Network Working Group                                      A. Atlas, Ed.
Internet-Draft                                                 T. Nadeau
Intended status: Informational                          Juniper Networks
Expires: August 27, 2013                                         D. Ward
                                                           Cisco Systems
                                                       February 23, 2013

               Interface to the Routing System Framework


   This document describes a framework for a standard, programmatic
   interface for full-duplex state transfer in and out of the Internet's
   routing system.  It provides some basic use-cases, lists the type of
   information that might be exchanged over the interface, and describes
   suggested functionality for the interface to the Internet routing

Status of this Memo

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   provisions of BCP 78 and BCP 79.

   Internet-Drafts are working documents of the Internet Engineering
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   This Internet-Draft will expire on August 27, 2013.

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   Copyright (c) 2013 IETF Trust and the persons identified as the
   document authors.  All rights reserved.

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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.  Introduction . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  3
     1.1.  Functional Overview  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  3
     1.2.  Example Use-Cases  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  4
   2.  Programmatic Interfaces  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  5
   3.  Common Interface Considerations  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  6
     3.1.  Capabilities . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  6
     3.2.  Identity, Authorization, Authentication, and Security  . .  7
     3.3.  Speed and Frequency of State Installation  . . . . . . . .  8
     3.4.  Lifetime of I2RS-Installed Routing System State  . . . . .  8
   4.  Bidirectional I2RS Services  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10
     4.1.  Static Routing . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 11
       4.1.1.  Routing Information Base Service . . . . . . . . . . . 11
       4.1.2.  Label Forwarding Information Base Service  . . . . . . 12
       4.1.3.  Multicast Routing Information Base Service . . . . . . 13
     4.2.  Beyond Destination-based Routing . . . . . . . . . . . . . 13
       4.2.1.  Policy-Based Routing Service . . . . . . . . . . . . . 13
       4.2.2.  QoS State  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 13
     4.3.  Protocol Interactions  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 14
       4.3.1.  IGP Services . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 14
       4.3.2.  BGP Service  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 15
       4.3.3.  PIM and mLDP Services  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 15
     4.4.  Triggered Sessions and Signaling . . . . . . . . . . . . . 16
       4.4.1.  OAM-related Sessions Interface . . . . . . . . . . . . 16
       4.4.2.  Dynamic Session Creation . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 16
       4.4.3.  Triggered Signaling  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 16
   5.  Services for Learned Information from the Routing System . . . 16
     5.1.  Efforts to Obtain Topological Data . . . . . . . . . . . . 17
     5.2.  Measurements . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 18
     5.3.  Events . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 18
   6.  Manageability Considerations . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 19
   7.  IANA Considerations  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 19
   8.  Security Considerations  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 19
   9.  Acknowledgements . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 19
   10. Informative References . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 20
   Authors' Addresses . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 21

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1.  Introduction

   Routers that form the Internet's routing infrastructure maintain
   state at various layers of detail and function.  For example, a
   typical router maintains a Routing Information Base (RIB), and
   implements routing protocols such as OSPF, ISIS, BGP to exchange
   protocol state and other information about the state of the network
   with other routers.

   A router also has information that may be required for applications
   to understand the network, verify that programmed state is installed
   in the forwarding plane, measure the behavior of various flows,
   routes or forwarding entries, as well as understand the configured
   and active states of the router.  Furthermore, routers are typically
   configured with procedural or policy-based instructions that tell
   them how to convert all of this information into the forwarding
   operations that are installed in the forwarding plane.  It is is also
   the active state information that describes the expected and observed
   operational behaviour of the router.

   This document sets out a framework for a common, standards-based
   interface to this information.  This Interface to the Routing System
   (I2RS) facilitates control and diagnosis of the route manager's
   state, as well as enabling network applications to be built on top of
   today's routed networks.  The I2RS is a programmatic asynchronous
   interface for transferring state into and out of the Internet's
   routing system, and recognizes that the routing system and a router's
   OS provide useful mechanisms that applications could harness to
   accomplish application-level goals.

   Fundamental to the I2RS are clear data models that define the
   semantics of the information that can be written and read.  The I2RS
   provides a framework for registering for and requesting the
   appropriate information for each particular application.  The I2RS
   provides a way for applications to customize network behaviour while
   leveraging the existing routing system.

   The I2RS, and therefore this document, is specifically focused on an
   interface for routing and forwarding data.

