RFC 7387

Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF)                       R. Key, Ed.
Request for Comments: 7387
Category: Informational                                     L. Yong, Ed.
ISSN: 2070-1721                                                   Huawei
                                                               S. Delord
                                                               F. Jounay
                                                               Orange CH
                                                                  L. Jin
                                                            October 2014

             A Framework for Ethernet Tree (E-Tree) Service
          over a Multiprotocol Label Switching (MPLS) Network


   This document describes an Ethernet-Tree (E-Tree) solution framework
   for supporting the Metro Ethernet Forum (MEF) E-Tree service over a
   Multiprotocol Label Switching (MPLS) network.  The objective is to
   provide a simple and effective approach to emulate E-Tree services in
   addition to Ethernet LAN (E-LAN) services on an existing MPLS

Status of This Memo

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

   This document is a product of the Internet Engineering Task Force
   (IETF).  It represents the consensus of the IETF community.  It has
   received public review and has been approved for publication by the
   Internet Engineering Steering Group (IESG).  Not all documents
   approved by the IESG are a candidate for any level of Internet
   Standard; see Section 2 of RFC 5741.

   Information about the current status of this document, any errata,
   and how to provide feedback on it may be obtained at

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Copyright Notice

   Copyright (c) 2014 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
   (http://trustee.ietf.org/license-info) 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.  Code Components extracted from this document must
   include Simplified BSD License text as described in Section 4.e of
   the Trust Legal Provisions and are provided without warranty as
   described in the Simplified BSD License.

Table of Contents

   1. Introduction ....................................................3
      1.1. Terminology ................................................3
   2. Overview ........................................................4
      2.1. Ethernet Bridge Network ....................................4
      2.2. MEF Multipoint Ethernet Services: E-LAN and E-Tree .........4
      2.3. IETF L2VPN .................................................5
           2.3.1. Virtual Private LAN Service (VPLS) ..................5
           2.3.2. Ethernet VPN (EVPN) .................................5
           2.3.3. Virtual Private Multicast Service (VPMS) ............6
   3. E-Tree Architecture Reference Model .............................6
   4. E-Tree Use Cases ................................................8
   5. L2VPN Gaps for Emulating MEF E-Tree Service .....................9
      5.1. No Differentiation on AC Role ..............................9
      5.2. No AC Role Indication or Advertisement .....................9
      5.3. Other Issues ...............................................9
   6. Security Considerations ........................................10
   7. References .....................................................11
      7.1. Normative References ......................................11
      7.2. Informative References ....................................11
   Acknowledgments ...................................................12
   Contributors ......................................................12
   Authors' Addresses ................................................13

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1.  Introduction

   This document describes an Ethernet-Tree (E-Tree) solution framework
   for supporting the Metro Ethernet Forum (MEF) E-Tree service over a
   Multiprotocol Label Switching (MPLS) network.  The objective is to
   provide a simple and effective approach to emulate E-Tree services in
   addition to Ethernet LAN (E-LAN) services on an existing MPLS

   This document extends the existing IETF-specified Layer 2 Virtual
   Private Network (L2VPN) framework [RFC4664] to provide the emulation
   of E-Tree services over an MPLS network.  It specifies the E-Tree
   architecture reference model and describes the corresponding
   functional components.  It also points out the gaps and required
   extension areas in existing L2VPN solutions such as Virtual Private
   LAN Service (VPLS) [RFC4761] [RFC4762] and Ethernet Virtual Private
   Network (EVPN) [EVPN] for supporting E-Tree services.

1.1.  Terminology

   This document adopts all the terminologies defined in RFC 4664
   [RFC4664], RFC 4761 [RFC4761], and RFC 4762 [RFC4762].  It also uses
   the following terms:

   Leaf Attachment Circuit (AC): An AC with Leaf role.  An ingress
      Ethernet frame at a Leaf AC (Ethernet frame arriving over an AC at
      the Provider Edge (PE) of an MPLS network) can only be delivered
      to one or more Root ACs in an E-Tree service instance.  An ingress
      Ethernet frame at a Leaf AC must not be delivered to any Leaf ACs
      in the E-Tree service instance.

