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Versions: 00 01 02 03                                                   
TICTOC                                                        Y(J) Stein
Internet-Draft                                   RAD Data Communications
Intended status: Informational                                 S. Bryant
Expires: April 20, 2008                                    Cisco Systems
                                                           K. O'Donoghue
                                                                 US Navy
                                                        October 18, 2007

                             TICTOC Modules

Status of this Memo

   By submitting this Internet-Draft, each author represents that any
   applicable patent or other IPR claims of which he or she is aware
   have been or will be disclosed, and any of which he or she becomes
   aware will be disclosed, in accordance with Section 6 of BCP 79.

   Internet-Drafts are working documents of the Internet Engineering
   Task Force (IETF), its areas, and its working groups.  Note that
   other groups may also distribute working documents as Internet-

   Internet-Drafts are draft documents valid for a maximum of six months
   and may be updated, replaced, or obsoleted by other documents at any
   time.  It is inappropriate to use Internet-Drafts as reference
   material or to cite them other than as "work in progress."

   The list of current Internet-Drafts can be accessed at

   The list of Internet-Draft Shadow Directories can be accessed at

   This Internet-Draft will expire on April 20, 2008.

Copyright Notice

   Copyright (C) The IETF Trust (2007).


   This Internet draft proposes the modularization of TICTOC
   (Transmitting Timing over IP Connections and Transfer of Clock) work.
   In particular, it breaks the work down into individual modules
   (deliverables) that need to be developed.

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Table of Contents

   1.  Introduction . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  3
   2.  Frequency Layer  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  5
     2.1.  Local Oscillator and Digital Synthesizers  . . . . . . . .  5
     2.2.  Frequency Distribution Protocols . . . . . . . . . . . . .  6
     2.3.  Packet Select/Discard Algorithms . . . . . . . . . . . . .  7
     2.4.  Frequency Acquisition Algorithms . . . . . . . . . . . . .  8
     2.5.  Frequency Presentation . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  9
   3.  Time Layer . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  9
     3.1.  Time Distribution Protocols  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  9
     3.2.  Ranging  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 11
     3.3.  Time Presentation  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 12
   4.  Other Modules  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 12
     4.1.  Security Mechanisms  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 12
     4.2.  Autodiscovery and Master Clock Selection . . . . . . . . . 13
     4.3.  OAM, SSM, and Performance Monitoring . . . . . . . . . . . 14
     4.4.  Path Selection . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 15
     4.5.  On-path Support  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 15
     4.6.  Network Management . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 16
   5.  Security Considerations  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 16
   6.  IANA Considerations  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 16
   7.  Acknowledgements . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 16
   8.  Informative References . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 16
   Authors' Addresses . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 17
   Intellectual Property and Copyright Statements . . . . . . . . . . 18

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   [Editor's Note: The present version of this draft contains references
   to work to be performed by the TICTOC working group.  This language
   has been included in order to help with the chartering of this
   working group, and will be removed in the next revision.]

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

1.  Introduction

   In this document the term "timing" will be used to refer to recovery
   of frequency and/or time (wall-clock).

   The most general TICTOC system can be logically decomposed into two
   layers, corresponding to the distribution and presentation of
   frequency and time, respectively, In Figure 1 we depict these layers,
   and the top-level modules in these layers, for a TICTOC client.
   Specific TICTOC systems may consist of either or both layers.  For
   example, if time is required but frequency is available from a
   physical layer mechanism, then the frequency layer is omitted.  On
   the other hand, if time is not required for the application, then
   only the frequency layer may be present.

