Transport Area Working Group                                  B. Briscoe
Internet-Draft                                                        BT
Updates: 3819 (if approved)                            J. Kaippallimalil
Intended status: Best Current Practice                            Huawei
Expires: September 8, 2014                                     P. Thaler
                                                    Broadcom Corporation
                                                          March 07, 2014

    Guidelines for Adding Congestion Notification to Protocols that
                             Encapsulate IP


   The purpose of this document is to guide the design of congestion
   notification in any lower layer or tunnelling protocol that
   encapsulates IP.  The aim is for explicit congestion signals to
   propagate consistently from lower layer protocols into IP.  Then the
   IP internetwork layer can act as a portability layer to carry
   congestion notification from non-IP-aware congested nodes up to the
   transport layer (L4).  Following these guidelines should assure
   interworking between new lower layer congestion notification
   mechanisms, whether specified by the IETF or other standards bodies.

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

   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 September 8, 2014.

Copyright Notice

   Copyright (c) 2014 IETF Trust and the persons identified as the
   document authors.  All rights reserved.

Briscoe, et al.         Expires September 8, 2014               [Page 1]

Internet-Draft        ECN Encapsulation Guidelines            March 2014

   This document is subject to BCP 78 and the IETF Trust's Legal
   Provisions Relating to IETF Documents
   ( 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  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   3
     1.1.  Scope . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   5
   2.  Terminology . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   6
   3.  Modes of Operation  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   7
     3.1.  Feed-Forward-and-Up Mode  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   8
     3.2.  Feed-Up-and-Forward Mode  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   9
     3.3.  Feed-Backward Mode  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  10
     3.4.  Null Mode . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  12
   4.  Feed-Forward-and-Up Mode: Guidelines for Adding Congestion
       Notification  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  12
     4.1.  IP-in-IP Tunnels with Tightly Coupled Shim Headers  . . .  13
     4.2.  Wire Protocol Design: Indication of ECN Support . . . . .  13
     4.3.  Encapsulation Guidelines  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  15
     4.4.  Decapsulation Guidelines  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  17
     4.5.  Sequences of Similar Tunnels or Subnets . . . . . . . . .  18
     4.6.  Reframing and Congestion Markings . . . . . . . . . . . .  19
   5.  Feed-Up-and-Forward Mode: Guidelines for Adding Congestion
       Notification  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  19
   6.  Feed-Backward Mode: Guidelines for Adding Congestion
       Notification  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  21
   7.  IANA Considerations (to be removed by RFC Editor) . . . . . .  22
   8.  Security Considerations . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  22
   9.  Conclusions . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  22
   10. Acknowledgements  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  23
   11. Comments Solicited  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  23
   12. References  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  23
     12.1.  Normative References . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  23
     12.2.  Informative References . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  24
   Appendix A.  Outstanding Document Issues  . . . . . . . . . . . .  27
   Appendix B.  Changes in This Version (to be removed by RFC
                Editor)  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  27

Briscoe, et al.         Expires September 8, 2014               [Page 2]

Internet-Draft        ECN Encapsulation Guidelines            March 2014

1.  Introduction

   The benefits of Explicit Congestion Notification (ECN) described
   below can only be fully realised if support for ECN is added to the
   relevant subnetwork technology, as well as to IP.  When a lower layer
   buffer drops a packet obviously it does not just drop at that layer;
   the packet disappears from all layers.  In contrast, when a lower
   layer marks a packet with ECN, the marking needs to be explicitly
   propagated up the layers.  The same is true if a buffer marks the
   outer header of a packet that encapsulates inner tunnelled headers.
   Forwarding ECN is not as straightforward as other headers because it
   has to be assumed ECN may be only partially deployed.  If an egress
   at any layer is not ECN-aware, or if the ultimate receiver or sender
   is not ECN-aware, congestion needs to be indicated by dropping a
   packet, not marking it.

   The purpose of this document is to guide the addition of congestion
   notification to any subnet technology or tunnelling protocol, so that
   lower layer equipment can signal congestion explicitly and it will
   propagate consistently into encapsulated (higher layer) headers,
   otherwise the signals will not reach their ultimate destination.

   ECN is defined in the IP header (v4 & v6) [RFC3168] to allow a
   resource to notify the onset of queue build-up without having to drop
   packets, by explicitly marking a proportion of packets with the
   congestion experienced (CE) codepoint.

   Given a suitable marking scheme, ECN removes nearly all congestion
   loss and it cuts delays for two main reasons:

   o  It avoids the delay when recovering from congestion losses, which
      particularly benefits small flows or real-time flows, making their
      delivery time predictably short [RFC2884];

   o  As ECN is used more widely by end-systems, it will gradually
      remove the need to configure a degree of delay into buffers before
      they start to notify congestion (the cause of bufferbloat).  This
      is because drop involves a trade-off between sending a timely
      signal and trying to avoid impairment, whereas ECN is solely a
      signal not an impairment, so there is no harm triggering it

   Some lower layer technologies (e.g. MPLS, Ethernet) are used to form
   subnetworks with IP-aware nodes only at the edges.  These networks
   are often sized so that it is rare for interior queues to overflow.
   However, this has often be more due to the inability of the original
   TCP protocol to saturate the links.  For many years, fixes such as
   window scaling [RFC1323] proved hard to deploy.  But now that modern

Briscoe, et al.         Expires September 8, 2014               [Page 3]

Internet-Draft        ECN Encapsulation Guidelines            March 2014

   operating systems are finally capable of saturating interior links,
   even the buffers of well-provisioned interior switches will need to
   signal episodes of queuing.

   Propagation of ECN is defined for MPLS [RFC5129], and is being
   defined for TRILL [trill-rbridge-options], but it remains to be
   defined for a number of other subnetwork technologies.

   Similarly, ECN propagation is yet to be defined for many tunnelling
   protocols.  [RFC6040] defines how ECN should be propagated for IP-in-
   IP [RFC2003] and IPsec [RFC4301] tunnels.  However, as Section 9.3 of
   RFC3168 pointed out, ECN support will need to be defined for other
   tunnelling protocols, e.g. L2TP [RFC2661], GRE [RFC1701], [RFC2784],
   PPTP [RFC2637] and GTP [GTPv1], [GTPv1-U], [GTPv2-C].

   Incremental deployment is the most tricky aspect when adding support
   for ECN.  The original ECN protocol in IP [RFC3168] was carefully
   designed so that a congested buffer would not mark a packet (rather
   than drop it) unless both source and destination hosts were ECN-
   capable.  Otherwise its congestion markings would never be detected
   and congestion would just deteriorate further.  However, to support
   congestion marking below the IP layer, it is not sufficient to only
   check that the two end-points support ECN; correct operation also
   depends on the decapsulator at each subnet egress faithfully
   propagating congestion notifications to the higher layer.  Otherwise,
   a legacy decapsulator might silently fail to propagate any ECN
   signals from the outer to the forwarded header.  Then the lost
   signals would never be detected and again congestion would
   deteriorate further.  The guidelines given later require protocol
   designers to carefully consider incremental deployment, and suggest
   various safe approaches for different circumstances.

   Of course, the IETF does not have standards authority over every link
   layer protocol.  So this document gives guidelines for designing
   propagation of congestion notification across the interface between
   IP and protocols that may encapsulate IP (i.e. that can be layered
   beneath IP).  Each lower layer technology will exhibit different
   issues and compromises, so the IETF or the relevant standards body
   must be free to define the specifics of each lower layer congestion
   notification scheme.  Nonetheless, if the guidelines are followed,
   congestion notification should interwork between different
   technologies, using IP in its role as a 'portability layer'.

