TEAS Working Group                                               J. Dong
Internet-Draft                                                     Z. Li
Intended status: Informational                       Huawei Technologies
Expires: May 6, 2021                                              F. Qin
                                                            China Mobile
                                                                 G. Yang
                                                           China Telecom
                                                        November 2, 2020

           Scalability Considerations for Enhanced VPN (VPN+)


   Enhanced VPN (VPN+) aims to provide enhancements to existing VPN
   services to support the needs of new applications, particularly
   including the applications that are associated with 5G services.
   VPN+ could be used to provide network slicing in 5G, and may also be
   of use in more generic scenarios, such as enterprise services which
   have demanding requirement.  With the requirement for VPN+ services
   increase, scalability would become an important factor for deployment
   of VPN+.  This document describes the scalability considerations in
   the control plane and data plane to enable VPN+ services, some
   optimization mechanisms are also described.

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 https://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 May 6, 2021.

Copyright Notice

   Copyright (c) 2020 IETF Trust and the persons identified as the
   document authors.  All rights reserved.

Dong, et al.               Expires May 6, 2021                  [Page 1]

Internet-Draft       VPN+ Scalability Considerations       November 2020

   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.  Introduction  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   2
   2.  VPN+ Scalability Requirements . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   3
   3.  VPN+ Scalability Considerations . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   4
     3.1.  Control Plane Scalability . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   5
       3.1.1.  Distributed Control Plane . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   5
       3.1.2.  Centralized Control Plane . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   5
     3.2.  Data Plane Scalability  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   6
     3.3.  Gap Analysis of Existing Mechanisms . . . . . . . . . . .   6
   4.  Possible Optimizations  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   7
     4.1.  Control Plane Optimization  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   7
     4.2.  Data Plane Optimization . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   9
   5.  Solution Evolution for Improved Scalability . . . . . . . . .  10
   6.  Security Considerations . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  11
   7.  IANA Considerations . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  11
   8.  Contributors  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  11
   9.  Acknowledgments . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  11
   10. References  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  11
     10.1.  Normative References . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  11
     10.2.  Informative References . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  11
   Authors' Addresses  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  12

1.  Introduction

   Virtual Private Networks (VPNs) have served the industry well as a
   means of providing different groups of users with logically isolated
   connectivity over a common network infrastructure.  The VPN service
   is provided with two network layers: the overlay and the underlay.
   The underlay is responsible for establishing network connectivity and
   managing network resources to meet the service requirement.  The
   overlay is used to distribute the membership and reachability
   information of the tenants, and provide logical separation of service
   delivery between different tenants.

   Enhanced VPN service (VPN+) [I-D.ietf-teas-enhanced-vpn] is targeted
   at new applications which require better isolation between tenants
   and/or services, and have more stringent performance requirements

Dong, et al.               Expires May 6, 2021                  [Page 2]

Internet-Draft       VPN+ Scalability Considerations       November 2020

   than can be provided with existing VPNs.  To meet the requirement of
   VPN+ services, Virtual Transport Networks (VTN) need to be created,
   each with a subset of the underlay network topology and a set of
   network resources allocated to meet the requirements of one or a
   group of VPN+ services.  The VPN in overlay together with the
   corresponding VTN in the underlay provide the VPN+ service.

   [I-D.ietf-teas-enhanced-vpn] provides some general analysis of the
   scalability of VPN+. This document gives detailed analysis of the
   scalability considerations when enabling VPN+ services.  The focus of
   this document is mainly on the scalability of the underlay of VPN+,
   i.e. the VTN.

2.  VPN+ Scalability Requirements

   As described in [I-D.ietf-teas-enhanced-vpn], VPN+ services may
   require additional state to be introduced into the network to take
   advantage of the enhanced functionality.  This introduces some
   scalability considerations to the network.  This section gives some
   analysis of the number of VPN+ services that might be needed in a

   There are several use cases where VPN+ may be necessary, and these
   determine how many will be required in a network.  One typical use
   case of VPN+ is to provide network slicing for applications or
   services in 5G, thus the number of network slices needed could
   reflect the number of VPN+ services.  In the future, with the
   development and evolution of 5G, it is expected that more and more
   network slices will be deployed.  The number of network slices
   required is relevant to how network slicing will be used, and the
   progress of 5G for vertical industrial services.  The potential
   number of network slices is analyzed by classifying the network
   slicing deployment into three typical scenarios:

   1.  Network slicing can be used by a network opeartor internally to
       isolate different types of services.  For example, in a converged
       multi-service network, different network slices can be created to
       carry mobile transport service, fixed broadband service and
       enterprise services respectively, each type of service could be
       managed by a separate department or management team.  Some
       service types, such as multicast service may also be deployed in
       a dedicated network slice.  It is also possible that an
       infrastructure network operator provides network slices to other
       network operators as a wholesale service.  In this scenario, the
       number of network slices in a network would be relatively small,
       such as on the order of 10 or so.  This could be the typical case
       in the beginning of the network slicing deployment.

