Network Transport Circuit Breakers
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This is an older version of an Internet-Draft that was ultimately published as RFC 8084.
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TSVWG Working Group G. Fairhurst Internet-Draft University of Aberdeen Intended status: Best Current Practice September 10, 2015 Expires: March 13, 2016 Network Transport Circuit Breakers draft-ietf-tsvwg-circuit-breaker-03 Abstract This document explains what is meant by the term "network transport Circuit Breaker" (CB). It describes the need for circuit breakers when using network tunnels, and other non-congestion controlled applications. It also defines requirements for building a circuit breaker and the expected outcomes of using a circuit breaker within the Internet. 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 Task Force (IETF). Note that other groups may also distribute working documents as Internet-Drafts. The list of current Internet- Drafts is at http://datatracker.ietf.org/drafts/current/. Internet-Drafts are draft documents valid for a maximum of six months and may be updated, replaced, or obsoleted by other documents at any time. It is inappropriate to use Internet-Drafts as reference material or to cite them other than as "work in progress." This Internet-Draft will expire on March 13, 2016. Copyright Notice Copyright (c) 2015 IETF Trust and the persons identified as the document authors. All rights reserved. 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 to this document. Code Components extracted from this document must include Simplified BSD License text as described in Section 4.e of Fairhurst Expires March 13, 2016 [Page 1] Internet-Draft September 2015 the Trust Legal Provisions and are provided without warranty as described in the Simplified BSD License. Table of Contents 1. Introduction . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2 1.1. Types of Circuit-Breaker . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4 2. Terminology . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4 3. Design of a Circuit-Breaker (What makes a good circuit breaker?) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5 3.1. Functional Components . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5 4. Requirements for a Network Transport Circuit Breaker . . . . 8 4.1. Unidirectional Circuit Breakers over Controlled Paths . . 10 4.1.1. Use with a multicast control/routing protocol . . . . 10 4.1.2. Use with control potocols supporting pre-prosvisioned capacity . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 12 5. Examples of Circuit Breakers . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 12 5.1. A Fast-Trip Circuit Breaker . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 12 5.1.1. A Fast-Trip Circuit Breaker for RTP . . . . . . . . . 13 5.2. A Slow-trip Circuit Breaker . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 13 5.3. A Managed Circuit Breaker . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 14 5.3.1. A Managed Circuit Breaker for SAToP Pseudo-Wires . . 14 6. Examples where circuit breakers may not be needed. . . . . . 15 6.1. CBs over pre-provisioned Capacity . . . . . . . . . . . . 15 6.2. CBs with tunnels carrying Congestion-Controlled Traffic . 15 6.3. CBs with Uni-directional Traffic and no Control Path . . 16 7. Security Considerations . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 16 8. IANA Considerations . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 17 9. Acknowledgments . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 17 10. Revision Notes . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 17 11. References . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 18 11.1. Normative References . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 18 11.2. Informative References . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 19 Author's Address . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 19 1. Introduction A network transport Circuit Breaker (CB) is an automatic mechanism that is used to estimate congestion caused by a flow, and to terminate (or significantly reduce the rate of) the flow when persistent congestion is detected. This is a safety measure to prevent congestion collapse (starvation of resources available to other flows), essential for an Internet that is heterogeneous and for traffic that is hard to predict in advance. The term "Circuit Breaker" originates in electricity supply, and has nothing to do with network circuits or virtual circuits. In electricity supply, a Circuit Breaker is intended as a protection Fairhurst Expires March 13, 2016 [Page 2] Internet-Draft September 2015 mechanism of last resort. Under normal circumstances, a Circuit Breaker ought not to be triggered; It is designed to protect the supply network and attached equipment when there is overload. Just as people do not expect the electrical circuit-breaker (or fuse) in their home to be triggered, except when there is a wiring fault or a