RFC 8924

Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF)                         S. Aldrin
Request for Comments: 8924                                        Google
Category: Informational                                C. Pignataro, Ed.
ISSN: 2070-1721                                            N. Kumar, Ed.
                                                             R. Krishnan
                                                             A. Ghanwani
                                                            October 2020

    Service Function Chaining (SFC) Operations, Administration, and
                      Maintenance (OAM) Framework


   This document provides a reference framework for Operations,
   Administration, and Maintenance (OAM) for Service Function Chaining

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 candidates for any level of Internet
   Standard; see Section 2 of RFC 7841.

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

Copyright Notice

   Copyright (c) 2020 IETF Trust and the persons identified as the
   document authors.  All rights reserved.

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   described in the Simplified BSD License.

Table of Contents

   1.  Introduction
     1.1.  Document Scope
     1.2.  Acronyms and Terminology
       1.2.1.  Acronyms
       1.2.2.  Terminology
   2.  SFC Layering Model
   3.  SFC OAM Components
     3.1.  The SF Component
       3.1.1.  SF Availability
       3.1.2.  SF Performance Measurement
     3.2.  The SFC Component
       3.2.1.  SFC Availability
       3.2.2.  SFC Performance Measurement
     3.3.  Classifier Component
     3.4.  Underlay Network
     3.5.  Overlay Network
   4.  SFC OAM Functions
     4.1.  Connectivity Functions
     4.2.  Continuity Functions
     4.3.  Trace Functions
     4.4.  Performance Measurement Functions
   5.  Gap Analysis
     5.1.  Existing OAM Functions
     5.2.  Missing OAM Functions
     5.3.  Required OAM Functions
   6.  Operational Aspects of SFC OAM at the Service Layer
     6.1.  SFC OAM Packet Marker
     6.2.  OAM Packet Processing and Forwarding Semantic
     6.3.  OAM Function Types
   7.  Candidate SFC OAM Tools
     7.1.  ICMP
     7.2.  BFD / Seamless BFD
     7.3.  In Situ OAM
     7.4.  SFC Traceroute
   8.  Manageability Considerations
   9.  Security Considerations
   10. IANA Considerations
   11. Informative References

   Authors' Addresses

1.  Introduction

   Service Function Chaining (SFC) enables the creation of composite
   services that consist of an ordered set of Service Functions (SFs)
   that are to be applied to any traffic selected as a result of
   classification [RFC7665].  SFC is a concept that provides for more
   than just the application of an ordered set of SFs to selected
   traffic; rather, it describes a method for deploying SFs in a way
   that enables dynamic ordering and topological independence of those
   SFs as well as the exchange of metadata between participating
   entities.  The foundations of SFC are described in the following

   *  SFC Problem Statement [RFC7498]

   *  SFC Architecture [RFC7665]

   The reader is assumed to be familiar with the material in [RFC7665].

   This document provides a reference framework for Operations,
   Administration, and Maintenance (OAM) [RFC6291] of SFC.
   Specifically, this document provides:

   *  an SFC layering model (Section 2),

   *  aspects monitored by SFC OAM (Section 3),

   *  functional requirements for SFC OAM (Section 4),

   *  a gap analysis for SFC OAM (Section 5),

   *  operational aspects of SFC OAM at the service layer (Section 6),

   *  applicability of various OAM tools (Section 7), and

   *  manageability considerations for SF and SFC (Section 8).

   SFC OAM solution documents should refer to this document to indicate
   the SFC OAM component and the functionality they target.

   OAM controllers are SFC-aware network devices that are capable of
   generating OAM packets.  They should be within the same
   administrative domain as the target SFC-enabled domain.

1.1.  Document Scope

   The focus of this document is to provide an architectural framework
   for SFC OAM, particularly focused on the aspect of the Operations
   component within OAM.  Actual solutions and mechanisms are outside
   the scope of this document.

1.2.  Acronyms and Terminology

1.2.1.  Acronyms

   BFD        Bidirectional Forwarding Detection

   CLI        Command-Line Interface

   DWDM       Dense Wavelength Division Multiplexing

   E-OAM      Ethernet OAM

   hSFC       Hierarchical Service Function Chaining

   IBN        Internal Boundary Node

   IPPM       IP Performance Metrics

   MPLS       Multiprotocol Label Switching

   MPLS_PM    MPLS Performance Measurement

   NETCONF    Network Configuration Protocol

   NSH        Network Service Header

   NVO3       Network Virtualization over Layer 3

   OAM        Operations, Administration, and Maintenance

   POS        Packet over SONET

   RSP        Rendered Service Path

   SF         Service Function

   SFC        Service Function Chain

   SFF        Service Function Forwarder

   SFP        Service Function Path

   SNMP       Simple Network Management Protocol

   TRILL      Transparent Interconnection of Lots of Links

   VM         Virtual Machine

1.2.2.  Terminology

   This document uses the terminology defined in [RFC7665] and
   [RFC8300], and readers are expected to be familiar with it.