         +------+-------+              +--------------+
         |  Frequency   |              | Frequency    |
         |  Acquisition +------)-------+ Presentation +-----)------
         |              |              |              |
         +------+-------+              +--------------+
         +------+-------+              +--------------+
         | Time         |              | Time         |
         | Acquisition  +------)-------+ Presentation +-----)------
         |              |              |              |
         +--------------+              +--------------+

                     Figure 1.  Generic TICTOC client

   Referring to Figure 1, the frequency acquisition module is
   responsible for recovery of frequency information distributed over a
   packet switched network (PSN), such as IP or MPLS.  This distribution
   is accomplished by use of a frequency distribution protocol.  The

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   frequency distributed may be derived from an international standard,
   or may be an arbitrary frequency needed at some remote location.  If
   the value of the frequency itself is needed, then the output of this
   module is input to the frequency presentation module that formats the
   frequency according to application needs.  Note that this format may
   be numeric prepared for display, or may take analog form and be used
   for locking or disciplining other analog frequencies.  When time is
   needed, the frequency information is sent to the time acquisition

   Even if the frequency itself is not needed, time acquisition almost
   always requires a stable frequency reference.  This reference may be
   acquired from the frequency acquisition layer, or may be obtained via
   some other means, such as an accurate local frequency reference, or
   from a non-PSN mechanism for frequency distribution (e.g., GPS,

   From the acquired or otherwise available frequency, we may derive
   arbitrary time (also known as "phase") by mathematical means.  If the
   frequency reference is traceable to an international standard, then
   arbitrary time means a sequence of time values that are synchronous
   with true (wall-clock, UTC) time, but with an arbitrary offset.  The
   purpose of the time acquisition module is to enable multiple TICTOC
   clients to share a single offset, and thus to agree as to marking of
   phase values.  Such marked phases values are all that is required for
   certain applications, such as where multiple time-aware agents need
   to interact (e.g., systems employing Time Division Multiple Access

   When the time markings distributed by the time distribution protocol
   are traceable to an international standard, the TICTOC clients are
   said to have acquired wall-clock time.  These wall-clock values are
   formatted for use by the intended application by the time
   presentation module.

   The remainder of this document further subdivides these modules and
   identifies the submodules needed for timing distribution.  Submodule
   may require one or more protocols, a set of processing algorithms,
   and implementations.  Descriptions of these protocols, algorithms,
   and reference implementations are the TICTOC deliverables.

   The frequency acquisition module may be subdivided into the following
   submodules.  Not all need to be present in all implementations.
   Those that need not be developed by TICTOC are marked by an asterisk.
   o  local oscillator (*)
   o  digital synthesizer (*)

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   o  timestamp generation (not required if packets are sent at constant
   o  frequency distribution protocol
   o  packet selection/discard algorithms
   o  frequency acquisition algorithms
   o  disciplining/adaptation/clock adjustment

   The time acquisition module may be subdivided into the following
   submodules.  Not all need to be present in all implementations.
   o  time distribution protocol
   o  ranging
   o  timestamp generation (already mentioned)

   In addition, various generic modules may be needed, for either
   frequency distribution, time distribution, or both.
   o  security
   o  autodiscovery and master clock selection
   o  OAM, synchronization status messaging, and performance monitoring
   o  path selection and/or self-organization
   o  on-path support
   o  network management

2.  Frequency Layer

   There are applications that require an accurate frequency reference,
   but do not require knowledge of absolute time.  In addition, it is
   often wise to acquire frequency for applications that require
   absolute time but do not directly use frequency.

   TICTOC is concerned with the network frequency transfer using packet
   technology.  Frequency may be transferred across a network using the
   physical layer, such as through the use of a synchronous network
   interface (for example synchronous Ethernet [G8262]).  The use of the
   physical layer may produce a higher quality frequency reference than
   achievable using packet based network frequency transfer, but is
   outside the scope of this document.

2.1.  Local Oscillator and Digital Synthesizers

   TICTOC masters and clients both need local sources of frequency.  For
   masters, this may be provided by high quality Cesium clock with
   extremely good long term accuracy, or by an atomic clock with
   somewhat lower accuracy, but which is disciplined by comparison with
   a better clock (e.g., by GPS).  Note that a pure frequency master
   that does not need to know time can be standalone.

