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Versions: 00 01 02 03                                                   
Network Working Group                                          D. Thaler
Internet-Draft                                                 Microsoft
Intended status: Informational                              July 7, 2009
Expires: January 8, 2010

      Source Address Finding (SAF) for IPv6 Translation Mechanisms

Status of this Memo

   This Internet-Draft is submitted to IETF in full conformance with the
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   There are various recent proposals that would result in IPv6
   translation becoming permanent.  RFC 3424 discusses UNilateral Self-
   Address Fixing (UNSAF) mechanisms which are required for applications

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   to work with most translation schemes, points out a number of
   problems with them, and requires an exit strategy for any UNSAF
   mechanism.  This document discusses an alternative to UNSAF
   mechanisms should IPv6 translation become permanent.

Table of Contents

   1.  Introduction  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3
   2.  IPv6 Translation  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3
   3.  IPv6 Translation Without UNSAF  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4
     3.1.  Evaluation of Architectural Issues  . . . . . . . . . . . . 5
     3.2.  Requirements for SAF Mechanisms . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5
   4.  Security Considerations . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6
   5.  IANA Considerations . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7
   6.  References  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7
     6.1.  Normative References  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7
     6.2.  Informative References  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7
   Author's Address  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8

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1.  Introduction

   Many applications and protocols use one or more addresses of the
   local machine, e.g., to send in an application protocol exchange or
   to advertise a public address at which it will accept connections.

   RFC 2993 [RFC2993] discusses architectural implications of Network
   Address Translation (NAT).  One of the implications of translation is
   that in general the address that must be used by other nodes to reach
   a destination is not the address assigned to an interface on the
   destination, where the destination's applications and protocols would
   naturally find it.  As a result, NAT generally requires a mechanism
   whereby an endpoint can determine the address by which it is known to
   other endpoints, and then "fix" its own messages to use that address
   instead of the one(s) it would normally use.  This category of
   mechanisms is known as UNilateral Self-Address Fixing (UNSAF).

   RFC 3424 [RFC3424] discusses architectural implications of UNSAF
   mechanisms, and concludes that they are not appropriate as long term
   fixes and recommends that any UNSAF proposal require, among other
   things, an exit strategy.  Since NAT mechanisms generally require
   UNSAF mechanisms, an exit strategy for an UNSAF proposal often
   requires an exit strategy for the NAT mechanism motivating it.

2.  IPv6 Translation

   The notion of IPv4-IPv6 translation (e.g., NAT-PT [RFC2766]) first
   introduced the NAT problems into IPv6 and motivated UNSAF mechanisms
   in IPv6.  Although NAT-PT was deprecated ([RFC4966]), the notion of
   IPv4-IPv6 translation has become even more important.  There is a
   fairly clear exit strategy (although the timeframe of an exit is not
   at all clear), which is that IPv4-IPv6 translation use decreases as
   IPv4-only nodes decrease over time.  As a result, the exit strategy
   of any resulting UNSAF mechanisms is that their use declines as IPv4-
   IPv6 translation declines.

   Recently however there has been discussion of the possibility of
   IPv6-IPv6 translation (e.g., NAT66 [I-D.mrw-behave-nat66] to address
   renumbering pains, Six/One [I-D.vogt-rrg-six-one] to address routing
   scalability, etc.).  Such proposals, if adopted, are not proposed as
   short term mechanisms but rather as more permanent changes to the
   architecture.  As such, if UNSAF mechanisms are required, the exit
   strategy cannot be simply based on declining IPv6-IPv6 translation.

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3.  IPv6 Translation Without UNSAF

   In this section, we focus primarily on IPv6-IPv6 translation,
   although there may be cases where the same concepts might be
   applicable to IPv4-IPv6 translation or IPv4-IPv4 translation.

   While translation in general requires UNSAF mechanisms, some uses of
   translation do not.  UNSAF mechanisms are needed whenever the address
   reachable by outside parties is not an address of the local machine.
   Hence any use of translation whereby the address reachable by outside
   parties is still an address that appears to be assigned to some
   interface on the machine, does not require UNSAF mechanisms.  For
   example, the Host Identity Protocol (HIP) [RFC5201] uses translation
   in this respect.  The address seen by applications is in fact not the
   address used on the wire, but is translated by the HIP layer on both
   the sender and the receiver.