2.  SFC Layering Model

   Multiple layers come into play for implementing the SFC.  These
   include the service layer and the underlying layers (network layer,
   link layer, etc.).

   *  The service layer consists of SFC data-plane elements that include
      classifiers, Service Functions (SFs), Service Function Forwarders
      (SFF), and SFC Proxies.  This layer uses the overlay network layer
      for ensuring connectivity between SFC data-plane elements.

   *  The overlay network layer leverages various overlay network
      technologies (e.g., Virtual eXtensible Local Area Network (VXLAN))
      for interconnecting SFC data-plane elements and allows
      establishing Service Function Paths (SFPs).  This layer is mostly
      transparent to the SFC data-plane elements, as not all the data-
      plane elements process the overlay header.

   *  The underlay network layer is dictated by the networking
      technology deployed within a network (e.g., IP, MPLS).

   *  The link layer is tightly coupled with the physical technology
      used.  Ethernet is one such choice for this layer, but other
      alternatives may be deployed (e.g., POS and DWDM).  In a virtual
      environment, virtualized I/O technologies, such as Single Root I/O
      Virtualization (SR-IOV) or similar, are also applicable for this
      layer.  The same or distinct link layer technologies may be used
      in each leg shown in Figure 1.

      o----------------------Service Layer----------------------o

   +------+   +---+   +---+   +---+   +---+   +---+   +---+   +---+
   |fier  |   +---+   +---+   +---+   +---+   +---+   +---+   +---+
                <------VM1------>       <--VM2-->       <--VM3-->

      ^-----------------^-------------------^---------------^  Overlay

      o-----------------o-------------------o---------------o  Underlay

      o--------o--------o--------o----------o-------o-------o  Link

                       Figure 1: SFC Layering Example

   In Figure 1, the service-layer elements, such as classifier and SF,
   are depicted as virtual entities that are interconnected using an
   overlay network.  The underlay network may comprise multiple
   intermediate nodes not shown in the figure that provide underlay
   connectivity between the service-layer elements.

   While Figure 1 depicts an example where SFs are enabled as virtual
   entities, the SFC architecture does not make any assumptions on how
   the SFC data-plane elements are deployed.  The SFC architecture is
   flexible and accommodates physical or virtual entity deployment.  SFC
   OAM accounts for this flexibility, and accordingly it is applicable
   whether SFC data-plane elements are deployed directly on physical
   hardware, as one or more virtual entities, or any combination

3.  SFC OAM Components

   The SFC operates at the service layer.  For the purpose of defining
   the OAM framework, the service layer is broken up into three distinct

   SF component:
      OAM functions applicable at this component include testing the SFs
      from any SFC-aware network device (e.g., classifiers, controllers,
      and other service nodes).  Testing an SF may be more expansive
      than just checking connectivity to the SF, such as checking if the
      SF is providing its intended service.  Refer to Section 3.1.1 for
      a more detailed discussion.

   SFC component:
      OAM functions applicable at this component include (but are not
      limited to) testing the SFCs and the SFPs, validation of the
      correlation between an SFC and the actual forwarding path followed
      by a packet matching that SFC, i.e., the Rendered Service Path
      (RSP).  Some of the hops of an SFC may not be visible when
      Hierarchical Service Function Chaining (hSFC) [RFC8459] is in use.
      In such schemes, it is the responsibility of the Internal Boundary
      Node (IBN) to glue the connectivity between different levels for
      end-to-end OAM functionality.

   Classifier component:
      OAM functions applicable at this component include testing the
      validity of the classification rules and detecting any incoherence
      among the rules installed when more than one classifier is used,
      as explained in Section 2.2 of [RFC7665].

   Figure 2 illustrates an example where OAM for the three defined
   components are used within the SFC environment.

 +-Classifier  +-Service Function Chain OAM
 | OAM         |
 |             |        ___________________________________________
 |              \      /\          Service Function Chain          \
 |               \    /  \      +---+      +---+     +-----+  +---+ \
 |                \  /    \     |SF1|      |SF2|     |Proxy|--|SF3|  \
 |      +------+   \/      \    +---+      +---+     +-----+  +---+   \
 +----> |      |...(+->     )     |          |         |               )
        |Classi|    \      /   +-----+    +-----+    +-----+          /
        |fier  |     \    /    | SFF1|----| SFF2|----| SFF3|         /
        |      |      \  /     +--^--+    +-----+    +-----+        /
        +----|-+       \/_________|________________________________/
             |                    |
                                      +---+   +---+
                              +SF_OAM>|SF3|   |SF5|
                              |       +-^-+   +-^-+
                       +------|---+     |       |
                       |Controller|     +-SF_OAM+
                            Service Function OAM (SF_OAM)

                      Figure 2: SFC OAM Components

   It is expected that multiple SFC OAM solutions will be defined, each
   targeting one specific component of the service layer.  However, it
   is critical that SFC OAM solutions together provide the coverage of
   all three SFC OAM components: the SF component, the SFC component,
   and the classifier component.

