IPPM                                                        H. Song, Ed.
Internet-Draft                                                 Futurewei
Intended status: Standards Track                                 T. Zhou
Expires: March 12, 2020                                            Z. Li
                                                                 J. Shin
                                                              SK Telecom
                                                                  K. Lee
                                                                   LG U+
                                                       September 9, 2019

               Postcard-based On-Path Flow Data Telemetry


   The Postcard-Based Telemetry (PBT) allows network OAM applications to
   directly collect and export telemetry data about any user packet at
   each node on the forwarding path.  PBT has two variations.  One
   requires inserting an instruction header to user packets to guide the
   data collection.  This variation has been recast into an independent
   IOAM option mode, Direct Export, and described in a standalone
   document.  This document describes the second variation, the mark
   triggered PBT or PBT-M.  PBT-M only marks the user packets or
   configure the flow filter to invoke the data collection and postcard
   export.  It complements IOAM by addressing several specific
   implementation and deployment challenges.

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 https://datatracker.ietf.org/drafts/current/.

   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 March 12, 2020.

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Copyright Notice

   Copyright (c) 2019 IETF Trust and the persons identified as the
   document authors.  All rights reserved.

   This document is subject to BCP 78 and the IETF Trust's Legal
   Provisions Relating to IETF Documents
   (https://trustee.ietf.org/license-info) in effect on the date of
   publication of this document.  Please review these documents
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   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.  Motivation  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   2
   2.  PBT-M: Postcard-based Telemetry with Packet Marking . . . . .   5
     2.1.  New Requirements  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   5
     2.2.  Solution Description  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   6
     2.3.  New Challenges  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   7
     2.4.  Considerations on PBT-M Design  . . . . . . . . . . . . .   8
       2.4.1.  Packet Marking  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   8
       2.4.2.  Flow Path Discovery . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   8
       2.4.3.  Packet Identity for Export Data Correlation . . . . .   9
     2.5.  Avoid Packet Marking through Node Configuration . . . . .   9
   3.  Postcard Format . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  10
   4.  Security Considerations . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  10
   5.  IANA Considerations . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  10
   6.  Contributors  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  10
   7.  Acknowledgments . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  10
   8.  Informative References  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  10
   Authors' Addresses  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  14

1.  Motivation

   In order to gain detailed data plane visibility to support effective
   network OAM, it is important to be able to examine the trace of user
   packets along their forwarding paths.  Such on-path flow data reflect
   the state and status of each user packet's real-time experience and
   provide valuable information for network monitoring, measurement, and

   The telemetry data include but not limited to the detailed forwarding
   path, the timestamp/latency at each network node, and, in case of
   packet drop, the drop location and reason.  The emerging programmable
   data plane devices allow user-defined data

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   collection[I-D.song-opsawg-dnp4iq] or conditional data collection
   based on trigger events.  Such on-path flow data are from and about
   the live user traffic, which complement the data acquired through
   other passive and active OAM mechanisms such as IPFIX [RFC7011] and
   ICMP [RFC2925].

   In-band Network Telemetry (INT) was designed to cater this need (note
   that although INT has been widely used, the term "in-band" here does
   not comply with IETF's definition. "on-path" or "in-situ" may be more
   accurate terms). in-situ OAM (IOAM)
   [I-D.brockners-inband-oam-requirements] represents the related
   standardization efforts.  In essence, INT augments user packets with
   instructions to tell each network node on their forwarding paths what
   data to collect.  The requested data are inserted into and travel
   along with the user packets.  Some end nodes are responsible to strip
   off the data trace and export it to a data collector for processing.