   For clients, the local oscillator is usually a quartz crystal

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   oscillators.  Such oscillators may be stable, special cut crystals
   with double oven and temperature compensation, or lowly inexpensive
   crystals.  In either case the frequency derived from these
   oscillators needs to be adjusted by the TICTOC frequency acquisition
   module.  This adjustment can be electronic (e.g., changing the
   control voltage of a voltage controlled oscillator).

   However, it is common practice not to directly adjust the physical
   oscillator, or even to directly use the oscillator's frequency.
   Instead, a digital synthesizer fed by the oscillator provides the
   required output frequency.  Changing parameters of the digital
   synthesizer changes the output frequency in the required way.  It is
   important for the digital synthesizer not to introduce too much
   jitter, and for the changing of parameters to be done in such fashion
   as to minimize transients.

   Disciplining of the local oscillator, or setting the parameters of
   the digital synthesizer, is based on the arrival times of received
   frequency distribution protocol packets, and the information
   contained in them.  When, for whatever reason, frequency distribution
   packets are not received, the frequency layer is said to be in
   "holdover mode".  In holdover mode the local oscillator or
   synthesizer is still used as usual, but it is no longer disciplined
   based on new information from the distribution protocol (although it
   may still be adapted, if the acquisition module has models that have
   been trained during periods that the frequency distribution packets
   were received).

2.2.  Frequency Distribution Protocols

   The protocol used to distribute frequency across the packet network
   may be the same protocol used for time distribution, or may be an
   independent protocol.  The important design consideration is that the
   protocol used is optimized for that purpose, and not compromised by
   the need to fulfill a dual role.

   Frequency distribution protocols are "one way", i.e. only require
   information transfer from the master (where the frequency is known)
   to the client.  In particular, frequency distribution protocols can
   be broadcast or multicast to many clients, without the master needing
   to know the client identities.  Frequency distribution protocols may
   even operate when there is no return path available.  Exceptions to
   this rule are control messages sent by the client requesting
   commencing or termination of the frequency distribution service, or
   changing its parameters (e.g., update rate).

   Frequency distribution protocols can be broadcast, multicast or
   unicast.  Multicast transmission conserves network bandwidth, while

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   unicast transmission is often more desirable.

   Ideally the frequency distribution protocol should be decoupled from
   the algorithm used to derive the local reference frequency, and the
   packets sent should only contain information that is physically
   meaningful without reference to a particular algorithm.  For example,
   if the master sends packets at a constant rate as measured by the
   frequency reference, then the existence of the packet itself is the
   only physically meaningful information, and the packet should contain
   nothing but headers required for packet delivery.  If the packets are
   not sent at a constant rate, they should contain nothing but a
   sufficiently precise timestamp.  The use of extension mechanisms for
   carrying additional information may be considered for specific cases.

   The TICTOC Working Group will select a suitable network frequency
   transfer protocol.  This may be based on an existing protocol,
   although that is not to be considered a requirement.

   The basic TICTOC architecture itself should not be strongly bound to
   the frequency distribution protocol.  It should be possible to
   upgrade or completely replace this protocol (e.g., to improve
   accuracy), or to optimize the transfer for a different network
   environment, without redesigning the TICTOC architecture.

2.3.  Packet Select/Discard Algorithms

   In the simplest networks all frequency distribution packets received
   are used by the frequency acquisition algorithms to derive
   corrections to the local oscillator.  A major problem with frequency
   acquisition in complex networks is the elimination of frequency
   distribution packets that, if used by the acquisition algorithms,
   would degrade the quality of the recovered frequency.  Such packets
   are variously called outliers, falsetickers, etc.

   There are several reasons for such unreliable packets.  First,
   malfeasants may deliberately inject false packets in order to impair
   the TICTOC client's frequency recovery.  We will discuss security
   mechanisms below.  Second, PDV distributions for complex networks can
   be long tailed, leading to extremely misleading results.  Third,
   various network degradations, e.g., congestion and reroute events,
   can lead to bizarre information being received.

