Babel routing protocol (babel)

WG Name Babel routing protocol
Acronym babel
Area Routing Area (rtg)
State Active
Charter charter-ietf-babel-01 Approved
Dependencies Document dependency graph (SVG)
Additional URLs Wiki
Issue tracker
Personnel Chairs Donald Eastlake
Russ White
Area Director Alia Atlas
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Charter for Working Group

Babel is a loop-avoiding, distance vector routing protocol with good
provisions for dynamically computed link metrics. The core of the Babel
protocol and security extensions are described in Experimental
Independent Stream RFCs 6126, 7557, and 7298.

These RFCs are the basis of three independent, open source
implementations. There is some production deployment of these
implementations, notably in hybrid networks (networks that include
classical, wired parts with meshy radio bits) and in global overlay
networks (networks built out of large numbers of tunnels spanning

The Working Group will focus on moving the Babel protocol to IETF
Proposed Standard with IETF review. This includes clarifying RFC 6126
and integrating RFC 7557 and feedback provided by independent
implementations, and resolving comments. It is not a requirement that
the Babel protocol produced is backwards compatible with RFC 6126. It
is a requirement that Babel support at least one profile that is
auto-configuring. Other documents that are relevant to the above work
can also be produced. Particular emphasis will be placed on work needed
for a Proposed Standard routing protocol, such as ensuring manageability
and strong security. Link metric measurement or link metric calculation
procedures significantly more complex that those currently in Babel are
out of scope.

The Babel WG should coordinate with other Working Groups, such as the
HOMENET WG for likely applicability, the RTGWG and V6OPS WG about
Source-Specific Routing to support IPv6 multihoming, the PIM WG for
discussion around multicast, and the MANET WG for considerations around

The Babel WG should liaise as necessary with the Broadband Forum to
facilitate use of the Babel Information Model for TR-069.

Work Items:

- Produce a revision of RFC 6126 suitable for publication as a Proposed
-- incorporate in the revision developments since RFC 6126
-- resolve technical issues found
-- include in the base specification the extensibility work in RFC
-- support auto-configuration
-- consider any important changes based on experience with Babel to

- Address security needs for BABEL. This may include using the
techniques in RFC 7298, or other alternatives. Security may be
included in the base spec or the base spec may normatively reference a
separate Proposed Standard specification. This is required as part of
moving Babel to Proposed Standard.

- Address manageability of Babel by producing a Babel informational
model to help provide guidance and derive the data models. To be
consistent with the ongoing effort to use YANG data modules in the
Routing Area, a Babel YANG data model to support management of home
gateway routers is required as part of moving Babel to Proposed
Standard. This information model is useful as a common source of
information for the case where the Customer-Premise Equipment (CPE) is
managed by the Service Provider (SP) with the Broadband Forum TR-069
protocol and its associated data model.

- As the Proposed Standard version of Babel is completed, an
Applicability Statement should be finalized to guide those potentially
interested in deploying Babel. This Applicability Statement may
include deployment advice and will be published as an RFC.

- The Working Group should document its ongoing implementation
experience with Babel, so that new WG participants can understand the
state that is driving this work and the experience driving changes.
This documentation may be on the Working Group's wiki, in
an internet-draft that isn't expected to be published as an RFC, or a

- As a non-primary focus, the Working Group may work on multicast
aspects of Babel. This may include discussion of any potential issues
for supporting Babel running with PIM-SM in an auto-configuration
profile. It may include exploring Babel carrying separate metrics for
multicast. It may include discussion and consultation with the PIM
WG about Babel providing the ability to build multicast routing
tables. With AD and WG agreement, once an approach is understood,
then a milestone may be added for an associated document targeted as
Proposed Standard.

- As a non-primary focus, the Working Group may work on documents
defining source specific routing extensions for Babel as a way of
handling IPv6 multihoming.


Date Milestone
Aug 2017 IESG Submission of Babel Applicability draft (Informational)
Jul 2017 IESG Submission of Babel Management draft (Proposed Standard)
Jul 2017 IESG Submission of RFC6126bis and potentially companion security mechanisms draft (Proposed Standard)
Oct 2016 WG adoption of Babel Management (Info Model & YANG Model) draft
Jul 2016 WG adoption of RFC6126bis
Jul 2016 WG adoption of Babel Applicability draft