   While the concept is simple and straightforward, INT faces several
   technical challenges:

   o  Issue 1: INT header and data processing needs to be done in data
      plane fast path.  It may interfere with the normal traffic
      forwarding (e.g., leading to forwarding performance degradation)
      and lead to inaccurate measurements (e.g., resulting in longer
      latency measurements than usual).  This undesirable "observer
      effect" is problematic to carrier networks where stringent SLA
      must be observed.

   o  Issue 2: INT may significantly increase the user packet's original
      size by adding the instruction header and data at each traversed
      node.  The longer the forwarding path and the more the data
      collected, the larger the packet will become.  The size may exceed
      the path MTU so either INT cannot apply or the packet needs to be
      fragmented.  Limiting the data size or path length reduces the
      effectiveness of INT.  On the other hand, the INT header and data
      can be deeply embedded in a packet due to various transport
      protocol and tunnel configurations.  The required deep packet
      header inspection and processing may be infeasible to some data
      plane fast path where only a limited number of header bytes are

   o  Issue 3: INT requires attaching an instruction header to user
      packets to inform network nodes what types of data to collect.
      Due to the header overhead constraint and hardware-friendly
      consideration, TLV is undesirable for data type encoding.
      Instead, IOAM use a bitmap where each bit indicates one pre-
      defined data type [I-D.ietf-ippm-ioam-data].  However, new use
      cases may require new data types.  The current allocated 16-bit

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      bitmap limits the data type scalability.  The proposed bitmap
      extension in [I-D.song-ippm-ioam-data-extension] provides a method
      to support more data types but it also increases the IOAM header

   o  Issue 4: INT header needs to be encapsulated into user packets for
      transport.  [I-D.brockners-inband-oam-transport] has discussed
      several encapsulation approaches for different transport
      protocols.  However, it is difficult to encapsulate extra header
      in MPLS and IPv4 networks which happens to be the most widely
      deployed and where the path-associated telemetry data is most
      wanted by operators.  The proposed NVGRE encapsulation for IPv4 in
      [I-D.brockners-inband-oam-transport] requires a tunnel to be built
      between each pair of nodes which may be unrealistic for plain IP

   o  Issue 5: The INT header and data are vulnerable to eavesdropping
      and tampering as well as DoS attack.  Extra protective measurement
      is difficult on the fast data path.

   o  Issue 6: Since INT only exports the telemetry data at the
      designated end node, if the packet is dropped in the network, the
      data will be lost as well.  It cannot pinpoint the packet drop
      location which is required for fault diagnosis.  Even worse, the
      end node may not be aware of the lost of packet at all.

   The above issues are inherent to the INT-based solutions.
   Nevertheless, the on-path data acquired by INT are valuable for
   network operators.  Therefore, alternative approaches which can
   collect the same data but avoid or mitigate the above issues are
   desired.  This document provides a new approach named Postcard-Based
   Telemetry (PBT) with two different implementation variations, each
   having its own trade-off and addressing some or all of the above
   issues.  The basic idea of PBT is simple: at each node, instead of
   inserting the collected data into the user packets, the data are
   directly exported through dedicated OAM packets.  Such "postcard"
   approach is in contrast to the "passport stamps" approach adopted by
   INT [DOI_10.1145_2342441.2342453].  The OAM packets or postcards can
   be generated by the node's slow path and transported in band or out
   of band, independent of the original user packets.

   The variation that requires an instruction header has been recast an
   IOAM option mode named Direct Export (DX).  DX is described in
   another document and the reference will be included later.  This
   document only covers the second variation.

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2.  PBT-M: Postcard-based Telemetry with Packet Marking

   This section describes the variation of PBT which triggers the
   postcard export with a mark in user packets.  PBT-M aims to address
   the challenges of INT listed above and introduce some new benefits.
   We first list all the design requirements of PBT-M.

2.1.  New Requirements

   o  Req. 1: We should avoid augmenting user packets with new headers
      or introducing new data plane protocols.  This helps to alleviate
      or eliminate the issue 1, 2, 4, and 5.  We expect the OAM data
      collecting signaling remains in data plane.  Simple packet marking
      techniques suffice to serve this purpose.  It is also possible to
      configure the OAM data collecting from the control plane.

   o  Req. 2: We should make the scheme extensible for collecting
      arbitrary new data to support possible future use cases.  The data
      set to be collected is preferred to be configured through
      management plane or control plane.  Since there is no limitation
      on the types of data, any custom data including those generated by
      DNPs [I-D.song-opsawg-dnp4iq] can be collected.  Since there is no
      size constraints any more, it is free to use the more flexible
      data set template for data type definition.  This addresses the
      issue 2 and 3.

