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Deprecation of the Internet Fibre Channel Protocol (iFCP) Address Translation Mode

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 6172.
Authors David L. Black , David Peterson
Last updated 2018-12-20 (Latest revision 2010-10-14)
RFC stream Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF)
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IESG IESG state RFC 6172 (Proposed Standard)
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Responsible AD David Harrington
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Storage Maintenance (storm) WG                           David L. Black
Internet Draft                                                      EMC
Intended status: Proposed Standard                       David Peterson
Expires: April 2011                                             Brocade
Updates: 4172                                          October 14, 2010

               Deprecation of iFCP Address Translation Mode

Status of this Memo

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

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Internet-Draft      iFCP and Protocol 133 Updates          October 2010


   Changes to Fibre Channel have caused the specification of iFCP
   address translation mode to become incorrect.  Due to the absence of
   usage of iFCP address translation mode, it is deprecated by this
   document.  iFCP address transparent mode remains correctly specified.

   iFCP address transparent mode has been implemented and is in current
   use, therefore, it is not affected by this document.

   This document also records the state of Protocol Number 133, which
   was allocated for a pre-standard version of FCIP.

Table of Contents

   1. Introduction...................................................2
   2. Conventions used in this document..............................3
   3. iFCP Address Translation Mode..................................3
      3.1. Problem Discussion........................................3
      3.2. iFCP Address Translation Mode Deprecation.................4
   4. FCIP and Protocol Number 133...................................4
   5. Security Considerations........................................4
   6. IANA Considerations............................................5
   7. Conclusions....................................................5
   8. References.....................................................5
      8.1. Normative References......................................5
      8.2. Informative References....................................5

1. Introduction

   See Section 3 of [RFC4172] for introductory material on Fibre Channel

   iFCP (Internet Fibre Channel Protocol) [RFC4172] operates in two
   modes with respect to Fibre Channel N_Port fabric addresses (24-bit
   N_Port_IDs), address transparent mode and address translation mode
   (both modes are specified in [RFC4172]):

   o  Address Transparent mode is a pass-through mode that preserves
      Fibre Channel N_Port fabric addresses.

   o  Address Translation mode is a Fibre Channel analog to Network
      Address Translation (NAT) in which iFCP gateways change Fibre
      Channel N_Port fabric addresses at the boundary between Fibre
      Channel and the Internet.   Both the source (S_ID) and destination
      (D_ID) N_Port fabric addresses may be changed by the iFCP

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Internet-Draft      iFCP and Protocol 133 Updates          October 2010

   This document deprecates iFCP address translation mode because the
   specification has not tracked changes in Fibre Channel and because
   there are no known implementations.

   Protocol Number 133 was allocated for a pre-standard version of FCIP
   (Fibre Channel Internet Protocol) that encapsulated FC frames
   directly in IP packets.  That protocol number is not used by the
   standard FCIP protocol [RFC3821][FC-BB-3], but implementations of the
   pre-standard protocol were deployed.  Therefore, this document makes
   no change to the current allocation of Protocol Number 133.

2. Conventions used in this document

   The key words "MUST", "MUST NOT", "REQUIRED", "SHALL", "SHALL NOT",
   document are to be interpreted as described in [RFC2119].

3. iFCP Address Translation Mode

   iFCP address translation mode has to translate addresses embedded in
   transmitted data.  This is analogous to NAT translation of IP
   addresses embedded in IP packets.  Fibre Channel restricts the
   occurrence of embedded fabric addresses to control messages (frames);
   N_Ports send and receive two types of control frames that may contain
   embedded fabric addresses:

   o  Extended Link Services (ELSs); and

   o  FC-4 Link Services (FC-4 LSs) for the SCSI over Fibre Channel
      Protocol (FCP).

   The embedded fabric address translations for N_Port control frames
   are specified in Section 7.3 of [RFC4172].  These translations were
   correct as specified for Fibre Channel as of approximately 2003,
   based on the [FC-FS] standard for ELSs and the [FCP] standard for FCP
   FC-4 LSs.

3.1. Problem Discussion

   Significant changes have been made to FC control frames since the
   iFCP specification [RFC4172] was published; the currently applicable
   FC standards are [FC-LS] and [FCP-3], and additional changes are
   forthcoming in the [FC-LS-2] and [FCP-4] standards projects which are
   nearing completion.  These changes have caused Section 7.3 of [RFC
   4172] to become incorrect.