   Therefore, the capitalised term 'SHOULD' or 'SHOULD NOT' are often
   used in preference to 'MUST' or 'MUST NOT', because it is difficult
   to know the compromises that will be necessary in each protocol
   design.  If a particular protocol design chooses to contradict a

Briscoe, et al.         Expires September 8, 2014               [Page 4]

Internet-Draft        ECN Encapsulation Guidelines            March 2014

   'SHOULD (NOT)' given in the advice below, it MUST include a sound

   It has not been possible to give common guidelines for all lower
   layer technologies, because they do not all fit a common pattern.
   Instead they have been divided into a few distinct modes of
   operation: feed-forward-and-upward; feed-upward-and-forward; feed-
   backward; and null mode.  These modes are described in Section 3,
   then in the following sections separate guidelines are given for each

   This document updates the advice to subnetwork designers about ECN in
   Section 13 of [RFC3819].

1.1.  Scope

   This document only concerns wire protocol processing of explicit
   notification of congestion and makes no changes or recommendations
   concerning algorithms for congestion marking or for congestion
   response (algorithm issues should be independent of the layer the
   algorithm operates in).

   The question of congestion notification signals with different
   semantics to those of ECN in IP is touched on in a couple of specific
   cases (e.g. QCN [IEEE802.1Qau]) and with schemes with multiple
   severity levels such as PCN [RFC6660]).  However, no attempt is made
   to give guidelines about schemes with different semantics that are
   yet to be invented.

   The semantics of congestion signals can be relative to the traffic
   class.  Therefore correct propagation of congestion signals could
   depend on correct propagation of any traffic class field between the
   layers.  In this document, correct propagation of traffic class
   information is assumed, while what 'correct' means and how it is
   achieved is covered elsewhere (e.g. [RFC2983]) and is outside the
   scope of the present document.

   Note that these guidelines do not require the subnet wire protocol to
   be changed to accommodate congestion notification.  Another way to
   add congestion notification without consuming header space in the
   subnet protocol might be to use a parallel control plane protocol.

   This document focuses on the congestion notification interface
   between IP and lower layer protocols that can encapsulate IP, where
   the term 'IP' includes v4 or v6, unicast, multicast or anycast.
   However, it is likely that the guidelines will also be useful when a
   lower layer protocol or tunnel encapsulates itself (e.g. Ethernet MAC
   in MAC [IEEE802.1Qah]) or when it encapsulates other protocols.  In

Briscoe, et al.         Expires September 8, 2014               [Page 5]

Internet-Draft        ECN Encapsulation Guidelines            March 2014

   the feed-backward mode, propagation of congestion signals for
   multicast and anycast packets is out-of-scope (because it would be so
   complicated that it is hoped no-one would attempt such an

2.  Terminology

   The key words "MUST", "MUST NOT", "REQUIRED", "SHALL", "SHALL NOT",
   document are to be interpreted as described in RFC 2119 [RFC2119].

   Further terminology used within this document:

   Protocol data unit (PDU):  Information that is delivered as a unit
      among peer entities of a layered network consisting of protocol
      control information (typically a header) and possibly user data
      (payload) of that layer.  The scope of this document includes
      layer 2 and layer 3 networks, where the PDU is respectively termed
      a frame or a packet (or a cell in ATM).  PDU is a general term for
      any of these.  This definition also includes a payload with a shim
      header lying somewhere between layer 2 & 3.

   Transport:  The end-to-end transmission control function,
      conventionally considered at layer-4 in the OSI reference model.
      Given the audience for this document will often use the word
      transport to mean low level bit carriage, whenever the term is
      used it will be qualified, e.g. 'L4 transport'.

   Encapsulator:  The link or tunnel endpoint function that adds an
      outer header to a PDU (also termed the 'link ingress', the 'subnet
      ingress', the 'ingress tunnel endpoint' or just the 'ingress'
      where the context is clear).

   Decapsulator:  The link or tunnel endpoint function that removes an
      outer header from a PDU (also termed the 'link egress', the
      'subnet egress', the 'egress tunnel endpoint' or just the 'egress'
      where the context is clear).

   Incoming header:  The header of an arriving PDU before encapsulation.

   Outer header:  The header added to encapsulate a PDU.

   Inner header:  The header encapsulated by the outer header.

   Outgoing header:  The header forwarded by the decapsulator.

   CE:  Congestion Experienced [RFC3168]

Briscoe, et al.         Expires September 8, 2014               [Page 6]

Internet-Draft        ECN Encapsulation Guidelines            March 2014

   ECT:  ECN-Capable Transport [RFC3168]

   Not-ECT:  Not ECN-Capable Transport [RFC3168]

   ECN-PDU:  A PDU that is part of a feedback loop within which all the
      nodes that need to propagate explicit congestion notifications
      back to the Load Regulator are ECN-capable.  An IP packet with a
      non-zero ECN field implies that the endpoints are ECN-capable, so
      this would be an ECN-PDU.  However, ECN-PDU is intended to be a
      general term for a PDU at any layer, not just IP.

   Not-ECN-PDU:  A PDU that is part of a feedback-loop within which some
      nodes necessary to propagate explicit congestion notifications
      back to the load regulator are not ECN-capable.

   Load Regulator:  For each flow of PDUs, the transport function that
      is capable of controlling the data rate.  Typically located at the
      data source, but in-path nodes can regulate load in some
      congestion control arrangements (e.g. admission control or
      policing nodes).  Note the term "a function capable of controlling
      the load" deliberately includes a transport that doesn't actually
      control the load but ideally it ought to (e.g. a sending
      application without congestion control that uses UDP).

   Congestion Baseline:  The location of the function on the path that
      initialised the values of all congestion notification fields in a
      sequence of packets, before any are set to the congestion
      experienced (CE) codepoint if they experience congestion further
      downstream.  Typically the original data source at layer-4.

3.  Modes of Operation

   This section sets down the different modes by which congestion
   information is passed between the lower layer and the higher one.  It
   acts as a reference framework for the following sections, which give
   normative guidelines for designers of explicit congestion
   notification protocols, taking each mode in turn:

   Feed-Forward-and-Up:  Nodes feed forward congestion notification
      towards the egress within the lower layer then up and along the
      layers towards the end-to-end destination at the transport layer.
      The following local optimisation is possible:

      Feed-Up-and-Forward:  A lower layer switch feeds-up congestion
         notification directly into the ECN field in the higher layer
         (e.g. IP) header, irrespective of whether the node is at the
         egress of a subnet.

Briscoe, et al.         Expires September 8, 2014               [Page 7]

Internet-Draft        ECN Encapsulation Guidelines            March 2014

   Feed-Backward:  Nodes feed back congestion signals towards the
      ingress of the lower layer and (optionally) attempt to control
      congestion within their own layer.

   Null:  Nodes cannot experience congestion at the lower layer except
      at ingress nodes (which are IP-aware or equivalently higher-layer-

3.1.  Feed-Forward-and-Up Mode

   Like IP and MPLS, many subnet technologies are based on self-
   contained protocol data units (PDUs) or frames sent unreliably.  They
   provide no feedback channel at the subnetwork layer, instead relying
   on higher layers (e.g. TCP) to feed back loss signals.

   In these cases, ECN may best be supported by standardising explicit
   notification of congestion into the lower layer protocol that carries
   the data forwards.  It will then also be necessary to define how the
   egress of the lower layer subnet propagates this explicit signal into
   the forwarded upper layer (IP) header.  It can then continue forwards
   until it finally reaches the destination transport (at L4).  Then
   typically the destination will feed this congestion notification back
   to the source transport using an end-to-end protocol (e.g. TCP).
   This is the arrangement that has already been used to add ECN to IP-
   in-IP tunnels [RFC6040], IP-in-MPLS and MPLS-in-MPLS [RFC5129].

