RFC 5303

Network Working Group                                            D. Katz
Request for Comments: 5303                              Juniper Networks
Obsoletes: 3373                                                R. Saluja
Category: Standards Track                             Tenet Technologies
                                                         D. Eastlake 3rd
                                                    Eastlake Enterprises
                                                            October 2008

        Three-Way Handshake for IS-IS Point-to-Point Adjacencies

Status of This Memo

   This document specifies an Internet standards track protocol for the
   Internet community, and requests discussion and suggestions for
   improvements.  Please refer to the current edition of the "Internet
   Official Protocol Standards" (STD 1) for the standardization state
   and status of this protocol.  Distribution of this memo is unlimited.


   The IS-IS routing protocol (Intermediate System to Intermediate
   System, ISO 10589) requires reliable protocols at the link layer for
   point-to-point links.  As a result, it does not use a three-way
   handshake when establishing adjacencies on point-to-point media.
   This paper defines a backward-compatible extension to the protocol
   that provides for a three-way handshake.  It is fully interoperable
   with systems that do not support the extension.

   Additionally, the extension allows the robust operation of more than
   256 point-to-point links on a single router.

   This extension has been implemented by multiple router vendors; this
   paper is provided to the Internet community in order to allow
   interoperable implementations to be built by other vendors.

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Table of Contents

   1. Introduction ....................................................2
      1.1. Terminology ................................................3
   2. Overview of Extensions ..........................................3
      2.1. Handshaking ................................................3
      2.2. More than 256 Interfaces ...................................4
   3. Details .........................................................5
      3.1. Syntax .....................................................5
      3.2. Elements of Procedure ......................................6
   4. IANA Considerations .............................................8
   5. Security Considerations .........................................9
   6. Changes from RFC 3373 ...........................................9
   7. Acknowledgements ................................................9
   8. Normative References ............................................9
   9. Informative References ..........................................9

1.  Introduction

   The IS-IS protocol [ISIS] assumes certain requirements stated in ISO
   10589 (section 6.7.2) for the operation of IS-IS over point-to-point
   links and hence provides only a two-way handshake when establishing
   adjacencies on point-to-point links.  The protocol does not operate
   correctly if these subnetwork requirements for point-to-point links
   are not met.  The basic mechanism defined in the standard is that
   each side declares the other side to be reachable if a Hello packet
   is heard from it.  Once this occurs, each side then sends a Complete
   Sequence Number PDU (CSNP) to trigger database synchronization.

   Three failure modes are known.  First, if the link goes down and then
   comes back up, or one of the systems restarts, and the CSNP packet is
   lost, and the network has a cut set of one through the link, the link
   state databases on either side of the link will not synchronize for a
   full Link State Protocol Data Unit (LSP) refresh period (up to 18

   A second, more serious failure is that if the link fails in only one
   direction, the failure will only be detected by one of the systems.
   Normally only one of the two systems will announce the adjacency in
   its link state packets, and the SPF algorithm will thus ignore the
   link.  However, if there are two parallel links between systems and
   one of them fails in one direction, SPF will still calculate paths
   between the two systems, and the system that does not notice the
   failure will attempt to pass traffic down the failed link (in the
   direction that does not work).

   The third issue is that on some physical layers, the
   interconnectivity between endpoints can change without causing a

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   link-layer-down condition.  In this case, a system may receive
   packets that are actually destined for a different system (or a
   different link on the same system).  The receiving system may end up
   thinking that it has an adjacency with the remote system when in fact
   the remote system is adjacent with a third system.

   The solution proposed here ensures correct operation of the protocol
   over unreliable point-to-point links.  As part of the solution to the
   three-way handshaking issue, a method is defined to remove the
   limitation of 255 point-to-point interfaces imposed by IS-IS [ISIS].
   This method is more robust than the ad hoc methods currently in use.

1.1.  Terminology

   The key words "MUST", "MUST NOT", "REQUIRED", "SHALL", "SHALL NOT",
   document are to be interpreted as described in [RFC2119].