   o  Req. 3: We should avoid interfering the normal forwarding and
      affecting the forwarding performance when conducting data plane
      OAM tasks.  Hence, the collected data are better to be transported
      independently by dedicated OAM packets through in-band or out-of-
      band channels.  The data collecting, processing, assembly,
      encapsulation, and transport are therefore decoupled from the
      forwarding of the corresponding user packets and can be performed
      in data plane slow path if necessary.  This addresses the issue 1,
      4, and 5.

   o  Req. 4: The data collected from each node is not necessarily
      identical, depending on application requirements and node
      capability.  Data for different operation modes can be collected
      at the same time.  These requirements are either impossible or
      very difficult to be supported by INT in which data types
      collected per node are supposed to be identical and for a single

   o  Req. 5: The flow's path-associated data can be sensitive and the
      security concerns need to be carefully addressed.  Sending OAM
      data with independent packets also makes it easy to secure the
      collected data without exposing it to unnecessary entities.  For

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      example, the data can be encrypted before being sent to the
      collector so passive eavesdropping and man-in-the-middle attack
      can both be deterred.  This addresses the issue 5.

   o  Req. 6: Even if a user packet under inspection is dropped in
      network, the OAM data that have been collected should still be
      exported and help to diagnose the packet drop location and reason.
      This addresses the issue 6.

2.2.  Solution Description

   In light of the above discussion, the sketch of the proposed
   solution, PBT-M, is as follows.  The user packet, if its path-
   associated data need to be collected, is marked at the path head
   node.  At each PBT-aware node, if the mark is detected, a postcard
   (i.e., the dedicated OAM packet triggered by a marked user packet) is
   generated and sent to a collector.  The postcard contains the data
   requested by the management plane.  The requested data are configured
   by the management plane through data set templates (as in IPFIX
   [RFC7011]).  Once the collector receives all the postcards for a
   single user packet, it can infer the packet's forwarding path and
   analyze the data set.  The path end node is configured to unmark the
   packets to its original format if necessary.

   The overall architecture of PBT-M is depict in Figure 1.

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                          +------------+        +-----------+
                          | Network    |        | Telemetry |
                          | Management |(-------| Data      |
                          |            |        | Collector |
                          +-----:------+        +-----------+
                                :                     ^
                                :configurations       |postcards (OAM pkts)
                                :                     |
                 :             :               :      |       :
                 :   +---------:---+-----------:---+--+-------:---+
                 :   |         :   |           :   |          :   |
                 V   |         V   |           V   |          V   |
              +------+-+     +-----+--+     +------+-+     +------+-+
    usr pkts  | Head   |     | Path   |     | Path   |     | End    |
         ====>| Node   |====>| Node   |====>| Node   |====>| Node   |====>
              |        |     | A      |     | B      |     |        |
              +--------+     +--------+     +--------+     +--------+
              gen postcards  gen postcards  gen postcards  gen postcards
              mark usr pkts                                unmark usr pkts

                      Figure 1: Architecture of PBT-M

2.3.  New Challenges

   Although PBT-M solves the issues of INT, it introduces a few new

   o  Challenge 1: A user packet needs to be marked in order to trigger
      the path-associated data collection.  Since we do not want to
      augment user packets with any new header fields (i.e., Req. 1), we
      must reuse some bit from existing header fields.

   o  Challenge 2: Since the packet header will not carry OAM
      instructions any more, the data plane devices need to be
      configured to know what data to collect.  However, in general, the
      forwarding path of a flow packet (due to ECMP or dynamic routing)
      is unknown beforehand.  Configuring the data set for each flow at
      all data plane devices is expensive in terms of configuration load
      and data plane resources.

   o  Challenge 3: Due to the variable transport latency, the dedicated
      OAM packets for a single packet may arrive at the collector out of
      order or be dropped in networks for some reason.  In order to
      infer the packet forwarding path, the collector needs some
      information from the OAM packets to identify the user packet
      affiliation and the order of path node traversal.