3.1.  The SF Component

3.1.1.  SF Availability

   One SFC OAM requirement for the SF component is to allow an SFC-aware
   network device to check the availability of a specific SF (instance),
   located on the same or different network device(s).  For cases where
   multiple instances of an SF are used to realize a given SF for the
   purpose of load sharing, SF availability can be performed by checking
   the availability of any one of those instances, or the availability
   check may be targeted at a specific instance.  SF availability is an
   aspect that raises an interesting question: How does one determine
   that an SF is available?  At one end of the spectrum, one might argue
   that an SF is sufficiently available if the service node (physical or
   virtual) hosting the SF is available and is functional.  At the other
   end of the spectrum, one might argue that the SF's availability can
   only be deduced if the packet, after passing through the SF, was
   examined and it was verified that the packet did indeed get the
   expected service.

   The former approach will likely not provide sufficient confidence
   about the actual SF availability, i.e., a service node and an SF are
   two different entities.  The latter approach is capable of providing
   an extensive verification but comes at a cost.  Some SFs make direct
   modifications to packets, while others do not.  Additionally, the
   purpose of some SFs may be to drop certain packets intentionally.  In
   such cases, it is normal behavior that certain packets will not be
   egressing out from the SF.  The OAM mechanism needs to take into
   account such SF specifics when assessing SF availability.  Note that
   there are many flavors of SFs available and many more that are likely
   be introduced in the future.  Even a given SF may introduce a new
   functionality (e.g., a new signature in a firewall).  The cost of
   this approach is that the OAM mechanism for some SF will need to be
   continuously modified in order to "keep up" with new functionality
   being introduced.

   The SF availability check can be performed using a generalized
   approach, i.e., at an adequate granularity to provide a basic SF
   service.  The task of evaluating the true availability of an SF is a
   complex activity, currently having no simple, unified solution.
   There is currently no standard means of doing so.  Any such mechanism
   would be far from a typical OAM function, so it is not explored as
   part of the analysis in Sections 4 and 5.

3.1.2.  SF Performance Measurement

   The second SFC OAM requirement for the SF component is to allow an
   SFC-aware network device to check the performance metrics, such as
   loss and delay induced by a specific SF for processing legitimate
   traffic.  Performance measurement can be passive by using live
   traffic, an active measurement by using synthetic probe packets, or a
   hybrid method that uses a combination of active and passive
   measurement.  More details about this OAM function is explained in
   Section 4.4.

   On the one hand, the performance of any specific SF can be quantified
   by measuring the loss and delay metrics of the traffic from the SFF
   to the respective SF, while on the other hand, the performance can be
   measured by leveraging the loss and delay metrics from the respective
   SFs.  The latter requires SF involvement to perform the measurement,
   while the former does not.  For cases where multiple instances of an
   SF are used to realize a given SF for the purpose of load sharing, SF
   performance can be quantified by measuring the metrics for any one
   instance of SF or by measuring the metrics for a specific instance.

   The metrics measured to quantify the performance of the SF component
   are not just limited to loss and delay.  Other metrics, such as
   throughput, also exist and the choice of metrics for performance
   measurement is outside the scope of this document.

3.2.  The SFC Component

3.2.1.  SFC Availability

   An SFC could comprise varying SFs, and so the OAM layer is required
   to perform validation and verification of SFs within an SFP, in
   addition to connectivity verification and fault isolation.

   In order to perform service connectivity verification of an SFC/SFP,
   the OAM functions could be initiated from any SFC-aware network
   device of an SFC-enabled domain for end-to-end paths, or partial
   paths terminating on a specific SF, within the SFC/SFP.  The goal of
   this OAM function is to ensure the SFs chained together have
   connectivity, as was intended at the time when the SFC was
   established.  The necessary return codes should be defined for
   sending back in the response to the OAM packet, in order to complete
   the verification.

   When ECMP is in use at the service layer for any given SFC, there
   must be the ability to discover and traverse all available paths.

   A detailed explanation of the mechanism is outside the scope of this
   document and is expected to be included in the actual solution

3.2.2.  SFC Performance Measurement

   Any SFC-aware network device should have the ability to make
   performance measurements over the entire SFC (i.e., end-to-end) or on
   a specific segment of SFs within the SFC.

3.3.  Classifier Component

   A classifier maintains the classification rules that map a flow to a
   specific SFC.  It is vital that the classifier is correctly
   configured with updated classification rules and is functioning as
   expected.  The SFC OAM must be able to validate the classification
   rules by assessing whether a flow is appropriately mapped to the
   relevant SFC and detect any misclassification.  Sample OAM packets
   can be presented to the classifiers to assess the behavior with
   regard to a given classification entry.