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   Actual iFCP deployment has diverged significantly from that
   anticipated during the development of [RFC4172].  All deployments of
   iFCP known to the authors of this document use iFCP address
   transparent mode and are used only for FC inter-switch links. iFCP
   address translation mode as specified in [RFC4172] cannot be used for
   FC inter-switch links because the necessary embedded fabric address
   translations for FC inter-switch control messages (Switch Fabric
   Internal Link Services, ILSs) have not been specified.

3.2. iFCP Address Translation Mode Deprecation

   For the reasons described above, it is prudent to deprecate iFCP
   address translation mode in preference to updating it to the current
   state of Fibre Channel standards.  Updating iFCP address translation
   mode would create a continuing requirement to update an unused
   protocol mode to match future changes to FC control frames.

   Therefore, this document deprecates iFCP address translation mode:

   o  iFCP address translation mode [RFC4172] SHOULD NOT be implemented
      and SHOULD NOT be used.

   o  The status of [RFC4172] remains Proposed Standard RFC in order to
      retain the specification of iFCP address transparent mode.

   o  The [RFC4172] specification of iFCP address translation mode
      should be treated as Historic [RFC2026].

4. FCIP and Protocol Number 133

   Protocol Number 133 was allocated for Fibre Channel (FC) [IANA-IP]
   and used by a pre-standard version of the FCIP protocol that
   encapsulates FC frames directly in IP packets.  The standard FCIP
   protocol [RFC3821][FC-BB-3] encapsulates FC frames in TCP and hence
   does not use Protocol Number 133, but implementations of the pre-
   standard version of the FCIP protocol were deployed [MR].  Based on
   this deployment, the protocol number needs to remain allocated.

5. Security Considerations

   The security considerations for iFCP continue to apply; see Section
   10 of [RFC4172].

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6. IANA Considerations

   IANA should add this document as a supplemental reference for the
   allocation of Protocol Number 133, but should not change that

7. Conclusions

   For the reasons described in this document, iFCP Address Translation
   mode is deprecated, and the allocation of Protocol Number 133 remains
   unchanged at this time.

8. References

8.1. Normative References

   [FC-FS]  Fibre Channel Framing and Signaling Interface (FC-FS),
             ANSI INCITS 373-2003, October 2003.

   [FC-LS]  Fibre Channel - Link Services (FC-LS), ANSI INCITS 433-2007,
             July 2007.

   [FCP]    Fibre Channel Protocol (FCP), ANSI INCITS 269-1996, April

   [FCP-3]  Fibre Channel Protocol - 3 (FCP-3), ISO/IEC 14776-223:2008,
             June 2008.

   [IANA-IP] Assigned Internet Protocol Numbers, IANA Registry,
             numbers.xhtml, visited October 2010.

   [RFC2026] Bradner, S., "The Internet Standards Process -- Revision
             3", BCP 9, RFC 2026, October 1996.

   [RFC2119] Bradner, S., "Key words for use in RFCs to Indicate
             Requirement Levels", BCP 14, RFC 2119, March 1997.

   [RFC4172] Monia, C., et al, "iFCP - A Protocol for Internet Fibre
             Channel Storage Networking", RFC 4172, September 2005.

8.2. Informative References

   [FC-BB-3] Fibre Channel Backbone - 3 (FC-BB-3), ANSI INCITS 414-2006,
             July 2006.

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Internet-Draft      iFCP and Protocol 133 Updates          October 2010

   [FC-LS-2] Fibre Channel - Link Services - 2 (FC-LS-2), INCITS Project
             2103-D, Technical Committee T11 (

   [FCP-4]  Fibre Channel Protocol - 4 (FCP-4), INCITS Project 1828-D,
             Technical Committee T10 (

   [MR]     Rajagopal, M., Private email communication, June 2009.

   [RFC3821] Rajagopal, M., E. Rodriguez and R. Weber, "Fibre Channel
             Over TCP/IP (FCIP)", RFC 3821, July 2004.


   The authors would like to thank Tom Talpey, David Harrington, Joe
   Touch, Paul Hoffman and Pekka Savola for helpful comments on this

   This document was prepared using

Authors' Addresses

   David L. Black
   EMC Corporation
   176 South Street
   Hopkinton, MA 01748

   Phone: +1 (508) 293-7953

   David Peterson
   Brocade Communications
   6000 Nathan Lane North
   Plymouth, MN 55442

   Phone: +1 (612) 802-3299

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