Network Address Translation (NAT) Behavioral Requirements for the Datagram Congestion Control Protocol

Behavior Engineering for Hindrance                     R. Denis-Courmont
Avoidance                                               VideoLAN project
Internet-Draft                                             July 03, 2008
Intended status: Standards Track
Expires: January 4, 2009

   Network Address Translation (NAT) Behavioral Requirements for DCCP

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   This document defines a set of requirements for DCCP-capable NATs
   that would allow certain applications, such as streaming applications
   to operate consistently.  These requirements are very similar to the
   TCP requirements for NATs already published by this IETF working
   group.  Developing NATs that meet this set of requirements will
   greatly increase the likelihood that applications using DCCP will
   function properly.

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Table of Contents

   1.  Introduction  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3
   2.  Definitions . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3
   3.  Applicability statement . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3
   4.  DCCP Connection Initiation  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4
   5.  NAT Session Refresh . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5
   6.  Application Level Gateways  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6
   7.  Other Requirements Applicable to DCCP . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6
   8.  Requirements specific to DCCP . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7
   9.  DCCP without NAT support  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7
   10. Security Considerations . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7
   11. IANA Considerations . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8
   12. Acknowledgments . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8
   13. References  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8
     13.1.  Normative References . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8
     13.2.  Informative References . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8

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1.  Introduction

   For historical reasons, NAT devices are not typically capable of
   handling datagrams and flows for applications using the Datagram
   Congestion Control Protocol (DCCP)[RFC4340].

   This draft discusses the technical issues involved, and proposes a
   set of requirements for NAT devices to handle DCCP in a way that
   enables communications when either or both of the DCCP endpoints are
   located behind one or more NAT devices.  All definitions and
   requirements in [RFC4787] are inherited here.  The requirements are
   otherwise designed similarly to those in [I-D.ietf-behave-tcp], from
   which this memo borrows its structure and much of its content.

   Note however that, if both endpoints are hindered by NAT devices, the
   normal model of asymmetric connection model of DCCP will not work.  A
   simultaneous open must be performed, as in
   [I-D.ietf-dccp-simul-open].  Also, a separate unspecified mechanism
   may be needed, such as UNSAF protocols, if an endpoint needs to learn
   its own external NAT mappings.

2.  Definitions

   The key words "MUST", "MUST NOT", "REQUIRED", "SHALL", "SHALL NOT",
   document are to be interpreted as described in [RFC2119].

   This documentation uses the term "DCCP connection" to refer to
   invidual DCCP flows, as uniquely identified by the quadruple (source
   and destination IP addresses and DCCP ports) at a given time.

   This document uses the term "NAT mapping" to refer to state at the
   NAT necessary for network address and port translation of DCCP
   connections.  This document also uses the terms "endpoint independent
   mapping", "address dependent mapping", "address and port dependent
   mapping", "filtering behavior", "endpoint independent filtering",
   "address dependent filtering", "address and port dependent
   filtering", "port assignment", "port overloading", "hairpinning", and
   "external source IP address and port" as defined in [RFC4787].

3.  Applicability statement

   This document applies to NAT devices that want to handle DCCP
   datagrams.  It is not the intent of this document to deprecate the
   overwhelming majority of deployed NAT devices.  These NATs are simply
   not expected to handle DCCP, so this memo is not applicable to them.

   Expected NAT behaviors applicable to DCCP connections are very

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   similar to those applicable to TCP connections (with the exception or
   REQ-6 below).  The following requirements are discussed and justified
   extensively in [I-D.ietf-behave-tcp].  These justifications are not
   reproduced here for the sake of brevity.

   In addition to the usual changes to the IP header (in particular the
   IP addresses), NAT devices need to mangle:

   o  the DCCP source port, for outgoing packets, depending on the NAT

   o  the DCCP destination port, for incoming packets, depending on the
      NAT mapping

   o  the DCCP checksum, to compensate for IP address and port number

   Because changing the the source or destination IP address of a DCCP
   packet will normally invalidate the DCCP checksum, it is not possible
   to use DCCP through a NAT without dedicated support.  Some NAT
   devices are known to provide a "generic" transport protocol support,
   whereby only the IP header is mangled.  That scheme is not sufficient
   to support DCCP in any case.