   The classifier availability check may be performed to check the
   availability of the classifier to apply the rules and classify the
   traffic flows.  Any SFC-aware network device should have the ability
   to perform availability checking of the classifier component for each

   Any SFC-aware network device should have the ability to perform
   performance measurement of the classifier component for each SFC.
   The performance can be quantified by measuring the performance
   metrics of the traffic from the classifier for each SFC/SFP.

3.4.  Underlay Network

   The underlay network provides connectivity between the SFC
   components, so the availability or the performance of the underlay
   network directly impacts the SFC OAM.

   Any SFC-aware network device may have the ability to perform an
   availability check or performance measurement of the underlay network
   using any existing OAM functions listed in Section 5.1.

3.5.  Overlay Network

   The overlay network provides connectivity for the service plane
   between the SFC components and is mostly transparent to the SFC data-
   plane elements.

   Any SFC-aware network device may have the ability to perform an
   availability check or performance measurement of the overlay network
   using any existing OAM functions listed in Section 5.1.

4.  SFC OAM Functions

   Section 3 described SFC OAM components and the associated OAM
   operations on each of them.  This section explores SFC OAM functions
   that are applicable for more than one SFC component.

   The various SFC OAM requirements listed in Section 3 highlight the
   need for various OAM functions at the service layer.  As listed in
   Section 5.1, various OAM functions are in existence that are defined
   to perform OAM functionality at different layers.  In order to apply
   such OAM functions at the service layer, they need to be enhanced to
   operate on a single SF/SFF or multiple SFs/SFFs spanning across one
   or more SFCs.

4.1.  Connectivity Functions

   Connectivity is mainly an on-demand function to verify that
   connectivity exists between certain network elements and that the SFs
   are available.  For example, Label Switched Path (LSP) Ping [RFC8029]
   is a common tool used to perform this function for an MPLS network.
   Some of the OAM functions performed by connectivity functions are as

   *  Verify the Path MTU from a source to the destination SF or through
      the SFC.  This requires the ability for the OAM packet to be of
      variable length.

   *  Detect any packet reordering and corruption.

   *  Verify that an SFC or SF is applying the expected policy.

   *  Verify and validate forwarding paths.

   *  Proactively test alternate or protected paths to ensure
      reliability of network configurations.

4.2.  Continuity Functions

   Continuity is a model where OAM messages are sent periodically to
   validate or verify the reachability of a given SF within an SFC or
   for the entire SFC.  This allows a monitoring network device (such as
   the classifier or controller) to quickly detect failures, such as
   link failures, network element failures, SF outages, or SFC outages.
   BFD [RFC5880] is one such protocol that helps in detecting failures
   quickly.  OAM functions supported by continuity functions are as

   *  Provision a continuity check to a given SF within an SFC or for
      the entire SFC.

   *  Proactively test alternate or protected paths to ensure
      reliability of network configurations.

   *  Notifying other OAM functions or applications of the detected
      failures so they can take appropriate action.

4.3.  Trace Functions

   Tracing is an OAM function that allows the operation to trigger an
   action (e.g., response generation) from every transit device (e.g.,
   SFF, SF, and SFC Proxy) on the tested layer.  This function is
   typically useful for gathering information from every transit device
   or for isolating the failure point to a specific SF within an SFC or
   for an entire SFC.  Some of the OAM functions supported by trace
   functions are:

   *  the ability to trigger an action from every transit device at the
      SFC layer, using TTL or other means,

   *  the ability to trigger every transit device at the SFC layer to
      generate a response with OAM code(s) using TTL or other means,

   *  the ability to discover and traverse ECMP paths within an SFC, and

   *  the ability to skip SFs that do not support OAM while tracing SFs
      in an SFC.

4.4.  Performance Measurement Functions

   Performance measurement functions involve measuring of packet loss,
   delay, delay variance, etc.  These performance metrics may be
   measured proactively or on demand.

   SFC OAM should provide the ability to measure packet loss for an SFC.
   On-demand measurement can be used to estimate packet loss using
   statistical methods.  To ensure accurate estimations, one needs to
   ensure that OAM packets are treated the same and also share the same
   fate as regular data traffic.

   Delay within an SFC could be measured based on the time it takes for
   a packet to traverse the SFC from the ingress SFC node to the egress
   SFF.  Measurement protocols, such as the One-Way Active Measurement
   Protocol (OWAMP) [RFC4656] and the Two-Way Active Measurement
   Protocol (TWAMP) [RFC5357], can be used to measure delay
   characteristics.  As SFCs are unidirectional in nature, measurement
   of one-way delay [RFC7679] is important.  In order to measure one-way
   delay, time synchronization must be supported by means such as NTP,
   GPS, Precision Time Protocol (PTP), etc.

