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Concluded WG Zeroconf Router (zerouter)

Note: The data for concluded WGs is occasionally incorrect.

WG Name Zeroconf Router
Acronym zerouter
Area Internet Area (int)
State Concluded
Charter charter-ietf-zerouter-01 Approved
Document dependencies
Personnel Chair Aidan Williams
Mailing list Address

Final Charter for Working Group

IP networks are in widespread use in environments like the home where
there is no network administrator. With IPv6 deployment delegating
/48 prefixes and the increasing complexity and variety of home
networks, automatic configuration of routers in the home is desirable.
Host auto-configuration mechanisms exist for IPv6 and IPv4 however no
protocols have been standardised that support autoconfiguration of a
mesh of routers.

The objective of this working group is to define protocol mechanisms
that will allow consistent IP subnet prefixes to be automatically
assigned in a mesh of routers. Such networks are expected to connect
to IP infrastructure and will need to receive configuration parameters
in order to operate (e.g. delegated IPv6 prefix).

IP router auto-configuration is complementary to Layer-2 bridging.
Many commodity home networking products today use Layer-2 bridging and
work satisfactorily for simple networks. Achieving a robust L2
bridged network requires 802.1d spanning tree (often not implemented).
Efficient multicast forwarding requires IGMP/MLD snooping, GARP/GMRP
or a similar mechanism. Sometimes L2 bridging is not possible, for
example between IEEE1394 and ethernet, or between FDDI and ethernet.
A Layer-3 approach allows existing unicast and multicast routing
protocols to be used to create a robust and efficient auto-configured
home network.

Work areas:

  1. Parameter propagation

    Specify mechanisms to:
    - Propogate a delegated address range through a mesh of routers.
    - Propagate configuration parameters through the mesh of routers
    to hosts (e.g. default DNS domain suffix, DNS server).

  2. Automatic assignment of subnet identifiers to links.

    • Specify protocols that will automatically generate consistent
      subnet numbers in a mesh of routers.
  3. Specify how automatic address assignment interacts with specific
    unicast and multicast routing protocols.

  4. Support for locally scoped name service and service discovery in
    routed zeroconf networks.

Scope statements:

  • Zerouter protocols are intended to be used in leaf networks.
    Auto-configuration of transit networks is out of scope.

  • Whilst there are some similarities to MANET routing protocols,
    zerouter protocols will be used in a different environment.
    Differences are no/low mobility, and a strong emphasis on address

  • Auto-configuration of L2 media parameters is out of scope
    (e.g. virtual circuit IDs and the like).

Existing drafts: