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Early Review of draft-ietf-manet-dlep-13

Request Review of draft-ietf-manet-dlep
Requested revision No specific revision (document currently at 29)
Type Early Review
Team Routing Area Directorate (rtgdir)
Deadline 2015-06-11
Requested 2015-05-13
Authors Stan Ratliff , Shawn Jury , Darryl Satterwhite , Rick Taylor , Bo Berry
I-D last updated 2015-06-11
Completed reviews Genart Last Call review of -25 by Matthew A. Miller (diff)
Secdir Last Call review of -25 by Paul E. Hoffman (diff)
Opsdir Last Call review of -25 by Linda Dunbar (diff)
Rtgdir Early review of -13 by Lou Berger (diff)
Tsvart Telechat review of -25 by Michael Scharf (diff)
Assignment Reviewer Lou Berger
State Completed
Review review-ietf-manet-dlep-13-rtgdir-early-berger-2015-06-11
Reviewed revision 13 (document currently at 29)
Result Has Issues
Completed 2015-06-11
[Note this is a WG LC related review, not IETF LC.]


I have been selected as the Routing Directorate reviewer for this
draft. The Routing Directorate seeks to review all routing or
routing-related drafts as they pass through IETF last call and IESG
review, and sometimes on special request -- or WG Last call as was the
case here . The purpose of the review is to provide assistance to the
Routing ADs. For more information about the Routing Directorate, please
see ​

Although these comments are primarily for the use of the (chairs and)
Routing ADs, it would be helpful if you could consider them along with
any other Last Call comments that you receive, and strive to resolve
them through discussion or by updating the draft.

Document: draft-ietf-manet-dlep-14
Reviewer: Lou Berger
Review Date: June 8 (later than requested due to scope of comments -- sorry)
WG LC End Date: unknown
Intended Status: Standards track


    While I think the document is pretty decent for the scope of the
    work, I do have concerns about this document and recommend that the
    WG Chairs/Routing ADs discuss these issues further with the authors.
    I'm also available as/if needed to discuss.


    I think the document shows significant good work and looks to be a
    useful protocol, although I'm not overly familiar in this space.
    That said, I have a number of serious concerns about the document,
    and its contents from a few of perspectives.  These include basic
    protocol issues, underspecified details  (which could lead to
    interoperability issues), and specification/editorial issues. I
    think the document / protocol can be modified to address the issues
    I raise below.  Of course, it is up to the WG, chairs, and ADs to
    decide which comments to address and which to  ignore. 
    I don't expect that all comments will result in changes.

Major Issues:

    - The length field of the generic data item (i.e., TLV) is only 8
      bits.  While 255 bytes (assuming that this is the unit of measure,
      which BTW isn't specified) is big enough today, allowing for
      larger will greatly simplify things when 255 isn't enough. --
      We've run into this in RSVP and it's a real pain.

    - Version number is currently defined as a data item.  This means a
      signal (i.e., message) needs to be potentially fully parsed to
      discover what version is being used.  This precludes basic format
      changes to the protocol.  Perhaps the Discovery and Init Signals
      should be special cased to include version in their formats.  (And
      shorten version to 8 bits from 32, as mentioned below).

    - The document references, but does not define, 'in-session' and
      'discovery' states.  These either need to be formally defined or
      removed.  BTW we had exactly the same issue with LMP (RFC4204) and
      ended up adding section 11 (FSMs) at a pretty late stage of the

    - TCP session management is not defined, nor is the relationship
      with TCP and DLEP sessions fully defined.  For example:

      o Closing the TCP session is only mentioned in one place and in a
        way that is inconsistent with the expected protocol behavior
        (close TCP before ACK is received).

      o What happens when a DLEP session is terminated, can the TCP
        session be reused or must it be closed too?

    - There is no transaction model defined.  For example, it's
      completely unclear if only one unacknowledged Signal allowed at a
      time, or perhaps just one per signal type is allowed, or perhaps
      there are no restrictions.  This needs to be explicit.  

    - What is the purpose of retries and timeouts over TCP?  Retries
      aren't needed over TCPs and it's unclear whey they are being used.

    - The higher level implications of ACKs, over TCP, isn't really
      clear.  It seems ACKs are defined for multiple purposes: reliable
      transport, transaction acknowledgment and transaction results. Of
      course the first isn't needed, and implications of the others
      should be clear.  For example, in section 7.10, why would there be
      a retry when receiving a Destination Up ACK signal indicating an

    - There is no discussion on scaling considerations. Are there really
      none?  For example, how often might be appropriate to issue/limit
      Peer Updates based to changes in link quality, or how to handle
      the case where a large number (all or most) of destinations go

    - There are 13 places where the protocol allows implementation to
      define their own 'heuristics'.  Some of these seem unnecessary due
      to the TCP point raised above, but any that remain in the protocol
      should be fully specified to ensure predictable/consistent
      behavior from implementations.