   One-way delay variation [RFC3393] could also be calculated by sending
   OAM packets and measuring the jitter for traffic passing through an

   Some of the OAM functions supported by the performance measurement
   functions are:

   *  the ability to measure the packet processing delay induced by a
      single SF or the one-way delay to traverse an SFP bound to a given
      SFC, and

   *  the ability to measure the packet loss [RFC7680] within an SF or
      an SFP bound to a given SFC.

5.  Gap Analysis

   This section identifies various OAM functions available at different
   layers introduced in Section 2.  It also identifies various gaps that
   exist within the current toolset for performing OAM functions
   required for SFC.

5.1.  Existing OAM Functions

   There are various OAM toolsets available to perform OAM functions
   within various layers.  These OAM functions may be used to validate
   some of the underlay and overlay networks.  Tools like ping and trace
   are in existence to perform connectivity checks and trace
   intermediate hops in a network.  These tools support different
   network types, like IP, MPLS, TRILL, etc.  Ethernet OAM (E-OAM)
   [Y.1731] [EFM] and Connectivity Fault Management (CFM) [DOT1Q] offer
   OAM mechanisms, such as a continuity check for Ethernet links.  There
   is an effort around NVO3 OAM to provide connectivity and continuity
   checks for networks that use NVO3.  BFD is used for the detection of
   data-plane forwarding failures.  The IPPM framework [RFC2330] offers
   tools such as OWAMP [RFC4656] and TWAMP [RFC5357] (collectively
   referred to as IPPM in this section) to measure various performance
   metrics.  MPLS Packet Loss Measurement (LM) and Packet Delay
   Measurement (DM) (collectively referred to as MPLS_PM in this
   section) [RFC6374] offer the ability to measure performance metrics
   in MPLS networks.  There is also an effort to extend the toolset to
   provide connectivity and continuity checks within overlay networks.
   BFD is another tool that helps in detecting data forwarding failures.
   Table 1 below is not exhaustive.

     | Layer      | Connectivity | Continuity | Trace | Performance |
     | Underlay   | Ping         | E-OAM, BFD | Trace | IPPM,       |
     | network    |              |            |       | MPLS_PM     |
     | Overlay    | Ping         | BFD, NVO3  | Trace | IPPM        |
     | network    |              | OAM        |       |             |
     | Classifier | Ping         | BFD        | Trace | None        |
     | SF         | None         | None       | None  | None        |
     | SFC        | None         | None       | None  | None        |

                      Table 1: OAM Tool Gap Analysis

5.2.  Missing OAM Functions

   As shown in Table 1, there are no standards-based tools available at
   the time of this writing that can be used natively (i.e., without
   enhancement) for the verification of SFs and SFCs.

5.3.  Required OAM Functions

   Primary OAM functions exist for underlying layers.  Tools like ping,
   trace, BFD, etc. exist in order to perform these OAM functions.

   As depicted in Table 1, toolsets and solutions are required to
   perform the OAM functions at the service layer.

6.  Operational Aspects of SFC OAM at the Service Layer

   This section describes the operational aspects of SFC OAM at the
   service layer to perform the SFC OAM function defined in Section 4
   and analyzes the applicability of various existing OAM toolsets in
   the service layer.

6.1.  SFC OAM Packet Marker

   SFC OAM messages should be encapsulated with the necessary SFC header
   and with OAM markings when testing the SFC component.  SFC OAM
   messages may be encapsulated with the necessary SFC header and with
   OAM markings when testing the SF component.

   The SFC OAM function described in Section 4 performed at the service
   layer or overlay network layer must mark the packet as an OAM packet
   so that relevant nodes can differentiate OAM packets from data
   packets.  The base header defined in Section 2.2 of [RFC8300] assigns
   a bit to indicate OAM packets.  When NSH encapsulation is used at the
   service layer, the O bit must be set to differentiate the OAM packet.
   Any other overlay encapsulations used at the service layer must have
   a way to mark the packet as an OAM packet.

6.2.  OAM Packet Processing and Forwarding Semantic

   Upon receiving an OAM packet, an SFC-aware SF may choose to discard
   the packet if it does not support OAM functionality or if the local
   policy prevents it from processing the OAM packet.  When an SF
   supports OAM functionality, it is desirable to process the packet and
   provide an appropriate response to allow end-to-end verification.  To
   limit performance impact due to OAM, SFC-aware SFs should rate-limit
   the number of OAM packets processed.

