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Versions: 00                                                            
Provider Provisioned VPN WG                  Elwin Eliazer     (Corona)
Internet Draft                               Brijesh Kumar     (Corona)
                                             Benson Schliesser (SAVVIS)
Category: Informational
Expiration Date: August 2002
                                                          February 2002




                PPVPN Architecture using L2TP

             draft-elwin-ppvpn-l2tp-arch-00.txt



Status of this Memo

   This document is an Internet-Draft and is in full conformance with
      all provisions of Section 10 of RFC2026 [RFC-2026].

   Internet-Drafts are working documents of the Internet Engineering
   Task Force (IETF), its areas, and its working groups. Note that
   other groups may also distribute working documents as Internet-
   Drafts.

   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."
   The list of current Internet-Drafts can be accessed at
   http://www.ietf.org/ietf/1id-abstracts.txt
   The list of Internet-Draft Shadow Directories can be accessed at
   http://www.ietf.org/shadow.html.



Abstract


This document discusses the use of L2TP for establishing PPVPNs. It
proposes to use L2TP for VPN membership, topology discovery, and as a
tunneling mechanism. The basic idea is based on leveraging the inherent
strengths of L2TP for tunneling traffic, and extend the same advantages
to PPVPNS. The mechanism is applicable for both Layer2 and Layer3
PPVPNs.

ID Summary

   RELATED DOCUMENTS

    See References section below.




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draft-elwin-ppvpn-l2tp-arch-00  PPVPN Architecture Using L2TP   Feb 2002



   WHERE DOES IT FIT IN THE PICTURE OF THE SUB-IP WORK

    This ID fits the PPVPN box.

   WHY IS IT TARGETED AT THIS WG

    This ID describes a tunneling and discovery mechanism for PPVPNs,
    which comes under the charter of this WG.

   JUSTIFICATION

    This ID describes a tunneling and discovery mechanism for PPVPNs,
    which comes under the charter of this WG.


Table of Contents

1.0  Introduction ................................................ 3
2.0  L2TP for PPVPN Tunneling .................................... 3
3.0  Merits and demerits with this approach ...................... 4
3.1  Merits ...................................................... 4
3.2  Demerits .................................................... 5
4.0  PPVPN Services Using L2TP ................................... 5
4.1  VPN Membership Discovery .................................... 5
4.2  VPN Topology ................................................ 5
4.3  Tunnel Setup ................................................ 6
4.4  Keepalive ................................................... 6
4.5  Tunnel Authentication ....................................... 6
4.6  Control Connection Topology ................................. 6
5.0  Applications ................................................ 7
5.1  OSPF/L2TP VPNs .............................................. 7
5.2  Ethernet/L2TP VPNs and other L2 VPNs ........................ 7
5.3  Remote Access L2TP/IPSec VPNs ............................... 7
5.4  IPv6/L2TP VPNs .............................................. 7
6.0  Comparison with other approaches ............................ 7
6.1  Other tunneling methods ..................................... 7
6.2  Other VPN discovery methods ................................. 8
7.0  Scalability Considerations .................................. 8
7.1  Control Connection -- Scalability ........................... 8
7.2  Per VPN Tunnels -- Scalability .............................. 8
8.0  Security Considerations ..................................... 9
9.0  References .................................................. 9
10.0 Acknowledgments ............................................. 10
11.0 Author's Addresses .......................................... 10








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draft-elwin-ppvpn-l2tp-arch-00  PPVPN Architecture Using L2TP   Feb 2002



1.0 Introduction

The establishment of a PPVPN require three basic mechanisms: VPN
membership and topology discovery, tunnel signaling and establishment,
and route distribution [PPVPN-FW]. Currently, three different
approaches have been proposed for distributing VPN discovery
information:
   (a) manual or SNMP based configurations at each PE
   (b) centralized directory or database servers
   (c) piggybacking onto a routing protocol such as BGP.

In this document, we make two new proposals. The first proposal is to
use L2TP as a PPVPN tunneling protocol so that the benefits of L2TP as
a tunneling mechanism for a variety of traffic classes are available to
PPVPNs too. Secondly, we propose the use of L2TP to carry VPN discovery
information as with simple extensions to L2TP, it can fulfill this role
very effectively. Unlike extending a complex routing protocol such as
BGP, L2TP extensions add no complexity to routing protocols, and
carriers aren't forced to use BGP based discovery mechanisms for all
their VPNs.

L2TP, a protocol originally meant to tunnel PPP, has decoupled itself
from PPP, and currently can tunnel a variety of payload. The rich set
of tunnel managment functions offered by L2TP is a valid candidate for
PPVPN tunneling.