   Root AC: An AC with Root role.  An ingress Ethernet frame at a Root
      AC can be delivered to one or more of the other ACs in the
      associated E-Tree service instance.

   E-Tree: An Ethernet VPN service in which each AC is assigned the role
      of a Root or Leaf.  The forwarding rules in an E-Tree are as

      o  The Root AC can communicate with other Root ACs and Leaf ACs.

      o  Leaf ACs can only communicate with Root ACs.

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2.  Overview

2.1.  Ethernet Bridge Network

   In this document, "Ethernet bridge network" refers to the Ethernet
   bridge/switch network defined in IEEE 802.1Q [IEEE802.1Q].  In a
   bridge network, a data frame is an Ethernet frame; data forwarding is
   based on destination Media Access Control (MAC) address; MAC
   reachability is learned in the data plane based on the source MAC
   address and the port (or tagged port) on which the frame arrives; and
   the MAC aging mechanism is used to remove inactive MAC addresses from
   the MAC forwarding table on an Ethernet switch.

   Data frames arriving at a switch may be destined to known unicast,
   unknown unicast, multicast, or broadcast MAC destinations.  Unknown
   unicast, multicast, and broadcast frames are forwarded in a similar
   way, i.e., to every port except the ingress port on which the frame
   arrives.  Multicast forwarding can be further constrained when using
   multicast control protocol snooping or using multicast MAC
   registration protocols [IEEE802.1Q].

   An Ethernet host receiving an Ethernet frame checks the destination
   address in the frame to decide whether it is the intended

2.2.  MEF Multipoint Ethernet Services: E-LAN and E-Tree

   MEF 6.1 [MEF6.1] defines two multipoint Ethernet Service types:

   o  E-LAN (Ethernet LAN), a multipoint-to-multipoint service

   o  E-Tree (Ethernet Tree), a rooted-multipoint service

   The MEF defines User-Network Interface (UNI) in a multipoint service
   as the Ethernet interface between Customer Equipment (CE) and a
   Provider Edge (PE), i.e., the PE can send and receive Ethernet frames
   to/from the CE.  The MEF also defines UNI roles in a multipoint
   service.  One role is Root, and another is Leaf.

   Note that MEF UNI in a service is equivalent to the Attachment
   Circuit (AC) defined in L2VPN [RFC4664].  The Root AC and Leaf AC
   defined in this document are the same as the Root UNI and Leaf UNI as
   defined in MEF 10.3 [MEF10.3].  The terms "Root AC" and "Leaf AC" are
   used in the following MEF service description.

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   For an E-LAN service, all ACs have the Root role, which means that
   any AC can communicate with other ACs in the service.  The E-LAN
   service defined by the MEF may be implemented by IETF L2VPN solutions
   such as VPLS and EVPN [EVPN].

   An E-Tree service has one or more Root ACs and at least two Leaf ACs.
   An E-Tree service supports communication among the roots and between
   a root and a leaf but prohibits communication among the leaves.
   Existing IETF L2VPN solutions can't support the E-Tree service.  This
   document specifies the E-Tree architecture reference model that
   supports the E-Tree service defined by the MEF [MEF6.1].  Section 4
   will discuss different E-Tree use cases.

2.3.  IETF L2VPN

2.3.1.  Virtual Private LAN Service (VPLS)

   VPLS [RFC4761] [RFC4762] is an L2VPN solution that provides
   multipoint-to-multipoint Ethernet connectivity across IP/MPLS
   networks.  VPLS emulates traditional Ethernet Virtual LAN (VLAN)
   services in MPLS networks and may support MEF E-LAN services.