   An SFF may choose to not forward the OAM packet to an SF if the SF
   does not support OAM or if the policy does not allow the forwarding
   of OAM packets to that SF.  The SFF may choose to skip the SF, modify
   the packet's header, and forward the packet to the next SFC node in
   the chain.  It should be noted that skipping an SF might have
   implications on some OAM functions (e.g., the delay measurement may
   not be accurate).  The method by which an SFF detects if the
   connected SF supports or is allowed to process OAM packets is outside
   the scope of this document.  It could be a configuration parameter
   instructed by the controller, or it can be done by dynamic
   negotiation between the SF and SFF.

   If the SFF receiving the OAM packet bound to a given SFC is the last
   SFF in the chain, it must send a relevant response to the initiator
   of the OAM packet.  Depending on the type of OAM solution and toolset
   used, the response could be a simple response (such as ICMP reply) or
   could include additional data from the received OAM packet (like
   statistical data consolidated along the path).  The details are
   expected to be covered in the solution documents.

   Any SFC-aware node that initiates an OAM packet must set the OAM
   marker in the overlay encapsulation.

6.3.  OAM Function Types

   As described in Section 4, there are different OAM functions that may
   require different OAM solutions.  While the presence of the OAM
   marker in the overlay header (e.g., O bit in the NSH header)
   indicates it as an OAM packet, it is not sufficient to indicate what
   OAM function the packet is intended for.  The Next Protocol field in
   the NSH header may be used to indicate what OAM function is intended
   or what toolset is used.  Any other overlay encapsulations used at
   the service layer must have a similar way to indicate the intended
   OAM function.

7.  Candidate SFC OAM Tools

   As described in Section 5.1, there are different toolsets available
   to perform OAM functions at different layers.  This section describe
   the applicability of some of the available toolsets in the service

7.1.  ICMP

   [RFC0792] and [RFC4443] describe the use of ICMP in IPv4 and IPv6
   networks respectively.  It explains how ICMP messages can be used to
   test the network reachability between different end points and
   perform basic network diagnostics.

   ICMP could be leveraged for connectivity functions (defined in
   Section 4.1) to verify the availability of an SF or SFC.  The
   initiator can generate an ICMP echo request message and control the
   service-layer encapsulation header to get the response from the
   relevant node.  For example, a classifier initiating OAM can generate
   an ICMP echo request message, set the TTL field in the NSH header
   [RFC8300] to 63 to get the response from the last SFF, and thereby
   test the SFC availability.  Alternatively, the initiator can set the
   TTL to some other value to get the response from a specific SF and
   thereby partially test SFC availability, or the initiator could send
   OAM packets with sequentially incrementing TTL in the NSH to trace
   the SFP.

   It could be observed that ICMP as currently defined may not be able
   to perform all required SFC OAM functions, but as explained above, it
   can be used for some of the connectivity functions.

7.2.  BFD / Seamless BFD

   [RFC5880] defines the Bidirectional Forwarding Detection (BFD)
   mechanism for failure detection.  [RFC5881] and [RFC5884] define the
   applicability of BFD in IPv4, IPv6, and MPLS networks.  [RFC7880]
   defines Seamless BFD (S-BFD), a simplified mechanism of using BFD.
   [RFC7881] explains its applicability in IPv4, IPv6, and MPLS

   BFD or S-BFD could be leveraged to perform the continuity function
   for SF or SFC.  An initiator could generate a BFD control packet and
   set the "Your Discriminator" value in the control packet to identify
   the last SFF.  Upon receiving the control packet, the last SFF in the
   SFC will reply back with the relevant DIAG code.  The TTL field in
   the NSH header could be used to perform a partial SFC availability
   check.  For example, the initiator can set the "Your Discriminator"
   value to identify the SF that is intended to be tested and set the
   TTL field in the NSH header in a way that it expires at the relevant
   SF.  How the initiator gets the Discriminator value to identify the
   SF is outside the scope of this document.

7.3.  In Situ OAM

   [IOAM-NSH] defines how In situ OAM data fields [IPPM-IOAM-DATA] are
   transported using the NSH header.  [PROOF-OF-TRANSIT] defines a
   mechanism to perform proof of transit to securely verify if a packet
   traversed the relevant SFP or SFC.  While the mechanism is defined
   inband (i.e., it will be included in data packets), IOAM Option-
   Types, such as IOAM Trace Option-Types, can also be used to perform
   other SFC OAM functions, such as SFC tracing.

   In situ OAM could be leveraged to perform SF availability and SFC
   availability or performance measurement.  For example, if SFC is
   realized using NSH, the O bit in the NSH header could be set to
   indicate the OAM traffic, as defined in Section 4.2 of [IOAM-NSH].

7.4.  SFC Traceroute

   [SFC-TRACE] defines a protocol that checks for path liveliness and
   traces the service hops in any SFP.  Section 3 of [SFC-TRACE] defines
   the SFC trace packet format, while Sections 4 and 5 of [SFC-TRACE]
   define the behavior of SF and SFF respectively.  While [SFC-TRACE]
   has expired, the proposal is implemented in Open Daylight and is

   An initiator can control the Service Index Limit (SIL) in an SFC
   trace packet to perform SF and SFC availability tests.

