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Using the Host Identity Protocol with Legacy Applications
RFC 5338

Document type: RFC - Experimental (September 2008)
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 5338 (Experimental)
Responsible AD: Mark Townsley
Send notices to: hip-chairs@tools.ietf.org

Network Working Group                                       T. Henderson
Request for Comments: 5338                            The Boeing Company
Category: Informational                                      P. Nikander
                                            Ericsson Research NomadicLab
                                                                 M. Komu
                           Helsinki Institute for Information Technology
                                                          September 2008

       Using the Host Identity Protocol with Legacy Applications

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.

Abstract

   This document is an informative overview of how legacy applications
   can be made to work with the Host Identity Protocol (HIP).  HIP
   proposes to add a cryptographic name space for network stack names.
   From an application viewpoint, HIP-enabled systems support a new
   address family of host identifiers, but it may be a long time until
   such HIP-aware applications are widely deployed even if host systems
   are upgraded.  This informational document discusses implementation
   and Application Programming Interface (API) issues relating to using
   HIP in situations in which the system is HIP-aware but the
   applications are not, and is intended to aid implementors and early
   adopters in thinking about and locally solving systems issues
   regarding the incremental deployment of HIP.

Henderson, et al.            Informational                      [Page 1]
RFC 5338           Using HIP with Legacy Applications     September 2008

Table of Contents

   1. Introduction ....................................................2
   2. Terminology .....................................................3
   3. Enabling HIP Transparently within the System ....................4
      3.1. Applying HIP to Cases in Which IP Addresses Are Used .......4
      3.2. Interposing a HIP-Aware Agent in the DNS Resolution ........6
      3.3. Discussion .................................................7
   4. Users Invoking HIP with a Legacy Application ....................8
      4.1. Connecting to a HIT or LSI .................................8
      4.2. Using a Modified DNS Name ..................................9
      4.3. Other Techniques ...........................................9
   5. Local Address Management ........................................9
   6. Security Considerations ........................................11
   7. Acknowledgments ................................................12
   8. Informative References .........................................12

1.  Introduction

   The Host Identity Protocol (HIP) [RFC5201] is an experimental effort
   in the IETF and IRTF to study a new public-key-based name space for
   use as host identifiers in Internet protocols.  Fully deployed, the
   HIP architecture would permit applications and users to explicitly
   request the system to send packets to another host by expressing a
   location-independent unique name of a peer host when the system call
   to connect or send packets is performed.  However, there will be a
   transition period during which systems become HIP-enabled but
   applications are not.  This informational document does not propose
   normative specification or even suggest that different HIP
   implementations use more uniform methods for legacy application
   support, but is intended instead to aid implementors and early
   adopters in thinking about and solving systems issues regarding the
   incremental deployment of HIP.

   When applications and systems are both HIP-aware, the coordination
   between the application and the system can be straightforward.  For
   example, using the terminology of the widely used sockets Application
   Programming Interface (API), the application can issue a system call
   to send packets to another host by naming it explicitly, and the
   system can perform the necessary name-to-address mapping to assign
   appropriate routable addresses to the packets.  To enable this, a new
   address family for hosts could be defined, and additional API
   extensions could be defined (such as allowing IP addresses to be
   passed in the system call, along with the host name, as hints of
   where to initially try to reach the host).

Henderson, et al.            Informational                      [Page 2]
RFC 5338           Using HIP with Legacy Applications     September 2008

   This document does not define a native HIP API such as described
   above.  Rather, this document is concerned with the scenario in which
   the application is not HIP-aware and a traditional IP-address-based

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