RFC 3654

Network Working Group                                   H. Khosravi, Ed.
Request for Comments: 3654                              T. Anderson, Ed.
Category: Informational                                            Intel
                                                           November 2003

       Requirements for Separation of IP Control and Forwarding

Status of this Memo

   This memo provides information for the Internet community.  It does
   not specify an Internet standard of any kind.  Distribution of this
   memo is unlimited.

Copyright Notice

   Copyright (C) The Internet Society (2003).  All Rights Reserved.


   This document introduces the Forwarding and Control Element
   Separation (ForCES) architecture and defines a set of associated
   terminology.  This document also defines a set of architectural,
   modeling, and protocol requirements to logically separate the control
   and data forwarding planes of an IP (IPv4, IPv6, etc.) networking

Table of Contents

   1.  Introduction. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   2
   2.  Definitions . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   2
   3.  Architecture. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   4
   4.  Architectural Requirements. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   5
   5.  FE Model Requirements . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   7
       5.1.  Types of Logical Functions. . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   8
       5.2.  Variations of Logical Functions . . . . . . . . . . . .   8
       5.3.  Ordering of Logical Functions . . . . . . . . . . . . .   8
       5.4.  Flexibility . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   8
       5.5   Minimal Set of Logical Functions. . . . . . . . . . . .   9
   6.  ForCES Protocol Requirements. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  10
   7.  References. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  14
       7.1.  Normative References. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  14
       7.2.  Informative References. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  15
   8.  Security Considerations . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  15
   9.  Authors' Addresses & Acknowledgments. . . . . . . . . . . . .  15
   10. Editors' Contact Information. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  17
   11. Full Copyright Statement. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  18

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1. Introduction

   An IP network element is composed of numerous logically separate
   entities that cooperate to provide a given functionality (such as a
   routing or IP switching) and yet appear as a normal integrated
   network element to external entities.  Two primary types of network
   element components exist: control-plane components and forwarding-
   plane components.  In general, forwarding-plane components are ASIC,
   network-processor, or general-purpose processor-based devices that
   handle all data path operations.  Conversely, control-plane
   components are typically based on general-purpose processors that
   provide control functionality such as the processing of routing or
   signaling protocols.  A standard set of mechanisms for connecting
   these components provides increased scalability and allows the
   control and forwarding planes to evolve independently, thus promoting
   faster innovation.

   For the purpose of illustration, let us consider the architecture of
   a router to illustrate the concept of separate control and forwarding
   planes.  The architecture of a router is composed of two main parts.
   These components, while inter-related, perform functions that are
   largely independent of each other.  At the bottom is the forwarding
   path that operates in the data-forwarding plane and is responsible
   for per-packet processing and forwarding.  Above the forwarding plane
   is the network operating system that is responsible for operations in
   the control plane.  In the case of a router or switch, the network
   operating system runs routing, signaling and control protocols (e.g.,
   RIP, OSPF and RSVP) and dictates the forwarding behavior by
   manipulating forwarding tables, per-flow QoS tables and access
   control lists.  Typically, the architecture of these devices combines
   all of this functionality into a single functional whole with respect
   to external entities.

2. Definitions

   Addressable Entity (AE) - A physical device that is directly
   addressable given some interconnect technology.  For example, on IP
   networks, it is a device to which we can communicate using an IP
   address; and on a switch fabric, it is a device to which we can
   communicate using a switch fabric port number.

   Physical Forwarding Element (PFE) - An AE that includes hardware used
   to provide per-packet processing and handling.  This hardware may
   consist of (but is not limited to) network processors, ASIC's, line
   cards with multiple chips or stand alone box with general-purpose

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   Physical Control Element (PCE) - An AE that includes hardware used to
   provide control functionality.  This hardware typically includes a
   general-purpose processor.

   Forwarding Element (FE) - A logical entity that implements the ForCES
   protocol.  FEs use the underlying hardware to provide per-packet
   processing and handling as directed/controlled by a CE via the ForCES
   protocol.  FEs may happen to be a single blade(or PFE), a partition
   of a PFE or multiple PFEs.

   Control Element (CE) - A logical entity that implements the ForCES
   protocol and uses it to instruct one or more FEs how to process
   packets.  CEs handle functionality such as the execution of control
   and signaling protocols.  CEs may consist of PCE partitions or whole

   Pre-association Phase - The period of time during which a FE Manager
   (see below) and a CE Manager (see below) are determining which FE and
   CE should be part of the same network element.  Any partitioning of
   PFEs and PCEs occurs during this phase.