   This mode is illustrated in Figure 1.  Along the middle of the
   figure, layers 2, 3 & 4 of the protocol stack are shown, and one
   packet is shown along the bottom as it progresses across the network
   from source to destination, crossing two subnets connected by a
   router, and crossing two switches on the path across each subnet.
   Congestion at the output of the first switch (shown as *) leads to a
   congestion marking in the L2 header (shown as C in the illustration
   of the packet).  The chevrons show the progress of the resulting
   congestion indication.  It is propagated from link to link across the
   subnet in the L2 header, then when the router removes the marked L2
   header, it propagates the marking up into the L3 (IP) header.  The
   router forwards the marked L3 header into subnet 2, and when it adds
   a new L2 header it copies the L3 marking into the L2 header as well,
   as shown by the 'C's in both layers (assuming the technology of
   subnet 2 also supports explicit congestion marking).

   Note that there is no implication that each 'C' marking is encoded
   the same; a different encoding might be used for the 'C' marking in
   each protocol.

   Finally, for completeness, we show the L3 marking arriving at the
   destination, where the host transport protocol (e.g. TCP) feeds it

Briscoe, et al.         Expires September 8, 2014               [Page 8]

Internet-Draft        ECN Encapsulation Guidelines            March 2014

   back to the source in the L4 acknowledgement (the 'C' at L4 in the
   packet at the top of the diagram).

                        _ _ _
             /_______  | | |C|  ACK Packet (V)
             \         |_|_|_|
    +---+        layer: 2 3 4 header                            +---+
    |  <|<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<< Packet V <<<<<<<<<<<<<|<< |L4
    |   |                         +---+                         | ^ |
    |   | . . . . . . Packet U. . | >>|>>> Packet U >>>>>>>>>>>>|>^ |L3
    |   |     +---+     +---+     | ^ |     +---+     +---+     |   |
    |   |     |  *|>>>>>|>>>|>>>>>|>^ |     |   |     |   |     |   |L2
    source          subnet A      router       subnet B         dest
        __ _ _ _    __ _ _ _    __ _ _        __ _ _ _
       |  | | | |  |  | | |C|  |  | |C|      |  | |C|C|  Data________\
       |__|_|_|_|  |__|_|_|_|  |__|_|_|      |__|_|_|_|  Packet (U)  /
    layer: 4 3 2A      4 3 2A      4 3           4 3 2B

                    Figure 1: Feed-Forward-and-Up Mode

   Of course, modern networks are rarely as simple as this text-book
   example, often involving multiple nested layers.  For example, a 3GPP
   mobile network may have two IP-in-IP (GTP) tunnels in series and an
   MPLS backhaul between the base station and the first router.
   Nonetheless, the example illustrates the general idea of feeding
   congestion notification forward then upward whenever a header is
   removed at the egress of a subnet.

   Note that the FECN (forward ECN) bit in Frame Relay and the explicit
   forward congestion indication (EFCI [ITU-T.I.371]) bit in ATM user
   data cells follow a feed-forward pattern.  However, in ATM, this is
   only as part of a feed-forward-and-backward pattern at the lower
   layer, not feed-forward-and-up out of the lower layer--the intention
   was never to interface to IP ECN at the subnet egress.  To our
   knowledge, Frame Relay FECN is solely used to detect where more
   capacity should be provisioned [Buck00].

3.2.  Feed-Up-and-Forward Mode

   Ethernet is particularly difficult to extend incrementally to support
   explicit congestion notification.  One way to support ECN in such
   cases has been to use so called 'layer-3 switches'.  These are
   Ethernet switches that bury into the Ethernet payload to find an IP
   header and manipulate or act on certain IP fields (specifically
   Diffserv & ECN).  For instance, in Data Center TCP [DCTCP], layer-3
   switches are configured to mark the ECN field of the IP header within

Briscoe, et al.         Expires September 8, 2014               [Page 9]

Internet-Draft        ECN Encapsulation Guidelines            March 2014

   the Ethernet payload when their output buffer becomes congested.
   With respect to switching, a layer-3 switch acts solely on the
   addresses in the Ethernet header; it doesn't use IP addresses, and it
   doesn't decrement the TTL field in the IP header.

                        _ _ _
             /_______  | | |C|  ACK packet (V)
             \         |_|_|_|
    +---+        layer: 2 3 4 header                            +---+
    |  <|<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<< Packet V <<<<<<<<<<<<<|<< |L4
    |   |                         +---+                         | ^ |
    |   | . . .  >>>> Packet U >>>|>>>|>>> Packet U >>>>>>>>>>>>|>^ |L3
    |   |     +--^+     +---+     |   |     +---+     +---+     |   |
    |   |     |  *|     |   |     |   |     |   |     |   |     |   |L2
    source          subnet E      router       subnet F         dest
        __ _ _ _    __ _ _ _    __ _ _        __ _ _ _
       |  | | | |  |  | |C| |  |  | |C|      |  | |C|C|  data________\
       |__|_|_|_|  |__|_|_|_|  |__|_|_|      |__|_|_|_|  packet (U)  /
    layer: 4 3 2       4 3 2       4 3           4 3 2

                    Figure 2: Feed-Up-and-Forward Mode

   By comparing Figure 2 with Figure 1, it can be seen that subnet E
   (perhaps a subnet of layer-3 Ethernet switches) works in feed-up-and-
   forward mode by notifying congestion directly into L3 at the point of
   congestion, even though the congested switch does not otherwise act
   at L3.  In this example, the technology in subnet F (e.g.  MPLS) does
   support ECN natively, so when the router adds the layer-2 header it
   copies the ECN marking from L3 to L2 as well.

3.3.  Feed-Backward Mode

   In some layer 2 technologies, explicit congestion notification has
   been defined for use internally within the subnet with its own
   feedback and load regulation, but typically the interface with IP for
   ECN has not been defined.

   For instance, for the available bit-rate (ABR) service in ATM, the
   relative rate mechanism was one of the more popular mechanisms for
   managing traffic, tending to supersede earlier designs.  In this
   approach ATM switches send special resource management (RM) cells in
   both the forward and backward directions to control the ingress rate
   of user data into a virtual circuit.  If a switch buffer is
   approaching congestion or congested it sends an RM cell back towards
   the ingress with respectively the No Increase (NI) or Congestion

Briscoe, et al.         Expires September 8, 2014              [Page 10]

Internet-Draft        ECN Encapsulation Guidelines            March 2014

   Indication (CI) bit set in its message type field [ATM-TM-ABR].  The
   ingress then holds or decreases its sending bit-rate accordingly.