   Furthermore, even typical packets may have experienced significant
   delay variation, making them less suitable for exploitation than the
   small fraction of packets that may have experienced almost no delay
   (and thus minimal delay variation).  When there is a significant
   fraction of packets that experience essentially no delay, it is
   reasonable to discard all others (assuming that after this decimation

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   the sampling rate is still sufficiently high).

2.4.  Frequency Acquisition Algorithms

   Observed arrival times of frequency distribution protocol packets are
   influenced by two phenomena: time behavior of the local oscillator as
   compared to the master oscillator, and network delay behavior (PDV).
   The former behavior needs to be tracked, while the latter needs to be
   filtered out.  In order to eliminate the effects of PDV, frequency
   acquisition algorithms perform some sort of averaging and/or
   filtering, in an attempt to recover the frequency at which packets
   were sent.  Since simple averaging would take too long to
   sufficiently eliminate the stochastic components, by which time the
   frequency difference between local oscillator and master oscillator
   would have changed, more efficient "control loops" are employed.
   Control loops are nonlinear mechanisms, and are thus able to "lock
   onto" frequencies, rather than simply removing stochastic noise.
   Conventional control loops include the Phase Locked Loop (PLLs), the
   Frequency Locked Loops (FLL), and combinations of the two.

   Delay variation effects can be quite complex and traffic dependent.
   There are obvious effects such as queuing indeterminacy leading to
   stochastic PDV, and congestion leading to packet loss.  There are
   also more subtle effects, for example multiple plesiochronous flows
   (e.g.  TDM pseudowires) traversing forwarding elements can cause slow
   "beating" effects, generating low frequency wander that is difficult
   to eliminate.  Another example is the batch processing effect
   introduced by some forwarders in which the first of a series of
   packets experiences greater latency that later packets.

   Modern algorithms attempt to model the time behavior of local
   oscillator as compared to the master oscillator, and/or the network
   behavior.  More complex algorithms may attempt blind separation of
   the contribution of the two effects.

   Traditionally the focus on frequency acquisition algorithm design has
   been on the client.  However it is possible to mitigate some of the
   aforementioned effects by modulating the packet generation rate of
   the master.  Thus TICTOC algorithm modules may describe the client
   and the server components, and may require matching of these
   algorithms to achieve optimal performance.

   Frequency acquisition algorithms need to be optimized such that
   network bandwidth consumed by the frequency distribution protocol is
   minimized.  Furthermore, these algorithms are required to be robust
   to network degradations such as packet delay, packet loss, packet
   delay variation (PDV) and infrequent stepwise changes in network
   traversal latencies (e.g., due to reroute events or network loading

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   The TICTOC Working Group may specify a reference algorithm, but the
   TICTOC architecture will enable vendors to employ proprietary
   algorithms.  It will also be possible to upgrade the reference
   algorithm in the future.

2.5.  Frequency Presentation

   In general, the output of the frequency acquisition module needs to
   be reformatted before use.  In some cases the reference frequency
   distributed across the network is different from the frequency needed
   by the local application; in such cases a digital synthesizer can be
   employed to convert the acquired frequency to the desired one.
   Sometimes it is not frequency itself that is required, but a sequence
   of equally separated times; in such cases the sequence of time
   "ticks" is generated from the acquired frequency (once again, a
   digital synthesizer is ideal for this).

3.  Time Layer

   In general the time layer is fed accurate frequency from the
   frequency layer.  There are applications that require accurate time,
   but do not need to acquire frequency over the PSN.  For example:
   o  if the update rate is high and the time resolution required is low
   o  if highly accurate frequency is available locally
   o  if frequency is distributed by means external to the PSN (e.g.
      GPS, LORAN, WWV)
   o  if frequency is available by means of the network physical layer
      (e.g.  PoS, SyncE).
   In such cases the frequency input in Figure 1 is provided by the
   alternative frequency source, rather than the frequency layer.

