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Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol for IPv6 (DHCPv6) Option for Dual-Stack Lite
RFC 6334

Document Type RFC - Proposed Standard (August 2011)
Authors David Hankins , Tomek Mrugalski
Last updated 2015-10-14
RFC stream Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF)
Additional resources Mailing list discussion
IESG Responsible AD Ralph Droms
Send notices to (None)
RFC 6334
Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF)                        D. Hankins
Request for Comments: 6334                                        Google
Category: Standards Track                                   T. Mrugalski
ISSN: 2070-1721                          Gdansk University of Technology
                                                             August 2011

      Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol for IPv6 (DHCPv6) Option
                          for Dual-Stack Lite


   This document specifies a DHCPv6 option that is meant to be used by a
   Dual-Stack Lite Basic Bridging BroadBand (B4) element to discover the
   IPv6 address of its corresponding Address Family Transition Router

Status of This Memo

   This is an Internet Standards Track document.

   This document is a product of the Internet Engineering Task Force
   (IETF).  It represents the consensus of the IETF community.  It has
   received public review and has been approved for publication by the
   Internet Engineering Steering Group (IESG).  Further information on
   Internet Standards is available in Section 2 of RFC 5741.

   Information about the current status of this document, any errata,
   and how to provide feedback on it may be obtained at

Copyright Notice

   Copyright (c) 2011 IETF Trust and the persons identified as the
   document authors.  All rights reserved.

   This document is subject to BCP 78 and the IETF Trust's Legal
   Provisions Relating to IETF Documents
   ( in effect on the date of
   publication of this document.  Please review these documents
   carefully, as they describe your rights and restrictions with respect
   to this document.  Code Components extracted from this document must
   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.

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RFC 6334                  DS-Lite DHCPv6 Option              August 2011

Table of Contents

   1. Introduction ....................................................2
   2. Requirements Language ...........................................2
   3. The AFTR-Name DHCPv6 Option .....................................2
   4. DHCPv6 Server Behavior ..........................................4
   5. DHCPv6 Client Behavior ..........................................4
   6. Security Considerations .........................................5
   7. IANA Considerations .............................................6
   8. Acknowledgements ................................................6
   9. Normative References ............................................6

1.  Introduction

   Dual-Stack Lite [RFC6333] is a solution to offer both IPv4 and IPv6
   connectivity to customers that are addressed only with an IPv6 prefix
   (no IPv4 address is assigned to the attachment device).  One of its
   key components is an IPv4-over-IPv6 tunnel, commonly referred to as a
   softwire.  A DS-Lite "Basic Bridging BroadBand" (B4) device will not
   know if the network it is attached to offers Dual-Stack Lite service,
   and if it did would not know the remote endpoint of the tunnel to
   establish a softwire.

   To inform the B4 of the Address Family Transition Router's (AFTR)
   location, a DNS [RFC1035] hostname may be used.  Once this
   information is conveyed, the presence of the configuration indicating
   the AFTR's location also informs a host to initiate Dual-Stack Lite
   (DS-Lite) service and become a softwire initiator.

   To provide the conveyance of the configuration information, a single
   DHCPv6 [RFC3315] option is used, expressing the AFTR's Fully
   Qualified Domain Name (FQDN) to the B4 element.

   The details of how the B4 establishes an IPv4-in-IPv6 softwire to the
   AFTR are out of scope for this document.

2.  Requirements Language

   The key words "MUST", "MUST NOT", "REQUIRED", "SHALL", "SHALL NOT",
   document are to be interpreted as described in RFC 2119 [RFC2119].

3.  The AFTR-Name DHCPv6 Option

   The AFTR-Name option consists of option-code and option-len fields
   (as all DHCPv6 options have), and a variable-length tunnel-endpoint-
   name field containing a fully qualified domain name that refers to
   the AFTR to which the client MAY connect.

Hankins & Mrugalski          Standards Track                    [Page 2]
RFC 6334                  DS-Lite DHCPv6 Option              August 2011

   The AFTR-Name option SHOULD NOT appear in any DHCPv6 messages other
   than the following: Solicit, Advertise, Request, Renew, Rebind,
   Information-Request, and Reply.