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2.4.  Considerations on PBT-M Design

   To address the above challenges, we propose several design details of

2.4.1.  Packet Marking

   To trigger the path-associated data collection, usually a single bit
   from some header field is sufficient.  While no such bit is
   available, other packet marking techniques are needed.  we discuss
   three possible application scenarios.

   o  IPv4.  IPFPM [I-D.ietf-ippm-alt-mark] is an IP flow performance
      measurement framework which also requires a single bit for packet
      coloring.  The difference is that IPFPM does in-network
      measurement while PBT only collects and exports data at network
      nodes (i.e., the data analysis is done at the collector rather
      than in the network nodes).  IPFPM suggests to use some reserved
      bit of the Flag field or some unused bit of the TOS field.
      Actually, IPFPM can be considered a subcase of PBT so the same bit
      can be used for PBT.  The management plane is responsible to
      configure the actual operation mode.

   o  SFC NSH.  The OAM bit in NSH header can be used to trigger the
      path-associated data collection [I-D.ietf-sfc-nsh].  PBT does not
      add any other metadata to NSH.

   o  MPLS.  Instead of choosing a header bit, we take advantage of the
      synonymous flow label [I-D.bryant-mpls-synonymous-flow-labels]
      approach to mark the packets.  A synonymous flow label indicates
      the path-associated data should be collected and forwarded through
      a postcard.

2.4.2.  Flow Path Discovery

   By default, all PBT-aware nodes are configured to react to the marked
   packets by exporting some basic data such as node ID and TTL before a
   data set template for that flow is configured.  This way, the
   management plane can learn the flow path dynamically.

   If the management plane wants to collect the path-associated data for
   some flow, it configures the head node(s) with a probability or time
   interval for the flow packet marking.  When the first marked packet
   is forwarded in the network, the PBT-aware nodes will export the
   basic data to the collector.  Hence, the flow path is identified.  If
   other types of data need to be collected, the management plane can
   further configure the data set template to the target nodes on the
   flow's path.  The PBT-aware nodes would collect and export data

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   accordingly if the packet is marked and a data set template is

   If for any reason, the flow path is changed.  The new path nodes can
   be learned immediately by the collector, so the management plane
   controller can be informed to configure the new path nodes.  The
   outdated configuration can be automatically timed out or explicitly
   revoked by the management plane controller.

2.4.3.  Packet Identity for Export Data Correlation

   The collector needs to correlate all the OAM packets for a single
   user packet.  Once this is done, the TTL (or the timestamp, if the
   network time is synchronized) can be used to infer the flow
   forwarding path.  The key issue here is to correlate all the
   postcards for a same user packet.

   The first possible approach is to include the flow ID plus the user
   packet ID in the OAM packets.  The flow ID can be the 5-tuple IP
   header of the user traffic.  The user packet ID can be some unique
   information pertaining to a user packet (e.g., the sequence number of
   a TCP packet).

   If the packet marking interval is large enough, then the flow ID
   itself is enough to identify the user packet.  That is, we can assume
   all the exported OAM packets for the same flow during a short period
   of time belong to the same user packet.

   Alternatively, if the network is synchronized, then the flow ID plus
   the timestamp at each node can also infer the postcard affiliation.
   However, some errors may occur under some circumstances.  For
   example, if two consecutive user packets from the same flows are both
   marked but one exported postcard from a node is lost, then it is
   difficult for the collector to decide which user packet the remaining
   postcard belongs to.  In many cases, such rare error has no
   catastrophic consequence therefore is tolerable.

2.5.  Avoid Packet Marking through Node Configuration

   It is possible to avoid needing to mark user packets yet still
   allowing in-band flow data collection.  We could simply configure the
   Access Control List (ACL) to filter out the set of target flows.
   This approach has two potential issues: (1) Since the packet
   forwarding path is unknown in advance, one needs to configure all the
   nodes in a network to filter the flows and capture the complete data
   set.  This wastes the precious ACL resource and is not scalable.  (2)
   If a node cannot collect data for all the filtered packets of a flow,
   it needs to determine which packets to sample independently, so the

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   collector may not be able to receive the full set of postcards for a
   same user packet.