problem with an electrical appliance. In networking, the Circuit Breaker principle can be used as a protection mechanism of last resort to avoid persistent congestion. Persistent congestion (also known as "congestion collapse") was a feature of the early Internet of the 1980s. This resulted in excess traffic starving other connection from access to the Internet. It was countered by the requirement to use congestion control (CC) by the Transmission Control Protocol (TCP) [Jacobsen88] [RFC1112]. These mechanisms operate in Internet hosts to cause TCP connections to "back off" during congestion. The introduction of a Congestion Controller in TCP (currently documented in [RFC5681] ensured the stability of the Internet, because it was able to detect congestion and promptly react. This worked well while TCP was by far the dominant traffic in the Internet, and most TCP flows were long-lived (ensuring that they could detect and respond to congestion before the flows terminated). This is no longer the case, and non-congestion controlled traffic, including many applications of the User Datagram Protocol (UDP) can form a significant proportion of the total traffic traversing a link. The current Internet therefore requires that non- congestion controlled traffic needs to be considered to avoid congestion collapse. There are important differences between a transport circuit-breaker and a congestion-control method. Specifically, congestion control (as implemented in TCP, SCTP, and DCCP) operates on the timescale on the order of a packet round-trip-time (RTT), the time from sender to destination and return. Congestion control methods are able to react to a single packet loss/marking and reduce the transmission rate for each loss or congestion event. The goal is usually to limit the maximum transmission rate to a rate that reflects the available capacity across a network path. These methods typically operate on individual traffic flows (e.g., a 5-tuple). In contrast, Circuit Breakers are recommended for non-congestion- controlled Internet flows and for traffic aggregates, e.g., traffic sent using a network tunnel. Later sections provide examples of cases where circuit-breakers may or may not be desirable. A Circuit Breaker needs to measure (meter) the traffic to determine if the network is experiencing congestion and needs to be designed to trigger robustly when there is persistent congestion. This means the trigger needs to operate on a timescale much longer than the path Fairhurst Expires March 13, 2016 [Page 3] Internet-Draft September 2015 round trip time (e.g., seconds to possibly many tens of seconds). This longer period is needed to provide sufficient time for transports (or applications) to adjust their rate following congestion, and for the network load to stabilise after any adjustment. A Circuit Breaker trigger will often utilise a series of successive sample measurements metered at an ingress point and an egress point (either of which could be a transport endpoint). These measurements need taken over a reasonably long period of time. This is to ensure that a Circuit Breaker does not accidentally trigger following a single (or even successive) congestion events (congestion events are what triggers congestion control, and are to be regarded as normal on a network link operating near its capacity). Once triggered, a control function needs to remove traffic from the network, either by disabling the flow or by significantly reducing the level of traffic. This reaction provides the required protection to prevent persistent congestion being experienced by other flows that share the congested part of the network path. Section 4 defines requirements for building a Circuit Breaker. 1.1. Types of Circuit-Breaker There are various forms of network transport circuit breaker. These are differentiated mainly on the timescale over which they are triggered, but also in the intended protection they offer: o Fast-Trip Circuit Breakers: The relatively short timescale used by this form of circuit breaker is intended to protect a flow or related group of flows. o Slow-Trip Circuit Breakers: This circuit breaker utilises a longer timescale and is designed to protect traffic aggregates. o Managed Circuit Breakers: Utilise the operations and management functions that might be present in a managed service to implement a circuit breaker. Examples of each type of circuit breaker are provided in section 4. 