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Versions: 00 01                                                         
Network Working Group                                     Dino Farinacci
Internet Draft                                             Yakov Rekhter
Expires: June, 1997                                        cisco Systems
                                                           December 1996

            Multicast Tag Binding and Distribution using PIM

Status of this Memo

   This document is an Internet-Draft.  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
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   To learn the current status of any Internet-Draft, please check the
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   ftp.isi.edu (US West Coast).


   This document describes a method for advertising tags for multicast
   flows.  It strives to use downstream tag assignment to be consistent
   with unicast tag distribution. This proposal is media-type
   independent. Therefore, it works for multi-access/multicast capable
   LANs, point-to-point links, and NBMA networks.

1.0 Overview

   We propose to use PIM and combine the (*,G) and (S,G) join state with
   tag assignment and distribution. Tags and multicast routes will be
   sent together in one message.

1.1 Goals

   i. We are motivated to have the upstream Tag Switch Router (TSR) use

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   one tag for multicast data delivery on a network so we can make use
   of data-link multicast delivery where available.

   ii. We are motivated to use downstream tag assignment to achieve:

      o Simplicity and consistency with unicast tag assignment.

      o A per interface Tag Information Base (TIB) that guarantees
      unique tag assignments on any interface.

      o Consistent algorithms for tag assignment and distribution among
      different media types.

      o Both routing table state and the tag binding information
      associated with the state are advertised together in a single
      control message thus reducing race conditions.

      o Avoid tag reallocation or reassignment when there are RPF
      changes (i.e. the multicast distribution tree takes different

      o To improve utilization of tag space by randomizing tag
      assignment among all downstream routers joining for a group.

   iii. Works with dense-mode or sparse-mode operation.

2.0 Proposal

   A TSR that supports multicast sends PIM Join messages on behalf of
   hosts that join groups. It sends Joins messages to upstream
   neighboring TSRs toward the RP for the shared-tree (*,G) or toward a
   source for a source-tree (S,G). If the TSR creates the state for the
   group, it will assign a tag for the respective (*,G) or (S,G) state.
   It includes the tag in the Join message associated with the multicast
   routing table entry. The entry is created in its TIB using the tag as
   its incoming tag component.

   The upstream TSR, when it receives the Join, will cache the new
   multicast routing table state along with the tag. An entry is created
   in the TIB and the tag is used as the outgoing component. This tag
   will be used by the upstream TSR to forward multicast data packets.

   Since PIM Join messages are multicast on a LAN, other downstream
   TSRs, that are interested in the group, will hear the message and can
   cache the binding of multicast routing table state and tag state
   together. Since the upstream TSR is going to forward data packets
   using the advertised tag, they must be ready to accept the data

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   packet with that advertised tag.

   The first downstream TSR that joins for a group, is the tag assigner
   (or called in other forums as the Tag Allocation Server) on a LAN for
   a multicast route. All other downstream TSRs that send PIM Join
   messages will use the same tag that the assigner selected. A TSR that
   sends a PIM Join message with a tag of 0 means that it doesn't know
   the tag for the associated multicast routing table entry. When this
   occurs, the assigner can trigger a PIM Join message making the tag

   This algorithm works on point-to-point links because there is only
   one downstream TSR on the link which always becomes the tag assigner.

   On NBMA networks, all PIM routers are known to each other through
   pseudo-broadcast mechanisms provided by the data-link layer. However,
   PIM Join messages are unicast to the upstream TSR. Therefore, other
   downstream TSRs will not hear the tag assigner's advertisement. To
   overcome this issue, we have each downstream TSR become the tag
   assigner on NBMA networks. Since the upstream TSR is going to
   pseudo-broadcast the data anyways it can supply a tag for each packet
   that goes to each respective downstream TSR.

2.1 Corner cases

   Multiple downstream TSRs cannot assign the same tag value for any
   multicast route because they partition the tag space into non-
   overlapping ranges according to [4]. When a TSR is enabled on an
   interface, it obtains a unique tag range for the LAN.

   When the tag assigner leaves the group, the tag that it assigned
   still remains active. The next highest IP addressed downstream TSR
   becomes the owner of that tag and may change it if it sees fit.
   However, it is not required to change it. All downstream TSRs can
   continue to use the assignment in their Join messages.

   If two systems both join for the first time (they do not have state),
   at the same time and each choose a different tag value, the highest
   IP addressed downstream TSR's tag will be used by the upstream TSR.
   The lower addressed TSR will hear the higher addressed TSR's Join too
   and will also use it's tag.

   If the tag assigner crashes, the highest IP addressed downstream TSR
   assigns a new tag to the multicast routes, which were assigned by the
   crashing TSR, and triggers a Join message so all other TSRs on the
   LAN to use the new tag.

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   When a LAN partitions due to a layer-2 switch failure, it follows the
   same logic for the case when a TSR stops joining for a group. When
   the partition heals, there may be an RPF neighbor change in one of
   the partitions.  When there is an RPF neighbor change and the
   downstream routers trigger joins to their new RPF neighbor with a
   different tag assignment than the other partition is using, one of
   two resolutions occur:

      1) The TSR which is the allocator in the partition of the new RPF
      neighbor will trigger a join if it has a higher IP address than
      the allocator in the other region. The downstream routers in the
      other partition use the new tag assignment immediately.