   Nevertheless, since this approach does not require to touch the user
   packets at all, it has its unique merits: (1) User can freely choose
   any nodes as vantage points for data collection; (2) No need to worry
   that any "modified" user packets to leak out of the PBT domain; (3)
   It has the minimum impact to the forwarding of the user traffic.

   No data plane standard is required to support this mode, except the
   postcard format.

3.  Postcard Format

   Postcard can use the same data export format as that used by IOAM.
   [I-D.spiegel-ippm-ioam-rawexport] proposes a raw format that can be
   interpreted by IPFIX.

4.  Security Considerations

   Several security issues need to be considered.

   o  Eavesdrop and tamper: the postcards can be encrypted and
      authenticated to avoid such security threats.

   o  DoS attack: PBT can be limited to a single administration domain.
      The mark must be removed at the egress domain edge.  The node can
      rate limit the extra traffic incurred by postcards.

5.  IANA Considerations

   No requirement for IANA is identified.

6.  Contributors


7.  Acknowledgments


8.  Informative References

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              Handigol, N., Heller, B., Jeyakumar, V., MaziA(C)res, D.,
              and N. McKeown, "Where is the debugger for my software-
              defined network?", Proceedings of the first workshop on
              Hot topics in software defined networks - HotSDN '12,
              DOI 10.1145/2342441.2342453, 2012.

              Brockners, F., Bhandari, S., Dara, S., Pignataro, C.,
              Gredler, H., Leddy, J., Youell, S., Mozes, D., Mizrahi,
              T., Lapukhov, P., and r. Chang, "Requirements for In-situ
              OAM", draft-brockners-inband-oam-requirements-03 (work in
              progress), March 2017.

              Brockners, F., Bhandari, S., Govindan, V., Pignataro, C.,
              Gredler, H., Leddy, J., Youell, S., Mizrahi, T., Mozes,
              D., Lapukhov, P., and R. Chang, "Encapsulations for In-
              situ OAM Data", draft-brockners-inband-oam-transport-05
              (work in progress), July 2017.

              Brockners, F., Bhandari, S., Govindan, V., Pignataro, C.,
              Gredler, H., Leddy, J., Youell, S., Mizrahi, T., Mozes,
              D., Lapukhov, P., and R. Chang, "Geneve encapsulation for
              In-situ OAM Data", draft-brockners-ippm-ioam-geneve-01
              (work in progress), June 2018.

              Bryant, S., Swallow, G., Sivabalan, S., Mirsky, G., Chen,
              M., and Z. Li, "RFC6374 Synonymous Flow Labels", draft-
              bryant-mpls-synonymous-flow-labels-01 (work in progress),
              July 2015.

              Clemm, A., Voit, E., Liu, X., Bryskin, I., Zhou, T.,
              Zheng, G., and H. Birkholz, "Smart filters for Push
              Updates - Problem Statement", draft-clemm-netconf-push-
              smart-filters-ps-00 (work in progress), October 2017.

              Fioccola, G., Capello, A., Cociglio, M., Castaldelli, L.,
              Chen, M., Zheng, L., Mirsky, G., and T. Mizrahi,
              "Alternate Marking method for passive and hybrid
              performance monitoring", draft-ietf-ippm-alt-mark-14 (work
              in progress), December 2017.

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              Brockners, F., Bhandari, S., Pignataro, C., Gredler, H.,
              Leddy, J., Youell, S., Mizrahi, T., Mozes, D., Lapukhov,
              P., Chang, R., and d. daniel.bernier@bell.ca, "Data Fields
              for In-situ OAM", draft-ietf-ippm-ioam-data-00 (work in
              progress), September 2017.

              Zheng, G., Zhou, T., and A. Clemm, "UDP based Publication
              Channel for Streaming Telemetry", draft-ietf-netconf-udp-
              pub-channel-01 (work in progress), November 2017.