2. Terminology The key words "MUST", "MUST NOT", "REQUIRED", "SHALL", "SHALL NOT", "SHOULD", "SHOULD NOT", "RECOMMENDED", "MAY", and "OPTIONAL" in this document are to be interpreted as described in [RFC2119]. Fairhurst Expires March 13, 2016 [Page 4] Internet-Draft September 2015 3. Design of a Circuit-Breaker (What makes a good circuit breaker?) Although circuit breakers have been talked about in the IETF for many years, there has not yet been guidance on the cases where circuit breakers are needed or upon the design of circuit breaker mechanisms. This document seeks to offer advise on these two topics. Circuit Breakers are RECOMMENDED for IETF protocols and tunnels that carry non-congestion-controlled Internet flows and for traffic aggregates, e.g., traffic sent using a network tunnel. Designers of other protocols and tunnel encapsulations also ought to consider the use of these techniques to provide last resort protection to the network paths that these are used. This document defines the requirements for design of a Circuit Breaker and provides examples of how a Circuit Breaker can be constructed. The specifications of idividual protocols and tunnels encapsulations need to detail the protocol mechanisms needed to implement a Circuit Breaker. Section 3.1 describes the functional components of a circuit breaker and section 3.2 defines requirements for implementing a Circuit Breaker. 3.1. Functional Components The basic design of a transport circuit breaker involves communication between an ingress point (a sender) and an egress point (a receiver) of a network flow. A simple picture of Circuit Breaker operation is provided in figure 1. This shows a set of routers (each labelled R) connecting a set of endpoints. A Circuit Breaker is used to control traffic passing through a subset of these routers, acting between the ingress and a egress point network devices. The path between the ingress and egress could be provided by a tunnel or other network-layer technique. One expected use would be at the ingress and egress of a service. Fairhurst Expires March 13, 2016 [Page 5] Internet-Draft September 2015 +--------+ +--------+ |Endpoint| |Endpoint| +--+-----+ >>> circuit breaker tarffic >>> +--+-----+ | | | +-+ +-+ +---------+ +-+ +-+ +-+ +--------+ +-+ +-+ | +-+R+--+R+->+ Ingress +--+R+--+R+--+R+--+ Egress |--+R+--+R+-+ +++ +-+ +------+--+ +-+ +-+ +-+ +-----+--+ +++ +-+ | ^ | | | | | +--+------+ +------+--+ | | | | Ingress | | Egress | | | | | Meter | | Meter | | | | +----+----+ +----+----+ | | | | | | +-+ | | +----+----+ | | +-+ |R+--+ | | Measure +<----------------+ +--+R| +++ | +----+----+ Reported +++ | | | Egress | | | +----+----+ Measurement | +--+-----+ | | Trigger + +--+-----+ |Endpoint| | +----+----+ |Endpoint| +--------+ | | +--------+ +---<---+ Reaction Figure 1: A CB controlling the part of the end-to-end path between an ingress point and an egress point. (Note: In some cases, the trigger and measure functions could alternatively be located at other locations (e.g., at a network operations centre.) In the context of a Circuit Breaker, the ingress and egress functions could be located in one or both network endpoints (see figure 2), for example, implemented as components within a transport protocol. Fairhurst Expires March 13, 2016 [Page 6] Internet-Draft September 2015 +----------+ +----------+ | Ingress | +-+ +-+ +-+ | Egress | | Endpoint +->+R+--+R+--+R+--+ Endpoint | +--+----+--+ +-+ +-+ +-+ +----+-----+ ^ | | | +--+------+ +----+----+ | | Ingress | | Egress | | | Meter | | Meter | | +----+----+ +----+----+ | | | | +--- +----+ | | | Measure +<-----------------+ | +----+----+ Reported | | Egress | +----+----+ Measurement | | Trigger | | +----+----+ | | +---<--+ Reaction Figure 2: An endpoint CB implemented at the sender (ingress) and receiver (egress). The set of components needed to implement a Circuit Breaker are: 1. An ingress meter (at the sender or tunnel ingress) records the number of packets/bytes sent in each measurement interval. This measures the offered network load. For example, the measurement interval could be every few seconds. 2. An egress meter (at the receiver or tunnel egress) records the number/bytes received in each measurement interval. This measures the supported load and could utilise other signals to detect the effect of congestion (e.g., loss/marking experienced over the path). 3. The measured values at the ingress and egress are communicated to the Circuit Breaker Measurement function. This could use several methods including: Sending return measurement packets from a receiver to a trigger function at the sender; An implementation using Operations, Administration and Management (OAM); or be sending another in-band signalling datagram to the trigger function. This could also be implemented purely as a control plane function, e.g., using a software-defined network controller. Fairhurst Expires March 13, 2016 [Page 7] Internet-Draft September 2015 4. The measurement function combines the ingress and egress measurements to assess the present level of network congestion. (For example, the loss rate for each measurement interval could be deduced from calculating the difference between ingress and egress counter values. Note the method does not require high accuracy for the period of the measurement interval (or therefore the measured value, since isolated and/or infrequent loss events need to be disregarded.) 