-RP as described in [I1] is a mechanism ISP-based backbones
   have used to get fast convergence when a PIM Rendezvous Point (RP)
   router fails. To allow receivers and sources to Rendezvous to the
   closest RP, the packets from a source need to get to all RPs to find
   joined receivers.

   This notion of receivers finding sources is the fundamental problem
   of source discovery which MSDP was intended to solve. However, if one
   would like to retain the Anycast-RP benefits from [I1] with less
   protocol machinery, removing MSDP from the solution space is an

   This memo extends the Register mechanism in PIM so Anycast-RP
   functionality can be retained without using MSDP.

1.1 Terminology

   The key words "MUST", "MUST NOT", "REQUIRED", "SHALL", "SHALL NOT",
   document are to be interpreted as described in [N2].

2.0 Overview

   o A unicast IP address is chosen to use as the RP address. This
     address is statically configured, or distributed using a dynamic
     protocol, to all PIM routers throughout the domain.

   o A set of routers in the domain are chosen to act as RPs for this
     RP address. These routers are called the Anycast-RP set.

   o Each router in the Anycast-RP set is configured with a loopback
     interface using the RP address.

   o Each router in the Anycast-RP set also needs a separate IP address,
     to be used for communication between the RPs.

Farinacci, Cai                                                  [Page 2]

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   o The RP address, or a prefix that covers the RP address, is injected
     into the unicast routing system inside of the domain.

   o Each router in the Anycast-RP set is configured with the addresses
     of all other routers in the Anycast-RP set. This must be
     consistently configured in all RPs in the set.

Farinacci, Cai                                                  [Page 3]

Internet Draft            Anycast-RP using PIM          February 7, 2006

3.0 Mechanism

   The following diagram illustrates a domain using 3 RPs where
   receivers are joining to the closest RP according to where unicast
   routing metrics take them and 2 sources sending packets to their
   respective RPs.

   The rules described in this section do not override the rules in
   [N1]. They are intended to blend with the rules in [N1]. If there is
   any question on the interpretation, precedent is given to [N1].

         S1-----RP1              RP2                RP3------S3
                / \               |
               /   \              |
              R1   R1'            R2

   Assume the above scenario is completely connected where R1, R1', and
   R2 are receivers for a group, and S1 and S3 send to that group.
   Assume RP1, RP2 and RP3 are all assigned the same IP address which is
   used as the Anycast-RP address (let's say the IP address is RPA).

   Note, the address used for the RP address in the domain (the
   Anycast-RP address) needs to be different than the addresses used by
   the Anycast-RP routers to communicate with each other.

   The following procedure is used when S1 starts sourcing traffic:

   o S1 sends a multicast packet.

   o The DR directly attached to S1 will form a PIM Register
     message to send to the Anycast-RP address (RPA). The unicast
     routing system will deliver the PIM Register message to the
     nearest RP, in this case RP1.

   o RP1 will receive the PIM Register message, decapsulate it, send the
     packet down the shared-tree to get the packet to receivers R1 and

   o RP1 is configured with RP2 and RP3's IP address. Since the
     Register message did not come from one of the RPs in the
     anycast-RP set, RP1 assumes the packet came from a DR. If the
     Register is not addressed to the Anycast-RP address, an error
     has occurred and it should be rate-limited logged.

   o RP1 will then send a copy of the Register message from S1's
     DR to both RP2 and RP3. RP1 will use its own IP address as
     the source address for the PIM Register message.