   There are two key requirements for the translation mechanism:
   1.  The translation is reversible without loss of information, and
   2.  The address is presented by the host to upper layers in the same
       way as a normal IP address

   When these requirements are met, reversible translation can be
   compared to (and contrasted with) a tunnel with header compression.
   To reverse translation, both translators must have the information
   necessary to perform the translation, which requires some
   configuration or per-host signaling mechanism (e.g., DHCP, as opposed
   to a per-flow signaling mechanism as HIP does) for learning an
   address to configure on an interface, which obviates the need for
   applications to use an UNSAF mechanism above the transport layer.  We
   will refer to this concept as Self-Address Finding (SAF) to
   distinguish it from UNSAF mechanisms.  Note that "finding" is
   intentionally used here instead of "fixing" as in UNSAF; since the
   address found is actually used by IP and higher layers, there is
   nothing to "fix" up higher.

   Tunneling mechanisms, however, have deployment incentive issues (as
   pointed out in [RFC5218]) in that they require both ends to be
   changed before either end benefits.  Translation mechanisms such as
   NAT, on the other hand, have the advantage of being unilaterally
   deployable, at the expense of breaking some applications.

   Reversible IPv6-IPv6 translation can be initially deployed
   unilaterally (at the expense of breaking some applications) at a
   translation middlebox without touching end hosts, avoiding the
   deployment incentive issues with tunneling.  End-to-end connectivity
   can then be restored once the host is able to learn the external
   address and configure it on a virtual interface; hence, there is a

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   further incentive built-in that restores the end-to-end model.  This
   provides an exit strategy that does not require an UNSAF mechanism or
   result in the issues discussed in [RFC3424].

3.1.  Evaluation of Architectural Issues

   Regarding issues with NAT mechanisms raised in [RFC2993]:
   o  Per-flow state in the middlebox (scaling, multihoming, single
      point-of-failure, etc): Reversible translation can be done without
      any per-flow state in the middlebox.  NAT66 and Six/One are
      examples of this.
   o  Inhibit IPsec: If translation and reversing can be done below
      IPsec, IPsec works normally.  (Or if translation and reversing is
      done within IPsec as HIP does, IPsec also works.)
   o  Address sharing (NAPT) inhibits other transport protocols:
      Reversible translation can be done without address sharing,
      allowing arbitrary transport protocols to work.

   Regarding issues with UNSAF mechanisms raised in [RFC3424]:
   o  No unique outside: When nested translators exist, there are
      multiple outside areas and hence multiple addresses by which one
      is reachable by different peers.  Reversible translation does not
      change this.  This means that a node must be able to discover the
      address assigned by each translator in front of it.
   o  Circumventing firewalls: Firewalls are orthogonal to reversible
      translation.  SAF mechanisms should not circumvent firewalls.
      Since translators can be stateless, there is no need for periodic
      messages that often keep holes open in firewalls.
   o  Timeout issues of address assignment in middlebox: Since
      translators can be stateless, there is no state to time out.
   o  Fate sharing when a server separate from the middlebox is used:
      Like UNSAF mechanisms, SAF mechanisms could either use a server
      separate from the middle box or communicate directly with the
      middlebox itself.  Communicating with a server on the Internet, as
      protocols such as STUN [RFC5389] do, without any support from the
      translator, generally only allows discovering the address assigned
      by the outermost translator (i.e., the address seen by the server
      outside), not each cascaded translator.  Furthermore,
      communicating with a remote server results in depending on
      reachability all the way to that server, whereas the desired
      communication may be much closer and otherwise be possible even
      when the server is unreachable.  Hence the use of an external
      server is not recommended for SAF mechanisms.

3.2.  Requirements for SAF Mechanisms

   From the above discussion, we obtain the following requirements for
   SAF mechanisms.

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

   1.  Discovery: A SAF mechanism MUST allow a node to find the
       addresses assigned by all translators it is behind.
       Specifically, if the node is behind multiple cascaded
       translators, such that there is no unique "outside", then the SAF
       mechanism MUST allow the node to learn the address it will appear
       as within each "outside" area.