              Clemm, A., Voit, E., Prieto, A., Tripathy, A., Nilsen-
              Nygaard, E., Bierman, A., and B. Lengyel, "YANG Datastore
              Subscription", draft-ietf-netconf-yang-push-12 (work in
              progress), December 2017.

              Brockners, F., Bhandari, S., Govindan, V., Pignataro, C.,
              Gredler, H., Leddy, J., Youell, S., Mizrahi, T., Mozes,
              D., Lapukhov, P., and R. Chang, "NSH Encapsulation for In-
              situ OAM Data", draft-ietf-sfc-ioam-nsh-00 (work in
              progress), May 2018.

              Quinn, P., Elzur, U., and C. Pignataro, "Network Service
              Header (NSH)", draft-ietf-sfc-nsh-28 (work in progress),
              November 2017.

              Sambo, N., Castoldi, P., Fioccola, G., Cugini, F., Song,
              H., and T. Zhou, "YANG model for finite state machine",
              draft-sambo-netmod-yang-fsm-00 (work in progress), October

              Song, H. and T. Zhou, "In-situ OAM Data Type Extension",
              draft-song-ippm-ioam-data-extension-00 (work in progress),
              October 2017.

              Song, H., Li, Z., Zhou, T., and Z. Wang, "In-situ OAM
              Processing in Tunnels", draft-song-ippm-ioam-tunnel-
              mode-00 (work in progress), June 2018.

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              Song, H., Li, Z., Zhou, T., and L. Andersson, "MPLS
              Extension Header", draft-song-mpls-extension-header-01
              (work in progress), August 2018.

              Song, H. and J. Gong, "Requirements for Interactive Query
              with Dynamic Network Probes", draft-song-opsawg-dnp4iq-01
              (work in progress), June 2017.

              Spiegel, M., Brockners, F., Bhandari, S., and R.
              Sivakolundu, "In-situ OAM raw data export with IPFIX",
              draft-spiegel-ippm-ioam-rawexport-01 (work in progress),
              October 2018.

              Specification, g., Kolhe, J., Shaikh, A., and J. George,
              "Use cases for gRPC in network management", draft-talwar-
              rtgwg-grpc-use-cases-01 (work in progress), January 2017.

              Weis, B., Brockners, F., crhill@cisco.com, c., Bhandari,
              S., Govindan, V., Pignataro, C., Gredler, H., Leddy, J.,
              Youell, S., Mizrahi, T., Kfir, A., Gafni, B., Lapukhov,
              P., and M. Spiegel, "GRE Encapsulation for In-situ OAM
              Data", draft-weis-ippm-ioam-gre-00 (work in progress),
              March 2018.

   [RFC2925]  White, K., "Definitions of Managed Objects for Remote
              Ping, Traceroute, and Lookup Operations", RFC 2925,
              DOI 10.17487/RFC2925, September 2000,

   [RFC6241]  Enns, R., Ed., Bjorklund, M., Ed., Schoenwaelder, J., Ed.,
              and A. Bierman, Ed., "Network Configuration Protocol
              (NETCONF)", RFC 6241, DOI 10.17487/RFC6241, June 2011,

   [RFC7011]  Claise, B., Ed., Trammell, B., Ed., and P. Aitken,
              "Specification of the IP Flow Information Export (IPFIX)
              Protocol for the Exchange of Flow Information", STD 77,
              RFC 7011, DOI 10.17487/RFC7011, September 2013,

Song, et al.             Expires March 12, 2020                [Page 13]

Internet-Draft          Postcard-Based Telemetry          September 2019

Authors' Addresses

   Haoyu Song (editor)
   2330 Central Expressway
   Santa Clara, 95050

   Email: hsong@futurewei.com

   Tianran Zhou
   156 Beiqing Road
   Beijing, 100095
   P.R. China

   Email: zhoutianran@huawei.com

   Zhenbin Li
   156 Beiqing Road
   Beijing, 100095
   P.R. China

   Email: lizhenbin@huawei.com

   Jongyoon Shin
   SK Telecom
   South Korea

   Email: jongyoon.shin@sk.com

   Kyungtae Lee
   LG U+
   South Korea

   Email: coolee@lguplus.co.kr

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