   Post-association Phase - The period of time during which a FE does
   know which CE is to control it and vice versa, including the time
   during which the CE and FE are establishing communication with one

   ForCES Protocol - While there may be multiple protocols used within
   the overall ForCES architecture, the term "ForCES protocol" refers
   only to the ForCES post-association phase protocol (see below).

   ForCES Post-Association Phase Protocol - The protocol used for post-
   association phase communication between CEs and FEs.  This protocol
   does not apply to CE-to-CE communication, FE-to-FE communication, or
   to communication between FE and CE managers.  The ForCES protocol is
   a master-slave protocol in which FEs are slaves and CEs are masters.
   This protocol includes both the management of the communication
   channel (e.g., connection establishment, heartbeats) and the control
   messages themselves.  This protocol could be a single protocol or
   could consist of multiple protocols working together.

   FE Model - A model that describes the logical processing functions of
   a FE.

   FE Manager - A logical entity that operates in the pre-association
   phase and is responsible for determining to which CE(s) a FE should
   communicate.  This process is called CE discovery and may involve the
   FE manager learning the capabilities of available CEs.  A FE manager
   may use anything from a static configuration to a pre-association

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   phase protocol (see below) to determine which CE to use.  However,
   this pre-association phase protocol is currently out of scope.  Being
   a logical entity, a FE manager might be physically combined with any
   of the other logical entities mentioned in this section.

   CE Manager - A logical entity that operates in the pre-association
   phase and is responsible for determining to which FE(s) a CE should
   communicate.  This process is called FE discovery and may involve the
   CE manager learning the capabilities of available FEs.  A CE manager
   may use anything from a static configuration to a pre-association
   phase protocol (see below) to determine which FE to use.  Again, this
   pre-association phase protocol is currently out of scope.  Being a
   logical entity, a CE manager might be physically combined with any of
   the other logical entities mentioned in this section.

   Pre-association Phase Protocol - A protocol between FE managers and
   CE managers that is used to determine which CEs or FEs to use.  A
   pre-association phase protocol may include a CE and/or FE capability
   discovery mechanism.  Note that this capability discovery process is
   wholly separate from (and does not replace) what is used within the
   ForCES protocol (see Section 6, requirement #1).  However, the two
   capability discovery mechanisms may utilize the same FE model (see
   Section 5).  Pre-association phase protocols are not discussed
   further in this document.

   ForCES Network Element (NE) - An entity composed of one or more CEs
   and one or more FEs.  To entities outside a NE, the NE represents a
   single point of management.  Similarly, a NE usually hides its
   internal organization from external entities.

   ForCES Protocol Element - A FE or CE.

   High Touch Capability - This term will be used to apply to the
   capabilities found in some forwarders to take action on the contents
   or headers of a packet based on content other than what is found in
   the IP header.  Examples of these capabilities include NAT-PT,
   firewall, and L7 content recognition.

3. Architecture

   The chief components of a NE architecture are the CE, the FE, and the
   interconnect protocol.  The CE is responsible for operations such as
   signaling and control protocol processing and the implementation of
   management protocols.  Based on the information acquired through
   control processing, the CE(s) dictates the packet-forwarding behavior
   of the FE(s) via the interconnect protocol.  For example, the CE
   might control a FE by manipulating its forwarding tables, the state
   of its interfaces, or by adding or removing a NAT binding.

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   The FE operates in the forwarding plane and is responsible for per-
   packet processing and handling.  By allowing the control and
   forwarding planes to evolve independently, different types of FEs can
   be developed - some general purpose and others more specialized.
   Some functions that FEs could perform include layer 3 forwarding,
   metering, shaping, firewall, NAT, encapsulation (e.g., tunneling),
   decapsulation, encryption, accounting, etc.  Nearly all combinations
   of these functions may be present in practical FEs.