8.  Manageability Considerations

   This document does not define any new manageability tools but
   consolidates the manageability tool gap analysis for SF and SFC.
   Table 2 below is not exhaustive.

   |Layer      | Configuration | Orchestration |Topology|Notification  |
   |Underlay   | CLI, NETCONF  | CLI, NETCONF  |SNMP    |SNMP, Syslog, |
   |network    |               |               |        |NETCONF       |
   |Overlay    | CLI, NETCONF  | CLI, NETCONF  |SNMP    |SNMP, Syslog, |
   |network    |               |               |        |NETCONF       |
   |Classifier | CLI, NETCONF  | CLI, NETCONF  |None    |None          |
   |SF         | CLI, NETCONF  | CLI, NETCONF  |None    |None          |
   |SFC        | CLI, NETCONF  | CLI, NETCONF  |None    |None          |

                       Table 2: OAM Tool Gap Analysis

   Configuration, orchestration, and other manageability tasks of SF and
   SFC could be performed using CLI, NETCONF [RFC6241], etc.

   While the NETCONF capabilities are readily available, as depicted in
   Table 2, the information and data models are needed for
   configuration, manageability, and orchestration for SFC.  With
   virtualized SF and SFC, manageability needs to be done

9.  Security Considerations

   Any security considerations defined in [RFC7665] and [RFC8300] are
   applicable for this document.

   The OAM information from the service layer at different components
   may collectively or independently reveal sensitive information.  The
   information may reveal the type of service functions hosted in the
   network, the classification rules and the associated service chains,
   specific service function paths, etc.  The sensitivity of the
   information from the SFC layer raises a need for careful security

   The mapping and the rules information at the classifier component may
   reveal the traffic rules and the traffic mapped to the SFC.  The SFC
   information collected at an SFC component may reveal the SFs
   associated within each chain, and this information together with
   classifier rules may be used to manipulate the header of synthetic
   attack packets that may be used to bypass the SFC and trigger any
   internal attacks.

   The SF information at the SF component may be used by a malicious
   user to trigger a Denial of Service (DoS) attack by overloading any
   specific SF using rogue OAM traffic.

   To address the above concerns, SFC and SF OAM should provide
   mechanisms for mitigating:

   *  misuse of the OAM channel for denial of services,

   *  leakage of OAM packets across SFC instances, and

   *  leakage of SFC information beyond the SFC domain.

   The documents proposing the OAM solution for SF components should
   provide rate-limiting the OAM probes at a frequency guided by the
   implementation choice.  Rate-limiting may be applied at the
   classifier, SFF, or the SF.  The OAM initiator may not receive a
   response for the probes that are rate-limited resulting in false
   negatives, and the implementation should be aware of this.  To
   mitigate any attacks that leverage OAM packets, future documents
   proposing OAM solutions should describe the use of any technique to
   detect and mitigate anomalies and various security attacks.

   The documents proposing the OAM solution for any service-layer
   components should consider some form of message filtering to control
   the OAM packets entering the administrative domain or prevent leaking
   any internal service-layer information outside the administrative

10.  IANA Considerations

   This document has no IANA actions.

11.  Informative References

   [DOT1Q]    IEEE, "IEEE Standard for Local and metropolitan area
              networks--Bridges and Bridged Networks", IEEE 802.1Q-2014,
              DOI 10.1109/IEEESTD.2014.6991462, November 2014,

   [EFM]      IEEE, "IEEE Standard for Ethernet", IEEE 802.3-2018,
              DOI 10.1109/IEEESTD.2018.8457469, June 2018,

   [IOAM-NSH] Brockners, F. and S. Bhandari, "Network Service Header
              (NSH) Encapsulation for In-situ OAM (IOAM) Data", Work in
              Progress, Internet-Draft, draft-ietf-sfc-ioam-nsh-04, 16
              June 2020,

              Brockners, F., Bhandari, S., and T. Mizrahi, "Data Fields
              for In-situ OAM", Work in Progress, Internet-Draft, draft-
              ietf-ippm-ioam-data-10, 13 July 2020,

              Brockners, F., Bhandari, S., Mizrahi, T., Dara, S., and S.
              Youell, "Proof of Transit", Work in Progress, Internet-
              Draft, draft-ietf-sfc-proof-of-transit-06, 16 June 2020,

   [RFC0792]  Postel, J., "Internet Control Message Protocol", STD 5,
              RFC 792, DOI 10.17487/RFC0792, September 1981,

   [RFC2330]  Paxson, V., Almes, G., Mahdavi, J., and M. Mathis,
              "Framework for IP Performance Metrics", RFC 2330,
              DOI 10.17487/RFC2330, May 1998,

