UNITE: An Architecture for Lightweight Signaling

Document Type Expired Internet-Draft (individual)
Authors K. Ramakrishnan  , Michael Wong  , Gisli Hjalmtysson  , Kobus van der Merwe  , Flavio Bonomi  , Sateesh Kumar 
Last updated 1998-08-11
Stream (None)
Intended RFC status (None)
Expired & archived
plain text ps pdf htmlized bibtex
Stream Stream state (No stream defined)
Consensus Boilerplate Unknown
RFC Editor Note (None)
IESG IESG state Expired
Telechat date
Responsible AD (None)
Send notices to (None)

This Internet-Draft is no longer active. A copy of the expired Internet-Draft can be found at


Communication networks need to support a wide range of applications with diverse service quality requirements. The current widespread use of best-effort communication also suggests that the overhead for establishing communication both in processing and latency needs to be kept at a minimum. With ATM signaling, every flow, including a best-effort flow, suffers the overhead of end-to-end connection establishment. ATM signaling complexity is further exacerbated by having variable length messages with a large number of information elements using a very flexible encoding, sent on a single control channel. The inclusion of QoS processing and connectivity in the initial setup of a connection requires sequential hop-by-hop processing. Variable length messages involves both a single point of resequencing as well as relatively slow, software based processing. In recognition of these shortcomings, the MPLS working group has opted to use topology driven label distribution as its default label distribution mechanism, while at the same time acknowledging the possible need for on-demand label distribution. We see these different approaches as points on a range of solutions and we do not wish to open a debate concerning the relative merits of each approach. However, we believe that if there is a need for on-demand label distribution, then there is a need to do this very efficiently. In this light we have decided to bring to the MPLS working group our architecture for lightweight signaling. While in its current form it is applicable to an ATM environment, we believe that it represent a step forward in the evolution of signaling for high speed networks. It holds the promise of processing signaling in hardware, thereby enabling substantial speed up of connection setup, so as to meet the needs of contemporary applications. Our proposed lightweight architecture f


K. Ramakrishnan (kkrama@research.att.com)
Michael Wong (mwong@ctron.com)
Gisli Hjalmtysson (gisli@research.att.com)
Kobus van der Merwe (kobus@research.att.com)
Flavio Bonomi (fbonomi@ctron.com)
Sateesh Kumar (skumar@ctron.com)

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