   Below is a diagram illustrating an example NE composed of a CE and
   two FEs.  Both FEs and CE require minimal configuration as part of
   the pre-configuration process and this may be done by FE Manager and
   CE Manager respectively.  Apart from this, there is no defined role
   for FE Manager and CE Manager.  These components are out of scope of
   the architecture and requirements for the ForCES protocol, which only
   involves CEs and FEs.

         | NE                           |
         |        -------------         |
         |        |    CE     |         |
         |        -------------         |
         |          /        \          |
         |         /          \         |
         |        /            \        |
         |       /              \       |
         |  -----------     ----------- |
         |  |   FE    |     |    FE   | |
         |  -----------     ----------- |
         |    | | | |         | | | |   |
         |    | | | |         | | | |   |
         |    | | | |         | | | |   |
         |    | | | |         | | | |   |
              | | | |         | | | |
              | | | |         | | | |

4. Architectural Requirements

   The following are the architectural requirements:

   1) CEs and FEs MUST be able to connect by a variety of interconnect
   technologies.  Examples of interconnect technologies used in current
   architectures include Ethernet, bus backplanes, and ATM (cell)
   fabrics.  FEs MAY be connected to each other via a different
   technology than that used for CE/FE communication.

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   2) FEs MUST support a minimal set of capabilities necessary for
   establishing network connectivity (e.g., interface discovery, port
   up/down functions).  Beyond this minimal set, the ForCES architecture
   MUST NOT restrict the types or numbers of capabilities that FEs may

   3) Packets MUST be able to arrive at the NE by one FE and leave the
   NE via a different FE.

   4) A NE MUST support the appearance of a single functional device.
   For example, in a router, the TTL of the packet should be decremented
   only once as it traverses the NE regardless of how many FEs through
   which it passes.  However, external entities (e.g., FE managers and
   CE managers) MAY have direct access to individual ForCES protocol
   elements for providing information to transition them from the pre-
   association to post-association phase.

   5) The architecture MUST provide a way to prevent unauthorized ForCES
   protocol elements from joining a NE.  (For more protocol details,
   refer to section 6 requirement #2)

   6) A FE MUST be able to asynchronously inform the CE of a failure or
   increase/decrease in available resources or capabilities on the FE.
   Thus, the FE MUST support error monitoring and reporting. (Since
   there is not a strict 1-to-1 mapping between FEs and PFEs, it is
   possible for the relationship between a FE and its physical resources
   to change over time).  For example, the number of physical ports or
   the amount of memory allocated to a FE may vary over time. The CE
   needs to be informed of such changes so that it can control the FE in
   an accurate way.

   7) The architecture MUST support mechanisms for CE redundancy or CE
   failover.  This includes the ability for CEs and FEs to determine
   when there is a loss of association between them, ability to restore
   association and efficient state (re)synchronization mechanisms.  This
   also includes the ability to preset the actions an FE will take in
   reaction to loss of association to its CE e.g., whether the FE will
   continue to forward packets or whether it will halt operations.

   8) FEs MUST be able to redirect control packets (such as RIP, OSPF
   messages) addressed to their interfaces to the CE.  They MUST also
   redirect other relevant packets (e.g., such as those with Router
   Alert Option set) to their CE.  The CEs MUST be able to configure the
   packet redirection information/filters on the FEs.  The CEs MUST also
   be able to create packets and have its FEs deliver them.

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   9) Any proposed ForCES architectures MUST explain how that
   architecture supports all of the router functions as defined in
   [RFC1812].  IPv4 Forwarding functions such IP header validation,
   performing longest prefix match algorithm, TTL decrement, Checksum
   calculation, generation of ICMP error messages, etc defined in RFC
   1812 should be explained.

   10) In a ForCES NE, the CE(s) MUST be able to learn the topology by
   which the FEs in the NE are connected.

   11) The ForCES NE architecture MUST be capable of supporting (i.e.,
   must scale to) at least hundreds of FEs and tens of thousands of

   12) The ForCES architecture MUST allow FEs AND CEs to join and leave
   NEs dynamically.

   13) The ForCES NE architecture MUST support multiple CEs and FEs.
   However, coordination between CEs is out of scope of ForCES.

   14) For pre-association phase setup, monitoring, configuration
   issues, it MAY be useful to use standard management mechanisms for
   CEs and FEs.  The ForCES architecture and requirements do not
   preclude this.  In general, for post-association phase, most
   management tasks SHOULD be done through interaction with the CE.  In
   certain conditions (e.g., CE/FE disconnection), it may be useful to
   allow management tools (e.g., SNMP) to be used to diagnose and repair
   problems.  The following guidelines MUST be observed:

   1. The ability for a management tool (e.g., SNMP) to be used to read
      (but not change) the state of FE SHOULD NOT be precluded.
   2. It MUST NOT be possible for management tools (e.g., SNMP, etc) to
      change the state of a FE in a manner that affects overall NE
      behavior without the CE being notified.