The use of L2TP for VPN discovery and tunneling has a second benefit
that any IGP can be used for VPN related route distribution between two
PEs. One is not forced to use BGP for route distribution as is the case
with some proposals such as BGP/MPLS VPNs in [RFC-2547].


2.0 L2TP for PPVPN Tunneling

PPVPNs inherently need a tunneling mechanism to tunnel over the public
backbone. Signaling these tunnels reduces the amount of configuration
needed in setting up and tearing down these tunnels. L2TP, a protocol
originally meant to tunnel PPP, has decoupled itself from PPP, and
currently can tunnel a variety of payload. The rich set of tunnel
management functions offered by L2TP is a valid candidate for PPVPN
tunneling.

Here we discuss the merits and demerits in using L2TP, to provide both
Layer2 and Layer3 VPNs. We also suggest some simple extensions that
can be made to L2TP which can help in PPVPN solutions.

Note:
VFI = Virtual Forwarding Instance. Refers to Layer-3 Virtual Router.
VSI = Virtual Switching Instance. Refers to a Layer-2 Virtual Bridge.
This terminology is used in the PPVPN requirement and framework docs.



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draft-elwin-ppvpn-l2tp-arch-00  PPVPN Architecture Using L2TP   Feb 2002



                   PE                         PE
             +--------------+             +--------------+
 +--------+  | +----------+ |    L2TP     | +----------+ | +--------+
 |  VPN-A |  | |  VPN-A   | |   Tunnel    | |  VPN-A   | | |  VPN-A |
 |  Site  |----|   VFI/   |=================|   VFI/   |---|  site  |
 +--------+  | |   VSI    | |             | |   VSI    | | +--------+
             | +----------+ |             | +----------+ |
             |              |             |              |
 +--------+  | +----------+ |    L2TP     | +----------+ | +--------+
 | VPN-B  |  | |  VPN-B   | |   Tunnel    | |   VPN-B  | | |  VPN-B |
 | Site   |----|   VFI/   |=================|    VFI/  |---|  site  |
 +--------+  | |   VSI    | |             | |    VSI   | | +--------+
             | +----------+ |             | +----------+ |
             |              |             |              |
 +--------+  | +----------+ |    L2TP     | +----------+ | +--------+
 | VPN-C  |  | |  VPN-C   | |   Tunnel    | |   VPN-C  | | |  VPN-C |
 | Site   |----|   VFI/   |=================|    VFI/  |---|  site  |
 +--------+  | |   VSI    | |             | |    VSI   | | +--------+
             | +----------+ |             | +----------+ |
             +--------------+             +--------------+

                     Figure 1: Reference Model



3.0 Merits and demerits with this approach

3.1 Merits

+ L2TP provides a good tunneling mechanism with an associated signaling
  protocol. The payload can carry IPv4 or IPv6 for L3 VPNs, or any L2
  for L2 VPNs.

+ The tunnel encapsulation header has a hierarchical demultiplexing
  capability.

+ Keepalive for the tunnels are available.

+ Tunnel authentication is also available.

+ Tunneling is over IP and hence can work in both IP and MPLS networks.

+ Can work with IPSec in transport mode when security is needed. Thus
  IPSec can be made optional, based on the need.

+ Tunnel virtual interfaces can emulate real interfaces. If needed, any
  routing protocol can be run over this dynamic interface.

+ Decouples tunneling and VPN discovery, from learning of VPN routes.




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draft-elwin-ppvpn-l2tp-arch-00  PPVPN Architecture Using L2TP   Feb 2002



+ L2TP Tunnel Switching can help in arriving at complex topologies.

+ VPN discovery and setup of tunnels can be automatically signaled with
  simple extensions.

+ Because keepalives are available, remote tunnel endpoint liveness can
  be easily detected. This could be of significant benefit, for VFIs
  and VSIs that are configured with static routes/forward entries.


3.2 Demerits

- L2TP, as it is widely deployed today is over UDP. This increases the
  PE processing, and also increases the encapsulation header size. There
  are means to bypass the UDP in L2TP, which is recommended for PPVPNs.

- L2TP tunnels, are inherently point-to-point tunnels. There is a
  proposal in L2TPext WG to support multicast tunnels. This will have to
  be explored for multipoint tunnels. Refer [L2TP-MLT].



4.0 PPVPN Services Using L2TP

4.1 VPN Membership Discovery

The VPN-ID format as defined in [RFC-2685] is used to identify a VPN.
All VFIs/VSIs that are members of a specific VPN share the same VPN-ID.