4.  DCCP Connection Initiation

4.1.  Address and Port Mapping Behavior

   A NAT uses a mapping to translate packets for each DCCP connection.
   A mapping is dynamically allocated for connections initiated from the
   internal side, and potentially reused for certain subsequent
   connections.  NAT behavior regarding when a mapping can be reused
   differs for different NATs as described in [RFC4787].

   REQ-1: A NAT MUST have an "Endpoint Independent Mapping" behavior for

4.2.  Internally Initiated Connections

   REQ-2: A NAT MUST support all valid sequences of DCCP packets
   (defined in [RFC4340] and its updates) for connections initiated both
   internally as well as externally when the connection is permitted by
   the NAT.

   In particular, in addition to handling the DCCP 3-way handshake mode
   of connection initiation, A NAT MUST handle the DCCP simultaneous-
   open mode of connection initiation, defined in
   [I-D.ietf-dccp-simul-open].  That mode updates DCCP by adding a new

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   packet type, DCCP-Listen.  The A DCCP-Listen packet communicates the
   information necessary to uniquely identify a DCCP session.  NATs may
   utilise the connection information (address, port, Service Code) to
   establish local forwarding state.

4.3.  Externally Initiated Connections

   REQ-3: If application transparency is most important, it is
   RECOMMENDED that a NAT have an "Endpoint independent filtering"
   behavior for DCCP.  If a more stringent filtering behavior is most
   important, it is RECOMMENDED that a NAT have an "Address dependent
   filtering" behavior.

   o  The filtering behavior MAY be an option configurable by the
      administrator of the NAT.

   o  The filtering behavior for DCCP MAY be independent of the
      filtering behavior for UDP.

   REQ-4: A NAT MUST NOT respond to an unsolicited inbound DCCP-Listen
   packet for at least 6 seconds after the packet is received.  If
   during this interval the NAT receives and translates an outbound
   DCCP-Request packet for the connection the NAT MUST silently drop the
   original unsolicited inbound DCCP-Listen packet.  Otherwise the NAT
   SHOULD send an ICMP Port Unreachable error (Type 3, Code 3) for the
   original DCCP-Listen, unless the security policy forbids it.

5.  NAT Session Refresh

   The "established connection idle-timeout" for a NAT is defined as the
   minimum time a DCCP connection in the established phase must remain
   idle before the NAT considers the associated session a candidate for
   removal.  The "transitory connection idle-timeout" for a NAT is
   defined as the minimum time a DCCP connection in the CLOSEREQ or
   CLOSING phases must remain idle before the NAT considers the
   associated session a candidate for removal.  DCCP connections in the
   TIMEWAIT state are not affected by the "transitory connection idle-

   REQ-5: If a NAT cannot determine whether the endpoints of a DCCP
   connection are active, it MAY abandon the session if it has been idle
   for some time.  In such cases, the value of the "established
   connection idle-timeout" MUST NOT be less than 2 hours 4 minutes.
   The value of the "transitory connection idle-timeout" MUST NOT be
   less than 4 minutes.  The value of the NAT idle-timeouts MAY be

   NAT behavior for handling DCCP-Reset packets, or connections in

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   TIMEWAIT state is left unspecified.

6.  Application Level Gateways

   Contrary to TCP, DCCP is a loss-tolerant protocol.  Therefore,
   modifying the payload of DCCP packets presents a significant
   additionnal challenge in maintaining sane DCCP sequence numbers, if
   the size of the payload were altered.  Moreover, DCCP provides
   natural packet boundaries, whereby TCP provides a byte stream.  As
   such, changing the size of a DCCP packet may cause additional
   problems at the application layer.  Finally, there are no known DCCP-
   capable Application Level Gateways (ALGs) at the time of writing this

   REQ-6: If a NAT includes ALGs, it MUST NOT affect DCCP.

   NOTE: This is not consistent with REQ-6 of [I-D.ietf-behave-tcp].

7.  Other Requirements Applicable to DCCP

   A list of general and UDP specific NAT behavioral requirements are
   described in [RFC4787].  A list of ICMP specific NAT behavioral
   requirements are described in [I-D.ietf-behave-nat-icmp].  The
   requirements listed below reiterate the requirements from these two
   documents that directly affect DCCP.  The following requirements do
   not relax any requirements in [RFC4787] or

7.1.  Port Assignment

   REQ-7: A NAT MUST NOT have a "Port assignment" behavior of "Port
   overloading" for DCCP.

