Protocol Independent Use Cases for an Interface to the Routing System

Document Type Expired Internet-Draft (individual)
Authors Russ White  , Susan Hares  , Alvaro Retana 
Last updated 2015-01-05 (latest revision 2014-07-04)
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This Internet-Draft is no longer active. A copy of the expired Internet-Draft can be found at


Programmatic interfaces to provide control over individual forwarding devices in a network promise to reduce operational costs while improving scaling, control, and visibility into the operation of large scale networks. To this end, several programmatic interfaces have been proposed. OpenFlow, for instance, provides a mechanism to replace the dynamic control plane processes on individual forwarding devices throughout a network with off box processes that interact with the forwarding tables on each device. Another example is NETCONF, which provides a fast and flexible mechanism to interact with device configuration and policy. There is, however, no proposal which provides an interface to all aspects of the routing system as a system. Such a system would not interact with the forwarding system on individual devices, but rather with the control plane processes already used to discover the best path to any given destination through the network, as well as interact with the routing information base (RIB), which feeds the forwarding table the information needed to actually switch traffic at a local level. This document describes a set of use cases such a system could fulfill. It is designed to provide underlying support for the framework, policy, and other drafts describing the Interface to the Routing System (I2RS).


Russ White (
Susan Hares (
Alvaro Retana (

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