6Bone Routing Practice
RFC 2546

Document Type RFC - Informational (March 1999; No errata)
Obsoleted by RFC 2772
Last updated 2013-03-02
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Network Working Group                                          A. Durand
Request for Comments: 2546                                          IMAG
Category: Informational                                        B. Buclin
                                                        AT&T Labs Europe
                                                              March 1999

                         6Bone Routing Practice

Status of this Memo

   This memo provides information for the Internet community.  It does
   not specify an Internet standard of any kind.  Distribution of this
   memo is unlimited.

Copyright Notice

   Copyright (C) The Internet Society (1999).  All Rights Reserved.

1.  Introduction

   The 6Bone is an environment supporting experimentation with the IPv6
   protocols and products implementing it. As the network grows, the
   need for common operation rules emerged. In particular, operation of
   the 6Bone backbone is a challenge due to the frequent insertion of
   bogus routes by leaf or even backbone sites.

   This memo identifies guidelines on how 6Bone sites might operate, so
   that the 6Bone can remain a quality experimentation environment and
   to avoid pathological situations that have been encountered in the
   past. It defines the 'best current practice' acceptable in the 6Bone
   for the configuration of both Interior Gateway Protocols (such as
   RIPng [RFC 2080]) and Exterior Gateway Protocols (like BGP4+ [RFC

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

2.  Basic principles

   The 6Bone is structured as a hierarchical network with pseudo Top
   Level Aggregator (pTLA) sites, pseudo Next Level Aggregator (pNLA)
   sites and leaf sites. This topology supports the IPv6 address
   aggregation architecture as described in [1]. The 6Bone backbone is
   made of a mesh interconnecting pTLAs only. pNLAs connect to one or
   more pTLAs and provide transit service for leaf sites.

Durand & Buclin              Informational                      [Page 1]
RFC 2546                 6Bone Routing Practice               March 1999

   pTLA sites MUST use BGP4+ [RFC 2283] as the mandatory routing
   protocol for exchanging routing information among them.

   Multi-homed sites or pNLAs SHOULD also use BGP4+. Regular sites MAY
   use a simple default route to their ISP.

3.  Common Rules

   This section details common rules governing the routing on the 6Bone.
   They are derived from issues encountered on the 6Bone, with respect
   to the routes advertised, handling of special addresses, and

    1) link local prefixes

    2) site local prefixes

    3) loopback prefix & unspecified prefix

    4) multicast prefixes

    5) IPv4-compatible prefixes

    6) IPv4-mapped prefixes

    7) default routes

    8) Yet undefined unicast prefixes (from a different /3 prefix)

    9) Inter site links issues

    10) aggregation & advertisement issues

3.1  Link-local prefix

   The link-local prefix (FE80::/10) MUST NOT be advertised through
   either an IGP or an EGP.

   By definition, the link-local prefix has a scope limited to a
   specific link. Since the prefix is the same on all IPv6 links,
   advertising it in any routing protocol does not make sense and,
   worse, may introduce nasty error conditions.

   Well known cases where link local prefixes could be advertised by
   mistake include:

Durand & Buclin              Informational                      [Page 2]
RFC 2546                 6Bone Routing Practice               March 1999

   - a router advertising all directly connected network prefixes
     including the link-local one.

   - Subnetting of the link-local prefix.

   In such cases, vendors should be urged to correct their code.

3.2  Site-local prefixes

   Site local prefixes (in the FEC0::/10 range) MAY be advertized by
   IGPs or EGPs within a site. The precise definition of a site is
   ongoing work discussed in the IPng working group.

   Site local prefixes MUST NOT be advertised to transit pNLAs or pTLAs.

3.3  Loopback and unspecified prefixes

   The loopback prefix (::1/128) and the unspecified prefix (::0/128)
   MUST NOT be advertised by any routing protocol.

3.4  Multicast prefixes

   Multicast prefixes MUST NOT be advertised by any unicast routing
   protocol.  Multicast routing protocols are designed to respect the
   semantics of multicast and MUST therefore be used to route packets
   with multicast destination addresses (in the range FF00::/8).

   Multicast address scopes MUST be respected on the 6Bone. Only global
   scope multicast addresses MAY be routed across transit pNLAs and
   pTLAs. There is no requirement on a pTLA to route multicast packets.

   Organization-local multicasts (in the FF08::/16 or FF18::/16 ranges)
   MAY be routed across a pNLA to its leaf sites.
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