1.1.  Functional Overview

   There are three key aspects to the I2RS.  First, the interface is a
   programmatic interface meaning that it is asynchronous and offers
   fast, interactive access.  Second, the I2RS gives access to
   information and state that is not usually configurable or modeled in
   existing implementations or configuration protocols.  Third, the I2RS
   gives applications the ability to learn additional, structured,

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   filterable information and events from the router.

   I2RS is described as an asynchronous programmatic interface; the key
   properties of which are described in Section 5 of

   Such an interface facilitates the specification of implicitly non-
   permanent state into the routing system, that can optionally be made
   permanent.  In addition, the extraction of that information and
   additional dynamic information from the routing system is a critical
   component of the interface.  A non-routing protocol or application
   could inject state into a network element's OS via the state-
   insertion aspects of the interface and that state could then be
   distributed in a routing or signaling protocol.

   Where existing mechanisms can provide part of the desired
   functionality, the coverage and gaps are briefly discussed in this

   The existing mechanisms, such as SNMP and NetConf, that allow state
   to be written and read do not meet all of the key properties given in
   [I-D.atlas-i2rs-problem-statement] for I2RS.  The overhead of
   infrastructure is also quite high and many MIBs do not, in definition
   or practice, allow writing of state.  There is also very limited
   capability to add new application-specific state to be distributed
   via the routing system.

   ForCES is another method for writing state into a router, but its
   focus is on the forwarding plane.  By focusing on the forwarding
   plane, it requires that the forwarding plane be modeled and
   programmable and ignores the existence and intelligence of the router
   OS and routing system.  ForCES provides a lower-level interface than
   I2RS is intended to address.

1.2.  Example Use-Cases

   A few brief examples of ways an application could use the I2RS are
   presented here.  These are intended to give a sense of what could be
   done rather than to be primary and detailed motivational use-cases.

   Route Control via Indirection:   By enabling an application to
      install routes in the RIB, it is possible that when, for example,
      BGP resolves its IGP next-hop via the RIB, that could be to an
      application-installed route.  In general, when a route is
      redistributed from one protocol to another, this is done via the
      RIB and such a route could have been installed via the I2RS

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   Policy-Based Routing of Unknown Traffic:   A static route, installed
      into the RIB, could direct otherwise unrecognized traffic towards
      an application, through whatever appropriate tunnel was required,
      for further handling.  Such a static route could be programmed
      with indirection, so that its outgoing path is whatever is used by
      another particular route (e.g. to a particular server).

   Services with Fixed Hours:   If an application were to provide
      services only during fixed time-periods, the application could
      install both a specific route on the local router in the RIB and
      advertise the associated prefix as being attached to the local
      router via the IGP.  If the application knew the fixed hours, the
      state so installed could be temporal and automatically removed at
      approximately the correct time.

   Traffic Mirroring:   The interface to the multicast RIB could be used
      to mirror a particular traffic flow to both its original
      destination and a data collector.

   Static Multicast Trees:   An application could set up static (or
      partially static) multicast flows via entries in the multicast RIB
      without requiring an associated multicast protocol.  This could be
      useful in networks with a fixed topology and well-planned
      distribution tree that provides redundancy.

2.  Programmatic Interfaces

   A number of management interfaces exist today that allow for the
   indirect programming of the routing system.  These include
   proprietary CLI, Netconf, and SNMP.  However, none of these
   mechanisms allow for the direct programming of the routing system.
   Such asynchronous interfaces are needed to support dynamic time-based

   These interfaces should cater to how applications typically interact
   with other applications and network services rather than forcing them
   to use older mechanisms that are more complex to understand,
   implement, as well as operate.  The interfaces should allow
   applications to have limited, filtered or abstracted knowledge of the
   network.  Authorization and authentication are also critical so that
   the I2RS can be used by a network application that is not completely
   controlled by the network operator but is, nonetheless, given some
   access to I2RS.

   One very critical component of the I2RS is developing standard data
   models with their associated semantics.  While many routing protocols
   are standardized, associated data models for them are not yet

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   available.  Instead, each router uses different information,
   mechanisms, and CLI which makes a standard interface for use by
   applications extremely cumbersome to develop and maintain.  Well-
   known data modeling languages, such as YANG [RFC6020], exist, have
   some in-progress data models, and might be used for defining the
   necessary data models for I2RS; however, more investigation into
   alternatives is required.  It is understood that some portion
   (hopefully a small subset) will remain as proprietary extensions; the
   data models must support future extensions and proprietary

   Since the I2RS will need to support remote access between
   applications running on a host or server and routers in the network,
   at least one standard mechanism must be identified and defined to
   provide the transfer syntax, as defined by a protocol, used to
   communicate between the application and the routing system.  Common
   functionality that I2RS needs to support includes acknowledgements,
   notifications, and request-reserve-commit.