Farinacci, Cai                                                  [Page 4]

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   o RP1 MAY join back to the source-tree by triggering a (S1,G) Join
     message toward S1. However, RP1 MUST create (S1,G) state.

   o RP1 sends a Register-Stop back to the DR. If, for some reason,
     the Register messages to RP2 and RP3 are lost, then when the
     Register suppression timer expires in the DR, it will resend
     Registers to allow another chance for all RPs in the Anycast-RP
     set to obtain the (S,G) state.

   o RP2 receives the Register message from RP1, decapsulates it, and
     also sends the packet down the shared-tree to get the packet to
     receiver R2.

   o RP2 sends a Register-Stop back to the RP1. RP2 MAY wait to send
     the Register-Stop if it decides to join the source-tree. RP2
     should wait until it has received data from the source on the
     source-tree before sending the Register-Stop. If RP2 decides to
     wait, the Register-Stop will be sent when the next Register is
     received. If RP2 decides not to wait, the Register-Stop is sent

   o RP2 MAY join back to the source-tree by triggering a (S1,G) Join
     message toward S1. However, RP2 MUST create (S1,G) state.

   o RP3 receives the Register message from RP1, decapsulates it, but
     since there are no receivers joined for the group, it can discard
     the packet.

   o RP3 sends a Register-Stop back to the RP1.

   o RP3 creates (S1,G) state so when a receiver joins after S1 starts
     sending, RP3 can join quickly to the source-tree for S1.

   o RP1 processes the Register-Stop from each of RP2 and RP3. There
     is no specific action taken when processing Register-Stop messages.

   The procedure for S3 sending follows the same as above but it is RP3
   which sends a copy of the Register originated by S3's DR to RP1 and
   RP2. Therefore, this example shows how sources anywhere in the
   domain, associated with different RPs, can reach all receivers, also
   associated with different RPs, in the same domain.

4.0 Observations and Guidelines about this Proposal

   o An RP will send a copy of a Register only if the Register is
     received from an IP address not in the Anycast-RP list (i.e. the
     Register came from a DR and not another RP). An implementation

Farinacci, Cai                                                  [Page 5]

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     MUST safeguard against inconsistently configured anycast-RP sets
     in each RP by copying the TTL from a Register message to the
     Register messages it copies and sends to other RPs.

   o Each DR that PIM registers for a source will send the message to
     the anycast-RP address (which results in the packet getting to the
     closest physical RP). Therefore there are no changes to the DR

   o Packets flow to all receivers no matter what RP they have joined

   o The source gets Registered to a single RP by the DR. It's the
     responsibility of the RP that receives the PIM Register
     messages from the DR (the closest RP to the DR based on routing
     metrics) to get the packet to all other RPs in the Anycast-RP

   o Logic is changed only in the RPs. The logic change is for
     sending copies of Register messages. Register-Stop processing is
     unchanged. However, an implementation MAY suppress sending
     Register-Stop messages in response to a Register received from
     an RP.

   o The rate-limiting of Register and Register-Stop messages are done
     end-to-end. That is from DR -> RP1 -> {RP2 and RP3}. There is no
     need for specific rate-limiting logic between the RPs.

   o When topology changes occur, the existing source-tree adjusts
     as it does today according to [N1]. The existing shared-trees,
     as well, adjust as it does today according to [N1].

   o Physical RP changes are as fast as unicast route convergence.
     Retaining the benefit of [I1].

   o An RP that doesn't support this specification can be mixed with
     RPs that do support this specification. However, the non-supporter
     RPs should not have sources registering to it but may have
     receivers joined to it.

   o If Null Registers are sent (Registers with an IP header and no IP
     payload), they MUST be replicated to all of the RPs in the Anycast-
     RP set so that source state remains alive for active sources.

   o The number of RPs in the Anycast-RP set should remain small so the
     amount of non-native replication is kept to a minimum.

   o Since the RP, who receives a Register from the DR, will send copies

Farinacci, Cai                                                  [Page 6]

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     of the Register to the other RPs at the same time it sends a
     Register-Stop to the DR, there could be packet loss and lost state
     in the other RPs until the time the DR sends Register messages

5.0 Interaction with MSDP running in an Anycast-PIM Router

   The objective of this Anycast-PIM proposal is to remove the
   dependence on using MSDP. This can be achieved by removing MSDP
   peering between the Anycast RPs. However, to advertise internal
   sources to routers outside of a PIM routing domain and to learn
   external sources from other routing domains, MSDP may still be