5. A trigger function determines if the measurements indicate persistent congestion. This function defines an appropriate threshold for determining there is persistent congestion between the ingress and egress. This preferably consider rate or ratio, rather than an absolute value (e.g., more than 10% loss, but other methods could also be based on the rate of transmission as well as the loss rate). The transport Circuit Breaker is triggered when the threshold is exceeded in multiple measurement intervals (e.g., 3 successive measurements). Designs need to be robust so that single or spurious events do not trigger a reaction. 6. A reaction that is applied that the Ingress when the Circuit Breaker is triggered. This seeks to automatically remove the traffic causing persistent congestion. 7. A feedback mechanism that triggers when either the receive or ingress and egress measurements are not available, since this also could indicate a loss of control packets (also a symptom of heavy congestion or inability to control the load). 4. Requirements for a Network Transport Circuit Breaker The requirements for implementing a Circuit Breaker are: o There MUST be a control path from the ingress meter and the egress meter to the point of measurement. The Circuit Breaker MUST trigger if this control path fails. That is, the feedback indicating a congested period needs to be designed so that the Circuit Breaker is triggered when it fails to receive measurement reports that indicate an absence of congestion, rather than relying on the successful transmission of a "congested" signal back to the sender. (The feedback signal could itself be lost under congestion). o A Circuit Breaker MUST define a measurement period over which the receiver measures the level of congestion or loss. This method does not have to detect individual packet loss, but MUST have a way to know that packets have been lost/marked from the traffic Fairhurst Expires March 13, 2016 [Page 8] Internet-Draft September 2015 flow. If Explicit Congestion Notification (ECN) is enabled [RFC3168], an egress meter MAY also count the number of ECN congestion marks/event per measurement interval, but even if ECN is used, loss MUST still be measured, since this better reflects the impact of persistent congestion. In this context, loss represents a reliable indication of congestion, as opposed to the finer-grain marking of incipient congestion that can be provided via ECN. The type of Circuit Breaker will determine how long this measurement period needs to be. o The measurement period MUST be longer than the time that current Congestion Control algorithms need to reduce their rate following detection of congestion. This is important because end-to-end Congestion Control algorithms require at least one RTT to notify and adjust to experienced congestion, and congestion bottlenecks can share traffic with a diverse range of RTTs and Circuit Breakers hence need to perform measurements over a sufficiently long period to avoid additionally penalising flows with a long path RTT (e.g., many path RTTs). In some implementations, this may require a measurement to combine multiple meter samples to achieve a sufficiently long measurement period. In most cases, the measurement period is expected to be significantly longer than the RTT experience by the Circuit Breaker itself. o A Circuit Breaker is REQUIRED to define a threshold to determine whether the measured congestion is considered excessive. o A Circuit Breaker is REQUIRED to define the triggering interval, defining the period over which the trigger uses the collected measurements. o A Circuit Breaker MUST be robust to multiple congestion events. This usually will define a number of measured persistent congestion events per triggering period. For example, a Circuit Breaker MAY combine the results of several measurement periods to determine if the Circuit Breaker is triggered. (e.g., triggered when persistent congestion is detected in 3 of the measurements within the triggering interval). o A Circuit Breaker SHOULD be constructed so that it does not trigger under light or intermittent congestion, with a default response to a trigger that disables all traffic that contributed to congestion. o Once triggered, the Circuit Breaker MUST react decisively by disabling or significantly reducing traffic at the source (e.g., ingress). A reaction that results in a reduction SHOULD result in Fairhurst Expires March 13, 2016 [Page 9] Internet-Draft September 2015 reducing the traffic by at least a factor of ten, each time the Circuit Breaker is triggered. o Some circuit breaker designs use a reaction that reduces, rather that disables, the flows it controls. This response MUST be much more severe than that of a Congestion Controller algorithm, because the Circuit Breaker reacts to more persistent congestion and operates over longer timescales (i.e., the overload condition will have persisted for a longer time before the Circuit Breaker is triggered). A Circuit Breaker that reduces the rate of a flow, MUST continue to monitor the level congestion and MUST further reduce the rate if the Circuit Breaker is again triggered. o The reaction to a triggered Circuit Breaker MUST continue for a period that is at least the triggering interval. Manual operator intervention will usually be required to restore a flow. If an automated response is needed to reset the trigger, then this MUST NOT be immediate. The design of an automated reset mechanism needs to be sufficiently conservative that it does not adversely interact with other mechanisms (including other Circuit Breaker algorithms that control traffic over a common path). It SHOULD NOT perform an automated reset when there is evidence of continued congestion. o When a Circuit Breaker is triggered, it SHOULD be regarded as an abnormal network event. As such, this event SHOULD be logged. The measurements that lead to triggering of the Circuit Breaker SHOULD also be logged. 