      2) If the TSR which is the allocator in the partition of the new
      RPF neighbor has a lower IP address, all downstream routers and
      the new RPF neighbor will switch to the tag assigned by the
      allocator in the other partition.

   If an RPF change occurs (the topology changed so the upstream TSR is
   different), the PIM protocol spec indicates that a PIM Join may be
   triggered to get on the new distribution tree as soon as possible. In
   this case, if the tag assigner becomes the upstream TSR, then the new
   highest IP addressed downstream TSR may become the tag assigner. It
   may change the tag if it sees fit. Otherwise, the same tag is used.

3.0 Coexistence of Tag-Capable and Tag-Incapable multicast routers

   An upstream router will know if all routers on a subnet are TSRs or
   not.  If there are any tag incapable routers, the upstream router
   will not tag encapsulate multicast data packets. The PIM Hello
   message will indicate if the router is tag capable. The PIM Hello
   message is sent by every multicast capable router.

   If the upstream router detects any non-PIM neighbors on the subnet,
   it will assume that they are tag incapable and will not tag
   encapsulate multicast data packets.

   An optimization may be achieved, if the upstream router knows that
   all downstream routers interested in the group are TSRs, it may tag
   encapsulate multicast data packets even though there are other tag
   incapable routers on the subnet.

   Related to the above cases, if there is a group member on a LAN, co-
   located with a multicast TSR, only a single packet will be forwarded.
   It is the responsibility of the upstream router to decapsulate the
   tagged packet and forward it on the LAN as an IP packet so the member
   can receive it. The downstream routers may forward the IP packet or

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   tag encapsulate it.

4.0 Tag Conflict Resolution

   The use of different data-link layer code-points (i.e. Ethertypes,
   PPP protocol types) for unicast and multicast tagswitching allows to
   disambiguate between tags associated with unicast routes versus tags
   associated with multicast routes. Therefore, the assignment of tags
   for unicast routes could be done completely independent from the
   assignment of tags for multicast routes, without creating any risk of
   ambiguity. For example, the same tag value could be allocated for a
   unicast route and for a multicast route.

5.0 Modifications to PIMv2

   PIMv2 has a packet format for each address type it may support when
   encoding both multicast and unicast addresses. We will define a new
   address type called "Tag Address" for unicast address encoding. The
   tag will accompany the source address in the Encoded Source Address
   format as specified in [2].  The tag value will be in a 32-bit
   quantity following the source address. So, for example, an IPv4 Tag
   Address format would look like:

    0                   1                   2                   3
    0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 0 1
   | Rsrvd   |S|W|R|   Mask Len    |
   |                         Source Address                        |
   |                              Tag                              |

   Refer to [2] for field descriptions.

6.0 Tag Distribution for dense-mode groups

   In dense-mode PIM, there is no downstream Join message traveling
   upstream to perform the binding of multicast routes with tags.
   However, since we don't want a separate algorithm for dense-mode
   groups, we extend this basic design for dense-mode PIM.

   When a downstream TSR creates (S,G) state from the receipt of 1)
   data, or 2) Join/Prune or Graft messages, it will start a periodic
   timer to send Join messages with tag assignment information present.

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   The messages look no different and are treated on receipt no
   differently than in the sparse-mode case.

   The periodic Join message will be multicast on the LAN with an
   upstream target address of All multicast TSRs on the LAN
   must know the group operates in dense-mode. This is accomplished
   using standard PIM mechanisms.

7.0 Security Considerations

   Security considerations are not discussed in this memo.

8.0 Acknowledgments

   The authors would like to thank Fred Baker and Eric Rosen from cisco
   Systems for their insightful comments on this draft.

9.0 Author's Address

   Dino Farinacci
   Cisco Systems, Inc.
   170 Tasman Drive
   San Jose, CA, 95134
   Email: dino@cisco.com

   Yakov Rekhter
   Cisco Systems, Inc.
   170 Tasman Drive
   San Jose, CA, 95134
   Email: yakov@cisco.com

10.0 References

   [1] Tag Switching Architecture Overview, draft-rfced-tag-switching-
   overview-00.txt, Rekhter, Davie, Katz, Rosen, Swallow

   [2] Protocol Independent Multicast-Sparse Mode (PIM-SM): Protocol
   Specification, <draft-ietf-idmr-pim-sm-spec-09.txt>, Estrin,
   Farinacci, Helmy, Thaler, Deering, Handley, Jacobson, Liu, Sharma,
   Wei, October, 1996

   [3] Tag Distribution Protocol, <draft-doolan-tdp-spec-00.txt>,
   Doolan, Davie, Katz, Rekhter, Rosen, September, 1996

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   [4] Partitioning Tag Space amoung Multicast Routers on a Common
   Subnet, Farinacci, December, 1996

   [5] "Tag Switching: Tag Stack Encodings", <draft-rosen-tag-stack-
   00.txt>, Rosen, Tappan, Farinacci, Rekhter, Fedorkow, November, 1996

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