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Bootstrapping Clients using the Internet Small Computer System Interface (iSCSI) Protocol
RFC 4173

Document type: RFC - Proposed Standard (September 2005; Errata)
Updated by RFC 7146
Document stream: IETF
Last updated: 2013-03-02
Other versions: plain text, pdf, html

IETF State: (None)
Consensus: Unknown
Document shepherd: No shepherd assigned

IESG State: RFC 4173 (Proposed Standard)
Responsible AD: Allison Mankin
Send notices to: <ElizabethRodriguez@ieee.org>, <black_david@emc.com>

Network Working Group                                          P. Sarkar
Request for Comments: 4173                                           IBM
Category: Standards Track                                    D. Missimer
                                                 Hewlett-Packard Company
                                                          C. Sapuntzakis
                                                     Stanford University
                                                          September 2005

                      Bootstrapping Clients using
     the Internet Small Computer System Interface (iSCSI) Protocol

Status of This Memo

   This document specifies an Internet standards track protocol for the
   Internet community, and requests discussion and suggestions for
   improvements.  Please refer to the current edition of the "Internet
   Official Protocol Standards" (STD 1) for the standardization state
   and status of this protocol.  Distribution of this memo is unlimited.

Copyright Notice

   Copyright (C) The Internet Society (2005).

Abstract

   Internet Small Computer System Interface (iSCSI) is a proposed
   transport protocol for Small Computer Systems Interface (SCSI) that
   operates on top of TCP.  This memo describes a standard mechanism for
   enabling clients to bootstrap themselves using the iSCSI protocol.
   The goal of this standard is to enable iSCSI boot clients to obtain
   the information to open an iSCSI session with the iSCSI boot server.

1.  Introduction

   The Small Computer Systems Interface (SCSI) is a popular family of
   protocols for communicating with I/O devices, especially storage
   devices.  SCSI can be characterized as a request/response messaging
   protocol with a standard architecture and componentized command sets
   for different device classes.

   iSCSI is a proposed transport protocol for SCSI that operates on top
   of TCP.  The role of iSCSI is necessitated by the evolution of the
   system interconnect from a shared bus to a switched network.  IP
   networks meet the architectural and performance requirements of
   transporting SCSI, paving the way for the iSCSI protocol.

Sarkar, et al.              Standards Track                     [Page 1]
RFC 4173                  iSCSI Bootstrapping             September 2005

   Many diskless clients sometimes bootstrap off remote SCSI devices.
   Such diskless entities are lightweight, space efficient, and power-
   conserving and are increasingly popular in various environments.

   This memo describes a standard mechanism for enabling clients to
   bootstrap themselves using the iSCSI protocol.  The goal of this
   standard is to enable iSCSI boot clients to obtain the information to
   open an iSCSI session with the iSCSI boot server.  It is possible
   that all the information is not available at the very outset, so the
   memo describes steps to obtain the information required to bootstrap
   clients off an iSCSI boot server.

1.1.  Keywords

   The key words "MUST", "MUST NOT", "REQUIRED", "SHALL", "SHALL NOT",
   "SHOULD", "SHOULD NOT", "RECOMMENDED", "MAY", and "OPTIONAL" in this
   document are to be interpreted as described in RFC 2119 [Bradner97].

2.  Requirements

   1. There must be no restriction of network topology between the iSCSI
      boot client and the boot server other than that in effect for
      establishing the iSCSI session.  Consequently, it is possible for
      an iSCSI boot client to boot from an iSCSI boot server behind
      gateways or firewalls as long as it is possible to establish an
      iSCSI session between the client and the server.

   2. The following represent the minimum information required for an
      iSCSI boot client to contact an iSCSI boot server: (a) the
      client's IP address (IPv6 or IPv4); (b) the server's iSCSI Target
      Name; and (c) mandatory iSCSI initiator capability.

   The above assume that the default LUN for the boot process is 0 and
   that the default port for the iSCSI boot server is the well-known
   iSCSI port [Satran02].  However, both may be overridden at the time
   of configuration.

   Additional information may be required at each stage of the boot
   process.

   3. It is possible for the iSCSI boot client to have none of the above
      information or capability on starting.

   4. The client should be able to complete boot without user
      intervention (for boots that occur during an unattended power-up).
      However, there should be a mechanism for the user to input values
      so as to bypass stages of the boot protocol.

Sarkar, et al.              Standards Track                     [Page 2]

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