   A data frame in VPLS is an Ethernet frame.  Data forwarding in a VPLS
   instance is based on the destination MAC address and the VLAN on
   which the frame arrives.  MAC reachability learning is performed in
   the data plane based on the source address and the AC or pseudowire
   (PW) on which the frame arrives.  MAC aging is the mechanism used to
   remove inactive MAC addresses from a VPLS switching instance (VSI) on
   a PE.  VPLS supports forwarding for known unicast frames, as well as
   unknown unicast, broadcast, and multicast Ethernet frames.

   Many service providers have deployed VPLS in their networks to
   provide L2VPN services to customers.

2.3.2.  Ethernet VPN (EVPN)

   Ethernet VPN [EVPN] is an enhanced L2VPN solution that emulates an
   Ethernet LAN or virtual LAN(s) across MPLS networks.

   EVPN supports active-active multihoming of CEs and uses the
   Multiprotocol Border Gateway Protocol (MP-BGP) control plane to
   advertise MAC address reachability from an ingress PE to egress PEs.
   Thus, a PE learns MAC addresses that are reachable over local ACs in
   the data plane and other MAC addresses reachable across the MPLS
   network over remote ACs via the EVPN MP-BGP control plane.  As a
   result, EVPN aims to support large-scale L2VPN with better resiliency
   compared to VPLS.

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   EVPN is a relatively new technique and is still under development in
   the IETF L2VPN WG.

2.3.3.  Virtual Private Multicast Service (VPMS)

   VPMS [VPMS] is an L2VPN solution that provides point-to-multipoint
   connectivity across MPLS networks and supports various attachment
   circuit (AC) types, including Frame Relay, ATM, Ethernet, PPP, etc.

   In the case of Ethernet ACs, VPMS provides single coverage of
   receiver membership, i.e., there is no differentiation among
   multicast groups in one VPN.  The destination address in the Ethernet
   frame is not used in data forwarding.

   VPMS supports unidirectional point-to-multipoint transport from a
   sender to multiple receivers and may support reverse transport in a
   point-to-point manner.

3.  E-Tree Architecture Reference Model

   Figure 1 illustrates the E-Tree architecture reference model.  Three
   Provider Edges -- PE1, PE2, and PE3 -- are shown in the figure.  Each
   PE has a Virtual Service Instance (VSI) associated with an E-Tree
   service instance.  A CE attaches to the VSI on a PE via an AC.  Each
   AC must be configured with a Root or Leaf role.  In Figure 1, AC1,
   AC2, AC5, AC6, AC9, and AC10 are Root ACs; AC3, AC4, AC7, AC8, AC11,
   and AC12 are Leaf ACs.  This implies that a PE (local or remote)
   processes the Ethernet frames from CE01, CE02, etc., as if they
   originated from a Root AC, and it processes the Ethernet frames from
   CE03, CE04, etc., as if they originated from a Leaf AC.

   Under this architecture model, the forwarding rules among the ACs,
   regardless of whether the sending AC and receiving AC are on the same
   PE or on different PEs, are described as follows:

   o  An egress frame (the frame to be transmitted over an AC) at an AC
      with Root role must be the result of an ingress frame at an AC
      (the frame received at an AC) that has Root or Leaf role and is
      attached to the same E-Tree service instance.

   o  An egress frame at the AC with Leaf role must be the result of an
      ingress frame at an AC that has Root role and is attached to the
      same E-Tree service instance.