5. FE Model Requirements

   The variety of FE functionality that the ForCES architecture allows
   poses a potential problem for CEs.  In order for a CE to effectively
   control a FE, the CE must understand how the FE processes packets. We
   therefore REQUIRE that a FE model be created that can express the
   logical packet processing capabilities of a FE.  This model will be
   used in the ForCES protocol to describe FE capabilities (see Section
   6, requirement #1).  The FE model MUST define both a capability model
   and a state model, which expresses the current configuration of the
   device.  The FE model MUST also support multiple FEs in the NE

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5.1. Types of Logical Functions

   The FE model MUST express what logical functions can be applied to
   packets as they pass through a FE. Logical functions are the packet
   processing functions that are applied to the packets as they are
   forwarded through a FE.  Examples of logical functions are layer 3
   forwarding, firewall, NAT, and shaping. Section 5.5 defines the
   minimal set of logical functions that the FE Model MUST support.

5.2. Variations of Logical Functions

   The FE model MUST be capable of supporting/allowing variations in the
   way logical functions are implemented on a FE.  For example, on a
   certain FE the forwarding logical function might have information
   about both the next hop IP address and the next hop MAC address,
   while on another FE these might be implemented as separate logical
   functions.  Another example would be NAT functionality that can have
   several flavors such as Traditional/Outbound NAT, Bi-directional NAT,
   Twice NAT,  and Multihomed NAT [RFC2663].  The model must be flexible
   enough to allow such variations in functions.

5.3. Ordering of Logical Functions

   The model MUST be capable of describing the order in which these
   logical functions are applied in a FE.  The ordering of logical
   functions is important in many cases.  For example, a NAT function
   may change a packet's source or destination IP address.  Any number
   of other logical functions (e.g., layer 3 forwarding, ingress/egress
   firewall, shaping, and accounting) may make use of the source or
   destination IP address when making decisions.  The CE needs to know
   whether to configure these logical functions with the pre-NAT or
   post-NAT IP address.  Furthermore, the model MUST be capable of
   expressing multiple instances of the same logical function in a FE's
   processing path.  Using NAT again as an example, one NAT function is
   typically performed before the forwarding decision (packets arriving
   externally have their public addresses replaced with private
   addresses) and one NAT function is performed after the forwarding
   decision (for packets exiting the domain, their private addresses are
   replaced by public ones).

5.4. Flexibility

   Finally, the FE model SHOULD provide a flexible infrastructure in
   which new logical functions and new classification, action, and
   parameterization data can be easily added.  In addition, the FE model
   MUST be capable of describing the types of statistics gathered by
   each logical function.

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5.5. Minimal Set of Logical Functions

   The rest of this section defines a minimal set of logical functions
   that any FE model MUST support.  This minimal set DOES NOT imply that
   all FEs must provide this functionality.  Instead, these requirements
   only specify that the model must be capable of expressing the
   capabilities that FEs may choose to provide.

   1) Port Functions
   The FE model MUST be capable of expressing the number of ports on the
   device, the static attributes of each port (e.g., port type, link
   speed), and the configurable attributes of each port (e.g., IP
   address, administrative status).

   2) Forwarding Functions
   The FE model MUST be capable of expressing the data that can be used
   by the forwarding function to make a forwarding decision.  Support
   for IPv4 and IPv6 unicast and multicast forwarding functions MUST be
   provided by the model.

   3) QoS Functions
   The FE model MUST allow a FE to express its QoS capabilities in terms
   of, e.g., metering, policing, shaping, and queuing functions. The FE
   model MUST be capable of expressing the use of these functions to
   provide IntServ or DiffServ functionality as described in [RFC2211],
   [RFC2212], [RFC2215], [RFC2475], and [RFC3290].

   4) Generic Filtering Functions
   The FE model MUST be capable of expressing complex sets of filtering
   functions.  The model MUST be able to express the existence of these
   functions at arbitrary points in the sequence of a FE's packet
   processing functions.  The FE model MUST be capable of expressing a
   wide range of classification abilities from single fields (e.g.,
   destination address) to arbitrary n-tuples.  Similarly, the FE model
   MUST be capable of expressing what actions these filtering functions
   can perform on packets that the classifier matches.

   5) Vendor-Specific Functions
   The FE model SHOULD be extensible so that new, currently unknown FE
   functionality can be expressed.  The FE Model SHOULD NOT be extended
   to express standard/common functions in a proprietary manner.  This
   would NOT be ForCES compliant.

