Name-Based Service Function Forwarder (nSFF) Component within a Service Function Chaining (SFC) Framework
RFC 8677

Document Type RFC - Informational (November 2019; No errata)
Authors Dirk Trossen  , Debashish Purkayastha  , Akbar Rahman 
Last updated 2019-11-26
Stream ISE
Formats plain text html xml pdf htmlized bibtex
IETF conflict review conflict-review-trossen-sfc-name-based-sff
Stream ISE state Published RFC
Consensus Boilerplate Unknown
Document shepherd Adrian Farrel
Shepherd write-up Show (last changed 2019-05-26)
IESG IESG state RFC 8677 (Informational)
Telechat date
Responsible AD (None)
Send notices to Adrian Farrel <>
IANA IANA review state IANA OK - No Actions Needed
IANA action state No IANA Actions

Independent Submission                                        D. Trossen
Request for Comments: 8677                      InterDigital Europe, Ltd
Category: Informational                                   D. Purkayastha
ISSN: 2070-1721                                                A. Rahman
                                        InterDigital Communications, LLC
                                                           November 2019

    Name-Based Service Function Forwarder (nSFF) Component within a
               Service Function Chaining (SFC) Framework


   Adoption of cloud and fog technology allows operators to deploy a
   single "Service Function" (SF) to multiple "execution locations".
   The decision to steer traffic to a specific location may change
   frequently based on load, proximity, etc.  Under the current Service
   Function Chaining (SFC) framework, steering traffic dynamically to
   the different execution endpoints requires a specific "rechaining",
   i.e., a change in the service function path reflecting the different
   IP endpoints to be used for the new execution points.  This procedure
   may be complex and take time.  In order to simplify rechaining and
   reduce the time to complete the procedure, we discuss separating the
   logical Service Function Path (SFP) from the specific execution
   endpoints.  This can be done by identifying the SFs using a name
   rather than a routable IP endpoint (or Layer 2 address).  This
   document describes the necessary extensions, additional functions,
   and protocol details in the Service Function Forwarder (SFF) to
   handle name-based relationships.

   This document presents InterDigital's approach to name-based SFC.  It
   does not represent IETF consensus and is presented here so that the
   SFC community may benefit from considering this mechanism and the
   possibility of its use in the edge data centers.

Status of This Memo

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

   This is a contribution to the RFC Series, independently of any other
   RFC stream.  The RFC Editor has chosen to publish this document at
   its discretion and makes no statement about its value for
   implementation or deployment.  Documents approved for publication by
   the RFC Editor are not candidates for any level of Internet Standard;
   see Section 2 of RFC 7841.

   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) 2019 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.

Table of Contents

   1.  Introduction
   2.  Terminology
   3.  Example Use Case: 5G Control-Plane Services
   4.  Background
     4.1.  Relevant Part of SFC Architecture
     4.2.  Challenges with Current Framework
   5.  Name-Based Operation in SFF
     5.1.  General Idea
     5.2.  Name-Based Service Function Path (nSFP)
     5.3.  Name-Based Network Locator Map (nNLM)
     5.4.  Name-Based Service Function Forwarder (nSFF)
     5.5.  High-Level Architecture
     5.6.  Operational Steps
   6.  nSFF Forwarding Operations
     6.1.  nSFF Protocol Layers
     6.2.  nSFF Operations
       6.2.1.  Forwarding between nSFFs and nSFF-NRs
       6.2.2.  SF Registration
       6.2.3.  Local SF Forwarding
       6.2.4.  Handling of HTTP Responses
       6.2.5.  Remote SF Forwarding
   7.  IANA Considerations
   8.  Security Considerations
   9.  References
     9.1.  Normative References
     9.2.  Informative References
   Authors' Addresses

1.  Introduction

   The requirements on today's networks are very diverse, enabling
   multiple use cases such as the Internet of Things (IoT), Content
   Distribution, Gaming, and Network functions such as Cloud Radio
   Access Network (RAN) and 5G control planes based on a Service-Based
   Architecture (SBA).  These services are deployed, provisioned, and
   managed using Cloud-based techniques as seen in the IT world.
   Virtualization of compute and storage resources is at the heart of
   providing (often web) services to end users with the ability to
   quickly provision virtualized service endpoints through, e.g.,
   container-based techniques.  This creates the ability to dynamically
   compose new services from existing services.  It also allows an
   operator to move a service instance in response to user mobility or
   to change resource availability.  When moving from a purely "distant
   cloud" model to one of localized micro data centers with regional,
Show full document text