   Appropriate candidate protocols must be identified that reduce the
   effort required by applications and, preferably, are familiar to
   application developers.  Ideally, this should not require that
   applications understand and implement existing routing protocols to
   interact with I2RS.  These interfaces should instead be based on
   light-weight, rapidly deployable approaches; technology approaches
   must be evaluated but examples could include ReSTful web services,
   JSON, XMPP, and XML.  These interfaces should possess self-describing
   attributes (e.g. a web services interface) so that applications can
   quickly query and learn about the active capabilities of a device.

   It may be desirable to also define the local syntax (e.g. programming
   language APIs) that applications running local to a router can use.

   Since evolution is anticipated in I2RS over time, it is important
   that versioning and backwards compatibility are basic supported
   functionality.  Similarly, common consistent error-handling and
   acknowledgement mechanisms are required that do not severely limit
   the scalability and responsiveness of these interfaces.

3.  Common Interface Considerations

3.1.  Capabilities

   Capability negotiation is a critical requirement because different
   implementations and software versions will have different abilities.
   Similarly, applications may have different capabilities for receiving
   exported information.

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   An I2RS agent will have offer multiple services, each with their own
   set of capabilities.  Such capabilities may include the particular
   data model and what operations can be performed at what scale.

   The capabilities negotiated may be filtered based upon different
   information, such as the I2RS client application's authorization,
   I2RS client application's capabilities, and the desired granularity
   for abstraction which the I2RS client application understands.
   Different types of authorization may require the router to advertise
   different capabilities and restrictions.

   The capability negotiation may take place at different levels of
   detail based upon the I2RS client and the specific functions in the
   I2RS that the I2RS client is negotiating.  The network element and
   application must use the I2RS to agree upon the proper level of
   abstraction for the interaction.  For example, when an application
   describes a route between two topological items, these items may vary
   in detail from a network domain's name at a high level, or down to
   the port forwarding specifics of a particular device.

   The data-model and capabilities available for an element may depend
   upon whether the element is physical or virtual; the virtual/physical
   distinction does not matter to I2RS.  Similarly, the location of the
   element may influence how an application converses with the
   associated network element.

3.2.  Identity, Authorization, Authentication, and Security

   The identity of applications that wish to manipulate or interrogate
   the state of the routing system must be appropriately authorized.
   Role-based authorization and authentication is necessary; however,
   there are different existing solutions to this that can be
   investigated for use in I2RS.

   Being able to associate the state and the modifications to a state
   with a specific application would aid in troubleshooting and auditing
   of the routing system.  By associating identity and authorization
   with installed state, other applications with appropriate authority
   can clean up state abandoned by failed I2RS client applications, if

   Security of communication between the application and the router is
   also critical and must be considered in the design of the mechanisms
   to support these programmatic interfaces.

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3.3.  Speed and Frequency of State Installation

   A programmatic interface does not by itself imply the frequency of
   state updates nor the speed at which the state installation is
   required.  These are critical aspects of an interface and govern what
   an application can use the interface for.  The difference between
   sub-second responsiveness to millions of updates and a day delay per
   update is, obviously, drastic.  The key attributes of the
   programmatic interface are described in Section 5 of
   [I-D.atlas-i2rs-problem-statement] and include that the interface must
   be asynchronous.

   For each service in I2RS, it will be necessary to specify expected
   scaling, responsiveness, and performance so that applications can
   understand the uses to which the I2RS can be used.

   I2RS must support asynchronous real-time interactions between the
   I2RS client applications and I2RS agent on the network element.  I2RS
   must assume that there are many unrelated applications that may be
   simultaneously using I2RS.  This requirement for multi-headed control
   has a number of implications.  First, the I2RS agent must do
   arbitration between state installed by different I2RS clients.
   Second, I2RS clients must be able to subscribe to change events that
   notify them about changes done to state by other I2RS clients,
   configuration, or dynamic routing.

   Furthermore, I2RS should construct services that cater to different
   scaling and frequency of update parameters: e.g., slow, but detailed
   queries of the system, or fast yet higher level (less detailed)
   queries or modifications.