   The TICTOC two layer decomposition is a conceptual one, and may not
   be easily identifiable in all implementations.  For example, when
   using a pure PLL frequency acquisition module, true "frequency" is
   never derived, only relative phase.  Similarly, tracking mechanisms
   may simultaneously model frequency and time, reducing convergence
   time by adjusting both simultaneously, rather than first acquiring
   frequency, and afterwards time.  However, even in these cases the
   decomposition is a useful one.

3.1.  Time Distribution Protocols

   The purpose of the time distribution protocol is to calibrate a
   sequence of phase events generated by the local oscillator or digital
   synthesizer, thus converting arbitrary offset phase values into wall-

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   clock values.  This is done by sending packets containing timestamps
   from the master (where the time is known) to the TICTOC client.  In
   order for the timestamp to accurately indicate the time that the
   packet was actually injected into the network (rather than some
   earlier time when the packet was formed, separated by a stochastic
   time delay from the injection time), the timestamp should be
   generated by the networking hardware.  When this is not possible, the
   stochastic delay should be minimized.  The IEEE 1588 protocol has a
   follow-up message, to indicate the actual injection time of the
   previous packet.

   The timestamp in the time distribution protocol packet indicates the
   time that the master injected this packet into the network.  On the
   other hand, the client receives this same packet after the
   propagation delay, i.e. the time taken to traverse the packet
   network.  Were this time to be accurately known, the timestamp could
   be corrected, and the precise time known.  Estimation of the
   traversal time is called ranging, and will be discussed below.  The
   IEEE 1588 protocol has an optional mechanism (transparent clocks)
   whereby forwarding delays, and even individual link delays are
   measured and compensated, thus leading to precise knowledge of the
   traversal delay.  However, this mechanism requires upgrading of all
   intermediate network elements.

   Due to the requirement of traversal delay measurement, time
   distribution protocols are generally bidirectional, that is, they
   require a bidirectional channel, require both master and client to
   send and receive messages, and usually assume symmetric (or known
   asymmetry) propagation times.  Unlike frequency distribution, time
   distribution can not be entirely multicast, due to the ranging

   There are two well-known protocols capable of running over a general-
   purpose packet network, NTP [RFC1305], and IEEE 1588 [1588].  NTP is
   the product of the IETF, and is currently undergoing revision to
   version 4.  IEEE 1588 is a product of the IEEE Test and Measurement
   community.  It is presently specified in a limited first version,
   while the second version (1588v2) is soon to be a standard.  IEEE
   1588v2 has a profiling mechanism enabling organizations to specify
   required and prohibited options, ranges and defaults of attribute
   values, and optional features, while maintaining interoperability.

   The protocol used to transfer the reference frequency across the
   network may be the same protocol that is used to transfer time.  The
   overriding design consideration is that frequency and time
   distribution protocols be optimised for their purpose, and not
   compromised by the need to fulfill a dual role.

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   The TICTOC Working Group will select a suitable time distribution
   transfer protocol or protocols.  There are three options here:
   o  a new or alternative version of NTP, to be called NTPv5
   o  a profile of 1588
   o  a completely new protocol.
   The selection will be made by producing a set of specific
   requirements for the TICTOC timing distribution protocol, and by a
   disinterested evaluation of each of these options in light of these
   requirements.  The requirements will be based on the applications
   listed in the TICTOC problem statement.  If neither of the first two
   options fulfill the requirements, then the third option will be
   chosen.  Even if the first two options equally fulfill the
   requirements one of them will be chosen as the mandatory protocol,
   and the use of the other will be permissible under specific

   The TICTOC architecture itself should not be bound to the specific
   time distribution protocol.  It should be possible to upgrade, or
   replace this protocol, for example to improved the quality of the
   transfer, or to optimize the transfer for a different network
   environment, without redesigning the entire TICTOC architecture.