4.1. Unidirectional Circuit Breakers over Controlled Paths A Circuit Breaker can be used to control uni-directional UDP traffic, providing that there is a control path to connect the functional components at the Ingress and Egress. This control path can exist in networks for which the traffic flow is purely unidirectional. For example, a multicast stream that sends packets across an Internet path and can use multicast routing to prune flows to shed network load. Some other types of subnetwork also utilise control protocols that can be used to control traffic flows. 4.1.1. Use with a multicast control/routing protocol Fairhurst Expires March 13, 2016 [Page 10] Internet-Draft September 2015 +----------+ +--------+ +----------+ | Ingress | +-+ +-+ +-+ | Egress | | Egress | | Endpoint +->+R+--+R+--+R+--+ Router |--+ Endpoint +->+ +----+-----+ +-+ +-+ +-+ +---+--+-+ +----+-----+ | ^ ^ ^ ^ | ^ | | | | | | | | | | +----+----+ + - - - < - - - - + | +----+----+ | Reported | Ingress | multicast Prune | | Egress | | Ingress | Meter | | | Meter | | Measurement +---------+ | +----+----+ | | | | | +----+----+ | | | Measure +<--+ | +----+----+ | | | +----+----+ multicast | | Trigger | Leave | +----+----+ Message | | +----<----+ Figure 3: An example of a multicast CB controlling the end-to-end path between an ingress endpoint and an egress endpoint. Figure 3 shows one example of how a multicast circuit breaker could be implemented at a pair of multicast endpoints (e.g. to implement a Section 5.1). The ingress endpoint (the sender that sources the multicast traffic) meters the ingress load, generating an ingress measurement (e.g., recording timestamped packet counts), and sends this measurement to the multicast group together with the traffic it has measured. Routers along a multicast path forward the multicast traffic (including the ingress measurement) to all active endpoint receivers. Each last hop (egress) router forwards the traffic to one or more egress endpoint(s). In this figure, each endpoint includes a meter that performs a local egress load measurement. An endpoint also extracts the received ingress measurement from the traffic, and compares the ingress and egress measurements to determine if the Circuit Breaker ought to be triggered. This measurement has to be robust to loss (see previous section). If the Circuit Breaker is triggered, it generates a multicast leave message for the egress (e.g., an IGMP or MLD message sent to the last hop router), which causes the upstream router to cease forwarding traffic to the egress endpoint. Fairhurst Expires March 13, 2016 [Page 11] Internet-Draft September 2015 Any multicast router that has no active receivers for a particular multicast group will prune traffic for that group, sending a prune message to its upstream router. This starts the process of releasing the capacity used by the traffic and is a standard multicast routing function (e.g., using the PIM-SM routing protocol). Each egress operates autonomously, and the circuit breaker "reaction" is executed by the multicast control plane (e.g., PIM l), requiring no explicit signalling by the circuit breaker along the control path. Note: there is no direct communication with the Ingress, and hence a triggered Circuit Breaker only controls traffic downstream of the first hop router. It does not stop traffic flowing from the sender to the first hop router; this is however the common practice for multicast deployment. The method could also be used with a multicast tunnel or subnetwork (e.g., Section 5.2, Section 5.3), where a meter at the ingress generates additional control messages to carry the measurement data towards the egress where the egress metering is implemented. 4.1.2. Use with control potocols supporting pre-prosvisioned capacity Some paths are provisioned using a control protocol, e.g., flows provisioned using the Multi-Protocol Label Switching (MPLS) services, path provisioned using the Resource reservation protocol (RSVP), networks utilizing Software Defining Network (SDN) functions, or admission-controlled Differentiated Services. Figure 1 shows one expected use case, where in this usage a separate device could be used to perform the measurement and trigger functions. The reaction generated by the trigger could take the form of a network control message sent to the ingress and/or other network elements causing these elements to react to the Circuit Breaker. Examples of this type of use are provided in section Section 5.3. 