    - Data Items are defined for "Extensions" and "Experimental
      Definition" (Sections 8.7 and 8.8).  Both seem to support for
      optional mechanisms, but the former uses assigned numeric values,
      why the latter uses UTF-8 strings.
      o What, if any, is the intended distinction/relationship between
      o How does an "Experimental Definition" become standardized?

    - Sections 8.19 and 8.20 define "Resources" related Data Items.  The
      definition related to these basically says a resources is "An
      8-bit integer percentage, 0-100, representing the amount of
      resources allocated to receiving|transmitting data.".  If I were
      implementing this protocol, I'd have no idea how to produce,
      update or use this information.  I think there is some missing
      informative and normative (RFC 2119) text related to these

    - Sections 8.21 and 8.22 (Relative Link Quality) have a similar
      problem of being under described, in particular it's unclear if
      there's a meaningful, non-proprietary definition for link quality
      that an implementation is to act on or if the passed value is just
      passed for as monitoring information.  Either way, this needs to
      be clarified.

    - Section 9 defines a "credit-windowing scheme analogous to the one
      documented in [RFC5578]". It describes how credits are exchanged,
      but it provides zero definition on the implications or use of
      credits relative to the data plane.   

    - Multiple ways to implement the same function are allowed, e.g.,
      optional presence of Status, Interval and TCP port.  Generally
      allowing such complicates testing and leads to interoperability
      issues.  The document should pick one way and require it.

    - The document doesn't state if there are any ordering requirements
      on data items. It should be explicit on this, e.g., there are no
      ordering requirements on the placement of Data Items within

    - The required and optional data items that are permitted on a
      signal isn't always clear.  For example are 0/1/N copies of a
      particular Data Item required/allowed.  Using something like ABNF
      would really help formalize and clarify this.

    - The document doesn't clearly delineate from informative/narrative
      text, normative / required processing procedures, and message
      formats. This by itself is not necessarily a major issue, it just
      makes it harder to (write,) review and implement the protocol.
      What is a major issue is that this approach allows for duplicate
      (and sometimes contradictory) normative procedures and for
      omissions in procedures (particularly related to exception/error
      processing).  Specific examples are included above and below.  It
      would be best to ensure that each required processing behavior is
      defined just once and in a consistent way.

    - The security consideration section is inadequate.  This section
      should address the security of the DLEP protocol, not user
      traffic.  It should include an analysis of risks/threats/possible
      exploits and how these are mitigated by the protocol.  rfc6952,
      and the protocols it references can serve as examples.

Minor Issues:

    - The data and signal type fields are both 8 bits.  This seems
      pretty small, particularly the data type field.  Given this is a
      control protocol, I think a larger (at least data type) field
      would provide better "future proofing".

    - 2^32 versions are currently allowed (section 8.1).  This seems a
      bit excessive.  I'd opt for max of 8 bits here myself.

    - It's probably too late, but it probably would be cleaner to have a
      generic ack signal rather than a per signal type ack. I mention
      this here as this may come up again when clarifying the
      transaction model (as mentioned above.)

    - Section 2: Assumptions
      This section includes informative and normative text so is more
      than just Assumptions.  Personally, I'd remove all normative text
      from the section.

    - There are no specific rules related to UDP header formation.

    - Sections 8.10->8.17.  Isn't add/drop indicator needed for subnets
      in destination update signals?

    - The IANA Considerations sections must follow​ RFC2360.

    - New registries must include initial values, which are defined in
      the document.  (The document currently has many TBDs that should
      be replaced.)

    - New registries need an allocation policy, e.g.:
    The registry should be established with registration policies of
    "Standards Action" (for Standards Track documents) and
    “Specification Required" (for other documents). The designated
    expert is any current <fill-in> WG chair.


    - The document introduces the terms "signals" and "data items" for
      what is commonly called "messages" and "TLVs" (or objects) in
      other protocols.  It's probably too late to change this, but I
      think the introduction of unique terminology is counter

    - Use of RFC 2119 conformance language is a bit rough, and there are
      words in all caps that are not defined in RFC2119. Take a look at

 for some

    - Internal socket operation is mentioned a couple of times.  It
      really shouldn't be, the spec should define behavior on the wire.

    - The Length fields are missing unit of measure (presumably octets)

    - The Mnemonics are used basically once and don't really add value,
      suggest dropping them.

    - How/when is the "Unknown Signal" Status Code sent?

    - Section 8.7: Extension List should be shown as a variable length

    - Section 8.8: Experiment List should be shown as a variable length

That's it -- for now -- hopefully I didn't miss anything.  Look forward
to hearing response to the above (and how I got things hopelessly wrong ;-)