L2TP control connection is made across each PE devices, in the case of
fully mesh topology for control connections. Refer Section 3.6 for other
control connection topologies.

VPN AVP in the L2TP Hello messages are used to determine any new VFI or
VSI for a VPN coming up. Thus each PE gets to know the other PEs that
have VFIs or VSIs corresponding to the VPNs it supports.

[L2TP-EXT] describe the L2TP extensions needed in detail.


4.2 VPN Topology

The desired VPN topology information for each PPVPN VFI/VSI can be
specified as part of the VFI/VSI configuration.

Following topology values are defined:
     "Hub" -- Connects (tunnel) to all the spoke VFIs/VSIs
     "Spoke"  -- connects only to the hub VFI/VSI
     "Mesh" -- connects to all the other member VFIs/VSIs




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Other topologies are to be handled in a similar way.

The tunnel switching capability in L2TP also help in defining the
topology.


4.3  Tunnel Setup

Per VPN L2TP tunnel setup across each VFI (or VSI) pair is initiated by
L2TP when it receives the membership and topology information.

If the PEs decide to use the same tunnel IP address for multiple VFIs or
VSIs, the tunnel/session ID in L2TP can be used for multiplexing.

The tunnel endpoint IP addresses is learnt as part of the VPN membership
discovery.

If security is needed on these tunnels, IPSec in transport mode is used
on these L2TP encapsulated packets. Refer [RFC-3193].



4.4 Keepalive

The Hello messages in L2TP can be used to determine the control
connection as well as the per VPN tunnel status.


4.5 Tunnel Authentication

The per VPN tunnels and the control connections can be authenticated
with the L2TP tunnel authentication methods, when the tunnels are setup.


4.6 Control Connection Topology

The control connection tunnels are different from the per VPN tunnels,
and they can have different tunnel endpoints.

To have control connections in a hub and spoke topology, a designated
Tunnel Manager is chosen as the hub. This can be a PE or any device that
is reachable to the PEs. All the spoke PEs are configured with the
Tunnel Manager's IP address, as the control connection peer. The tunnel
manager then resolves the perVPN tunnel endpoints, and lets the PEs
setup the per VPN tunnels directly.

This can be extended with L2TP tunnel switching [L2TP-TSW]to achieve
more complex topologies.





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draft-elwin-ppvpn-l2tp-arch-00  PPVPN Architecture Using L2TP   Feb 2002




5.0 Applications

This approach is useful, but is not limited to, the applications listed
in the following subsections.


5.1 OSPF/L2TP VPNs

OSPF running at the individual VPN sites, are connected together by the
per-VPN tunnels provided by L2TP.


5.2 Ethernet/L2TP VPNs and other L2 VPNs.

Ethernet coming from the CEs of the VPN sites, are connected together by
the per-VPN tunnels provided by L2TP. Similar approach is used for other
L2s: Frame-relay, ATM, etc.


5.3 Remote Access L2TP/IPSec VPNs

Roaming or mobile remote access VPN clients, can access VPN nodes, by
reaching a PE VFI using L2TP/IPSec tunnels. This can be directly
handled in this model.


5.4 IPv6/L2TP VPNs

Islands of IPv6 networks, can be transported over a L2TP tunnel
transparently so as to have a connected IPv6 network.



6.0 Comparison with other approaches

6.1 Other tunneling methods

IPIP tunnels:
  This provides a simple tunnel encapsulation method. The disadvantages
  are:
    - It has no associated signaling protocol.
    - It has no demultiplexing field.
    - There is no mechanism to determine the liveness of the tunnel
      enpoint, since there is no keepalive.

GRE tunnels:
  Though this provides a demultiplexing field, this has no associated
  signaling protocol, and hence relies on external means to setup the
  tunnels. And no way to determine the liveness of a tunnel.



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draft-elwin-ppvpn-l2tp-arch-00  PPVPN Architecture Using L2TP   Feb 2002




IPSec tunnels: [PPVPN-SEC]
  With IPSec tunnels, either AH or ESP needs to be done and can not be
  made optional due to security reasons. These are operations involving
  scanning of the complete payload and hence expensive.
  The other disadvantage is with the associated signaling protocol, IKE.
  IKE is not flexible for new additions and is not a protocol meant for
  setting up generic tunnels.

MPLS tunnels: [RFC-2547]
  The problem with using MPLS tunnels is that it needs MPLS networks.
  Another disadvantage is that there is no means to determine the
  liveness of a tunnel, due to lack of keepalive mechanism.