Dong, et al.               Expires May 6, 2021                  [Page 3]

Internet-Draft       VPN+ Scalability Considerations       November 2020

   2.  Network slicing can be used to provide isolated and customized
       virtual networks for tenants in different vertical industries.
       At the early stage of the vertical industrial service deployment,
       a few top tenants in some typical industries will begin to use
       network slicing to support their business, such as smart grid,
       manufacturing, public safety, on-line gaming, etc.  Considering
       the number of the vertical industries, and the number of top
       tenants in each industry, the number of network slices may
       increase to the order of 100.

   3.  With the evolution of 5G, network slicing could be widely used by
       both vertical industrial tenants and enterprise tenants which
       require guaranteed or predictable service performance.  The total
       amount of network slices may increase to the order of 1000 or
       more.  While it is expected that the number of network slices
       would still be less than the number of traditional VPN services
       in the network.

   In 3GPP [TS23501], a 5G network slice is identified using Single
   Network Slice Selection Assistance Information (S-NSSAI), which is a
   32-bit identifier comprised of 8-bit Slice/Service Type (SST) and
   24-bit Slice Differentiator (SD).  This allows the mobile network
   (RAN and CN) to provide a large number of network slices.  Although
   it is possible that multiple network slices in RAN and CN can be
   mapped to the same transport network slice, the amount of transport
   slice still needs to be comparable with the number of 5G network
   slices.  Thus the scalability of transport network slices needs to be
   taken into consideration from the beginning.

                      8-bit              24-bit
                  |    SST     |   Slice Differentiator  |

                   Figure 1. Format of S-NSSAI in 3GPP

   VPN+ needs to meet the scalability requirement of network slicing in
   different scenarios.  The increased number of VPN+s will introduce
   additional complexity and overhead to both the control plane and data
   plane, especially for the underlying virtual transport network.

3.  VPN+ Scalability Considerations

   In this section, the scalability in control and data plane is
   analyzed to understand the possible gaps in meeting the scalability
   requirement of VPN+.

Dong, et al.               Expires May 6, 2021                  [Page 4]

Internet-Draft       VPN+ Scalability Considerations       November 2020

3.1.  Control Plane Scalability

   As described in [I-D.ietf-teas-enhanced-vpn], the control plane of
   VPN+ could be based on the hybrid of centralized controller and
   distributed control plane.

3.1.1.  Distributed Control Plane

   At part of the construction of VPN+ services, it is necessary to
   create different VTNs that provide customized topology and resource
   attributes.  The attributes and state information of each VTN needs
   to be exchanged in the control plane.  The scalability of the
   distributed control plane for the establishment and maintenance of
   VTNs needs to be considered in the following aspects:

   o  The number of control protocol instances maintained on each node

   o  The number of protocol sessions maintained on each link

   o  The number of routes advertised by each node

   o  The amount of attributes associated with each route

   o  The number of route computation (i.e.  SPF) executed on each node

   As the number of VTNs increases, it is expected that for some of the
   above aspects, the overhead in the control plane may increase
   dramatically.  For example, the overhead of maintaining separated
   control protocol instances for each VTN is considered higher than
   maintaining separated virtual network topologies for different VTNs
   in the same routing instance, and the overhead of maintaining
   separate protocol sessions for each VTN is considered higher than
   using a shared protocol session for the information exchange of
   multiple VTNs.  To meet the requirement of the increasing number of
   VTNs, It is suggested to choose the control plane mechanisms which
   could improve the scalability while still provide the required

3.1.2.  Centralized Control Plane

   Although the SDN approach can reduce the amount of control plane
   overhead in the distributed control plane, it may transfer some of
   the scalability concerns from network nodes to the centralized
   controller, thus the scalability of the controller also needs to be

   To provide global optimization for Traffic Engineered (TE) paths in
   different VTNs, the controller needs to keep the topology and

Dong, et al.               Expires May 6, 2021                  [Page 5]

Internet-Draft       VPN+ Scalability Considerations       November 2020

   resource information of all the VTNs up to date.  To achieve this,
   the controller may need to maintain a communication channel with each
   network node in the network.  When there is significant change in the
   network and multiple VTNs requires global optimization concurrently,
   there may be a heavy processing burden at the controller, and a heavy
   load in the network surrounding the controller for the distribution
   of the updated network state.