2.  Overview of Extensions

   This section provides a general overview of the three-way handshaking
   provided and how more than 256 interfaces are handled.

2.1.  Handshaking

   The intent is to provide a three-way handshake for point-to-point
   adjacency establishment in a backward-compatible fashion.  This is
   done by providing an optional mechanism that allows each system to
   report its adjacency three-way state, thus allowing a system to only
   declare an adjacency to be up if it knows that the other system is
   receiving its IS-IS Hello (IIH) packets.

   The adjacency three-way state can be one of the following types:

      This is the initial point-to-point adjacency three-way state.  The
      system has not received any IIH packet containing the three-way
      handshake option on this point-to-point circuit.

      The system has received an IIH packet containing the three-way
      handshake option from a neighbor but does not know whether the
      neighbor is receiving its IIH packet.

      The system knows that the neighbor is receiving its IIH packets.

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   The adjacency three-way state that is reported by this mechanism is
   not equal or equivalent to the adjacency state that is described in
   ISO 10589 [ISIS].  If this mechanism is supported, then an adjacency
   may have two states, its state as defined in ISO 10589 [ISIS], and
   its three-way state.  For example, according to ISO 10589, receipt of
   an Intermediate System Hello (ISH) will cause an adjacency to go to
   Initializing state; however, receipt of an ISH will have no effect on
   the three-way state of an adjacency, which remains firmly Down until
   it receives an IIH from a neighbor that contains the three-way
   handshaking option.

   In addition, the neighbor's system ID and (newly defined) extended
   circuit ID are reported in order to detect the case where the same
   stream is being received by multiple systems (only one of which can
   talk back).

   The mechanism is quite similar to the one defined in the Netware Link
   Services Protocol (NLSP) [NetLink], a variant of IS-IS used for
   routing Internetwork Packet Exchange (IPX) traffic.  The difference
   between this mechanism and the one used in NLSP is the location where
   the information is carried (NLSP uses two of the reserved bits in the
   IIH header, whereas this solution adds a separate option to the IIH),
   and the presence of the neighbor's system ID and circuit ID.  In
   theory, using the reserved header bits should be backward compatible,
   since systems are supposed to ignore them.  However, it was felt that
   this was risky, as the use of untested mechanisms such as this have
   led to problems in the past in other protocols.  New option codes, on
   the other hand, have been demonstrated to work properly, as the
   deployment of Integrated IS-IS for IP [RFC1195] has done exactly

   The new mechanism only comes into play when the remote system
   includes the new option in its IIH packet; if the option is not
   present, it is assumed that the system does not support the new
   mechanism, and so the old procedures are used.

2.2.  More than 256 Interfaces

   The IS-IS specification has an implicit limit of 256 interfaces, as
   constrained by the eight-bit Circuit ID field carried in various
   packets.  Moderately clever implementers have realized that the only
   true constraint is that of 256 LAN interfaces, and for that matter
   only 256 LAN interfaces for which a system is the Designated IS.
   This is because the only place that the circuit ID is advertised in
   LSPs is in the pseudo-node LSP ID.

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   Implementers have treated the point-to-point circuit ID number space
   as being independent from that of the LAN interfaces, since these
   circuit IDs appear only in IIH PDUs and are only used for detection
   of a change in identity at the other end of a link.  More than 256
   point-to-point interfaces have been supported by sending the same
   circuit ID on multiple interfaces.  This reduces the robustness of
   the ID change detection algorithm, since it would then be possible to
   switch links between interfaces on a system without detecting the

   Since the circuit ID is an integral part of the new handshaking
   mechanism, a backward-compatible mechanism for expanding the circuit
   ID number space is included in this specification.

3.  Details

   The detailed syntax and procedures for this IS-IS option are given

3.1.  Syntax

   A new IS-IS Option type, "Point-to-Point Three-Way Adjacency", is

   Type - 0xF0 (decimal 240)

   Length - total length of the value field (1 to 17 octets)

   Value -
                                                       No. of Octets
                 | Adjacency Three-Way State         |      1
                 | Extended Local Circuit ID         |      4
                 | Neighbor System ID                |  ID Length
                 | Neighbor Extended Local Circuit ID|      4

   Adjacency Three-Way State
      The adjacency three-way state of the point-to-point adjacency.
      The following values are defined:

            0  - Up
            1 -  Initializing
            2 -  Down

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   Extended Local Circuit ID
      Unique ID assigned to this circuit when it is created by this
      Intermediate system.