7.2.  Hairpinning Behavior

   REQ-8: A NAT MUST support "Hairpinning" for DCCP.  Futhermore, A
   NAT's Hairpinning behavior MUST be of type "External source IP
   address and port".

7.3.  ICMP Responses to DCCP Packets

   REQ-9: If a NAT translates DCCP, it SHOULD translate ICMP Destination
   Unreachable (Type 3) messages.

   REQ-10: Receipt of any sort of ICMP message MUST NOT terminate the
   NAT mapping or DCCP connection for which the ICMP was generated.

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8.  Requirements specific to DCCP

8.1.  Partial checksum coverage

   DCCP supports partial checksum coverage.  A NAT will usually need to
   perform incremental changes to the packet checksum field, as for
   other IETF-defined protocols.  However, if it needs to recalculate a
   correct checksum value, it must take the checksum coverage into
   account, as described in section 9.2 of [RFC4340].

   REQ-11: If a NAT translates a DCCP packet with a valid DCCP checksum,
   it MUST ensure that the DCCP checksum is translated such that it is
   valid after the translation.

   REQ-12: A NAT MUST NOT modify the value of the DCCP Checksum

   The Checksum Coverage field in the DCCP header determines the parts
   of the packet that are covered by the Checksum field.  This always
   includes the DCCP header and options, but some or all of the
   application data may be excluded as determined on a packet-by-packet
   basis by the application.  Changing the Checksum Coverage in the
   network violates the integrity assumptions at the receiver and may
   result in unpredictable or incorrect application behaviour.

8.2.  Services codes

   DCCP specifies a Service Code as a 4-byte value (32 bits) that
   describes the application-level service to which a client application
   wishes to connect [RFC4340].

   REQ-13: If a NAT translates a DCCP packet, it MUST NOT modify its
   DCCP service code value.

   Further guidance on the use of Service Codes by middleboxes,
   including NATs, can be found in [I-D.ietf-dccp-serv-codes].

9.  DCCP without NAT support

   If the NAT device cannot be updated to support DCCP, DCCP datagrams
   can be encapsulated within an UDP transport header.  Indeed, most NAT
   devices are already capable of handling UDP.  This is however beyond
   the scope of this document.

10.  Security Considerations


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11.  IANA Considerations

   This document raises no IANA considerations.

12.  Acknowledgments

   The author would like to thank Gorry Fairhurst for his comments and
   help on this document.

   This memo borrows heavily from draft-ietf-behave-tcp-07, by S. Guha
   (editor), K. Biswas, B. Ford, S. Sivakumar and P. Srisuresh.

13.  References

13.1.  Normative References

   [I-D.ietf-behave-nat-icmp]  Srisuresh, P., Ford, B., Sivakumar, S.,
                               and S. Guha, "NAT Behavioral Requirements
                               for ICMP protocol",
                               draft-ietf-behave-nat-icmp-08 (work in
                               progress), June 2008.

   [I-D.ietf-dccp-simul-open]  Fairhurst, G. and G. Renker, "DCCP
                               Simultaneous-Open Technique to Facilitate
                               NAT/Middlebox Traversal",
                               draft-ietf-dccp-simul-open-01 (work in
                               progress), June 2008.

   [RFC2119]                   Bradner, S., "Key words for use in RFCs
                               to Indicate Requirement Levels", BCP 14,
                               RFC 2119, March 1997.

   [RFC4340]                   Kohler, E., Handley, M., and S. Floyd,
                               "Datagram Congestion Control Protocol
                               (DCCP)", RFC 4340, March 2006.

   [RFC4787]                   Audet, F. and C. Jennings, "Network
                               Address Translation (NAT) Behavioral
                               Requirements for Unicast UDP", BCP 127,
                               RFC 4787, January 2007.

13.2.  Informative References

   [I-D.ietf-behave-tcp]       Guha, S., "NAT Behavioral Requirements
                               for TCP", draft-ietf-behave-tcp-07 (work
                               in progress), April 2007.

   [I-D.ietf-dccp-serv-codes]  Fairhurst, G., "The DCCP Service Code",

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                               draft-ietf-dccp-serv-codes-06 (work in
                               progress), June 2008.

Author's Address

   Remi Denis-Courmont
   VideoLAN project


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