5. Examples of Circuit Breakers There are multiple types of Circuit Breaker that could be defined for use in different deployment cases. This section provides examples of different types of circuit breaker: 5.1. A Fast-Trip Circuit Breaker A fast-trip circuit breaker is the most responsive form of Circuit Breaker. It has a response time that is only slightly larger than that of the traffic that it controls. It is suited to traffic with well-understood characteristics (and could include one or more trigger functions specifically tailored the type of traffic for which it is designed). It is not be suited to arbitrary network traffic, Fairhurst Expires March 13, 2016 [Page 12] Internet-Draft September 2015 since it could prematurely trigger (e.g., when multiple congestion- controlled flows lead to short-term overload). 5.1.1. A Fast-Trip Circuit Breaker for RTP A set of fast-trip Circuit Breaker methods have been specified for use together by a Real-time Transport Protocol (RTP) flow using the RTP/AVP Profile [RTP-CB]. It is expected that, in the absence of severe congestion, all RTP applications running on best-effort IP networks will be able to run without triggering these circuit breakers. A fast-trip RTP Circuit Breaker is therefore implemented as a fail-safe. The sender monitors reception of RTCP reception report blocks, as contained in SR or RR packets, that convey reception quality feedback information. This is used to measure (congestion) loss, possibly in combination with ECN [RFC6679]. The Circuit Breaker action (shutdown of the flow) is triggered when any of the following trigger conditions are true: 1. An RTP Circuit Breaker triggers on reported lack of progress. 2. An RTP Circuit Breaker triggers when no receiver reports messages are received. 3. An RTP Circuit Breaker uses a TFRC-style check and sets a hard upper limit to the long-term RTP throughput (over many RTTs). 4. An RTP Circuit Breaker includes the notion of Media Usability. This circuit breaker is triggered when the quality of the transported media falls below some required minimum acceptable quality. 5.2. A Slow-trip Circuit Breaker A slow-trip Circuit Breaker could be implemented in an endpoint or network device. This type of Circuit Breaker is much slower at responding to congestion than a fast-trip Circuit Breaker and is expected to be more common. One example where a slow-trip Circuit Breaker is needed is where flows or traffic-aggregates use a tunnel or encapsulation and the flows within the tunnel do not all support TCP-style congestion control (e.g., TCP, SCTP, TFRC), see [RFC5405] section 3.1.3. A use case is where tunnels are deployed in the general Internet (rather than "controlled environments" within an ISP or Enterprise), Fairhurst Expires March 13, 2016 [Page 13] Internet-Draft September 2015 especially when the tunnel could need to cross a customer access router. 5.3. A Managed Circuit Breaker A managed Circuit Breaker is implemented in the signalling protocol or management plane that relates to the traffic aggregate being controlled. This type of circuit breaker is typically applicable when the deployment is within a "controlled environment". A Circuit Breaker requires more than the ability to determine that a network path is forwarding data, or to measure the rate of a path - which are often normal network operational functions. There is an additional need to determine a metric for congestion on the path and to trigger a reaction when a threshold is crossed that indicates persistent congestion. 5.3.1. A Managed Circuit Breaker for SAToP Pseudo-Wires [RFC4553], SAToP Pseudo-Wires (PWE3), section 8 describes an example of a managed circuit breaker for isochronous flows. If such flows were to run over a pre-provisioned (e.g., MPLS) infrastructure, then it could be expected that the Pseudo-Wire (PW) would not experience congestion, because a flow is not expected to either increase (or decrease) their rate. If instead Pseudo-Wire traffic is multiplexed with other traffic over the general Internet, it could experience congestion. [RFC4553] states: "If SAToP PWs run over a PSN providing best-effort service, they SHOULD monitor packet loss in order to detect "severe congestion". The currently recommended measurement period is 1 second, and the trigger operates when there are more than three measured Severely Errored Seconds (SES) within a period. If such a condition is detected, a SAToP PW ought to shut down bidirectionally for some period of time...". The concept was that when the packet loss ratio (congestion) level increased above a threshold, the PW was by default disabled. This use case considered fixed-rate transmission, where the PW had no reasonable way to shed load. The trigger needs to be set at the rate that the PW was likely to experience a serious problem, possibly making the service non- compliant. At this point, triggering the Circuit Breaker would remove