Service Function Chaining (SFC) Architecture
RFC 7665

Document Type RFC - Informational (October 2015; Errata)
Last updated 2015-11-10
Replaces draft-merged-sfc-architecture
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Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF)                   J. Halpern, Ed.
Request for Comments: 7665                                      Ericsson
Category: Informational                                C. Pignataro, Ed.
ISSN: 2070-1721                                                    Cisco
                                                            October 2015

              Service Function Chaining (SFC) Architecture

Abstract

   This document describes an architecture for the specification,
   creation, and ongoing maintenance of Service Function Chains (SFCs)
   in a network.  It includes architectural concepts, principles, and
   components used in the construction of composite services through
   deployment of SFCs, with a focus on those to be standardized in the
   IETF.  This document does not propose solutions, protocols, or
   extensions to existing protocols.

Status of This Memo

   This document is not an Internet Standards Track specification; it is
   published for informational purposes.

   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).  Not all documents
   approved by the IESG are a candidate for any level of Internet
   Standard; see 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
   http://www.rfc-editor.org/info/rfc7665.

Halpern & Pignataro           Informational                     [Page 1]
RFC 7665                    SFC Architecture                October 2015

Copyright Notice

   Copyright (c) 2015 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
   (http://trustee.ietf.org/license-info) 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.

Halpern & Pignataro           Informational                     [Page 2]
RFC 7665                    SFC Architecture                October 2015

Table of Contents

   1.  Introduction  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   4
     1.1.  Scope . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   4
     1.2.  Assumptions . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   5
     1.3.  Specification of Requirements . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   5
     1.4.  Definition of Terms . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   6
   2.  Architectural Concepts  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   8
     2.1.  Service Function Chains . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   8
     2.2.  Service Function Chain Symmetry . . . . . . . . . . . . .   9
     2.3.  Service Function Paths  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  10
       2.3.1.  Service Function Chains, Service Function Paths, and
               Rendered Service Path . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  11
   3.  Architecture Principles . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  12
   4.  Core SFC Architecture Components  . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  13
     4.1.  SFC Encapsulation . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  14
     4.2.  Service Function (SF) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  15
     4.3.  Service Function Forwarder (SFF)  . . . . . . . . . . . .  15
       4.3.1.  Transport-Derived SFF . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  17
     4.4.  SFC-Enabled Domain  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  17
     4.5.  Network Overlay and Network Components  . . . . . . . . .  18
     4.6.  SFC Proxy . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  18
     4.7.  Classification  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  19
     4.8.  Reclassification and Branching  . . . . . . . . . . . . .  19
     4.9.  Shared Metadata . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  20
   5.  Additional Architectural Concepts . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  21
     5.1.  The Role of Policy  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  21
     5.2.  SFC Control Plane . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  21
     5.3.  Resource Control  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  22
     5.4.  Infinite Loop Detection and Avoidance . . . . . . . . . .  23
     5.5.  Load-Balancing Considerations . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  23
     5.6.  MTU and Fragmentation Considerations  . . . . . . . . . .  24
     5.7.  SFC OAM . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  25
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