3.2.  Data Plane Scalability

   To provide different VPN+ services with the required isolation and
   performance characteristics, it is necessary to allocate different
   sets of network resources to different VTNs.  As the number of VPN+
   increases, the number of VTNs will increase accordingly.  This
   requires the underlying network to provide finer-granular network
   resource partitioning, which means the amount of state about the
   reserved network resources to be maintained on network nodes will
   also increase accordingly.

   In data plane, traffic of different VPN+ services need to be
   processed separately according to the topology and resource
   constraints of the associated VTN , thus the identifier of VTN needs
   to be carried either directly or implicitly in the data packet.
   Different representations of the VTN identifier in data packet have
   different scalability implication.  One approach is to reuse some
   existing fields in packet headers to additionally identify the VTN
   the packet belongs to.  As this introduces additional semantics to an
   existing identifier, it may increase the amount of the identifiers to
   be allocated and managed, which may not be expected in its original
   design and could cause scalability problem.  An alternative is to
   introduce a dedicated identifier in the packet for VTN

   In addition, the introduction of per VTN packet forwarding has impact
   on the scalability of the forwarding entries on network nodes, as a
   network node needs to maintain separate forwarding entries for a
   target node in each VTN it participates.

3.3.  Gap Analysis of Existing Mechanisms

   One candidate approach to build VTN is using Segment Routing (either
   SR-MPLS or SRv6) as the data plane, and distributing the customized
   topology and resource attribute based on Multi-topology [RFC4915]
   [RFC5120], Flex-Algo [I-D.ietf-lsr-flex-algo] or the combination of
   these mechanisms in the control plane.  If the number of VTNs
   increases to a certain extent, such approach may have several
   scalability issues:

Dong, et al.               Expires May 6, 2021                  [Page 6]

Internet-Draft       VPN+ Scalability Considerations       November 2020

   1.  The number of SR SIDs needed will increase dependent upon the
       number of VTNs in the network, which will bring challenges both
       to the SID information distribution in control plane and to the
       installation of forwarding entries for the SIDs in data plane.

   2.  The number of SPF computation will also increase in proportion to
       the number of VTNs in the network, which can introduce
       significant overhead of the computing resources on network nodes.

   3.  The maximum number of network topology supported by OSPF Multi-
       topology is 128, the maximum number of Flex-Algo is 128, which
       may not meet the required number of VTNs in some networks.

4.  Possible Optimizations

4.1.  Control Plane Optimization

   For the distributed control plane, several optimizations can be
   considered to reduce the overhead and improve the control plane

   The first optimization mechanism is to reduce the amount of control
   plane sessions used for the establishment and maintenance of the
   VTNs.  For multiple VTNs which have the same peering relationship
   between two adjacent network nodes, it is proposed that one single
   control session is used for the establishment of multiple VTNs.
   Information of different VTNs can be exchanged over the same control
   session, with necessary identification information to distinguish
   them in the control messages.  This could reduce the overhead of
   maintaining a large number of control protocol sessions, and could
   also reduce the amount of control plane message flooding in the

   The second optimization mechanism is to decompose the attributes of a
   VTN into different groups, so that different types of attribute can
   be advertised and processed separately in control plane.  For a VTN,
   there are two basic types of attributes: the topology attribute and
   the associated network resource attribute.  In a network, it is
   possible that multiple VTNs share the same topology, and multiple
   VTNs may share the same set of network resource on particular network
   segments.  It is more efficient if only one copy of the topology
   attribute is advertised, then multiple VTNs sharing the same topology
   could refer to the topology information, and share the result of
   topology-based route computation.  Similarly, information of a subset
   of network resource reserved on network segments could be advertised
   once and then be used by multiple VTNs.  This methodology could also
   apply to other attributes of VTN which may be introduced later and
   can be processed independently.

