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Versions: 00 01                                                         
NGTrans Working Group                                  Dave Thaler
INTERNET-DRAFT                                           Microsoft
Expires July 2001                                  30 January 2001

             Support for Multicast over 6to4 Networks

Status of this Memo

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

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-

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

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Copyright Notice

Copyright (C) The Internet Society (2001).  All Rights Reserved.

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1.  Abstract

6to4 Tunneling allows isolated IPv6 domains or hosts, attached to
an IPv4 network which has no native IPv6 support, to communicate
with other such IPv6 domains or hosts with minimal manual
configuration.  This document defines support for IPv6 Multicast
over 6to4 networks.

2.  Introduction

6to4 Tunneling [6TO4] allows isolated IPv6 domains or hosts,
attached to an IPv4 network which has no native IPv6 support, to
communicate with other such IPv6 domains or hosts with minimal
manual configuration.  Effectively it treats the IPv4 network as a
link layer.  Since [6TO4] does not define support for multicast,
the purpose of this document is to define such support.

Unlike [6OVER4], 6to4 does not assume the general availability of
wide-area IPv4 multicast.   The 6to4 mechanism assumes only
unicast capability in its underlying IPv4 carrier network.  As a
result, the IPv4 network appears as a large Non-Broadcast Multi-
Access (NBMA) link, over which we require the ability to
multicast.  To do this, IPv6 multicast packets being sent to or
from a 6to4 router must be encapsulated in IPv4 unicast packets.
If the tree has multiple branches in the 6to4 address space, 6to4
encapsulation of the same multicast packet will take place
multiple times by necessity.

In this document, we refer to the device in a 6to4 site which has
a 6to4 pseudo-interface as a 6to4 "gateway".  The gateway may
either be a host (if the site is just a single host), or a router
(if the site includes IPv6 links).  We use the term "relay" as
defined in [6TO4].

3.  Overview

We assume each 6to4 gateway points an IPv6 default route at a
particular relay reachable across the IPv4 infrastructure.  Each
relay, plus the set of all gateways (perhaps unknown to the relay)
using the relay, together can be thought of as being on a separate
NBMA link.

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All IPv6 multicast packets will be encapsulated in IPv4 unicast
packets over the logical NBMA link.  This requires the 6to4 relay
to keep state for each gateway which has joined a particular
group.  IPv6 multicast packets from the IPv6 native infrastructure
behind the relay will be sent to each gateway which has requested

Since the number of gateways using a relay can be quite large, and
we expect that most sites will not want to receive most groups, an
explicit-joining protocol is required for gateways to communicate
group membership information to a relay.  The two most likely
candidates are the Multicast Listener Discovery [MLD] protocol,
and the PIM-Sparse Mode [PIMSM] protocol.  Since a 6to4 gateway
may be a host, and hosts typically do not implement routing
protocols, gateways will use MLD as described in Section 4 below.
This allows a host kernel to easily implement 6to4 gateway
behavior, and obviates the relay from the need to know whether a
given gateway is a host or a router.  From the relay's
perspective, all gateways are indistinguishable from hosts on an
NBMA leaf network.

All IPv6 multicast packets sourced within the 6to4 site (and sent
to a scope larger than the 6to4 site) are forwarded by the 6to4
gateway to the relay over the 6to4 pseudo-interface, regardless of
whether any remote receivers exist.  This is done so that the
gateway (which may be a host) need not be aware of external
membership information.

When a relay receives a multicast packet via 6to4 encapsulation,
it applies a Reverse-Path Forwarding check by dropping it unless
the source address is a 6to4 address.  If it is not dropped, the
packet is forwarded to all other 6to4 gateways which have
requested it, in addition to being forwarded out any native IPv6
interfaces according to the rules of the multicast routing
protocol(s) running on the relay.  When applying the rules for
multicast interoperability [INTEROP], the 6to4 link is treated
using the MLD equivalents of the rules for an IGMP-only link.

4.  Multicast Listener Discovery

The MLD protocol usually operates by having the Querier multicast
an MLD Query message on the link.  This behavior does not work on
NBMA links which do not support multicast.  Since the set of
gateways is typically unknown to the relay (and potentially quite

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large), unicasting the queries is also impractical.  The following
behavior is used instead.