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                  PE1+---------+         +---------+PE2
    +----+           |  +---+  |         |  +---+  |           +----+
    |CE01+----AC1----+--+   |  |         |  |   +--+----AC5----+CE05|
    +----+ (Root AC) |  | V |  |         |  | V |  | (Root AC) +----+
    +----+           |  |   |  |         |  |   |  |           +----+
    |CE02+----AC2----+--+   |  |         |  |   +--+----AC6----+CE06|
    +----+ (Root AC) |  | S +--+---------+--+ S |  | (Root AC) +----+
    +----+           |  |   |  |         |  |   |  |           +----+
    |CE03+----AC3----+--+   |  |         |  |   +--+----AC7----+CE07|
    +----+ (Leaf AC) |  | I |  |         |  | I |  | (Leaf AC) +----+
    +----+           |  |   |  |         |  |   |  |           +----+
    |CE04+----AC4----+--+   |  |         |  |   +--+----AC8----+CE08|
    +----+ (Leaf AC) |  +-+-+  |         |  +-+-+  | (Leaf AC) +----+
                     +----+----+         +----+----+
                          |      MPLS Core    |
                          |              +----+----+
                          |              |  +-+-+  |           +----+
                          |              |  |   +--+----AC9----+CE09|
                          |              |  | V |  | (Root AC) +----+
                          |              |  |   |  |           +----+
                          |              |  |   +--+----AC10---+CE10|
                          +--------------+--+ S |  | (Root AC) +----+
                                         |  |   |  |           +----+
                                         |  |   +--+----AC11---+CE11|
                                         |  | I |  | (Leaf AC) +----+
                                         |  |   |  |           +----+
                                         |  |   +--+----AC12---+CE12|
                                         |  +---+  | (Leaf AC) +----+
                                     PE3 +---------+

               Figure 1: E-Tree Architecture Reference Model

   These rules apply to all frame types, i.e., known unicast, unknown
   unicast, broadcast, and multicast.  For known unicast frames,
   forwarding in a VSI context is based on the destination MAC address.

   A VSI on a PE corresponds to an E-Tree service instance and maintains
   a MAC forwarding table that is isolated from other VSI tables on the
   PE.  It also keeps track of local AC roles.  The VSI receives a frame
   from an AC or across the MPLS core, and it forwards the frame to
   another AC over which the destination is reachable according to the
   VSI forwarding table and forwarding rules described above.  When the
   target AC is on a remote PE, the VSI forwards the frame to the remote
   PE over the MPLS core.  Forwarding over the MPLS core will be
   dependent on the E-Tree solution.  For instance, a solution may adopt
   PWs to mesh VSIs as in VPLS and to forward frames over VSIs subject

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   to the E-Tree forwarding rules.  Alternatively, a solution may adopt
   the EVPN forwarding paradigm constrained by the E-Tree forwarding
   rules.  Thus, solutions that satisfy the E-Tree requirements could be
   extensions to VPLS and EVPN.

   In most use cases, an E-Tree service has only a few Root ACs (root CE
   sites) but many Leaf ACs (leaf CE sites).  Furthermore, a PE may have
   only Root ACs or only Leaf ACs.  Figure 1 provides a general E-Tree
   architecture model.

4.  E-Tree Use Cases

   Table 1 below presents some major use cases for E-Tree.

          | Use Case                  | Root AC      | Leaf AC    |
      | 1 | Hub & Spoke VPN           | Hub Site     | Spoke Site |
      | 2 | Wholesale Access          | Customer's   | Customer's |
      |   |                           | Interconnect | Subscriber |
      | 3 | Mobile Backhaul           | RAN NC       | RAN BS     |
      | 4 | IEEE 1588 PTPv2 [IEEE1588]| PTP Server   | PTP Client |
      |   | Clock Synchronization     |              |            |
      | 5 | Internet Access           | BNG Router   | Subscriber |
      |   | Reference [TR-101]        |              |            |
      | 6 | Broadcast Video           | Video Source | Subscriber |
      |   | (unidirectional only)     |              |            |
      | 7 | Broadcast/Multicast Video | Video Source | Subscriber |
      |   | plus Control Channel      |              |            |
      | 8 | Device Management         | Management   | Managed    |
      |   |                           | System       | Device     |


      RAN: Radio Access Network       NC: Network Controller
      BS: Base Station                PTP: Precision Time Protocol
      BNG: Broadband Network Gateway

                         Table 1: E-Tree Use Cases

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   Common to all use cases, direct Layer 2 leaf-to-leaf communication is
   required to be prohibited.  For mobile backhaul, this may not be
   valid for Long Term Evolution (LTE) X2 interfaces; an LTE X2
   interface [LTE] enables communication between two evolved Node Bs
   (eNBs).  E-Tree service is appropriate for such use cases.