       This is easier to accomplish with a reversible translation, which
       can be stable over time, than with NAPT mechanisms today that
       require dynamic learning.  For example, it could be done by the
       node learning the effective (taking potentially multiple levels
       of translation into account) rule for translation between its
       local area and a particular outside area, and then computing its
       addresses itself.  As long as the translation algorithm and the
       topology do not change, the node's addresses will not change.
       This is analogous to a normal IP address of a node being stable
       as long as the network isn't renumbered.
   2.  Staleness: A SAF mechanism MUST allow a node to know when to stop
       using the address (e.g., if the assigned address changes due to
       an ISP change).  That is, a SAF proposal MUST specify what a node
       uses as the ValidLifetime and the PreferredLifetime of an address
   3.  Multihoming: A SAF mechanism MUST support a node being connected
       to a network with multiple equivalent translators, meaning that
       the same translation would be done regardless of the path taken.
       In other words, it MUST NOT assume that it gets a unique address
       from every translator.  This is not a requirement that there be
       such translators (e.g., egress routers on opposite sides of a
       continent are not necessarily expected to translate to the same
       prefix, only that if two translators are configured to translate
       to the same prefix, then the SAF mechanism should support this).
   4.  Privacy: A SAF mechanism SHOULD support temporary addresses
       [RFC3041] in addition to public addresses.
   5.  Security: A SAF mechanism SHOULD support Cryptographically
       Generated Addresses (CGAs) [RFC3972].
   6.  Fate-Sharing: A SAF mechanism SHOULD allow a node discover the
       addresses assigned by translators even when the network behind
       them is currently unreachable.

4.  Security Considerations

   NATs and UNSAF mechanisms generally interfere with security
   mechanisms because they change the addresses and/or content of

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   messages exchanged.  This document discusses requirements for SAF
   mechanisms that avoid these issues.

5.  IANA Considerations

   [RFC Editor: please remove this section prior to publication.]

   This document has no IANA Actions.

6.  References

6.1.  Normative References

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

   [RFC3041]  Narten, T. and R. Draves, "Privacy Extensions for
              Stateless Address Autoconfiguration in IPv6", RFC 3041,
              January 2001.

   [RFC3972]  Aura, T., "Cryptographically Generated Addresses (CGA)",
              RFC 3972, March 2005.

6.2.  Informative References

              Wasserman, M. and F. Baker, "IPv6-to-IPv6 Network Address
              Translation (NAT66)", draft-mrw-behave-nat66-02 (work in
              progress), March 2009.

              Vogt, C., "Six/One: A Solution for Routing and Addressing
              in IPv6", draft-vogt-rrg-six-one-01 (work in progress),
              November 2007.

   [RFC2766]  Tsirtsis, G. and P. Srisuresh, "Network Address
              Translation - Protocol Translation (NAT-PT)", RFC 2766,
              February 2000.

   [RFC2993]  Hain, T., "Architectural Implications of NAT", RFC 2993,
              November 2000.

   [RFC3424]  Daigle, L. and IAB, "IAB Considerations for UNilateral
              Self-Address Fixing (UNSAF) Across Network Address
              Translation", RFC 3424, November 2002.

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   [RFC4966]  Aoun, C. and E. Davies, "Reasons to Move the Network
              Address Translator - Protocol Translator (NAT-PT) to
              Historic Status", RFC 4966, July 2007.

   [RFC5201]  Moskowitz, R., Nikander, P., Jokela, P., and T. Henderson,
              "Host Identity Protocol", RFC 5201, April 2008.

   [RFC5218]  Thaler, D. and B. Aboba, "What Makes For a Successful
              Protocol?", RFC 5218, July 2008.

   [RFC5389]  Rosenberg, J., Mahy, R., Matthews, P., and D. Wing,
              "Session Traversal Utilities for NAT (STUN)", RFC 5389,
              October 2008.

Author's Address

   Dave Thaler
   Microsoft Corporation
   One Microsoft Way
   Redmond, WA  98052

   Phone: +1 425 703 8835
   Email: dthaler@microsoft.com

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