                        _ _ _
             /_______  | | |C|  ACK packet (X)
             \         |_|_|_|
    +---+        layer: 2 3 4 header                            +---+
    |  <|<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<< Packet X <<<<<<<<<<<<<|<< |L4
    |   |                         +---+                         | ^ |
    |   |                         |  *|>>> Packet W >>>>>>>>>>>>|>^ |L3
    |   |     +---+     +---+     |   |     +---+     +---+     |   |
    |   |     |   |     |   |     |  <|<<<<<|<<<|<(V)<|<<<|     |   |L2
    |   | . . | . |Packet U | . . | . | . . | . | . . | .*| . . |   |L2
    source          subnet G      router       subnet H         dest
        __ _ _ _    __ _ _ _    __ _ _        __ _ _ _   later
       |  | | | |  |  | | | |  |  | | |      |  | |C| |  data________\
       |__|_|_|_|  |__|_|_|_|  |__|_|_|      |__|_|_|_|  packet (W)  /
           4 3 2       4 3 2       4 3           4 3 2
                                     /__  |C|  Feedback control
                                     \    |_|  cell/frame (V)
        __ _ _ _    __ _ _ _    __ _ _        __ _ _ _   earlier
       |  | | | |  |  | | | |  |  | | |      |  | | | |  data________\
       |__|_|_|_|  |__|_|_|_|  |__|_|_|      |__|_|_|_|  packet (U)  /
   layer:  4 3 2       4 3 2       4 3           4 3 2

                       Figure 3: Feed-Backward Mode

   ATM's feed-backward approach doesn't fit well when layered beneath
   IP's feed-forward approach--unless the initial data source is the
   same node as the ATM ingress.  Figure 3 shows the feed-backward
   approach being used in subnet H. If the final switch on the path is
   congested (*), it doesn't feed-forward any congestion indications on
   packet (U).  Instead it sends a control cell (V) back to the router
   at the ATM ingress.

   However, the backward feedback doesn't reach the original data source
   directly because IP doesn't support backward feedback (and subnet G
   is independent of subnet H).  Instead, the router in the middle
   throttles down its sending rate but the original data sources don't
   reduce their rates.  The resulting rate mismatch causes the middle
   router's buffer at layer 3 to back up until it becomes congested,
   which it signals forwards on later data packets at layer 3 (e.g.
   packet W).  Note that the forward signal from the middle router is
   not triggered directly by the backward signal.  Rather, it is

Briscoe, et al.         Expires September 8, 2014              [Page 11]

Internet-Draft        ECN Encapsulation Guidelines            March 2014

   triggered by congestion resulting from the middle router's mismatched
   rate response to the backward signal.

   In response to this later forward signalling, end-to-end feedback at
   layer-4 finally completes the tortuous path of congestion indications
   back to the origin data source, as before.

3.4.  Null Mode

   Often link and physical layer resources are 'non-blocking' by design.
   In these cases congestion notification may be implemented but it does
   not need to be deployed at the lower layer; ECN in IP would be

   A degenerate example is a point-to-point Ethernet link.  Excess
   loading of the link merely causes the queue from the higher layer to
   back up, while the lower layer remains immune to congestion.  Even a
   whole meshed subnetwork can be made immune to interior congestion by
   limiting ingress capacity and careful sizing of links, particularly
   if multi-path routing is used to ensure even worst-case patterns of
   load cannot congest any link.

4.  Feed-Forward-and-Up Mode: Guidelines for Adding Congestion

   Feed-forward-and-up is the mode already used for signalling ECN up
   the layers through MPLS into IP [RFC5129] and through IP-in-IP
   tunnels [RFC6040].  These RFCs take a consistent approach and the
   following guidelines are designed to ensure this consistency
   continues as ECN support is added to other protocols that encapsulate
   IP.  The guidelines are also designed to ensure compliance with the
   more general best current practice for the design of alternate ECN
   schemes given in [RFC4774].

   The rest of this section is structured as follows:

   o  Section 4.1 addresses the most straightforward cases, where
      [RFC6040] can be applied directly to add ECN to tunnels that are
      effectively the same as IP-in-IP tunnels.

   o  The subsequent sections give guidelines for adding ECN to a subnet
      technology that uses feed-forward-and-up mode like IP, but it is
      not so similar to IP that [RFC6040] rules can be applied directly.

      *  Sections 4.2, 4.3 and 4.4 respectively address how to add ECN
         support to the wire protocol and to the encapsulators and
         decapsulators at the ingress and egress of the subnet.

Briscoe, et al.         Expires September 8, 2014              [Page 12]

Internet-Draft        ECN Encapsulation Guidelines            March 2014

      *  Section 4.5 deals with the special, but common, case of
         sequences of tunnels or subnets that all use the same

      *  Section 4.6 deals with the question of reframing when IP
         packets do not map 1:1 into lower layer frames.

4.1.  IP-in-IP Tunnels with Tightly Coupled Shim Headers

   A common pattern for many tunnelling protocols is to encapsulate an
   inner IP header with shim header(s) then an outer IP header.  In many
   cases the shim header(s) always have to be tightly coupled to the
   outer IP header because they are not sufficient as outer headers in
   their own right.  In such cases the shim header(s) and the outer IP
   header are always added (or removed) in the same operation.
   Therefore, in all such tightly coupled IP-in-IP tunnelling protocols,
   the rules in [RFC6040] for propagating the ECN field between the two
   IP headers SHOULD be applied directly.

   Examples of tightly coupled IP-in-IP tunnelling protocols where
   [RFC6040] can be applied directly are:

   o  L2TP [RFC2661]

   o  GRE [RFC1701], [RFC2784]

   o  PPTP [RFC2637]

   o  GTP [GTPv1], [GTPv1-U], [GTPv2-C]

   o  VXLAN [vxlan].

4.2.  Wire Protocol Design: Indication of ECN Support

   This section is intended to guide the redesign of any lower layer
   protocol that encapsulate IP to add native ECN support at the lower
   layer.  It reflects the approaches used in [RFC6040] and in
   [RFC5129].  Therefore IP-in-IP tunnels or IP-in-MPLS or MPLS-in-MPLS
   encapsulations that already comply with [RFC6040] or [RFC5129] will
   already satisfy this guidance.

   A lower layer (or subnet) congestion notification system:

   1.  SHOULD NOT apply explicit congestion notifications to PDUs that
       are destined for legacy layer-4 transport implementations that
       will not understand ECN, and

Briscoe, et al.         Expires September 8, 2014              [Page 13]

Internet-Draft        ECN Encapsulation Guidelines            March 2014

   2.  SHOULD NOT apply explicit congestion notifications to PDUs if the
       egress of the subnet might not propagate congestion notifications
       onward into the higher layer.

       We use the term ECN-PDUs for a PDU on a feedback loop that will
       propagate congestion notification properly because it meets both
       the above criteria.  And a Not-ECN-PDU is a PDU on a feedback
       loop that does not meet both criteria, and will therefore not
       propagate congestion notification properly.  A corollary of the
       above is that a lower layer congestion notification protocol:

   3.  SHOULD be able to distinguish ECN-PDUs from Not-ECN-PDUs.

   Note that there is no need for all interior nodes within a subnet to
   be able to mark congestion explicitly.  A mix of ECN and drop signals
   from different nodes is fine.  However, if _any_ interior nodes might
   generate ECN markings, guideline 2 above says that all relevant
   egress node(s) SHOULD be able to propagate those markings up to the
   higher layer.

   In IP, if the ECN field in each PDU is cleared to the Not-ECT (not
   ECN-capable transport) codepoint, it indicates that the L4 transport
   will not understand congestion markings.  A congested buffer must not
   mark these Not-ECT PDUs, and therefore drops them instead.

   The mechanism a lower layer uses to distinguish the ECN-capability of
   PDUs need not mimic that of IP.  All the above guidelines say is that
   the lower layer system, as a whole, should achieve the same outcome.
   For instance, ECN-capable feedback loops might use PDUs that are
   identified by a particular set of labels or tags.  Alternatively,
   logical link protocols that use flow state might determine whether a
   PDU can be congestion marked by checking for ECN-support in the flow
   state.  Other protocols might depend on out-of-band control signals.