3.4.  Lifetime of I2RS-Installed Routing System State

   In routers today, the lifetime of different routing state depends
   upon how that state was learned and committed.  If the state is
   configuration state, then it is ephemeral when just in the running
   configuration or persistent when written to the startup
   configuration.  If the state is learned via a routing protocol or
   SNMP, it is ephemeral, lasting only until the router reboots or the
   state is withdrawn.

   Unlike previous injection mechanisms that implied the state lifetime,
   I2RS requires that multiple models be supported for the lifetime of
   state it installs.  This is because the lifetime or persistence of
   state of the routing system can vary based on the application that
   programmed it, policies or security authorization of the application.

   To provide flexibility, pre-programming, and handle dependencies, it

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   is necessary to have multiple models of when a operation is to be
   handled.  Similarly, there are multiple models for when an operation
   is to expire.

   There are three aspects to be considered.

   Persistence ?:   Does state installed survive reboot?

      Persistent:   State installed by the I2RS client remains on the
         I2RS agent's network element across reboots or restarts of the
         system.  The installed state can be dynamically removed or
         manipulated by an application, by configuration, or by the
         routing system itself.  This state does not appear in the
         router's configuration; it is processed after all the
         configuration upon a reboot.

      Ephemeral:   State installed by the I2RS client remains on the
         I2RS agent's network element in its active memory until such
         time as the installed state is either removed by a routing or
         signaling protocol, removed by a configuration initiated by an
         application, or the router reboots.  In the case of the latter,
         past state is forgotten when the router reboots.

   Operation Start-Time:   There are different models for when an I2RS
      agent should start an I2RS operation.

      Immediate:   When the operation is received, it should be acted
         upon as quickly as reasonable (e.g. queued with other
         outstanding requests if necessary).

      Temporal:   An application may provide an operation that is to be
         initiated at a particular time.  When the specified time is
         reached, the operation should be acted upon as quickly as
         reasonable.  Implementations may, of course, strive to improve
         the time-accuracy at which the operation is initiated.

      Triggered:   The operation should be initiated when the specified
         triggering event has happened.  A triggering event could be the
         successful or failed completion of another operation.  A
         triggering event could be a system event, such as an interface
         up or down, or another event such as a particular route
         changing its next-hops.

   State Expiration:   When state is installed by an I2RS client, there
      are two different models to consider for when that state is to be

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      Temporal:   When state is installed by an I2RS client, it has an
         expiration time specified.  When that time has passed, the I2RS
         agent removes that state from the network element.  The state
         can also be dynamically removed or manipulated by an I2RS
         client, by configuration or the routing system itself.

      Unbounded:   When state is installed by an I2RS client, that state
         does not explicitly expire.  The state can be dynamically
         removed or manipulated by an I2RS client, by configuration, or
         by the routing system itself.

   Because it is possible to request operations in models other than
   "Immediate" and some of the start-times will be at an unknown future
   point (e.g.  "Triggered"), it is not feasible to guarantee that the
   resources required by an operation will always be available without
   reserving them from the time the operation is received.  While that
   type of resource reservation should be possible, I2RS clients must
   also be able to handle an operation failing or being preempted due to
   resources or due to a higher priority or better authorized I2RS
   client taking ownership of the associated state or resource.

4.  Bidirectional I2RS Services

   I2RS is a bidirectional programmatic interface that allows both
   routing and non-routing applications to install, remove, read, and
   otherwise manipulate the state of the routing system.

   Just as the Internet routing system is not a single protocol or
   implementation layer, neither does it make sense for the I2RS to be
   at a single layer or reside within a single protocol.  For each
   protocol or layer, there are different data models, abstractions and
   interface syntaxes and semantics required.  However with this in
   mind, it is ideal that a minimal set of mechanism(s) to define,
   transfer and manipulate this state will be specified with as few
   optional characteristics as possible.  This will foster better
   interoperability between different vendor implementations.

   Since I2RS is focused on the routing system, the layers of interest
   start with the RIB and continue up through the IGPs, BGP, RSVP-TE,
   LDP, etc.  The intent is neither to provide I2RS services to the
   forwarding plane nor to provide I2RS services to application layers.

   It is critical that these I2RS servies provide the ability to learn
   state, filtered by request, as well as to install state.  I2RS
   assumes that there will be multiple applications using I2RS and
   therefore the ability to read state is necessary to fully know the
   network element's state.  In general, if an I2RS service allows the

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   setting of state, the ability to read and modify that state is also

4.1.  Static Routing

   The ability to specify static routes exists via CLI and MIBs but
   these mechanisms do not provide a programmatic interface.  I2RS
   solves this problem by proposing interfaces to the RIB, LFIB, and
   Multicast RIBs.