   6) High-Touch Functions
   The FE model MUST be capable of expressing the encapsulation and
   tunneling capabilities of a FE.  The FE model MUST support functions

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   that mark the class of service that a packet should receive (i.e.,
   IPv4 header TOS octet or the IPv6 Traffic Class octet).  The FE model
   MAY support other high touch functions (e.g., NAT, ALG).

   7) Security Functions
   The FE model MUST be capable of expressing the types of encryption
   that may be applied to packets in the forwarding path.

   8) Off-loaded Functions
   Per-packet processing can leave state in the FE, so that logical
   functions executed during packet processing can perform in a
   consistent manner (for instance, each packet may update the state of
   the token bucket occupancy of a give policer).  In addition, the FE
   Model MUST allow logical functions to execute asynchronously from
   packet processing, according to a certain finite-state machine, in
   order to perform functions that are, for instance, off-loaded from
   the CE to the FE.  The FE model MUST be capable of expressing these
   asynchronous functions.  Examples of such functions include the
   finite-state machine execution required by TCP termination or OSPF
   Hello processing, triggered not only by packet events, but by timer
   events as well.  This Does NOT mean off-loading of any piece of code
   to an FE, just that the FE Model should be able to express existing
   Off-loaded functions on an FE.

   9) IPFLOW/PSAMP Functions
   Several applications such as, Usage-based Accounting, Traffic
   engineering, require flow-based IP traffic measurements from Network
   Elements. [IPFLOW] defines architecture for IP traffic flow
   monitoring, measuring and exporting.  The FE model SHOULD be able to
   express metering functions and flow accounting needed for exporting
   IP traffic flow information.  Similarly to support measurement-based
   applications, [PSAMP] describes a framework to define a standard set
   of capabilities for network elements to sample subsets of packets by
   statistical and other methods.  The FE model SHOULD be able to
   express statistical packet filtering functions and packet information
   needed for supporting packet sampling applications.

6. ForCES Protocol Requirements

   This section specifies some of the requirements that the ForCES
   protocol MUST meet.

   1) Configuration of Modeled Elements
   The ForCES protocol MUST allow the CEs to determine the capabilities
   of each FE.  These capabilities SHALL be expressed using the FE model
   whose requirements are defined in Section 5.  Furthermore, the
   protocol MUST provide a means for the CEs to control all the FE

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   capabilities that are discovered through the FE model.  The protocol
   MUST be able to add/remove classification/action entries, set/delete
   parameters, query statistics, and register for and receive events.

   2) Support for Secure Communication
      a) FE configuration will contain information critical to the
         functioning of a network (e.g., IP Forwarding Tables).  As
         such, it MUST be possible to ensure the integrity of all ForCES
         protocol messages and protect against man-in-the-middle
      b) FE configuration information may also contain information
         derived from business relationships (e.g., service level
         agreements).  Because of the confidential nature of the
         information, it MUST be possible to secure (make private) all
         ForCES protocol messages.
      c) In order to ensure that authorized CEs and FEs are
         participating in a NE and defend against CE or FE impersonation
         attacks, the ForCES architecture MUST select a means of
         authentication for CEs and FEs.
      d) In some deployments ForCES is expected to be deployed between
         CEs and FEs connected to each other inside a box over a
         backplane, where physical security of the box ensures that
         man-in-the-middle, snooping, and impersonation attacks are not
         possible.  In such scenarios the ForCES architecture MAY rely
         on the physical security of the box to defend against these
         attacks and protocol mechanisms May be turned off.
      e) In the case when CEs and FEs are connected over a network,
         security mechanisms MUST be specified or selected that protect
         the ForCES protocol against such attacks.  Any security
         solution used for ForCES MUST specify how it deals with such

   3) Scalability
   The ForCES protocol MUST be capable of supporting (i.e., must scale
   to) at least hundreds of FEs and tens of thousands of ports.  For
   example, the ForCES protocol field sizes corresponding to FE or port
   numbers SHALL be large enough to support the minimum required
   numbers.  This requirement does not relate to the performance of a NE
   as the number of FEs or ports in the NE grows.

   4) Multihop
   When the CEs and FEs are separated beyond a single L3 routing hop,
   the ForCES protocol will make use of an existing RFC2914 compliant L4
   protocol with adequate reliability, security and congestion control
   (e.g., TCP, SCTP) for transport purposes.