3.2.  Ranging

   To transfer time it is necessary to know the time of flight of time
   of packets from the time server to the client.  The accuracy of time
   at the client can be no better than the accuracy provide by the
   ranging mechanism.  Some ranging mechanisms require or can exploit
   special hardware assistance by intermediate network elements, such as
   IEEE 1588 transparent clocks [1588] .

   A typical ranging mechanism functions by exchanging timestamps
   between master and client.  For example, the master sends an initial
   timestamped packet.  When this packet arrives at the client its
   arrival time (in terms of the local clock) is recorded.  After some
   amount of time the client sends a response packet back to the master,
   containing the initial timestamp (in terms of the master clock), and
   the packet arrival and retransmission times (in terms of the client
   clock).  When this packet is received by the master a fourth
   timestamp is generated (in terms of the master clock).  Since the
   second and third timestamps are both in terms of the client clock,
   their difference - representing the amount of time the client
   hesitated between receipt of the initial packet and sending the
   response packet - is readily computed.  This difference can be
   subtracted from the difference between the fourth and first
   timestamps, to yield the sum of propagation times.  Under the
   assumption of symmetry, the one-way time is half this sum.  Note that
   since the difference between third and fourth timestamps is short,

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   possible frequency inaccuracy of the client has little deleterious

   Various variations on this basic four-timestamp method are possible.
   In the three timestamp method the client sends the time difference
   (e.g., generated by resetting a timer upon packet arrival) rather
   than the two timestamps.  When symmetry is not a valid assumption,
   additional information (e.g., ratio or difference between expected
   propagation delays) can be used to extract the one-way delay.

   Ranging accuracy is reduced by deviation from expected asymmetry in
   the network.  Mechanisms to avoid asymmetry at the network layer (for
   example using MPLS RSVP-TE paths, or the use of the peer-to-peer
   mechanism described in IEEE1588v2 are useful, as is the ability to
   correct asymmetry in the physical connection through the use of
   external calibration.

3.3.  Time Presentation

   In general, the output of the time acquisition module needs to be
   reformatted before use.  Formatting includes translation between
   different representations (e.g., from seconds after a given date to
   date and time), changing time zones, etc.  When the time needs to be
   displayed, e.g., on a computer or mobile device, further processing
   is often required, such as identification of day of week, translation
   to other calendars (e.g., Hebrew, Islamic, Chinese), conversion
   between TAI and UTC, and flagging of holidays and special dates.

4.  Other Modules

4.1.  Security Mechanisms

   Time and frequency services are a significant element of network
   infrastructure, and are critical for certain emerging applications.
   Hence time and frequency transfer services MUST be protected from
   being compromised.  The most significant threats are false timing
   servers distributing purposely misleading timing packets, and man in
   the middle tampering with valid timing packets.  Both threats would
   enable a malfeasant to mislead TICTOC clients, and to bring down
   critical services.

   Based on the aforementioned threats, one can conclude that
   confidentiality and replay protection are usually not needed (and in
   many cases not possible), but source authentication and integrity
   protection are vital.  In general, it is the master that needs to be
   authenticated to the server, although in certain cases it may be
   needed to authenticate the client to the master.  Applying IPsec

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   Authentication Header (AH) mechanisms to all timing packets is not
   feasible, due to the computational resources consumed by public key
   cryptography algorithms.  Adoption of IPsec would impact time
   acquisition accuracy, and would lead to new methods for malfeasants
   to disrupt the timing distribution protocols by exhausting resources
   and denial of service from TICTOC clients.  Furthermore, certificates
   used to authenticate packets have lifetimes that must be enforced for
   secure use.  Certification of time packets themselves can thus lead
   to circular dependence and to attacks that invalidate valid time
   packets and substitute invalid ones.