the traffic preventing undue impact on congestion-responsive traffic (e.g., TCP). Part of the rationale, was that high loss ratios typically indicated that something was "broken" and ought to Fairhurst Expires March 13, 2016 [Page 14] Internet-Draft September 2015 have already resulted in operator intervention, and therefore need to trigger this intervention. An operator-based response provides opportunity for other action to restore the service quality, e.g., by shedding other loads or assigning additional capacity, or to consciously avoid reacting to the trigger while engineering a solution to the problem. This could require the trigger to be sent to a third location (e.g., a network operations centre, NOC) responsible for operation of the tunnel ingress, rather than the tunnel ingress itself. 6. Examples where circuit breakers may not be needed. A Circuit Breaker is not required for a single Congestion Controller- controlled flow using TCP, SCTP, TFRC, etc. In these cases, the Congestion Control methods are already designed to prevent congestion collapse. 6.1. CBs over pre-provisioned Capacity One common question is whether a Circuit Breaker is needed when a tunnel is deployed in a private network with pre-provisioned capacity? In this case, compliant traffic that does not exceed the provisioned capacity ought not to result in congestion collapse. A Circuit Breaker will hence only be triggered when there is non-compliant traffic. It could be argued that this event ought never to happen - but it could also be argued that the Circuit Breaker equally ought never to be triggered. If a Circuit Breaker were to be implemented, it will provide an appropriate response if persistent congestion occurs in an operational network. Implementing a Circuit Breaker will not reduce the performance of the flows, but offers protection in the event that persistent congestion occurs. This also could be used to protect from a failure that causes traffic to be routed over a non-pre-provisioned path. 6.2. CBs with tunnels carrying Congestion-Controlled Traffic IP-based traffic is generally assumed to be congestion-controlled, i.e., it is assumed that the transport protocols generating IP-based traffic at the sender already employ mechanisms that are sufficient to address congestion on the path [RFC5405]. A question therefore arises when people deploy a tunnel that is thought to only carry an aggregate of TCP (or some other Congestion Controller-controlled) traffic: Is there advantage in this case in using a Circuit Breaker? Fairhurst Expires March 13, 2016 [Page 15] Internet-Draft September 2015 For sure, traffic in a such a tunnel will respond to congestion. However, the answer to the question is not always obvious, because the overall traffic formed by an aggregate of flows that implement a Congestion Controller mechanism does not necessarily prevent congestion collapse. For instance, most Congestion Controller mechanisms require long-lived flows to react to reduce the rate of a flow, an aggregate of many short flows could result in many terminating before they experience congestion. It is also often impossible for a tunnel service provider to know that the tunnel only contains CC-controlled traffic (e.g., Inspecting packet headers could not be possible). The important thing to note is that if the aggregate of the traffic does not result in persistent congestion (impacting other flows), then the Circuit Breaker will not trigger. This is the expected case in this context - so implementing a Circuit Breaker will not reduce performance of the tunnel, but offers protection in the event that persistent congestion occur. 6.3. CBs with Uni-directional Traffic and no Control Path A one-way forwarding path could have no associated control path, and therefore cannot be controlled using an automated process. This service could be provided using a path that has dedicated capacity and does not share this capacity with other elastic Internet flows (i.e., flows that vary their rate). A way to mitigate the impact on other flows when capacity could be shared is to manage the traffic envelope by using ingress policing. Supporting this type of traffic in the general Internet requires operator monitoring to detect and respond to persistent congestion. 7. Security Considerations All Circuit Breaker mechanisms rely upon coordination between the ingress and egress meters and communication with the trigger function. This is usually achieved by passing network control information (or protocol messages) across the network. Timely operation of a circuit breaker depends on the choice of measurement period. If the receiver has an interval that is overly long, then the responsiveness of the circuit breaker decreases. This impacts the ability of the circuit breaker to detect and react to congestion. Mechanisms need to be implemented to prevent attacks on the network control information that would result in Denial of Service (DoS). The source and integrity of control information (measurements and triggers) MUST be protected