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   5) Message Priority
   The ForCES protocol MUST provide a means to express the protocol
   message priorities.

   6) Reliability
      a) The ForCES protocol will be used to transport information that
         requires varying levels of reliability.  By strict or robust
         reliability in this requirement we mean, no losses, no
         corruption, no re-ordering of information being transported and
         delivery in a timely fashion.
      b) Some information or payloads, such as redirected packets or
         packet sampling, may not require robust reliability (can
         tolerate some degree of losses).  For information of this sort,
         ForCES MUST NOT be restricted to strict reliability.
      c) Payloads such as configuration information, e.g., ACLs, FIB
         entries, or FE capability information (described in section 6,
         (1)) are mission critical and must be delivered in a robust
         reliable fashion.  Thus, for information of this sort, ForCES
         MUST either provide built-in protocol mechanisms or use a
         reliable transport protocol for achieving robust/strict
      d) Some information or payloads, such as heartbeat packets that
         may be used to detect loss of association between CE and FEs
         (see section 6, (8)), may prefer timeliness over reliable
         delivery.  For information of this sort, ForCES MUST NOT be
         restricted to strict reliability.
      e) When ForCES is carried over multi-hop IP networks, it is a
         requirement that ForCES MUST use a [RFC2914]-compliant
         transport protocol.
      f) In cases where ForCES is not running over an IP network such as
         an Ethernet or cell fabric between CE and FE, then reliability
         still MUST be provided when carrying critical information of
         the types specified in (c) above, either by the underlying
         link/network/transport layers or by built-in protocol

   7) Interconnect Independence
   The ForCES protocol MUST support a variety of interconnect
   technologies. (refer to section 4, requirement #1)

   8) CE redundancy or CE failover
   The ForCES protocol MUST support mechanisms for CE redundancy or CE
   failover.  This includes the ability for CEs and FEs to determine
   when there is a loss of association between them, ability to restore
   association and efficient state (re)synchronization mechanisms.  This
   also includes the ability to preset the actions an FE will take in

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   reaction to loss of association to its CE, e.g., whether the FE will
   continue to forward packets or whether it will halt operations.
   (refer to section 4, requirement #7)

   9) Packet Redirection/Mirroring
      a) The ForCES protocol MUST define a way to redirect packets from
         the FE to the CE and vice-versa.  Packet redirection terminates
         any further processing of the redirected packet at the FE.
      b) The ForCES protocol MUST define a way to mirror packets from
         the FE to the CE.  Mirroring allows the packet duplicated by
         the FE at the mirroring point to be sent to the CE while the
         original packet continues to be processed by the FE.

   Examples of packets that may be redirected or mirrored include
   control packets (such as RIP, OSPF messages) addressed to the
   interfaces or any other relevant packets (such as those with Router
   Alert Option set).  The ForCES protocol MUST also define a way for
   the CE to configure the behavior of a) and b) (above), to specify
   which packets are affected by each.

   10) Topology Exchange
   The ForCES protocol or information carried in the ForCES protocol
   MUST allow those FEs which have inter-FE topology information to
   provide that information to the CE(s).

   11) Dynamic Association
   The ForCES protocol MUST allow CEs and FEs to join and leave a NE
   dynamically. (refer to section 4, requirement #12)

   12) Command Bundling
   The ForCES protocol MUST be able to group an ordered set of commands
   to a FE.  Each such group of commands SHOULD be sent to the FE in as
   few messages as possible.  Furthermore, the protocol MUST support the
   ability to specify if a command group MUST have all-or-nothing

   13) Asynchronous Event Notification
   The ForCES protocol MUST be able to asynchronously notify the CE of
   events on the FE such as failures or change in available resources or
   capabilities. (refer to section 4, requirement #6)

   14) Query Statistics
   The ForCES protocol MUST provide a means for the CE to be able to
   query statistics (monitor performance) from the FE.

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RFC 3654                  ForCES Requirements              November 2003

   15) Protection against Denial of Service Attacks (based on CPU
   overload or queue overflow)
   Systems utilizing the ForCES protocol can be attacked using denial of
   service attacks based on CPU overload or queue overflow. The ForCES
   protocol could be exploited by such attacks to cause the CE to become
   unable to control the FE or appropriately communicate with other
   routers and systems.  The ForCES protocol MUST therefore provide
   mechanisms for controlling FE capabilities that can be used to
   protect against such attacks.  FE capabilities that MUST be
   manipulated via ForCES include the ability to install classifiers and
   filters to detect and drop attack packets, as well as to be able to
   install rate limiters that limit the rate of packets which appear to
   be valid but may be part of an attack (e.g., bogus BGP packets).