   Neighbor System ID
      System ID of neighboring Intermediate system if known.  The length
      of this field is equal to "ID Length" of the IIH PDU described in
      "Point-to-point IS to IS hello PDU" (section 9.7 of [ISIS]).

   Neighbor Extended Local Circuit ID
      Extended Local Circuit ID of the other end of the point-to-point
      adjacency if known.

   Any system that supports this mechanism SHALL include this option in
   its Point-to-Point IIH packets.

   Any system that does not understand this option SHALL ignore it, and
   (of course) SHALL NOT include it in its own IIH packets.

   Any system that supports this mechanism MUST include the Adjacency
   Three-Way State field in this option.  The other fields in this
   option SHOULD be included as explained below in section 3.2.

   Any system that is able to process this option SHALL follow the
   procedures below.

3.2.  Elements of Procedure

   The new handshake procedure is added to the IS-IS point-to-point IIH
   state machine after the PDU acceptance tests have been performed.

   Although the extended circuit ID is only used in the context of the
   three-way handshake, it is worth noting that it effectively protects
   against the unlikely event where a link is moved to another interface
   on a system that has the same local circuit ID, because the received
   PDUs will be ignored (via the checks defined below) and the existing
   adjacency will fail.

   Add a clause e) to the end of "Receiving ISH PDUs by an intermediate
   system" (section 8.2.2 of [ISIS]):

      Set the state to be reported in the Adjacency Three-Way State
      field of the Point-to-Point Three-Way Adjacency option to Down.

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   Add a clause e) to the end of "Sending point-to-point IIH PDUs"
   (section 8.2.3 of [ISIS]):

      The IS SHALL include the Point-to-Point Three-Way Adjacency option
      in the transmitted Point-to-Point IIH PDU.  The current three-way
      state of the adjacency with its neighbor on the link (as defined
      in new section introduced later in the document) SHALL
      be reported in the Adjacency Three-Way State field.  If no
      adjacency exists, the state SHALL be reported as Down.

      The Extended Local Circuit ID field SHALL contain a value assigned
      by this IS when the circuit is created.  This value SHALL be
      unique among all the circuits of this Intermediate System.  The
      value is not necessarily related to that carried in the Local
      Circuit ID field of the IIH PDU.

      If the system ID and Extended Local Circuit ID of the neighboring
      system are known (in adjacency three-way state Initializing or
      Up), the neighbor's system ID SHALL be reported in the Neighbor
      System ID field, and the neighbor's Extended Local Circuit ID
      SHALL be reported in the Neighbor Extended Local Circuit ID field.

   Add a section, "Three-Way Handshake", immediately prior to
   "IIH PDU Processing" (section of [ISIS]):

      A received Point-to-Point IIH PDU may or may not contain the
      Point-to-Point Three-Way Adjacency option.  If it does not, the
      link is assumed to be functional in both directions, and the
      procedures described in section are followed.

      If the option is present and contains invalid Adjacency Three-Way
      State, the PDU SHALL be discarded and no further action is taken.

      If the option with a valid Adjacency Three-Way State is present,
      the Neighbor System ID and Neighbor Extended Local Circuit ID
      fields, if present, SHALL be examined.  If they are present, and
      the Neighbor System ID contained therein does not match the local
      system's ID, or the Neighbor Extended Local Circuit ID does not
      match the local system's extended circuit ID, the PDU SHALL be
      discarded and no further action is taken.