   The per-domain checking of ECN support in MPLS [RFC5129] is a good
   example of a way to avoid sending congestion markings to transports
   that will not understand them, without using any header space in the
   subnet protocol.

   In MPLS, header space is extremely limited, therefore RFC5129 does
   not provide a field in the MPLS header to indicate whether the PDU is
   an ECN-PDU or a Not-ECN-PDU.  Instead, interior nodes in a domain are
   allowed to set explicit congestion indications without checking
   whether the PDU is destined for a transport that will understand
   them.  Nonetheless, this is made safe by requiring that the network
   operator upgrades all decapsulating edges of a whole domain at once,
   as soon as even one switch within the domain is configured to mark
   rather than drop during congestion.  Therefore, any edge node that

Briscoe, et al.         Expires September 8, 2014              [Page 14]

Internet-Draft        ECN Encapsulation Guidelines            March 2014

   might decapsulate a packet will be capable of checking whether the
   higher layer transport is ECN-capable.  When decapsulating a CE-
   marked packet, if the decapsulator discovers that the higher layer
   (inner header) indicates the transport is not ECN-capable, it drops
   the packet--effectively on behalf of the earlier congested node (see
   Decapsulation Guideline 1 in Section 4.4).

   It was only appropriate to define such an incremental deployment
   strategy because MPLS is targeted solely at professional operators,
   who can be expected to ensure that a whole subnetwork is consistently
   configured.  This strategy might not be appropriate for other link
   technologies targeted at zero-configuration deployment or deployment
   by the general public (e.g. Ethernet).  For such 'plug-and-play'
   environments it will be necessary to invent a failsafe approach that
   ensures congestion markings will never fall into black holes, no
   matter how inconsistently a system is put together.  Alternatively,
   congestion notification relying on correct system configuration could
   be confined to flavours of Ethernet intended only for professional
   network operators, such as IEEE 802.1ah Provider Backbone Bridges

   QCN [IEEE802.1Qau] provides another example of how to indicate to
   lower layer devices that the end-points will not understand ECN.  An
   operator can define certain 802.1p classes of service to indicate
   non-QCN frames and an ingress bridge is required to map arriving not-
   QCN-capable IP packets to one of these non-QCN 802.1p classes.

4.3.  Encapsulation Guidelines

   This section is intended to guide the redesign of any node that
   encapsulates IP with a lower layer header when adding native ECN
   support to the lower layer protocol.  It reflects the approaches used
   in [RFC6040] and in [RFC5129].  Therefore IP-in-IP tunnels or IP-in-
   MPLS or MPLS-in-MPLS encapsulations that already comply with
   [RFC6040] or [RFC5129] will already satisfy this guidance.

   1.  Egress Capability Check: A subnet ingress needs to be sure that
       the corresponding egress of a subnet will propagate any
       congestion notification added to the outer header across the
       subnet.  This is necessary in addition to checking that an
       incoming PDU indicates an ECN-capable (L4) transport.  Examples
       of how this guarantee might be provided include:

       *  by configuration (e.g. if any label switches in a domain
          support ECN marking, [RFC5129] requires all egress nodes to
          have been configured to propagate ECN)

Briscoe, et al.         Expires September 8, 2014              [Page 15]

Internet-Draft        ECN Encapsulation Guidelines            March 2014

       *  by the ingress explicitly checking that the egress propagates
          ECN (e.g. TRILL uses IS-IS to check path capabilities before
          using critical options [trill-rbridge-options])

       *  by inherent design of the protocol (e.g. by encoding ECN
          marking on the outer header in such a way that a legacy egress
          that does not understand ECN will consider the PDU corrupt and
          discard it, thus at least propagating a form of congestion

   2.  Egress Fails Capability Check: If the ingress cannot guarantee
       that the egress will propagate congestion notification, the
       ingress SHOULD disable ECN when it forwards the PDU at the lower
       layer.  An example of how the ingress might disable ECN at the
       lower layer would be by setting the outer header of the PDU to
       identify it as a Not-ECN-PDU, assuming the subnet technology
       supports such a concept.

   3.  Standard Congestion Monitoring Baseline: Once the ingress to a
       subnet has established that the egress will correctly propagate
       ECN, on encapsulation it SHOULD encode the same level of
       congestion in outer headers as is arriving in incoming headers.
       For example it might copy any incoming congestion notification
       into the outer header of the lower layer protocol.

       This ensures that all outer headers reflect congestion
       accumulated along the whole upstream path since the Load
       Regulator, not just since the ingress of the subnet.  A node that
       is not the Load Regulator SHOULD NOT re-initialise the level of
       CE markings in the outer to zero.

       This guideline is intended to ensure that any bulk congestion
       monitoring of outer headers (e.g. by a network management node
       monitoring ECN in passing frames) is most meaningful.  For
       instance, if an operator measures CE in 0.4% of passing outer
       headers, this information is only useful if the operator knows
       where the proportion of CE markings was last initialised to 0%
       (the Congestion Baseline).  Such monitoring information will not
       be useful if some subnet ingress nodes reset all outer CE
       markings while others copy incoming CE markings into the outer.

       Most information can be extracted if the Congestion Baseline is
       standardised at the node that is regulating the load (the Load
       Regulator--typically the data source).  Then the operator can
       measure both congestion since the Load Regulator, and congestion
       since the subnet ingress.  The latter might be measurable by
       subtracting the level of CE markings on inner headers from that
       on outer headers (see Appendix C of [RFC6040]).

Briscoe, et al.         Expires September 8, 2014              [Page 16]

Internet-Draft        ECN Encapsulation Guidelines            March 2014

4.4.  Decapsulation Guidelines

   This section is intended to guide the redesign of any node that
   decapsulates IP from within a lower layer header when adding native
   ECN support to the lower layer protocol.  It reflects the approaches
   used in [RFC6040] and in [RFC5129].  Therefore IP-in-IP tunnels or
   IP-in-MPLS or MPLS-in-MPLS encapsulations that already comply with
   [RFC6040] or [RFC5129] will already satisfy this guidance.

   A subnet egress SHOULD NOT simply copy congestion notification from
   outer headers to the forwarded header.  It SHOULD calculate the
   outgoing congestion notification field from the inner and outer
   headers using the following guidelines.  If there is any conflict,
   rules earlier in the list take precedence over rules later in the

   1.  If the arriving inner header is a Not-ECN-PDU it implies the L4
       transport will not understand explicit congestion markings.

       *  If the outer header carries an explicit congestion marking,
          the packet SHOULD be dropped--the only indication of
          congestion that the L4 transport will understand.

       *  If the outer is an ECN-PDU that carries no indication of
          congestion or a Not-ECN-PDU the PDU SHOULD be forwarded, but
          still as a Not-ECN-PDU.

   2.  If the outer header does not support explicit congestion
       notification (a Not-ECN-PDU), but the inner header does (an ECN-
       PDU), the inner header SHOULD be forwarded unchanged.

   3.  In some lower layer protocols congestion may be signalled as a
       numerical level, such as in the control frames of quantised
       congestion notification [IEEE802.1Qau].  If such a multi-bit
       encoding encapsulates an ECN-capable IP data packet, a function
       will be needed to convert the quantised congestion level into the
       frequency of congestion markings in outgoing IP packets.

   4.  Congestion indications may be encoded by a severity level.  For
       instance increasing levels of congestion might be encoded by
       numerically increasing indications, e.g. pre-congestion
       notification (PCN) can be encoded in each PDU at three severity
       levels in IP or MPLS [RFC6660].