5.1 Anycast-PIM Stub Domain Functionality

   In this capacity, when there are internal sources that need to be
   advertised externally, an Anycast-RP which receives a Register
   message, either from a DR or an Anycast-RP, should process it as
   described in this specification as well as how to process a Register
   message as described in [N1]. That means an SA for the same internal
   source could be originated by multiple Anycast-RPs doing the MSDP
   peering. There is nothing inherently wrong with this other than the
   source is being advertised into the MSDP infrastructure from multiple
   places from the source domain. However, if this is not desirable,
   configuration of one or more (rather than all) Anycast-RP MSDP
   routers would allow only those routers to originate SAs for the
   internal source. And in some situations, there is a good possibility
   not all Anycast-RPs in the set will have MSDP peering sessions so
   this issue can be mitigated to a certain extent.

   From an Anycast-RP perspective, a source should be considered
   internal to a domain, when it is discovered by an Anycast-RP through
   a received Register message. Regardless, if the Register message was
   sent by a DR, another Anycast-RP member, or the router itself.

   For learning sources external to a domain, the MSDP SA messages could
   arrive at multiple MSDP-peering Anycast-RPs. The rules for processing
   an SA, according to [I1], should be followed. That is, if G is joined
   in the domain, an (S,G) join is sent towards the source. And if data
   accompanies the SA, each Anycast-PIM RP doing MSDP peering will

Farinacci, Cai                                                  [Page 7]

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   forward the data down each of their respective shared-trees.

   The above assumes each Anycast-RP has external MSDP peering
   connections.  If this is not the case, the Anycast-PIM routers with
   the MSDP peering connections would follow the same procedure as if a
   Data-Register or Null-Register was received from either a DR or
   another Anycast-RP. That is, they would send Registers to the other
   members of the Anycast-RP set.

   If there is a mix of Anycast-RPs that do and do not have external
   MSDP peering connections, then the ones that do must be configured
   with the set that do not. So Register messages are sent only to the
   members of the Anycast-RP set that do not have external MSDP peering

   The amount of Register traffic generated by this MSDP-peering RP
   would be equal to the number of active sources external to the
   domain. The Source-Active state would have to be conveyed to all
   other RPs in the Anycast-RP set since the MSDP-peering RP would not
   know about the group membership associated with the other RPs. To
   avoid this periodic control traffic, it is recommended that all
   Anycast-RPs be configured with external MSDP peering sessions so no
   RP in the Anycast-RP set will have to originate Register messages on
   behalf of external sources.

5.2 Anycast-PIM Transit Domain Functionality

   Within a routing domain, it is recommended that an Anycast-RP set
   defined in this specification should not be mixed with MSDP peering
   among the members. In some cases, the source discovery will work but
   it may not be obvious to the implementations what sources are local
   to the domain and which are not. This may affect external MSDP
   advertisement of internal sources.

   Having said that, this draft makes no attempt to connect MSDP peering
   domains together by using Anycast-PIM inside a transit domain.

6.0 IANA Considerations

   This document makes no request to IANA.

   Note to RFC Editor: this section may be removed on publication as an

7.0 Security Consideration

Farinacci, Cai                                                  [Page 8]

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   This section describes the security consideration for Register and
   Register-Stop messages between Anycast-RPs.  For PIM messages between
   DR and RP, please see [N1].

7.1 Attack Based On Forged Messages

   An attacker may forge a Register message using one of the addresses
   in the Anycast-RP list in order to achieve one or more of the
   following effects:

      1. Overwhelm the target RP in a denial-of-service attack
      2. Inject unauthorized data to receivers served by the RP
      3. Inject unauthorized data and create bogus SA entries in other
         PIM domains if the target RP has external MSDP peerings

   An attacker may also forge a Register-Stop message using one of the
   addresses in the Anycast-RP list.  However, besides denial-of-
   service, the effect of such an attack is limited because an RP
   usually ignores Register-Stop messages.