   By installing static routes into the RIB layer, I2RS is able to
   utilize the existing router OS and its mechanisms for distributing
   the selected routes into the FIB and LIB.  This avoids the need to
   model or standardize the forwarding plane.

4.1.1.  Routing Information Base Service

   The RIB is populated with routes and next-hops as supplied by
   configuration, management, or routing protocols.  A route has a
   preference based upon the specific source from which the route was
   derived.  Static routes, specified via CLI, can be installed with an
   appropriate preference.  The FIB is populated by selecting from the
   RIB based on policy and tie-breaking criteria.

   The I2RS service should allow dynamic reading and writing of routes
   into the RIB.  There are several important attributes associated with
   doing so, as follows:

   Preference Value:   This allows decisions between conflicting routes,
      whether I2RS-installed or otherwise.  I2RS-installed routes can
      each be installed with a different preference value.

   Route Table Context:   There can be different route table contexts in
      the RIB.  Examples include multiple protocols (e.g.  IPv4, IPv6),
      multiple topologies, different uses, and multiple networks (e.g.
      VRF tables for VPNs).  Appropriate application-level abstractions
      are required to describe the desired route table context.

   Route or Traffic Identification  The specific IP prefix or even
      interface must be specified.

   Outgoing Path and Encapsulation:   It is necessary to specify the
      outgoing path and associated encapsulation.  This may be done
      directly or indirectly.  This is one of the more complex aspects
      with the following considerations.

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      Primary Next-Hops:   To support multi-path forwarding, multiple
         primary next-hops can be specified and the traffic flows split
         among them.

      Indirection:   Instead of specifying particular primary next-hops,
         it is critical to be able to provide the ability for
         indirection, such as is used between BGP routes and IGP routes.
         Thus, the outgoing path might be specified via indirection to
         be the same as another route's.

      Encapsulation:   Associated with each primary next-hop can be
         details on the type of encapsulation for the packet.  Such
         encapsulation could be MPLS, GRE, etc. as supported by the

      Protection:   For fast-reroute protection, each primary next-hop
         may have one or more alternate next-hops specified.  Those are
         to be used when the primary next-hop fails.

      DSCP:   For QoS, the desired DSCP to be used for the outgoing
         traffic can be specified.

   It is useful for an application to be able to read out the RIB state
   associated with particular traffic and be able to learn both the
   preferred route and its source as well as other candidates with lower

   Although there is no standardized model or specification of a RIB, it
   may be possible to build an interoperable bi-directional service
   without one.

4.1.2.  Label Forwarding Information Base Service

   The LFIB has a similar role to the RIB for MPLS labeled packets.
   Each entry has slightly different information to accommodate MPLS
   forwarding and semantics.  Although static MPLS can be used to
   configure specific state into the LFIB, there is no bidirectional
   programmatic interface to program, modify, or read the associated

   Each entry in the LFIB requires a MPLS label context (e.g. platform,
   per-interface, or other context), incoming label, label operation,
   and next-hops with associated encapsulation, label operation, and so
   on.  Via the I2RS LFIB service, an application could supply the
   information for an entry using either a pre-allocated MPLS label or a
   newly allocated MPLS label that is returned to the application.

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4.1.3.  Multicast Routing Information Base Service

   There is no bidirectional programmatic interface to add, modify,
   remove or read state from the multicast RIB.  This I2RS service would
   add those capabilities.

   Multicast forwarding state can be set up by a variety of protocols.
   As with the unicast RIB, an application may wish to install a new
   route for multicast.  The state to add might be the full multicast
   route information - including the incoming interface, the particular
   multicast traffic (e.g. (source, group) or MPLS label), and the
   outgoing interfaces and associated encapsulations to replicate the
   traffic too.