       If the arriving inner header is an ECN-PDU, where the inner and
       outer headers carry indications of congestion of different

Briscoe, et al.         Expires September 8, 2014              [Page 17]

Internet-Draft        ECN Encapsulation Guidelines            March 2014

       severity, the more severe indication SHOULD be forwarded in
       preference to the less severe.

   5.  The inner and outer headers might carry a combination of
       congestion notification fields that should not be possible given
       any currently used protocol transitions.  For instance, if
       Encapsulation Guideline 3 in Section 4.3 had been followed, it
       should not be possible to have a less severe indication of
       congestion in the outer than in the inner.  It MAY be appropriate
       to log unexpected combinations of headers and possibly raise an

       If a safe outgoing codepoint can be defined for such a PDU, the
       PDU SHOULD be forwarded rather than dropped.  Some implementers
       discard PDUs with currently unused combinations of headers just
       in case they represent an attack.  However, an approach using
       alarms and policy-mediated drop is preferable to hard-coded drop,
       so that operators can keep track of possible attacks but
       currently unused combinations are not precluded from future use
       through new standards actions.

4.5.  Sequences of Similar Tunnels or Subnets

   In some deployments, particularly in 3GPP networks, an IP packet may
   traverse two or more IP-in-IP tunnels in sequence that all use
   identical technology (e.g. GTP).

   In such cases, it would be sufficient for every encapsulation and
   decapsulation in the chain to comply with RFC 6040.  Alternatively,
   as an optimisation, a node that decapsulates a packet and immediately
   re-encapsulates it for the next tunnel MAY copy the incoming outer
   ECN field directly to the outgoing outer and the incoming inner ECN
   field directly to the outgoing inner.  Then the overall behavior
   across the sequence of tunnel segments would still be consistent with
   RFC 6040.

   Appendix C of RFC6040 describes how a tunnel egress can monitor how
   much congestion has been introduced within a tunnel.  A network
   operator might want to monitor how much congestion had been
   introduced within a whole sequence of tunnels.  Using the technique
   in Appendix C of RFC6040 at the final egress, the operator could
   monitor the whole sequence of tunnels, but only if the above
   optimisation were used consistently along the sequence of tunnels, in
   order to make it appear as a single tunnel.  Therefore, tunnel
   endpoint implementations SHOULD allow the operator to configure
   whether this optimisation is enabled.

Briscoe, et al.         Expires September 8, 2014              [Page 18]

Internet-Draft        ECN Encapsulation Guidelines            March 2014

   When ECN support is added to a subnet technology, consideration
   SHOULD be given to a similar optimisation between subnets in sequence
   if they all use the same technology.

4.6.  Reframing and Congestion Markings

   The guidance in this section is worded in terms of framing
   boundaries, but it applies equally whether the protocol data units
   are frames, cells or packets.

   Where framing boundaries are different between two layers, congestion
   indications SHOULD be propagated on the basis that a congestion
   indication on a PDU applies to all the octets in the PDU.  On
   average, an encapsulator or decapsulator SHOULD approximately
   preserve the number of marked octets arriving and leaving (counting
   the size of inner headers, but not added encapsulating headers).

   The next departing frame SHOULD be immediately marked even if only
   enough incoming marked octets have arrived for part of the departing
   frame.  This ensures that any outstanding congestion marked octets
   are propagated immediately, rather than held back waiting for a frame
   no bigger than the outstanding marked octets--which might involve a
   long wait.

   For instance, an algorithm for marking departing frames could
   maintain a counter representing the balance of arriving marked octets
   minus departing marked octets.  It adds the size of every marked
   frame that arrives and if the counter is positive it marks the next
   frame to depart and subtracts its size from the counter.  This will
   often leave a negative remainder in the counter, which is deliberate.

5.  Feed-Up-and-Forward Mode: Guidelines for Adding Congestion

   The guidance in this section is applicable when IP packets:

   o  are encapsulated in Ethernet headers;

   o  are forwarded by the eNode-B (base station) of a 3GPP radio access
      network, which is required to apply ECN marking during congestion

   This guidance also generalises to encapsulation by other subnet
   technologies with no native support for explicit congestion
   notification at the lower layer, but with support for finding and
   processing an IP header.  It is unlikely to be applicable or
   necessary for IP-in-IP encapsulation, where feed-forward-and-up mode
   based on [RFC6040] would be more appropriate.

Briscoe, et al.         Expires September 8, 2014              [Page 19]

Internet-Draft        ECN Encapsulation Guidelines            March 2014

   Marking the IP header while switching at layer-2 (by using a layer-3
   switch) or while forwarding in a radio access network seems to
   represent a layering violation.  However, it can be considered as a
   benign optimisation if the guidelines below are followed.  Feed-up-
   and-forward is certainly not a general alternative to implementing
   feed-forward congestion notification in the lower layer, because:

   o  IPv4 and IPv6 are not the only layer-3 protocols that might be
      encapsulated by lower layer protocols

   o  Link-layer encryption might be in use, making the layer-2 payload

   o  Many Ethernet switches do not have 'layer-3 switch' capabilities
      so they cannot read or modify an IP payload

   o  It might be costly to find an IP header (v4 or v6) when it may be
      encapsulated by more than one lower layer header, e.g. Ethernet
      MAC in MAC [IEEE802.1Qah].

   Nonetheless, configuring lower layer equipment to look for an ECN
   field in an encapsulated IP header is a useful optimisation.  If the
   implementation follows the guidelines below, this optimisation does
   not have to be confined to a controlled environment such as within a
   data centre; it could usefully be applied on any network--even if the
   operator is not sure whether the above issues will never apply:

   1.  If a native lower-layer congestion notification mechanism exists
       for a subnet technology, it is safe to mix feed-up-and-forward
       with feed-forward-and-up on other switches in the same subnet.
       However, it will generally be more efficient to use the native

   2.  The depth of the search for an IP header SHOULD be limited.  If
       an IP header is not found soon enough, or an unrecognised or
       unreadable header is encountered, the switch SHOULD resort to an
       alternative means of signalling congestion (e.g. drop, or the
       native lower layer mechanism if available).

   3.  It is sufficient to use the first IP header found in the stack;
       the egress of the relevant tunnel can propagate congestion
       notification upwards to any more deeply encapsulated IP headers

Briscoe, et al.         Expires September 8, 2014              [Page 20]

Internet-Draft        ECN Encapsulation Guidelines            March 2014

6.  Feed-Backward Mode: Guidelines for Adding Congestion Notification

   It can be seen from Section 3.3 that congestion notification in a
   subnet using feed-backward mode has generally not been designed to be
   directly coupled with IP layer congestion notification.  The subnet
   attempts to minimise congestion internally, and if the incoming load
   at the ingress exceeds the capacity somewhere through the subnet, the
   layer 3 buffer into the ingress backs up.  Thus, a feed-backward mode
   subnet is in some sense similar to a null mode subnet, in that there
   is no need for any direct interaction between the subnet and higher
   layer congestion notification.  Therefore no detailed protocol design
   guidelines are appropriate.  Nonetheless, a more general guideline is

   1.  A subnetwork technology intended to eventually interface to IP
       SHOULD NOT be designed using only the feed-backward mode, which
       is certainly best for a stand-alone subnet, but would need to be
       modified to work efficiently as part of the wider Internet,
       because IP uses feed-forward-and-up mode.

   The feed-backward approach at least works beneath IP, where the term
   'works' is used only in a narrow functional sense because feed-
   backward can result in very inefficient and sluggish congestion
   control--except if it is confined to the subnet directly connected to
   the original data source, when it is faster than feed-forward.  It
   would be valid to design a protocol that could work in feed-backward
   mode for paths that only cross one subnet, and in feed-forward-and-up
   mode for paths that cross subnets.