6.2 Other VPN discovery methods

BGP-based Discovery: [BGP-AUTO]
  This method suggests extensions to BGP to enable VPN discovery.
  For cases where BGP is not involved, this is an unnecessary
  involvement of BGP. For example, a Ethernet L2 VPN, do not need BGP
  to do VPN discovery.

Multicast-based Discovery: [RFC-2917]
  This discovery method is based on multicasting, and hence assumes
  multicast enabled backbone, which is most of the times inappropriate.




7.0 Scalability Considerations

Both the Control Connection tunnels and Per VPN tunnels should be
scalable to have a scalable PPVPN solution. The main scalability issue
arises when a mesh topology is mandated for both the cases. The
following sections describe how a mesh can be avoided.

7.1 Control Connection -- Scalability

As described in Section 4.6, mesh topology can be avoided by having a
Tunnel Manager.

<More details to be done>

7.2 Per VPN Tunnels -- Scalability

L2TP Tunnel Switching [L2TP-TSW], helps in avoiding the need for a
tunnel mesh.

<More details to be done>



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draft-elwin-ppvpn-l2tp-arch-00  PPVPN Architecture Using L2TP   Feb 2002





8.0 Security Considerations

This approach suggests the use of L2TP alone for the cases where
security is implicitly addressed for the cases like private backbones.
For the cases where security is needed, we recommend the use of L2TP
over IPSec, as described in [RFC-3193].



9.0 References

[BGP-AUTO] Ould-Brahim H., et al., "Using BGP as an Auto-Discovery
       Mechanism for Network Based VPNs", Work in progress,
       draft-ietf-ppvpn-bgpvpn-auto-02.txt

[L2TP-BASE] Lau J., et al., "Layer Two Tunneling Protocol, L2TP",
       Work in progress, draft-ietf-l2tpext-l2tp-base-01.txt

[L2TP-EXT] Stelzer E., Gowda N., "L2TP Extensions for PPVPN", Work in
       progress, draft-elwin-l2tpext-ppvpn-00.txt

[L2TP-MLT] Bourdon G., "L2TP Multicast Extension", Work in progress,
       draft-ietf-l2tpext-mcast-01.txt

[L2TP-TSW] Jain V., et al., "L2TP Tunnel Switching", Work in progress,
       draft-ietf-l2tpext-tunnel-switching-01.txt

[PPVPN-FW] Callon R., et al., "A Framework for Provider Provisioned
       Virtual Private Networks", Work in progress,
       draft-ietf-ppvpn-framework-03.txt

[PPVPN-L2] Rosen E., et al., "An Architecture for L2VPNs", Work in
       progress, draft-ietf-ppvpn-l2vpn-00.txt

[PPVPN-RQ] Carugi M., et al., "Service Requirements for Provider
       Provisioned Virtual Private Networks", Work in progress,
       draft-ietf-ppvpn-requirements-03.txt

[PPVPN-SEC] Gleeson B., "Uses of IPSec with Provider Provisioned VPNs",
       Work in progress, draft-gleeson-ipsec-ppvpn-01.txt

[PPVPN-VR] Ould-Brahim H., et al., "Network based IP VPN Architecture
       using Virtual Routers", draft-ietf-ppvpn-vpn-vr-01.txt

[RFC-2401] Kent S., Atkinson R., "Security Architecture for the
      Internet Protocol", RFC2401, November 1998.

[RFC-2547] Rosen E., Rekhter Y., "BGP/MPLS VPNs", RFC2547, March 1999.



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draft-elwin-ppvpn-l2tp-arch-00  PPVPN Architecture Using L2TP   Feb 2002




[RFC-2685] Fox B., et al, "Virtual Private Networks Identifier", RFC
      2685, September 1999.

[RFC-2917] Muthukrishnan K., Malis A., "A Core MPLS IP VPN
      Architecture", RFC2917, September 2000.

[RFC-3193] Patel B., et al., "Securing L2TP using IPSec", RFC3193,
      November 2001.



10.0 Acknowledgments

   To be added.


11.0 Author's Addresses


Elwin Stelzer Eliazer
Corona Networks, Inc.
630 Alder Drive
Milpitas, CA 95035
Email: elwinietf@yahoo.com


Brijesh Kumar
Corona Networks, Inc.
630 Alder Drive
Milpitas, CA 95035
Email: brijesh@coronanetworks.com


Benson Schliesser
SAVVIS Communications
717 Office Parkway
St. Louis, MO 63141
Email: bensons@savvis.net














Elwin, Brijesh, Benson                                         [Page 10]