   The multicast state added need not match to well-known protocol
   installed state.  For instance, traffic received on an specified set,
   or all, interfaces that is destined to a particular prefix from all
   sources or a particular prefix could be subject to the specified

4.2.  Beyond Destination-based Routing

   Routing decisions and traffic treatment is not merely expressable via
   destination-based routing or even (S, G) routing, such as in
   multicast.  Capturing these aspects into appropriate interfaces for
   the I2RS provides the ability for applications to control them as

4.2.1.  Policy-Based Routing Service

   A common feature of routers is the ability to specify policy-based
   routing (PBR) rules for accepting, dropping, or differently
   forwarding particular traffic.  This is a very useful functionality
   for an application to be able to rapidly add and remove state into.
   Such state would indicate the particular traffic to be affected and
   its subsequent behavior (e.g. drop, accept, forward on specified
   outgoing path and encapsulation, QoS, DSCP marking, policing, etc.).
   Such state is made more complex by the potential importance of
   ordering among the PBR rules.

   While PBR rules can be specified via CLI, this mechanism is not a
   streaming programmatic interface nor is there generally the ability
   to specify particular time-based lifetimes for each rule.

4.2.2.  QoS State

   While per-hop behaviors are defined as well as standard DSCP
   meanings, the details of QoS configuration are not standardized and

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   can be highly variable depending upon platform.  It is NOT a goal of
   this work to standardize QoS configurations.  Instead, a data object
   model can define push/pull configurations.  More investigation is
   needed to better describe the details.

4.3.  Protocol Interactions

   Providing I2RS interfaces to the various routing protocols allows
   applications to specify policy, local topology changes, and
   availability to influence the routing protocols in a way that the
   detailed addition or modification of routes in the RIB does not.

   The decision to distribute the routing state via a routing or
   signaling protocol depends upon the protocol-layer at which this
   state is injected into the routing system.  It may also depend upon
   which routing domain or domains this information is injected as well.

   In addition it is necessary to have the ability to pull state
   regarding various protocols from the router, a mechanism to register
   for asynchronous events, and the means to obtain those asynchronous
   events.  An example of such state might be peer up/down.

4.3.1.  IGP Services

   The lack of a programmatic interface to the IGPs limits the ability
   of applications to influence and modify the desired behavior of the

   An application may need to indicate that a router is overloaded (via
   ISIS or the method described in [RFC3137]) because that router does
   not yet have sufficient state synchronized or installed into it.
   When critical state is provided not merely by routers but also from
   applications via the I2RS, a synchronization mechanism can be needed.

   The ability for an application to modify the local topology can be
   part of this interface.  One possibility is to allow modification of
   local interface metrics to generally influence selected routes.  A
   more extensive interface might include the ability to create a OSPF
   or ISIS adjacency across a specified interface (virtual or real) with
   the appropriate associated encapsulation.

   The ability to attach a prefix to the local router would provide a
   straightforward method for an application to program a single router
   and have the proper routes computed and installed by all other
   routers in the relevant domains.  Additional aspects to the prefix
   attachment, such as the metric with which to attach the prefix and
   fast-reroute characteristics, would be part of the interface.

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   Beyond such pure routing information, the need for an application to
   be able to install state to be flooded via an IGP has already been
   recognized.  [I-D.ietf-isis-genapp] specifies a mechanism for
   flooding generalized application information via ISIS, but does not
   describe how an application can generate or consume this information.
   Similarly, [RFC5250] specifies Opaque LSAs for OSPF to provide for
   application-specific information to be flooded.  An I2RS service and
   associated data object model would provide such a mechanism.

   Additional investigation will identify other state that applications
   may wish to install.

   From the IGP, applications via I2RS can extract significant
   topological information about the routers, links, and associated

4.3.2.  BGP Service

   BGP carries significant policy and per-application specific
   information as well as internet routes.  A significant service to BGP
   is expected, with different data object models for different
   applications.  For example, the I2RS service to BGP could provide the
   ability to specify the policy on which paths BGP chooses to
   advertise.  Additionally, the ability to specify information with an
   application-specified AFI/SAFI could provide substantial flexibility
   and control.

   An existing example of application information carried in BGP is BGP
   Flowspec [RFC5575] which can be used to provide traffic filtering and
   aid in handling denial-of-service attacks.

   The ability to extract information from BGP is also quite critical.
   A useful example of this is the information available from BGP via
   [I-D.gredler-idr-ls-distribution], which allows link-state topology
   information to be carried in BGP.

4.3.3.  PIM and mLDP Services

   For PIM and mLDP, there are at least two types of state that an
   application might wish to install.  First, an application might add
   an interface to join a particular multicast group.  Second, an
   application might provide an upstream route for traffic to be
   received from - rather than having PIM or mLDP need to consult the
   unicast RIB.

   Additional investigation will identify other state that applications
   may wish to install.