   In the early days of TCP/IP, a similar feed-backward approach was
   tried for explicit congestion signalling, using source-quench (SQ)
   ICMP control packets.  However, SQ fell out of favour and is now
   formally deprecated [RFC6633].  The main problem was that it is hard
   for a data source to tell the difference between a spoofed SQ message
   and a quench request from a genuine buffer on the path.  It is also
   hard for a lower layer buffer to address an SQ message to the
   original source port number, which may be buried within many layers
   of headers, and possibly encrypted.

   Quantised congestion notification (QCN--also known as backward
   congestion notification or BCN) [IEEE802.1Qau] uses a feed-backward
   mode structurally similar to ATM's relative rate mechanism.  However,
   QCN confines its applicability to scenarios such as some data centres
   where all endpoints are directly attached by the same Ethernet
   technology.  If a QCN subnet were later connected into a wider IP-
   based internetwork (e.g. when attempting to interconnect multiple
   data centres) it would suffer the inefficiency shown Figure 3.

Briscoe, et al.         Expires September 8, 2014              [Page 21]

Internet-Draft        ECN Encapsulation Guidelines            March 2014

7.  IANA Considerations (to be removed by RFC Editor)

   This memo includes no request to IANA.

8.  Security Considerations

   If a lower layer wire protocol is redesigned to include explicit
   congestion signalling in-band in the protocol header, care SHOULD be
   take to ensure that the field used is specified as mutable during
   transit.  Otherwise interior nodes signalling congestion would
   invalidate any authentication protocol applied to the lower layer
   header--by altering a header field that had been assumed as

   The redesign of protocols that encapsulate IP in order to propagate
   congestion signals between layers raises potential signal integrity
   concerns.  Experimental or proposed approaches exist for assuring the
   end-to-end integrity of in-band congestion signals, e.g.:

   o  Congestion exposure (ConEx ) for networks to audit that their
      congestion signals are not being suppressed by other networks or
      by receivers, and for networks to police that senders are
      responding sufficiently to the signals, irrespective of the
      transport protocol used [I-D.ietf-conex-abstract-mech].

   o  The ECN nonce [RFC3540] for a TCP sender to detect whether a
      network or the receiver is suppressing congestion signals.

   o  A test with the same goals as the ECN nonce, but without the need
      for the receiver to co-operate with the protocol

   Given these end-to-end approaches are already being specified, it
   would make little sense to attempt to design hop-by-hop congestion
   signal integrity into a new lower layer protocol, because end-to-end
   integrity inherently achieves hop-by-hop integrity.

9.  Conclusions

   Following the guidance in the document enables ECN support to be
   extended to numerous protocols that encapsulate IP (v4 & v6) in a
   consistent way, so that IP continues to fulfil its role as an end-to-
   end interoperability layer.  This includes:

   o  A wide range of tunnelling protocols with various forms of shim
      header between two IP headers;

Briscoe, et al.         Expires September 8, 2014              [Page 22]

Internet-Draft        ECN Encapsulation Guidelines            March 2014

   o  A wide range of subnet technologies, particularly those that work
      in the same 'feed-forward-and-up' mode that is used to support ECN
      in IP and MPLS.

   Guidelines have been defined for supporting propagation of ECN
   between Ethernet and IP on so-called Layer-3 Ethernet switches, using
   a 'feed-up-an-forward' mode.  This approach could enable other subnet
   technologies to pass ECN signals into the IP layer, even if they do
   not support ECN natively.

   Finally, attempting to add ECN to a subnet technology in feed-
   backward mode is deprecated except in special cases, due to its
   likely sluggish response to congestion.

10.  Acknowledgements

   Thanks to Gorry Fairhurst for extensive reviews.  Thanks also to the
   following reviewers: Ingemar Johansson and Piers O'Hanlon and Michael
   Welzl, who pointed out that lower layer congestion notification
   signals may have different semantics to those in IP.

   Bob Briscoe was part-funded by the European Community under its
   Seventh Framework Programme through the Trilogy project (ICT-216372)
   for initial drafts and through the Reducing Internet Transport
   Latency (RITE) project (ICT-317700) subsequently.  The views
   expressed here are solely those of the authors.

11.  Comments Solicited

   Comments and questions are encouraged and very welcome.  They can be
   addressed to the IETF Transport Area working group mailing list
   <>, and/or to the authors.

12.  References

12.1.  Normative References

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

   [RFC3168]  Ramakrishnan, K., Floyd, S., and D. Black, "The Addition
              of Explicit Congestion Notification (ECN) to IP", RFC
              3168, September 2001.

   [RFC3819]  Karn, P., Bormann, C., Fairhurst, G., Grossman, D.,
              Ludwig, R., Mahdavi, J., Montenegro, G., Touch, J., and L.
              Wood, "Advice for Internet Subnetwork Designers", BCP 89,
              RFC 3819, July 2004.

Briscoe, et al.         Expires September 8, 2014              [Page 23]

Internet-Draft        ECN Encapsulation Guidelines            March 2014

   [RFC4774]  Floyd, S., "Specifying Alternate Semantics for the
              Explicit Congestion Notification (ECN) Field", BCP 124,
              RFC 4774, November 2006.

   [RFC5129]  Davie, B., Briscoe, B., and J. Tay, "Explicit Congestion
              Marking in MPLS", RFC 5129, January 2008.

   [RFC6040]  Briscoe, B., "Tunnelling of Explicit Congestion
              Notification", RFC 6040, November 2010.

12.2.  Informative References

              Cisco, "Understanding the Available Bit Rate (ABR) Service
              Category for ATM VCs", Design Technote 10415, June 2005.

   [Buck00]   Buckwalter, J., "Frame Relay: Technology and Practice",
              Pub. Addison Wesley ISBN-13: 978-0201485240, 2000.

   [DCTCP]    Alizadeh, M., Greenberg, A., Maltz, D., Padhye, J., Patel,
              P., Prabhakar, B., Sengupta, S., and M. Sridharan, "Data
              Center TCP (DCTCP)", ACM SIGCOMM CCR 40(4)63--74, October
              2010, <>.

   [GTPv1-U]  3GPP, "General Packet Radio System (GPRS) Tunnelling
              Protocol User Plane (GTPv1-U)", Technical Specification TS
              29.281, .

   [GTPv1]    3GPP, "GPRS Tunnelling Protocol (GTP) across the Gn and Gp
              interface", Technical Specification TS 29.060, .

   [GTPv2-C]  3GPP, "Evolved General Packet Radio Service (GPRS)
              Tunnelling Protocol for Control plane (GTPv2-C)",
              Technical Specification TS 29.274, .

              Mathis, M. and B. Briscoe, "Congestion Exposure (ConEx)
              Concepts and Abstract Mechanism", draft-ietf-conex-
              abstract-mech-08 (work in progress), October 2013.

              Moncaster, T., "A TCP Test to Allow Senders to Identify
              Receiver Non-Compliance", draft-moncaster-tcpm-rcv-
              cheat-01 (work in progress), June 2007.