7.2 Protect Register and Register-Stop Messages

   The DOS attack using forged Register or Register-Stop messages can
   not be prevented.  But the RP can still be protected.  For example,
   the RP can rate-limit incoming messages.  It can also choose to
   refuse to process any Register-Stop messages.  The actual protection
   mechansim is implementation specific.

   The distribution of unauthorized data and bogus Register messages can
   be prevented using the method described in section 6.3.2 of [N1].
   When RP1 sends a copy of a register to RP2, RP1 acts as [N1]
   describes the DR and RP2 acts as [N1] describes the RP.

   As described in [N1], an RP can be configured using a unique SA and
   SPI for traffic (Registers or Register-Stops) to each member of
   Anycast-RPs in the list, but this results in a key management
   problem; therefore, it may be preferable in PIM domains where all
   Rendezvous Points are under a single administrative control, to use
   the same authentication algorithm parameters (including the key) for
   all Registered packets in a domain.

Farinacci, Cai                                                  [Page 9]

Internet Draft            Anycast-RP using PIM          February 7, 2006

8.0 Acknowledgments

   The authors would like to thank Yiqun Cai and Dino Farinacci for
   prototyping this draft in the cisco IOS and Procket implementations,

   The authors would like to thank John Zwiebel for doing
   interoperability testing of the two prototype implementations.

   The authors would like to thank Thomas Morin from France Telecom for
   having an extensive discussion on Multicast the Registers to an SSM-
   based full mesh among the anycast-RP set. This idea may come in a
   subsequent Internet Draft.

   And finally, the authors would like to thank the following for their
   comments on earlier drafts:

      Greg Shepherd (Procket Networks (now cisco Systems))
      Lenny Giuliano (Juniper Networks)
      Prashant Jhingran (Huawei Technologies)
      Pekka Savola (CSC/FUNET)
      Bill Fenner (AT&T)
      James Lingard (Data Connection)
      Amit Shukla (Juniper Networks)
      Tom Pusateri (Juniper Networks)

9.0 Author Information

   Dino Farinacci
   cisco Systems

   Yiqun Cai
   cisco Systems

10.0 References

10.1 Normative References

   [N1] Fenner, Handley, Holbrook, Kouvelas, "Protocol Independent
        Multicast - Sparse Mode (PIM-SM):Protocol Specification
        (Revised)", Internet Draft draft-ietf-pim-sm-v2-new-11.txt,
        October 2004.

Farinacci, Cai                                                 [Page 10]

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   [N2] Bradner, S., "Key words for use in RFCs to Indicate Requirement
        Levels", BCP 14, RFC 2119, March 1997.

10.2 Informative References

   [I1] Kim, Meyer, Kilmer, Farinacci, "Anycast RP mechanism using PIM
        and MSDP", RFC 3446, January 2003.

Farinacci, Cai                                                 [Page 11]

Internet Draft            Anycast-RP using PIM          February 7, 2006

Appendix A - Possible Configuration Language

   A possible set of commands to be used could be:

       ip pim anycast-rp <anycast-rp-addr> <rp-addr>


       <anycast-rp-addr> describes the Anycast-RP set for the RP which
       is assigned to the group range. This IP address is the address
       that first-hop and last-hop PIM routers use to register and join

       <rp-addr> describes the IP address where Register messages copies
       are sent to. This IP address is any address assigned to the RP
       router not including the <anycast-rp-addr>.


       From the illustration above, the configuration commands would be:

       ip pim anycast-rp RPA RP1
       ip pim anycast-rp RPA RP2
       ip pim anycast-rp RPA RP3


       It may be useful to include the local router IP address in the
       command set so the above lines can be cut-and-pasted or scripted
       into all the RPs in the Anycast-RP set.

       But the implementation would have to be aware of its own address
       and not inadvertently send a Register to itself.

Farinacci, Cai                                                 [Page 12]