7. References

7.1.  Normative References

   [RFC3290]  Bernet, Y., Blake, S., Grossman, D. and A. Smith, "An
              Informal Management Model for DiffServ Routers", RFC 3290,
              May 2002.

   [RFC1812]  Baker, F., "Requirements for IP Version 4 Routers", RFC
              1812, June 1995.

   [RFC2211]  Wroclawski, J., "Specification of the Controlled-Load
              Network Element Service", RFC 2211, September 1997.

   [RFC2212]  Shenker, S., Partridge, C. and R. Guerin, "Specification
              of Guaranteed Quality of Service", RFC 2212, September

   [RFC2215]  Shenker, S. and J. Wroclawski, "General Characterization
              Parameters for Integrated Service Network Elements", RFC
              2215, September 1997.

   [RFC2475]  Blake, S., Black, D., Carlson, M., Davies, E., Wang, Z.
              and W. Weisss, "An Architecture for Differentiated
              Service", RFC 2475, December 1998.

   [RFC2914]  Floyd, S., "Congestion Control Principles", BCP 14, RFC
              2914, September 2000.

   [RFC2663]  Srisuresh, P. and M. Holdrege, "IP Network Address
              Translator (NAT) Terminology and Considerations", RFC
              2663, August 1999.

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RFC 3654                  ForCES Requirements              November 2003

7.2. Informative References

   [RFC3532]  Anderson, T. and J. Buerkle, "Requirements for the Dynamic
              Partitioning of Switching Elements", RFC 3532, May 2003.

   [IPFLOW]   Quittek, et al., "Requirements for IP Flow Information
              Export", Work in Progress, February 2003.

   [PSAMP]    Duffield, et al., "A Framework for Passive Packet
              Measurement ", Work in Progress, March 2003.

8. Security Considerations

   See architecture requirement #5 and protocol requirement #2.

9. Authors' Addresses & Acknowledgments

   This document was written by the ForCES Requirements design team:

   Todd A. Anderson (Editor)

   Ed Bowen
   IBM Zurich Research Laboratory
   Saumerstrasse 4
   CH-8803 Rueschlikon Switzerland

   Phone: +41 1 724 83 68
   EMail: edbowen@us.ibm.com

   Ram Dantu
   Department of Computer Science
   University of North Texas,
   Denton, Texas, 76203

   Phone: 940 565 2822
   EMail: rdantu@unt.edu

   Avri Doria
   161 Gajeong-dong, Yuseong-gu
   Deajeon 305-350 Korea

   EMail: avri@acm.org

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RFC 3654                  ForCES Requirements              November 2003

   Ram Gopal
   Nokia Research Center
   5, Wayside Road,
   Burlington, MA 01803

   Phone: 1-781-993-3685
   EMail: ram.gopal@nokia.com

   Jamal Hadi Salim
   Znyx Networks
   Ottawa, Ontario

   EMail: hadi@znyx.com

   Hormuzd Khosravi (Editor)

   Muneyb Minhazuddin
   Avaya Inc.
   123, Epping road,
   North Ryde, NSW 2113, Australia
   Phone: +61 2 9352 8620
   EMail: muneyb@avaya.com

   Margaret Wasserman
   Nokia Research Center
   5 Wayside Road
   Burlington, MA 01803
   Phone: +1 781 993 3858
   EMail: margaret.wasserman@nokia.com

   The authors would like to thank Vip Sharma and Lily Yang for their
   valuable contributions.

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RFC 3654                  ForCES Requirements              November 2003

10.  Editors' Contact Information

   Hormuzd Khosravi
   2111 NE 25th Avenue
   Hillsboro, OR 97124 USA

   Phone: +1 503 264 0334
   EMail: hormuzd.m.khosravi@intel.com

   Todd A. Anderson
   2111 NE 25th Avenue
   Hillsboro, OR 97124 USA

   Phone: +1 503 712 1760
   EMail: todd.a.anderson@intel.com

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RFC 3654                  ForCES Requirements              November 2003

11.  Full Copyright Statement

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   The limited permissions granted above are perpetual and will not be
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   This document and the information contained herein is provided on an


   Funding for the RFC Editor function is currently provided by the
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