The relay operates passively, sending no Queries but simply
tracking membership information according to Reports and Done
messages.  To provide robustness, gateways unicast Reports to the
relay every [Query Interval] (defined as 125 in [MLD]) seconds.
The IPv6 source address of MLD reports sent to a 6to4 relay MUST
be a link-local address formed as specified in Section 3.7 of

Reports are not relayed to other gateways by the 6to4 relay, and
no report suppression is done.  As a result, the timer used to
send periodic reports MUST be initialized to a random value from
the interval [0, [Query Interval] ] before sending the first
periodic report, in order to prevent startup synchronization
(e.g., after a power outage).

If a gateway is serving as a local router, it SHOULD also function
as an "MLD Proxy".  MLD Proxy behavior can be summarized as
follows.  First, the gateway will serve as an MLD querier on its
private interface(s), and send MLD reports to the relay for groups
which are scoped larger than a site and have members present on
its private interface(s).  Second, the gateway will forward
multicast packets received encapsulated from a relay to any
private interface with members present.

5.  Scalability Considerations

The requirement that a relay keep group state per gateway that has
joined the group introduces potential scalability concerns.  In
this section, we discuss how these concerns may be addressed.

Scalability of 6to4 can be achieved by adding more relays, and
using an appropriate relay discovery mechanism for gateways to
discover relays.  Since there are non-multicast related reasons,
such as bandwidth bottlenecks at relays, to add more relays as
well, a detailed discussion of relay discovery is outside the
scope of this document.

There is, however, work in progress on this topic.  One solution
is be to use a well-known DNS name, and have gateways periodically
(e.g. once a day) re-resolve the DNS name and update their relay's
address to use accordingly.  A potentially better solution is to

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assign an IPv4 anycast address to relays (e.g., [ANYCAST]).
However, sending periodic MLD Reports to an anycast address can
cause duplicates.  Specifically, if routing changes such that a
different relay receives a periodic MLD Report, both the new and
old relays will encapsulate data to the 6to4 site until the old
relay's state times out.  This is obviously undesirable.

Hence, if a gateway is aware that a relay's IPv4 address is an
anycast address (such as because it is well-known), then the
gateway MUST determin an IPv4 unicast address of a relay and use
that instead for all MLD encapsulation.  The recommended procedure
is that a gateway having an anycast address of a relay should send
an ICMPv4 Echo Request to the anycast address, and that relays
should respond with an Echo Reply from their unicast address
(since anycast addresses should not be used as source addresses).
These "pings" may be done periodically (e.g. once a day) to re-
resolve the unicast address of a close relay.

Since adding another relay has the result of adding another
independent NBMA link, this allows the gateways to be spread out
among more relays so as to keep the number of relays per gateway
at a reasonable level.

6.  Supporting Multiple Relays in the Presence of RPF

A problem with the simple mechanisms described above can occur
when multiple relays exist, and a multicast routing protocol is
used that employs Reverse-Path Forwarding (RPF) checks against the
source address, such as occurs when [PIMSM] is used by the IPv6
infrastructure.  Namely, if an IPv6 router on the path to a
receiver in the native IPv6 infrastructure expects to receive data
from a 6to4 site via the closest relay to the receiver, that relay
may not be the one to which the 6to4 site is encapsulating data,
and no data will be seen.

The solution specified by this document is that if a relay
receives an explicit join from the native IPv6 infrastructure, for
a given source and group pair where the source is a 6to4 address,
then the relay will periodically (using the same rules in Section
4) unicast an MLD report for the group to the 6to4 site gateway.
The 6to4 gateway must keep state per relay from which an MLD
Report has been sent, and in addition to forwarding multicast
traffic from the site to its relay of choice, traffic is also

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forwarded to all relays from which Reports have been received.
The choice of whether this state and replication is done at at the
link-layer (i.e., by the tunnel interface) or at the network-layer
is implementation-dependent.

The solution above will scale to an arbitrary number of relays, as
long at the number of relays requiring multicast traffic from a
given 6to4 site remains reasonable enough to not overly burden the
site gateway.  (Note that bi-directional tree protocols such as
BGMP [BGMP] do not use RPF checks, and so would prevent the
problem from occurring to begin with.)