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4.4.  Triggered Sessions and Signaling

4.4.1.  OAM-related Sessions Interface

   An application may need to trigger new OAM sessions (e.g.  BFD, VCCP,
   etc.) using an appropriate template.  For example, there may be
   applications that need to create a new tunnel, verify its
   functionality via new triggered OAM sessions, and then bring it into
   service if that OAM indicates successful functionality.  More
   investigation is needed to better describe the details.

4.4.2.  Dynamic Session Creation

   An application may wish to trigger a peering relationship for a
   protocol.  For instance, a targeted LDP session may be required to
   exchange state installed locally with a remote router.  More
   investigation is needed to better describe the different cases and

4.4.3.  Triggered Signaling

   To easily create dynamic state throughout the network, an application
   may need to trigger signaling via protocols such as RSVP-TE.  An
   example of such an application can be a Stateful Path Computation
   Element (PCE)[I-D.ietf-pce-stateful-pce], which has control of
   various LSPs that need to be signaled.

   More investigation is needed to better describe the different cases
   and details.

5.  Services for Learned Information from the Routing System

   Just as applications need to inject state into the routing system to
   meet various application-specific and policy-based requirements, it
   is critical that applications be able to also extract necessary state
   from the routing system.

   A part of each of these services is the ability to specify the
   generation of the desired information (e.g., collecting specific per-
   flow measurements) and the ability to specify appropriate filters to
   indicate the specifics and abstraction level of the information to be

   The types of information to extract can be generally grouped into the
   following different categories.

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   Topological:   The need to understand the network topology, at a
      suitable abstraction layer, is critical to applications.
      Connectivity is not sufficient - the associated costs, bandwidths,
      latencies, etc. are all important aspects of the network topology
      that strongly influence the decision-making and behavior of

   Measurements:   Applications require measurements of traffic and
      network behavior in order to have a more meaningful feedback
      control loop.  Such information may be per-interface, per-flow,
      per-firewall rule, per-queue, etc.

   Events:   There are a variety of asynchronous events that an
      application may require or use as triggering conditions for
      starting other operations.  An obvious example is interface state

   Configuration:   For some aspects, it may be necessary for
      applications to be able to learn about the routing configuration
      on a box.  This is partially available via various MIBs and
      NetConf.  What additional information needs to be exported and the
      appropriate mechanisms needs further examination.

   The need to extract information from the network is not new; there is
   on-going work in the IETF in this area.  This framework describes
   those efforts in the context of the above categories and starts the
   discussion of the aspects still required.

5.1.  Efforts to Obtain Topological Data

   Topological data can be defined and presented at different layers
   (e.g.  Layer-2, Layer-3) and with different characteristics exposed
   or hidden (e.g. physical or virtual, SRLGs, bandwidth, latency,
   etc.).  It can also have different states, such as configured but
   unavailable, configurable, active, broken, administratively disabled,

   To solve the problem of only being able to obtain topological data
   via listening to the IGP in each area, BGP-LS
   [I-D.gredler-idr-ls-distribution] defines extensions to BGP so that
   link-state topology information can be carried in BGP and a single
   BGP listener in the AS can therefore learn and distribute the entire
   AS's current link-state topology.  BGP-LS solves the problem of
   distributing topological information throughout the network.  While
   I2RS may expand the information to be distributed, I2RS addresses the
   API aspect of BGP-LS and not the network-wide distribution.

   At another level, ALTO [RFC5693] provides topological information at

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   a higher abstraction layer, which can be based upon network policy,
   and with application-relevant services located in it.  The mechanism
   for ALTO obtaining the topology can vary and policy can apply to what
   is provided or abstracted.

   Neither of these fully meet the need to obtain detailed, layered
   topological state that provides more information than the current
   functional status.  While there are currently no sufficiently
   complete standards, the need for such functionality can be deduced by
   the number of proprietary systems that have been developed to obtain
   and manage topology; even Element Management Systems start with the
   need for learning and manipulating the topology.  Similarly,
   orchestration layers for applications start with the need to manage
   topology and the associated database.

   Detailed topology includes aspects such as physical nodes, physical
   links, virtual links, port to interface mapping, etc.  The details
   should include the operational and administrative state as well as
   relevant parameters ranging from link bandwidth to SRLG membership.
   Layering is critical to provide the topology at the level of
   abstraction where it can be easily used by the application.

   A key aspect of this service is the ability to easily rate-limit,
   filter and specify the desired information to be extracted.  This
   will help in allowing the service to scale when queries are done.