from off-path attacks. Without protection, it could be trivial for an attacker to inject packets with values that could prematurely trigger a circuit breaker Fairhurst Expires March 13, 2016 [Page 16] Internet-Draft September 2015 resulting in DoS. Simple protection can be provided by using a randomised source port, or equivalent field in the packet header (such as the RTP SSRC value and the RTP sequence number) expected not to be known to an off-path attacker. Stronger protection can be achieved using a secure authentication protocol. Transmission of network control information consumes network capacity. This control traffic needs to be considered in the design of a circuit breaker and could potentially add to network congestion. If this traffic is sent over a shared path, it is RECOMMENDED that this control traffic is prioritized to reduce the probability of loss under congestion. Control traffic also needs to be considered when provisioning a network that uses a circuit breaker. The circuit breaker MUST be designed to be robust to packet loss that can also be experienced during congestion/overload. Loss of control traffic could be a side-effect of a congested network, but also could arise from other causes. Each design of a Circuit Breaker MUST evaluate whether the particular circuit breaker mechanism has new security implications. 8. IANA Considerations This document makes no request from IANA. 9. Acknowledgments There are many people who have discussed and described the issues that have motivated this draft. Contributions and comments included: Lars Eggert, Colin Perkins, David Black, Matt Mathis and Andrew McGregor. This work was part-funded by the European Community under its Seventh Framework Programme through the Reducing Internet Transport Latency (RITE) project (ICT-317700). 10. Revision Notes XXX RFC-Editor: Please remove this section prior to publication XXX Draft 00 This was the first revision. Help and comments are greatly appreciated. Draft 01 Fairhurst Expires March 13, 2016 [Page 17] Internet-Draft September 2015 Contained clarifications and changes in response to received comments, plus addition of diagram and definitions. Comments are welcome. WG Draft 00 Approved as a WG work item on 28th Aug 2014. WG Draft 01 Incorporates feedback after Dallas IETF TSVWG meeting. This version is thought ready for WGLC comments. WG Draft 02 Minor fixes for typos. Rewritten security considerations section. WG Draft 03 Updates following WGLC comments (see TSV mailing list). Comments from C Perkins; D Black and off-list feedback. A clear recommendation of intended scope. Changes include: Improvment of language on timescales and minimum mesurement period; clearer articulation of endpoint and multicast examples - with new diagrams; separation of the controlled network case; updated text on position of trigger function; corrections to RTP-CB text; clarification of loss v ECN metrics; checks against submission checklist 9use of keywords, added meters to diagrams). 11. References 11.1. Normative References [RFC2119] Bradner, S., "Key words for use in RFCs to Indicate Requirement Levels", BCP 14, RFC 2119, DOI 10.17487/RFC2119, March 1997, <http://www.rfc-editor.org/info/rfc2119>. [RFC3168] Ramakrishnan, K., Floyd, S., and D. Black, "The Addition of Explicit Congestion Notification (ECN) to IP", RFC 3168, DOI 10.17487/RFC3168, September 2001, <http://www.rfc-editor.org/info/rfc3168>. Fairhurst Expires March 13, 2016 [Page 18] Internet-Draft September 2015 [RFC5405] Eggert, L. and G. Fairhurst, "Unicast UDP Usage Guidelines for Application Designers", BCP 145, RFC 5405, DOI 10.17487/RFC5405, November 2008, <http://www.rfc-editor.org/info/rfc5405>. 11.2. Informative References [Jacobsen88] European Telecommunication Standards, Institute (ETSI), "Congestion Avoidance and Control", SIGCOMM Symposium proceedings on Communications architectures and protocols", August 1998. [RFC1112] Deering, S., "Host extensions for IP multicasting", STD 5, RFC 1112, DOI 10.17487/RFC1112, August 1989, <http://www.rfc-editor.org/info/rfc1112>. [RFC4553] Vainshtein, A., Ed. and YJ. Stein, Ed., "Structure- Agnostic Time Division Multiplexing (TDM) over Packet (SAToP)", RFC 4553, DOI 10.17487/RFC4553, June 2006, <http://www.rfc-editor.org/info/rfc4553>. [RFC5681] Allman, M., Paxson, V., and E. Blanton, "TCP Congestion Control", RFC 5681, DOI 10.17487/RFC5681, September 2009, <http://www.rfc-editor.org/info/rfc5681>. [RFC6679] Westerlund, M., Johansson, I., Perkins, C., O'Hanlon, P., and K. Carlberg, "Explicit Congestion Notification (ECN) for RTP over UDP", RFC 6679, DOI 10.17487/RFC6679, August 2012, <http://www.rfc-editor.org/info/rfc6679>. [RTP-CB] Perkins, and Singh, "Multimedia Congestion Control: Circuit Breakers for Unicast RTP Sessions", February 2014. Author's Address Godred Fairhurst University of Aberdeen School of Engineering Fraser Noble Building Aberdeen, Scotland AB24 3UE UK Email: firstname.lastname@example.org URI: http://www.erg.abdn.ac.uk Fairhurst Expires March 13, 2016 [Page 19]