MPLS Extension Header
draft-song-mpls-extension-header-01

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Last updated 2018-08-08
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Network Working Group                                       H. Song, Ed.
Internet-Draft                                                     Z. Li
Intended status: Standards Track                                 T. Zhou
Expires: February 9, 2019                                         Huawei
                                                            L. Andersson
                                                Bronze Dragon Consulting
                                                          August 8, 2018

                         MPLS Extension Header
                  draft-song-mpls-extension-header-01

Abstract

   Motivated by the need to support multiple in-network services and
   functions in an MPLS network, this document describes a method to
   encapsulate extension headers into MPLS packets.  The encapsulation
   method allows stacking multiple extension headers and quickly
   accessing any of them as well as the original upper layer protocol
   header and payload.  We show how the extension header can be used to
   support several new network applications.

Requirements Language

   The key words "MUST", "MUST NOT", "REQUIRED", "SHALL", "SHALL NOT",
   "SHOULD", "SHOULD NOT", "RECOMMENDED", "NOT RECOMMENDED", "MAY", and
   "OPTIONAL" in this document are to be interpreted as described in BCP
   14 [RFC2119][RFC8174] when, and only when, they appear in all
   capitals, as shown here.

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
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   This Internet-Draft will expire on February 9, 2019.

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Internet-Draft            MPLS Extension Header              August 2018

Copyright Notice

   Copyright (c) 2018 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
   (https://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
   the Trust Legal Provisions and are provided without warranty as
   described in the Simplified BSD License.

Table of Contents

   1.  Motivation  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   2
   2.  MPLS Extension Header . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   4
   3.  Operation on MPLS Extension Headers . . . . . . . . . . . . .   8
   4.  Use Cases . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   9
   5.  Summary . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   9
   6.  Security Considerations . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  10
   7.  IANA Considerations . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  10
   8.  Contributors  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  11
   9.  Acknowledgments . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  11
   10. References  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  11
     10.1.  Normative References . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  11
     10.2.  Informative References . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  12
   Authors' Addresses  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  13

1.  Motivation

   Some applications require adding instructions and/or metadata to user
   packets within a network.  Such examples include In-situ OAM (IOAM)
   [I-D.brockners-inband-oam-requirements] and Service Function Chaining
   (SFC) [RFC7665].  New applications are emerging.  It is possible that
   the instructions and/or metadata for multiple applications are
   stacked together in one packet to support a compound service.

   However, the encapsulation of the new header(s) poses some challenges
   to the ubiquitous MPLS networks.  The MPLS protocol header contains
   no explicit indicator for the upper layer protocols by design.  The
   compact MPLS header, while beneficial to forwarding, allows little
   room for any extra information.  Moreover, the backward compatibility
   issue discourages any attempts trying to overload the semantics of
   the existing MPLS header fields.  While it is possible to designate
   "service labels" with special semantics by an operator, the non-

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