Dong, et al.               Expires May 6, 2021                  [Page 7]

Internet-Draft       VPN+ Scalability Considerations       November 2020

                         O#####O#####O          O*****O*****O
                         #     #     #          *     *     *
                         #     #     #          *     *     *
                         O#####O#####O          O*****O*****O

                             VTN-1                  VTN-2

                                    |     |     |
                                    |     |     |

                                Shared Network Topology


           O     Virtual node
           ###   Virtual links with a set of reserved resource
           ***   Virtual links with another set of reserved resource

                      Figure 2. Topology Sharing between VTNs


   Figure 2 gives an example of multiple VTNs which share the same
   topology attribute.  As shown in the figure, VTN-1 and VTN-2 have the
   same topology, while the link resource attributes of each VTN are
   different.  In this case, only one copy of the network topology
   information needs to be advertised, and the topology-based route
   computation result can be used by both VTNs to generate the routing

                       O#####O#####O         O-  -O#####O
                       #     #     #           \/ #     #
                       #     #     #           /\ #     #
                       O#####O#####O         O-  -O#####O

                           VTN-1                VTN-2


       O     Virtual node
       ###   Virtual links with a set of reserved resource
       ---   Virtual links with another set of reserved resource

                  Figure 3. Resource Sharing between VTNs

Dong, et al.               Expires May 6, 2021                  [Page 8]

Internet-Draft       VPN+ Scalability Considerations       November 2020

   Figure 3 gives another example of multiple VTNs which shares the same
   set of network resources on some links.  In this case, information
   about the reserved resource on each link only needs to be advertised
   once, then both VTN-1 and VTN-2 could refer to the link resource for
   constraint based computation.

   For the centralized control plane, it is suggested that the
   centralized controller is deployed as a complementary mechanism to
   the distributed control plane rather than replacement, so that the
   computation burden in control plane could be shared by both the
   centralized controller and the network nodes, thus the scalability of
   both systems could be improved.

4.2.  Data Plane Optimization

   To support more VPN+ services while keeping the amount of data plane
   state in a reasonable scale, one possible approach is to classify a
   set of VPN+ services which has similar service characteristics and
   performance requirements into a group, and such group of VPN+ is
   mapped to one VTN, which is allocated with an aggregated set of
   network topology and resources to meet the service requirement of the
   whole group of VPN+. Different groups of VPN+ need to be mapped to
   different VTNs with different set of network resources allocated.
   With appropriate grouping of VPN+ services, a reasonable number of
   VTNs with network resources reservation and aggregation could still
   meet the service requirements.

   Another optimization in the data plane is to decouple the identifier
   used for topology-based forwarding and the identifier used for the
   resource-specific processing introduced by VTN.  One possible
   mechanism is to introduce a dedicated field in the packet header to
   uniquely identify the set of local network resources allocated to a
   VTN on each network node for the processing and forwarding of the
   received packet.  Then the existing identifier in the packet header
   used for topology based forwarding is kept unchanged.  The benefit is
   the number of existing topology-specific identifiers will only
   increase in proportion to the number of topologies rather than the
   number of VTNs, so that its scalability will not be impacted by the
   increase of VTN.  Note this probably requires network nodes to
   support a hierarchical forwarding table in the data plane.  Figure 4
   shows the concept of using different data plane identifiers for
   topology-based and VTN resource-based packet processing respectively.

Dong, et al.               Expires May 6, 2021                  [Page 9]

Internet-Draft       VPN+ Scalability Considerations       November 2020

                           |       Packet Header      |
                           |                          |
                           | +----------------------+ |
                           | | Topology-specific ID | |
                           | +----------------------+ |
                           |                          |
                           | +----------------------+ |
                           | |    VTN Resource ID   | |
                           | +----------------------+ |

                   Figure 4. Decoupled Data Plane Identifiers

   In an IPv6 [RFC8200] based network, this could be achieved by
   introducing a dedicated field in either the IPv6 fixed header or one
   of the extension headers to carry the VTN identifier for the
   resource-specific forwarding, while keeping the destination IP
   address field used for routing towards the destination prefix in the
   corresponding topology.  Note that the VTN ID needs to be parsed by
   every node along the path which is capable of VTN-specific
   forwarding.  In an MPLS [RFC3032] based network, this may be achieved
   by introducing a dedicated MPLS label to identify the VTN instance,
   while the existing MPLS labels could be used for topology-based
   packet forwarding towards the associated destination prefix.  This
   requires that both labels be parsed by each node along the forwarding
   path of the packet.  The detailed extensions in IPv6 and MPLS
   encapsulation are out of the scope of this document.

5.  Solution Evolution for Improved Scalability

   Based on the analysis in this document, the control plane and data
   plane for VPN+ needs to evolve to support the increasing number of
   VPN+ services in the network.