   Also common to the use cases mentioned above, there may be one or
   multiple Root ACs in one E-Tree service.  The need for multiple Root
   ACs may be driven by a redundancy requirement or by having multiple
   serving sites.  Whether a particular E-Tree service needs to support
   one or multiple Root ACs depends on the application.

5.  L2VPN Gaps for Emulating MEF E-Tree Service

   The MEF E-Tree service defines special forwarding rules that prohibit
   forwarding Ethernet frames among leaves.  This poses some challenges
   to IETF L2VPN solutions such as VPLS and EVPN in emulating E-Tree
   service over an MPLS network.  There are two major issues described
   in the following subsections.

5.1.  No Differentiation on AC Role

   IP/MPLS L2VPN architecture has no distinct roles on Attachment
   Circuits (ACs) and supports any-to-any connectivity among all ACs.
   It does not have any mechanism to support forwarding constraints
   based on an AC role.  However, the MEF E-Tree service defines two AC
   roles -- Root and Leaf -- and defines the forwarding rules based on
   the originating and receiving AC roles of a given frame.

5.2.  No AC Role Indication or Advertisement

   In an L2VPN, when a PE, say PE2, receives a frame from another PE,
   say PE1, over the MPLS core, PE2 does not know if the frame from PE1
   is originated from a Root AC or Leaf AC.  This causes the forwarding
   issue on PE2 because the E-Tree forwarding rules require that the
   forwarder must know the role of the frame origin, i.e., from Root AC
   or Leaf AC.  This is specifically important when PE2 has both Root AC
   and Leaf AC attached to the VSI.  E-Tree forwarding rules apply to
   all types of frames (known unicast destination, unknown unicast
   destination, multicast, and broadcast).

5.3.  Other Issues

   Some desirable requirements for IETF E-Tree are specific to an
   IP/MPLS L2VPN implementation such as Leaf-only PE.  A Leaf-only PE is
   a PE that only has Leaf AC(s) in an E-Tree service instance; thus,
   other PEs on the same E-Tree service instance do not necessarily
   forward the frames originated from a Leaf AC to the Leaf-only PE,

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   which may save some network resources.  It is also desirable for an
   E-Tree solution to work with existing PEs that support single-role
   ACs, where the role is equivalent to the root in an E-Tree service.
   These requirements are described in the E-Tree requirement document

6.  Security Considerations

   An E-Tree service may be deployed for security reasons to prohibit
   communication among sites (leaves).  An E-Tree solution must enforce
   E-Tree forwarding constraints.  The solution must also guarantee that
   Ethernet frames do not leak outside of the E-Tree service instance to
   which they belong.

   An E-Tree service prohibits communication among leaf sites but does
   not have knowledge of higher-layer security constraints.  Therefore,
   in general, higher-layer applications cannot rely on E-Tree to
   provide security protection unless all security constraints are fully
   implemented by the E-Tree service.

   Enhancing L2VPN for E-Tree services inherits the same security issues
   described in the L2VPN framework document [RFC4664].  These relate to
   both control-plane and data-plane security issues that may arise in
   the following areas:

   o  issues fully contained in the provider network

   o  issues fully contained in the customer network

   o  issues in the customer-provider interface network

   The framework document has substantial discussions on the security
   issues and potential solutions to address them.  An E-Tree solution
   must consider these issues and address them properly.  VPLS [RFC4761]
   [RFC4762] and/or EVPN [EVPN] will likely be candidate solutions for
   an E-Tree service over an MPLS network.  The security capabilities
   built into those solutions will be naturally adopted when supporting
   E-Tree.  For details, see the Security Considerations sections in
   [RFC4761], [RFC4762], and [EVPN].