   NTP implementations provided an authentication protocol called
   Autokey.  Autokey utilizes public key algorithms to encrypt cookies,
   symmetric key message digests for integrity, and digital signatures
   for source authentication.

   Any security mechanism must be designed in such a way that it does
   not degrade the quality of the time transfer.  Such a mechanism
   SHOULD also be relatively lightweight, as client restrictions often
   dictate a low processing and memory footprint, and because the server
   may have extensive fan-out.  The mechanism also SHOULD not require
   excessive storage of client state in the master, nor significantly
   increase bandwidth consumption.

4.2.  Autodiscovery and Master Clock Selection

   The topology of presently deployed synchronization networks is
   universally manually configured.  This requires manual or management-
   plane configuration of master-client relationships, as well as
   preconfigured fallback behaviors.  This strategy is workable for SDH
   networks, where there are a relatively small number of network
   elements that require such configuration, and all elements are
   controlled by a single entity.  In packet switched network scenarios
   there may be a very large number of independent network elements
   requiring timing, making automatic mechanisms important.  Such
   autodiscovery, automatic master selection algorithms, and perhaps
   control plane protocols to support these features, are an important
   TICTOC deliverable.

   There are application scenarios where it is desirable for clocks to
   advertise their service, and for clients to automatically select a
   clock with the required accuracy and path characteristics.  The
   optimum advertising method may depend on the environment and the
   application.  For example a host may be best served by finding a
   suitable clock (or set of clocks) through a DHCP parameter, whist a
   provider edge may find it more convenient to discover the available
   clock through BGP.

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   The TICTOC Working Group will specify the required clock
   characteristics and identify the set of clock and client
   characteristics and the application characteristics that influence
   the optimum method of clock discovery.  It will then specify one or
   more methods of clock autodiscovery together with associated
   applicability information.

   Once a TICTOC client has discovered potential TICTOC masters, it must
   choose how to derive its clock from one or more of them.  This choice
   can be aided using two types of information:
   o  claims made by the potential masters as to the accuracy of its
      local clock (see OAM and SSM below)
   o  analysis of the stability of frequency recovered from the
      potential masters.
   One tactic that a TICTOC client may employ is to individually choose
   which master to use based on this information.  Even if statically
   configured to use a particular master, a client may be allowed to
   make independent decisions when the master becomes unavailable or
   sends synchronization status messages indicating a fault condition.

   A second tactic is not to make a hard decision at all, but rather to
   perform weighted ensemble averaging of frequencies recovered from all
   available masters.  The weightings, once again, may be based on
   claims made by the masters or by monitoring of frequency stability.

   Using either tactic, it is important to ensure that "timing loops"
   are not formed.  A timing loop is an erroneous topology that causes
   locking onto frequencies not traceable to a high quality source.
   Loops are avoided by ensuring that the frequency distribution paths
   form a tree.

   Yet another method is not to decide on a timing distribution tree at
   all, but rather to enable self-organization of independently acting
   intelligent agents.  In such cases the meaning of master and client
   becomes blurred, as all agents exchange timing information with a
   subset neighbors that have been discovered.  This method may be
   driven by timing acquisition algorithms that guarantee global
   convergence of the timing agents, meaning that over time the average
   timing error decreases, although a given agent's error may sometimes

4.3.  OAM, SSM, and Performance Monitoring

   In order to ensure continuity and connectivity of the path from the
   master to the client, and the reverse path when needed, an
   Operations, Administration, and Maintenance protocol may be needed.
   When the master sends timing distribution packets at a constant rate,
   faults are detected by the client after a few interpacket times; when

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   the rate is variable, the problem is detected after a few times the
   maximum interpacket interval.  However, in either case the master may
   be unaware of the problem.

   Synchronization Status Messages (SSMs) were traditionally used in TDM
   networks to indicate the accuracy of the source upon which an
   incoming TDM link based its timing, and to notify the remote site of
   clock failures.  Timing distribution protocols generally have similar

   Performance monitoring is important to ensure the proper operation of
   timing systems, and may be integrated into OAM mechanisms.