   The format of the AFTR-Name option is shown in the following figure:

      0                   1                   2                   3
      0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 0 1
     |    OPTION_AFTR_NAME: 64       |          option-len           |
     |                                                               |
     |                  tunnel-endpoint-name (FQDN)                  |
     |                                                               |

         OPTION_AFTR_NAME: 64

               option-len: Length of the tunnel-endpoint-name field in

     tunnel-endpoint-name: A fully qualified domain name of the AFTR
                           tunnel endpoint.

                 Figure 1: AFTR-Name DHCPv6 Option Format

   The tunnel-endpoint-name field is formatted as required in DHCPv6
   [RFC3315] Section 8 ("Representation and Use of Domain Names").
   Briefly, the format described is using a single octet noting the
   length of one DNS label (limited to at most 63 octets), followed by
   the label contents.  This repeats until all labels in the FQDN are
   exhausted, including a terminating zero-length label.  Any updates to
   Section 8 of DHCPv6 [RFC3315] also apply to encoding of this field.
   An example format for this option is shown in Figure 2, which conveys
   the FQDN "".

      | 0x04 |   a  |   f  |   t  |   r  | 0x07 |   e  |   x  |   a  |
      |   m  |   p  |   l  |   e  | 0x03 |   c  |   o  |   m  | 0x00 |

                  Figure 2: Example tunnel-endpoint-name

   Note that in the specific case of the example tunnel-endpoint-name
   (Figure 2), the length of the tunnel-endpoint-name is 18 octets, and
   so an option-len field value of 18 would be used.

Hankins & Mrugalski          Standards Track                    [Page 3]
RFC 6334                  DS-Lite DHCPv6 Option              August 2011

   The option is validated by confirming that all of the following
   conditions are met:

   1.  the option-len is greater than 3;

   2.  the option-len is less than or equal to the remaining number of
       octets in the DHCPv6 packet;

   3.  the individual label lengths do not exceed the option length;

   4.  the tunnel-endpoint-name is of valid format as described in
       DHCPv6 Section 8 [RFC3315];

   5.  there are no compression tags;

   6.  there is at least one label of nonzero length.

4.  DHCPv6 Server Behavior

   A DHCPv6 server SHOULD NOT send more than one AFTR-Name option.  It
   SHOULD NOT permit the configuration of multiple names within one
   AFTR-Name option.  Both of these conditions are handled as exceptions
   by the client, so an operator using software that does not perform
   these validations should be careful not to configure multiple domain

   RFC 3315 Section 17.2.2 [RFC3315] describes how a DHCPv6 client and
   server negotiate configuration values using the Option Request option
   (OPTION_ORO).  As a convenience to the reader, we mention here that a
   server will not reply with an AFTR-Name option if the client has not
   explicitly enumerated it on its Option Request option.

5.  DHCPv6 Client Behavior

   A client that supports the B4 functionality of DS-Lite (defined in
   [RFC6333]) and conforms to this specification MUST include

   Because it requires a DNS name for address resolution, the client MAY
   also wish to include the OPTION_DNS_SERVERS [RFC3646] option on its

   If the client receives the AFTR-Name option, it MUST verify the
   option contents as described in Section 3.

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RFC 6334                  DS-Lite DHCPv6 Option              August 2011

   Note that in different environments, the B4 element and DHCPv6 client
   may be integrated, joined, or separated by a third piece of software.
   For the purpose of this specification, we refer to the "B4 system"
   when specifying implementation steps that may be processed at any
   stage of integration between the DHCPv6 client software and the B4
   element it is configuring.

   If the B4 system receives more than one AFTR-Name option, it MUST use
   only the first instance of that option.

   If the AFTR-Name option contains more than one FQDN, as distinguished
   by the presence of multiple root labels, the B4 system MUST use only
   the first FQDN listed in the configuration.

   The B4 system performs standard DNS resolution using the provided
   FQDN to resolve a AAAA Resource Record, as defined in [RFC3596] and
   STD 13 ([RFC1034], [RFC1035]).