      If the Neighbor System ID and Neighbor Extended Local Circuit ID
      fields match those of the local system, or are not present, the
      procedures described in section are followed with the
      following changes:

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      a) In section a and b, the action "Up" from state tables
         5, 6, 7, and 8 may create a new adjacency but the three-way
         state of the adjacency SHALL be Down.

      b) If the action taken from section a or b is "Up" or
         "Accept", the IS SHALL perform the action indicated by the new
         adjacency three-way state table below, based on the current
         adjacency three-way state and the received Adjacency Three-Way
         State value from the option.  (Note that the procedure works
         properly if neither field is ever included.  This provides
         backward compatibility to an earlier version of this option.)

                                 Received Adjacency Three-Way State
                                    Down       Initializing    Up
                 Down         |  Initialize        Up         Down
         Adj.    Initializing |  Initialize        Up         Up
         Three-               |
         Way     Up           |  Initialize        Accept     Accept
         State                |

                         Adjacency Three-Way State Table

         If the new action is "Down", an adjacencyStateChange(Down)
         event is generated with the reason "Neighbor restarted" and the
         adjacency SHALL be deleted.

         If the new action is "Initialize", no event is generated and
         the adjacency three-way state SHALL be set to "Initializing".

         If the new action is "Up", an adjacencyStateChange(Up) event is

      c) Skip section c and d.

      d) If the new action is "Initialize", "Up", or "Accept", follow
         section e.

4.  IANA Considerations

   This document specifies IS-IS Option 240 (0xF0), which has already
   been allocated.  See [RFC3359].

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RFC 5303             Three-Way Handshake for IS-IS          October 2008

5.  Security Considerations

   This document raises no new security issues for IS-IS.  IS-IS
   security may be used to secure the IS-IS messages discussed here.
   See [RFC5304].

6.  Changes from RFC 3373

   This document is a minor edit of [RFC3373] with the intent of
   advancing it from Informational to Standards Track.  It also updates
   the ISP 10589 reference to refer to the current "2002" version.

7.  Acknowledgements

   Thanks to Tony Li, Henk Smit, Naiming Shen, Dave Ward, Jeff Learman,
   Les Ginsberg, and Philip Christian for their contributions to the

8.  Normative References

   [ISIS]     ISO, "Intermediate System to Intermediate System intra-
              domain routeing information exchange protocol for use in
              conjunction with the protocol for providing the
              connectionless-mode network service (ISO 8473)",
              International Standard 10589:2002, Second Edition, 2002.

   [NetLink]  "Netware Link Services Protocol Specification, Version
              1.0", Novell, Inc., February 1994.

   [RFC1195]  Callon, R., "Use of OSI IS-IS for routing in TCP/IP and
              dual environments", RFC 1195, December 1990.

   [RFC2119]  Bradner, S., "Key words for use in RFCs to Indicate
              Requirement Levels", BCP 14, RFC 2119, March 1997.

9.  Informative References

   [RFC3373]  Katz, D. and R. Saluja, "Three-Way Handshake for
              Intermediate System to Intermediate System (IS-IS) Point-
              to-Point Adjacencies", RFC 3373, September 2002.

   [RFC3359]  Przygienda, T., "Reserved Type, Length and Value (TLV)
              Codepoints in Intermediate System to Intermediate System",
              RFC 3359, August 2002.

   [RFC5304]  Li, T. and R. Atkinson, "IS-IS Cryptographic
              Authentication", RFC 5304, October 2008.

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RFC 5303             Three-Way Handshake for IS-IS          October 2008

Authors' Addresses

   Dave Katz
   Juniper Networks
   1194 N. Mathilda Ave.
   Sunnyvale, CA  94089

   Phone: +1-408-745-2073
   EMail:  dkatz@juniper.net

   Rajesh Saluja
   Tenet Technologies
   30/31, 100 Feet Road, Madiwala
   Bangalore - 560 068

   Phone: +91 80 552 2215
   EMail: rajesh.saluja@tenetindia.com

   Donald E. Eastlake 3rd
   Eastlake Enterprises
   155 Beaver Street
   Milford, MA  01757

   Phone: +1-508-634-2066
   EMail: d3e3e3@gmail.com

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RFC 5303             Three-Way Handshake for IS-IS          October 2008

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