4.4.  Path Selection

   In infrastructure applications it may be possible for TICTOC to seek
   co-operation from routing elements to optimize the path through the
   network in order to obtain a better quality of time and frequency
   transfer that is possible when the timing distribution protocol
   operates independent of the network layer.

   At the simplest level this is use of paths that can support the
   required quality of service, and have the lowest congestion impact.
   However it is also possible for the network layer to be a proactive
   partner in the transfer process.  For example paths may be selected
   that are explicitly chosen to be symmetric, or paths may be selected
   such that all are capable of supporting physical frequency transfer
   (for example synchronous Ethernet), or nodes may be selected such
   that they are all capable of supporting transparent clock.

   In addition to having to deal with degradation of service due to
   congestion, TICTOC must not add to the problem.  Thus, TICTOC timing
   distribution protocols MUST be able to act in a TCP friendly way,
   even at the expense of minor degradation of performance.  In such
   cases, it may be required for the master to inform the client of the
   change in operating conditions.

4.5.  On-path Support

   The TICTOC architecture will be commensurate with the public
   Internet, and the timing distribution protocol chosen will be able to
   function over general packet switched networks.

   In some cases on-path support (for example IEEE 1588 transparent
   clock) may be needed in order to obtain the required frequency or
   time accuracy.  Such on-path support cannot be expected to be
   universally available over the public Internet, and it is not a goal
   of the TICTOC working group to propose augmentation of basic

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   forwarding elements.  However, such on-path support may be provided
   on service provider or enterprise networks, and in such cases TICTOC
   protocols should be able to exploit it.

   In networks with on-path support, it may be that the optimum path for
   time transfer is not congruent with the optimum path for data
   transfer.  By using special-purpose IP addresses, and making routing
   aware of the required path characteristics and address attributes, it
   is possible to construct paths within the network that maintain the
   required time transfer characteristics.

   The TICTOC Working Group will specify the required path
   characteristics and work with the ISIS and OSPF Working Groups to
   specify the necessary routing extensions to support these

   TICTOC traffic may need to traverse NATs and firewalls.

4.6.  Network Management

   As for all network infrastructure mechanisms, timing distribution
   systems SHOULD be managed.  This implies provision of management
   agents in TICTOC masters and clients, and definition of the
   appropriate MIBs.

5.  Security Considerations

   This document proposes modularization of the work of a proposed
   Working Group, and thus does not, in itself, raise security concerns.
   Security aspects of TICTOC have been addressed above.

6.  IANA Considerations

   No IANA actions are required as a result of the publication of this

7.  Acknowledgements

   The authors wish to thank Alon Geva, Gabriel Zigelboim, and Laurent
   Montini for invaluable comments.

8.  Informative References

   [1588]     IEEE, "1588-2002 Standard for A Precision Clock

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              Synchronization Protocol for Networked Measurement and
              Control Systems".

   [G8262]    ITU-T, "G.8262 - Timing characteristics of synchronous
              ethernet equipment slave clock (EEC)".

   [RFC1305]  Mills, D., "Network Time Protocol (Version 3)
              Specification, Implementation", RFC 1305, March 1992.

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

Authors' Addresses

   Yaakov (Jonathan) Stein
   RAD Data Communications
   24 Raoul Wallenberg St., Bldg C
   Tel Aviv  69719

   Phone: +972 3 645-5389
   Email: yaakov_s@rad.com

   Stewart Bryant
   Cisco Systems
   250 Longwater Ave., Green Park
   Reading  RG2 6GB
   United Kingdom

   Email: stbryant@cisco.com

   Karen O'Donoghue
   US Navy
   Code B35, NSWCDD, 17320 Dahlgren Rd.
   Dahlgren, VA  22448

   Email: karen.odonoghue@navy.mil

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