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7.  References

7.1.  Normative References

   [MEF6.1]     Metro Ethernet Forum, "Ethernet Services Definitions -
                Phase 2", MEF 6.1, April 2008.

   [MEF10.3]    Metro Ethernet Forum, "Ethernet Service Attributes -
                Phase 3", MEF 10.3, October 2013.

   [RFC4664]    Andersson, L., Ed., and E. Rosen, Ed., "Framework for
                Layer 2 Virtual Private Networks (L2VPNs)", RFC 4664,
                September 2006,

   [RFC4761]    Kompella, K., Ed., and Y. Rekhter, Ed., "Virtual Private
                LAN Service (VPLS) Using BGP for Auto-Discovery and
                Signaling", RFC 4761, January 2007,

   [RFC4762]    Lasserre, M., Ed., and V. Kompella, Ed., "Virtual
                Private LAN Service (VPLS) Using Label Distribution
                Protocol (LDP) Signaling", RFC 4762, January 2007,

   [RFC7152]    Key, R., Ed., DeLord, S., Jounay, F., Huang, L., Liu,
                Z., and M. Paul, "Requirements for Metro Ethernet Forum
                (MEF) Ethernet-Tree (E-Tree) Support in Layer 2 Virtual
                Private Network (L2VPN)", RFC 7152, March 2014,

7.2.  Informative References

   [IEEE802.1Q] IEEE, "IEEE Standard for Local and metropolitan area
                networks -- Media Access Control (MAC) Bridges and
                Virtual Bridged Local Area", IEEE Std 802.1Q, 2011.

   [IEEE1588]   IEEE, "IEEE Standard for a Precision Clock
                Synchronization Protocol for Networked Measurement and
                Control Systems", IEEE Std 1588, July 2008.

   [LTE]        3GPP, "Evolved Universal Terrestrial Radio Access
                (E-UTRA) and Evolved Universal Terrestrial Radio Access
                Network (E-UTRAN)", 3GPP TS 36.300 v11.2.0, July 2012.

   [TR-101]     Broadband Forum, "Migration to Ethernet-Based Broadband
                Aggregation", TR-101 Issue 2, July 2011.

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   [VPMS]       Kamite, Y., Jounay, F., Niven-Jenkins, B., Brungard, D.,
                and L. Jin, "Framework and Requirements for Virtual
                Private Multicast Service (VPMS)", Work in Progress,
                October 2012.

   [EVPN]       Sajassi, A., Ed., Aggarwal, R., Bitar, N., Isaac, A.,
                and J. Uttaro, "BGP MPLS Based Ethernet VPN", Work in
                Progress, draft-ietf-l2vpn-evpn-11, October 2014.


   The authors would like to thank Nabil Bitar and Adrian Farrel for
   their detailed review and suggestions.


   The following people contributed significantly to this document.

   Yuji Kamite
   NTT Communications Corporation
   Granpark Tower
   3-4-1 Shibaura, Minato-ku
   Tokyo 108-8118, Japan

   EMail: y.kamite@ntt.com

   Wim Henderickx
   Copernicuslaan 50
   2018 Antwerp, Belgium

   EMail: wim.henderickx@alcatel-lucent.com

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Authors' Addresses

   Raymond Key (editor)

   EMail: raymond.key@ieee.org

   Lucy Yong (editor)
   Huawei USA

   EMail: lucy.yong@huawei.com

   Simon Delord

   EMail: simon.delord@gmail.com

   Frederic Jounay
   Orange CH
   4 rue caudray 1020 Renens

   EMail: frederic.jounay@orange.ch

   Lizhong Jin

   EMail: lizho.jin@gmail.com

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