   If any DNS response contains more than one IPv6 address, the B4
   system picks only one IPv6 address and uses it as a remote tunnel
   endpoint for the interface being configured in the current message
   exchange.  The B4 system MUST NOT establish more than one DS-Lite
   tunnel at the same time per interface.  For a redundancy and high-
   availability discussion, see Appendix A.3 ("High Availability") of

   Note that a B4 system may have multiple network interfaces, and these
   interfaces may be configured differently; some may be connected to
   networks that call for DS-Lite, and some may be connected to networks
   that are using normal dual stack or other means.  The B4 system
   should approach this specification on an interface-by-interface
   basis.  For example, if the B4 system is attached to multiple
   networks that provide the AFTR-Name option, then the B4 system MUST
   configure a tunnel for each interface separately, as each DS-Lite
   tunnel provides IPv4 connectivity for each distinct interface.  Means
   to bind an AFTR-Name and DS-Lite tunnel configuration to a given
   interface in a multiple-interface device are out of scope of this

6.  Security Considerations

   This document does not present any new security issues, but as with
   all DHCPv6-derived configuration state, it is completely possible
   that the configuration is being delivered by a third party (Man in
   the Middle).  As such, there is no basis for trusting the access
   level represented by the DS-Lite softwire connection, and DS-Lite
   should therefore not bypass any security mechanisms such as IP

Hankins & Mrugalski          Standards Track                    [Page 5]
RFC 6334                  DS-Lite DHCPv6 Option              August 2011

   [RFC3315] discusses DHCPv6-related security issues.

   [RFC6333] discusses DS-Lite-related security issues.

7.  IANA Considerations

   IANA has allocated a single DHCPv6 option code, 64, referencing this
   document, delineating OPTION_AFTR_NAME.

8.  Acknowledgements

   The authors would like to thank Alain Durand, Rob Austein, Dave
   Thaler, Paul Selkirk, Ralph Droms, Mohamed Boucadair, Roberta
   Maglione, and Shawn Routhier for their valuable feedback and
   suggestions.  The authors acknowledge significant support for this
   work, provided by Internet Systems Consortium, Inc.

   This work has been partially supported by the Polish Ministry of
   Science and Higher Education under the European Regional Development
   Fund, Grant No. POIG.01.01.02-00-045/09-00 (Future Internet
   Engineering Project).

9.  Normative References

   [RFC1034]  Mockapetris, P., "Domain names - concepts and facilities",
              STD 13, RFC 1034, November 1987.

   [RFC1035]  Mockapetris, P., "Domain names - implementation and
              specification", STD 13, RFC 1035, November 1987.

   [RFC2119]  Bradner, S., "Key words for use in RFCs to Indicate
              Requirement Levels", BCP 14, RFC 2119, March 1997.

   [RFC3315]  Droms, R., Ed., Bound, J., Volz, B., Lemon, T., Perkins,
              C., and M. Carney, "Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol
              for IPv6 (DHCPv6)", RFC 3315, July 2003.

   [RFC3596]  Thomson, S., Huitema, C., Ksinant, V., and M. Souissi,
              "DNS Extensions to Support IP Version 6", RFC 3596,
              October 2003.

   [RFC3646]  Droms, R., Ed., "DNS Configuration options for Dynamic
              Host Configuration Protocol for IPv6 (DHCPv6)", RFC 3646,
              December 2003.

   [RFC6333]  Durand, A., Droms, R., Woodyatt, J., and Y. Lee, "Dual-
              Stack Lite Broadband Deployments Following IPv4
              Exhaustion", RFC 6333, August 2011.

Hankins & Mrugalski          Standards Track                    [Page 6]
RFC 6334                  DS-Lite DHCPv6 Option              August 2011

Authors' Addresses

   David W. Hankins
   Google, Inc.
   1600 Amphitheatre Parkway
   Mountain View, CA  94043


   Tomasz Mrugalski
   Gdansk University of Technology
   ul. Storczykowa 22B/12
   Gdansk  80-177

   Phone: +48 698 088 272

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