   For example, by introducing resource-awareness to segment routing
   SIDs [I-D.ietf-spring-resource-aware-segments], and using Multi-
   Topology or Flex-Algo as control plane could provide a solution for
   building a limited set of VTNs in the network to meet the requirement
   of a small number of VPN+ in the network.  Such mechanism is
   considered as basic SR-VTN.

   As the number of required VPN+ services increases, more VTNs needs to
   be created, then the control plane scalability could be improved by
   decoupling the topology attribute from other attributes (e.g.
   resource attribute) of VTN, so that multiple VTNs could share the
   same topology or resource attribute.

Dong, et al.               Expires May 6, 2021                 [Page 10]

Internet-Draft       VPN+ Scalability Considerations       November 2020

   To further improve the data plane scalability, dedicated data plane
   identifiers of VTN can be introduced to decouple the topology-
   specific forwarding and the VTN resource-based processing in data

6.  Security Considerations


7.  IANA Considerations

   This document makes no request of IANA.

8.  Contributors

   Zhibo Hu
   Email: huzhibo@huawei.com

9.  Acknowledgments

   The authors would like to thank XXX for the review and discussion of
   this document.

10.  References

10.1.  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,

   [RFC8174]  Leiba, B., "Ambiguity of Uppercase vs Lowercase in RFC
              2119 Key Words", BCP 14, RFC 8174, DOI 10.17487/RFC8174,
              May 2017, <https://www.rfc-editor.org/info/rfc8174>.

10.2.  Informative References

              Dong, J., Bryant, S., Miyasaka, T., Zhu, Y., Qin, F., Li,
              Z., and F. Clad, "Segment Routing based Virtual Transport
              Network for Enhanced VPN", draft-dong-spring-sr-for-
              enhanced-vpn-10 (work in progress), August 2020.

              Psenak, P., Hegde, S., Filsfils, C., Talaulikar, K., and
              A. Gulko, "IGP Flexible Algorithm", draft-ietf-lsr-flex-
              algo-13 (work in progress), October 2020.

Dong, et al.               Expires May 6, 2021                 [Page 11]

Internet-Draft       VPN+ Scalability Considerations       November 2020

              Dong, J., Bryant, S., Miyasaka, T., Zhu, Y., Qin, F., Li,
              Z., and F. Clad, "Introducing Resource Awareness to SR
              Segments", draft-ietf-spring-resource-aware-segments-00
              (work in progress), July 2020.

              Dong, J., Bryant, S., Li, Z., Miyasaka, T., and Y. Lee, "A
              Framework for Enhanced Virtual Private Networks (VPN+)
              Service", draft-ietf-teas-enhanced-vpn-06 (work in
              progress), July 2020.

   [RFC3032]  Rosen, E., Tappan, D., Fedorkow, G., Rekhter, Y.,
              Farinacci, D., Li, T., and A. Conta, "MPLS Label Stack
              Encoding", RFC 3032, DOI 10.17487/RFC3032, January 2001,

   [RFC4915]  Psenak, P., Mirtorabi, S., Roy, A., Nguyen, L., and P.
              Pillay-Esnault, "Multi-Topology (MT) Routing in OSPF",
              RFC 4915, DOI 10.17487/RFC4915, June 2007,

   [RFC5120]  Przygienda, T., Shen, N., and N. Sheth, "M-ISIS: Multi
              Topology (MT) Routing in Intermediate System to
              Intermediate Systems (IS-ISs)", RFC 5120,
              DOI 10.17487/RFC5120, February 2008,

   [RFC8200]  Deering, S. and R. Hinden, "Internet Protocol, Version 6
              (IPv6) Specification", STD 86, RFC 8200,
              DOI 10.17487/RFC8200, July 2017,

   [TS23501]  "3GPP TS23.501", 2016,

Authors' Addresses

   Jie Dong
   Huawei Technologies
   Huawei Campus, No. 156 Beiqing Road
   Beijing  100095

   Email: jie.dong@huawei.com

Dong, et al.               Expires May 6, 2021                 [Page 12]

Internet-Draft       VPN+ Scalability Considerations       November 2020

   Zhenbin Li
   Huawei Technologies
   Huawei Campus, No. 156 Beiqing Road
   Beijing  100095

   Email: lizhenbin@huawei.com

   Fengwei Qin
   China Mobile
   No. 32 Xuanwumenxi Ave., Xicheng District

   Email: qinfengwei@chinamobile.com

   Guangming Yang
   China Telecom
   No.109 West Zhongshan Ave., Tianhe District

   Email: yangguangm@chinatelecom.cn

Dong, et al.               Expires May 6, 2021                 [Page 13]