5.2.  Measurements

   IPFIX [RFC5470] provides a way to measure and export per-traffic flow
   statistics.  Applications that need to collect information about
   particular flows thus have a clear need to be able to install state
   to configure IPFIX to measure and export the relevant flows to the
   appropriate collectors.

5.3.  Events

   A programmatic interface for application to subscribe to asynchronous
   events is necessary.  In addition to the interface state events
   already mentioned, an application may wish to subscribe to certain
   OAM-triggered events that aren't otherwise exported.

   A RIB-based event could be reporting when the next-hops associated
   with a route have changed.  Other events could be used to verify that
   forwarding state has been programmed.  For example, an application
   could request an event whenever a particular route in the RIB has its
   forwarding plane installation completed.

   When an application registers for events, the application may request

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   to get only the first such event, all such events, or all events
   until a certain time.

   The full set of such events, that are not specifically related to
   other services, needs to be investigated and defined.

6.  Manageability Considerations

   Manageability plays a key aspect in I2RS.  Some initial examples

   Data Authorization Levels:   The data-models used for I2RS need the
      ability to indicate the required authorization level for
      installing or reading a particular subset of data.  This allows
      control of what interactions each application can have.

   Resource Limitations:   Using I2RS, applications can consume
      resources, whether those be operations in a time-frame, entries in
      the RIB, stored operations to be triggered, etc.  The ability to
      set resource limits based upon authorization is critical.

   Configuration Interactions:   The interaction of state installed via
      the I2RS and via a router's configuration needs to be clearly

7.  IANA Considerations

   This document includes no request to IANA.

8.  Security Considerations

   This framework describes interfaces that clearly require serious
   consideration of security.  The ability to identify, authenticate and
   authorize applications that wish to install state is necessary and
   briefly described in Section 3.2.  Security of communications from
   the applications is also required.

   More specifics on the security requirements requires further

9.  Acknowledgements

   The authors would like to thank Ken Gray, Adrian Farrel, Bruno
   Rijsman, Rex Fernando, Jan Medved, John Scudder, and Hannes Gredler

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   for their suggestions and review.

10.  Informative References

              Atlas, A., Nadeau, T., and D. Ward, "Interface to the
              Routing System Problem Statement",
              draft-atlas-i2rs-problem-statement-01 (work in progress),
              February 2013.

              Gredler, H., Medved, J., Previdi, S., and A. Farrel,
              "North-Bound Distribution of Link-State and TE Information
              using BGP", draft-gredler-idr-ls-distribution-02 (work in
              progress), July 2012.

              Ginsberg, L., Previdi, S., and M. Shand, "Advertising
              Generic Information in IS-IS", draft-ietf-isis-genapp-04
              (work in progress), November 2010.

              Crabbe, E., Medved, J., Minei, I., and R. Varga, "PCEP
              Extensions for Stateful PCE",
              draft-ietf-pce-stateful-pce-02 (work in progress),
              October 2012.

   [RFC3137]  Retana, A., Nguyen, L., White, R., Zinin, A., and D.
              McPherson, "OSPF Stub Router Advertisement", RFC 3137,
              June 2001.

   [RFC5250]  Berger, L., Bryskin, I., Zinin, A., and R. Coltun, "The
              OSPF Opaque LSA Option", RFC 5250, July 2008.

   [RFC5470]  Sadasivan, G., Brownlee, N., Claise, B., and J. Quittek,
              "Architecture for IP Flow Information Export", RFC 5470,
              March 2009.

   [RFC5575]  Marques, P., Sheth, N., Raszuk, R., Greene, B., Mauch, J.,
              and D. McPherson, "Dissemination of Flow Specification
              Rules", RFC 5575, August 2009.

   [RFC5693]  Seedorf, J. and E. Burger, "Application-Layer Traffic
              Optimization (ALTO) Problem Statement", RFC 5693,
              October 2009.

   [RFC6020]  Bjorklund, M., "YANG - A Data Modeling Language for the

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              Network Configuration Protocol (NETCONF)", RFC 6020,
              October 2010.

Authors' Addresses

   Alia Atlas (editor)
   Juniper Networks
   10 Technology Park Drive
   Westford, MA  01886


   Thomas Nadeau
   Juniper Networks
   1194 N. Mathilda Ave.
   Sunnyvale, CA  94089


   Dave Ward
   Cisco Systems
   Tasman Drive
   San Jose, CA  95134


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