Briscoe, et al.         Expires September 8, 2014              [Page 24]

Internet-Draft        ECN Encapsulation Guidelines            March 2014

              IEEE, "IEEE Standard for Local and Metropolitan Area
              Networks--Virtual Bridged Local Area Networks--Amendment
              6: Provider Backbone Bridges", IEEE Std 802.1Qah-2008,
              August 2008,

              (Access Controlled link within page)

              Finn, N., Ed., "IEEE Standard for Local and Metropolitan
              Area Networks--Virtual Bridged Local Area Networks -
              Amendment 13: Congestion Notification", IEEE Std
              802.1Qau-2010, March 2010, <

              (Access Controlled link within page)

              ITU-T, "Traffic Control and Congestion Control in B-ISDN",
              ITU-T Rec. I.371 (03/04), March 2004,

   [LTE-RA]   3GPP, "Evolved Universal Terrestrial Radio Access (E-UTRA)
              and Evolved Universal Terrestrial Radio Access Network
              (E-UTRAN); Overall description; Stage 2", Technical
              Specification TS 36.300, .

   [RFC1323]  Jacobson, V., Braden, B., and D. Borman, "TCP Extensions
              for High Performance", RFC 1323, May 1992.

   [RFC1701]  Hanks, S., Li, T., Farinacci, D., and P. Traina, "Generic
              Routing Encapsulation (GRE)", RFC 1701, October 1994.

   [RFC2003]  Perkins, C., "IP Encapsulation within IP", RFC 2003,
              October 1996.

   [RFC2637]  Hamzeh, K., Pall, G., Verthein, W., Taarud, J., Little,
              W., and G. Zorn, "Point-to-Point Tunneling Protocol", RFC
              2637, July 1999.

   [RFC2661]  Townsley, W., Valencia, A., Rubens, A., Pall, G., Zorn,
              G., and B. Palter, "Layer Two Tunneling Protocol "L2TP"",
              RFC 2661, August 1999.

Briscoe, et al.         Expires September 8, 2014              [Page 25]

Internet-Draft        ECN Encapsulation Guidelines            March 2014

   [RFC2784]  Farinacci, D., Li, T., Hanks, S., Meyer, D., and P.
              Traina, "Generic Routing Encapsulation (GRE)", RFC 2784,
              March 2000.

   [RFC2884]  Hadi Salim, J. and U. Ahmed, "Performance Evaluation of
              Explicit Congestion Notification (ECN) in IP Networks",
              RFC 2884, July 2000.

   [RFC2983]  Black, D., "Differentiated Services and Tunnels", RFC
              2983, October 2000.

   [RFC3540]  Spring, N., Wetherall, D., and D. Ely, "Robust Explicit
              Congestion Notification (ECN) Signaling with Nonces", RFC
              3540, June 2003.

   [RFC4301]  Kent, S. and K. Seo, "Security Architecture for the
              Internet Protocol", RFC 4301, December 2005.

   [RFC6633]  Gont, F., "Deprecation of ICMP Source Quench Messages",
              RFC 6633, May 2012.

   [RFC6660]  Briscoe, B., Moncaster, T., and M. Menth, "Encoding Three
              Pre-Congestion Notification (PCN) States in the IP Header
              Using a Single Diffserv Codepoint (DSCP)", RFC 6660, July

              Eastlake, D., Ghanwani, A., Manral, V., and C. Bestler,
              "RBridges: Further TRILL Header Extensions", draft-ietf-
              trill-rbridge-options-07 (work in progress), June 2012.

   [vxlan]    Mahalingam, M., Dutt, D., Duda, K., Agarwal, P., Kreeger,
              L., Sridhar, T., Bursell, M., and C. Wright, "VXLAN: A
              Framework for Overlaying Virtualized Layer 2 Networks over
              Layer 3 Networks", draft-mahalingam-dutt-dcops-vxlan-08
              (work in progress), February 2014.

Briscoe, et al.         Expires September 8, 2014              [Page 26]

Internet-Draft        ECN Encapsulation Guidelines            March 2014

Appendix A.  Outstanding Document Issues

   1.  [GF] Concern that certain guidelines warrant a MUST (NOT) rather
       than a SHOULD (NOT).  Given the guidelines say that if any SHOULD
       (NOT)s are not followed, a strong justification will be needed,
       they have been left as SHOULD (NOT) pending further list
       discussion.  In particular:

       *  If inner is a Not-ECN-PDU and Outer is CE (or highest severity
          congestion level), MUST (not SHOULD) drop?

   2.  Consider whether an IETF Standard Track doc will be needed to
       Update the IP-in-IP protocols listed in Section 4.1--at least
       those that the IET

Appendix B.  Changes in This Version (to be removed by RFC Editor)

   From briscoe-04 to ietf-00:  Changed filename following tsvwg

   From briscoe-03 to 04:

      *  Re-arranged the introduction to describe the purpose of the
         document first before introducing ECN in more depth.  And
         clarified the introduction throughout.

      *  Added applicability to 3GPP TS 36.300.

   From briscoe-02 to 03:

      *  Scope section:

         +  Added dependence on correct propagation of traffic class

         +  For the feed-backward mode, deemed multicast and anycast out
            of scope

      *  Ensured all guidelines referring to subnet technologies also
         refer to tunnels and vice versa by adding applicability
         sentences at the start of sections 4.1, 4.2, 4.3, 4.4, 4.6 and

      *  Added Security Considerations on ensuring congestion signal
         fields are classed as immutable and on using end-to-end
         congestion signal integrity technologies rather than hop-by-

Briscoe, et al.         Expires September 8, 2014              [Page 27]

Internet-Draft        ECN Encapsulation Guidelines            March 2014

   From briscoe-01 to 02:

      *  Added authors: JK & PT

      *  Added

         +  Section 4.1 "IP-in-IP Tunnels with Tightly Coupled Shim

         +  Section 4.5 "Sequences of Similar Tunnels or Subnets"

         +  roadmap at the start of Section 4, given the subsections
            have become quite fragmented.

         +  Section 9 "Conclusions"

      *  Clarified why transports are starting to be able to saturate
         interior links

      *  Under Section 1.1, addressed the question of alternative signal
         semantics and included multicast & anycast.

      *  Under Section 3.1, included a 3GPP example.

      *  Section 4.2.  "Wire Protocol Design":

         +  Altered guideline 2. to make it clear that it only applies
            to the immediate subnet egress, not later ones

         +  Added a reminder that it is only necessary to check that ECN
            propagates at the egress, not whether interior nodes mark

         +  Added example of how QCN uses 802.1p to indicate support for

      *  Added references to Appendix C of RFC6040, about monitoring the
         amount of congestion signals introduced within a tunnel

      *  Appendix A: Added more issues to be addressed, including plan
         to produce a standards track update to IP-in-IP tunnel

      *  Updated acks and references

   From briscoe-00 to 01:

      *  Intended status: BCP (was Informational) & updates 3819 added.

Briscoe, et al.         Expires September 8, 2014              [Page 28]

Internet-Draft        ECN Encapsulation Guidelines            March 2014

      *  Briefer Introduction: Introductory para justifying benefits of
         ECN.  Moved all but a brief enumeration of modes of operation
         to their own new section (from both Intro & Scope).  Introduced
         incr. deployment as most tricky part.

      *  Tightened & added to terminology section

      *  Structured with Modes of Operation, then Guidelines section for
         each mode.

      *  Tightened up guideline text to remove vagueness / passive voice
         / ambiguity and highlight main guidelines as numbered items.

      *  Added Outstanding Document Issues Appendix

      *  Updated references

Authors' Addresses

   Bob Briscoe
   B54/77, Adastral Park
   Martlesham Heath
   Ipswich  IP5 3RE

   Phone: +44 1473 645196

   John Kaippallimalil
   5340 Legacy Drive, Suite 175
   Plano, Texas  75024


   Pat Thaler
   Broadcom Corporation
   5025 Keane Drive
   Carmichael, CA  95608


Briscoe, et al.         Expires September 8, 2014              [Page 29]