7.  Supporting Site-Site Multicast

Since we require gateways to accept MLD unicast reports, as
described above, it is also possible to support multicast among
6to4 sites, without requiring assistance from any relays, in two

First, when a site gateway wants to join a given (source, group)
pair, where the source is another 6to4 address, then it
periodically unicast encapsulates an MLD Report to the site
gateway for the source.

The second case is when it wants to join a unicast-prefix-based
multicast addresses [UNIMCAST], and the unicast prefix embedded in
the multicast address is another site's 6to4 prefix.  In this
case, it periodically unicast encapsulates an MLD Report to the
site gateway for that prefix.

For all other types of joins, the gateway periodically sends MLD
Reports to the relay, as discussed in section 4.

We note that this can result in a significant amount of state at a
site gateway sourcing multicast to a large number of other 6to4
sites.  However, it is expected that this is not unreasonable for
two reasons.  First, the 6to4 most likely does not have native
multicast connectivity (or else it could use 6over4 instead), and
as a result is likely doing unicast replication at present.  The
amount of state is thus the same as what such a site already deals
with.  Secondly, any site expecting to source traffic to a large
number of sites could get a point-to-point tunnel to the native
IPv6 infrastruction, and use that instead of 6to4.

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8.  Security Considerations

The same security considerations and solutions discussed in [6TO4]
apply to multicast traffic.

9.  Acknowledgements

The following individuals provided helpful discussion on the
mechanisms in this document: Rich Draves, Brian Zill, Steve
Deering, and Brian Carpenter.

10.  Author's Address

     Dave Thaler
     Microsoft Corporation
     One Microsoft Way
     Redmond, WA  98052-6399
     Phone: +1 425 703 8835
     EMail: dthaler@microsoft.com

11.  References

     Carpenter, B., and K. Moore, "Connection of IPv6 Domains via
     IPv4 Clouds", draft-ietf-ngtrans-6to4-07.txt, September 2000.

     Carpenter, B., and C. Jung, "Transmission of IPv6 over IPv4
     Domains without Explicit Tunnels", RFC 2529, March 1999.

     C. Huitema, "An anycast prefix for 6to4 relay routers", Work
     in progress, draft-ietf-ngtrans-6to4anycast-01.txt, January

     Thaler, D., Estrin, D., and D. Meyer, "Border Gateway
     Multicast Protocol (BGMP): Protocol Specification", Work in
     progress, draft-ietf-bgmp-spec-02.txt, November 2000.

     D. Thaler, "Interoperability Rules for Multicast Routing

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     Protocols", RFC 2715, October 1999.

     Gilligan, R., and E. Nordmark, "Transition Mechanisms for
     IPv6 Hosts and Routers", RFC 2893, August 2000.

     Deering, S., Fenner, W., and B. Haberman, "Multicast Listener
     Discovery (MLD) for IPv6", RFC 2710, October 1999.

     Estrin, D. Farinacci, D., Helmy, A., Thaler, D., Deering, S.,
     Handley, M., Jacobson, V., Liu, C., Sharma, P., and L. Wei.
     "Protocol Independent Multicast-Sparse Mode (PIM-SM):
     Protocol Specification", RFC 2362, June 1998.

     Haberman, B., and D. Thaler, "Unicast-Prefix-based IPv6
     Multicast Addresses", Work in progress, draft-ietf-ipngwg-
     uni-based-mcast-01.txt, January 2001.

12.  Full Copyright Statement

Copyright (C) The Internet Society (2001).  All Rights Reserved.

This document and translations of it may be copied and furnished
to others, and derivative works that comment on or otherwise
explain it or assist in its implmentation may be prepared, copied,
published and distributed, in whole or in part, without
restriction of any kind, provided that the above copyright notice
and this paragraph are included on all such copies and derivative
works.  However, this document itself may not be modified in any
way, such as by removing the copyright notice or references to the
Internet Society or other Internet organizations, except as needed
for the purpose of developing Internet standards in which case the
procedures for copyrights defined in the Internet Standards
process must be followed, or as required to translate it into
languages other than English.

The limited permissions granted above are perpetual and will not
be revoked by the Internet Society or its successors or assigns.

This document and the information contained herein is provided on

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