   [RFC3393]  Demichelis, C. and P. Chimento, "IP Packet Delay Variation
              Metric for IP Performance Metrics (IPPM)", RFC 3393,
              DOI 10.17487/RFC3393, November 2002,

   [RFC4443]  Conta, A., Deering, S., and M. Gupta, Ed., "Internet
              Control Message Protocol (ICMPv6) for the Internet
              Protocol Version 6 (IPv6) Specification", STD 89,
              RFC 4443, DOI 10.17487/RFC4443, March 2006,

   [RFC4656]  Shalunov, S., Teitelbaum, B., Karp, A., Boote, J., and M.
              Zekauskas, "A One-way Active Measurement Protocol
              (OWAMP)", RFC 4656, DOI 10.17487/RFC4656, September 2006,

   [RFC5357]  Hedayat, K., Krzanowski, R., Morton, A., Yum, K., and J.
              Babiarz, "A Two-Way Active Measurement Protocol (TWAMP)",
              RFC 5357, DOI 10.17487/RFC5357, October 2008,

   [RFC5880]  Katz, D. and D. Ward, "Bidirectional Forwarding Detection
              (BFD)", RFC 5880, DOI 10.17487/RFC5880, June 2010,

   [RFC5881]  Katz, D. and D. Ward, "Bidirectional Forwarding Detection
              (BFD) for IPv4 and IPv6 (Single Hop)", RFC 5881,
              DOI 10.17487/RFC5881, June 2010,

   [RFC5884]  Aggarwal, R., Kompella, K., Nadeau, T., and G. Swallow,
              "Bidirectional Forwarding Detection (BFD) for MPLS Label
              Switched Paths (LSPs)", RFC 5884, DOI 10.17487/RFC5884,
              June 2010, <https://www.rfc-editor.org/info/rfc5884>.

   [RFC6241]  Enns, R., Ed., Bjorklund, M., Ed., Schoenwaelder, J., Ed.,
              and A. Bierman, Ed., "Network Configuration Protocol
              (NETCONF)", RFC 6241, DOI 10.17487/RFC6241, June 2011,

   [RFC6291]  Andersson, L., van Helvoort, H., Bonica, R., Romascanu,
              D., and S. Mansfield, "Guidelines for the Use of the "OAM"
              Acronym in the IETF", BCP 161, RFC 6291,
              DOI 10.17487/RFC6291, June 2011,

   [RFC6374]  Frost, D. and S. Bryant, "Packet Loss and Delay
              Measurement for MPLS Networks", RFC 6374,
              DOI 10.17487/RFC6374, September 2011,

   [RFC7498]  Quinn, P., Ed. and T. Nadeau, Ed., "Problem Statement for
              Service Function Chaining", RFC 7498,
              DOI 10.17487/RFC7498, April 2015,

   [RFC7665]  Halpern, J., Ed. and C. Pignataro, Ed., "Service Function
              Chaining (SFC) Architecture", RFC 7665,
              DOI 10.17487/RFC7665, October 2015,

   [RFC7679]  Almes, G., Kalidindi, S., Zekauskas, M., and A. Morton,
              Ed., "A One-Way Delay Metric for IP Performance Metrics
              (IPPM)", STD 81, RFC 7679, DOI 10.17487/RFC7679, January
              2016, <https://www.rfc-editor.org/info/rfc7679>.

   [RFC7680]  Almes, G., Kalidindi, S., Zekauskas, M., and A. Morton,
              Ed., "A One-Way Loss Metric for IP Performance Metrics
              (IPPM)", STD 82, RFC 7680, DOI 10.17487/RFC7680, January
              2016, <https://www.rfc-editor.org/info/rfc7680>.

   [RFC7880]  Pignataro, C., Ward, D., Akiya, N., Bhatia, M., and S.
              Pallagatti, "Seamless Bidirectional Forwarding Detection
              (S-BFD)", RFC 7880, DOI 10.17487/RFC7880, July 2016,

   [RFC7881]  Pignataro, C., Ward, D., and N. Akiya, "Seamless
              Bidirectional Forwarding Detection (S-BFD) for IPv4, IPv6,
              and MPLS", RFC 7881, DOI 10.17487/RFC7881, July 2016,

   [RFC8029]  Kompella, K., Swallow, G., Pignataro, C., Ed., Kumar, N.,
              Aldrin, S., and M. Chen, "Detecting Multiprotocol Label
              Switched (MPLS) Data-Plane Failures", RFC 8029,
              DOI 10.17487/RFC8029, March 2017,

   [RFC8300]  Quinn, P., Ed., Elzur, U., Ed., and C. Pignataro, Ed.,
              "Network Service Header (NSH)", RFC 8300,
              DOI 10.17487/RFC8300, January 2018,

   [RFC8459]  Dolson, D., Homma, S., Lopez, D., and M. Boucadair,
              "Hierarchical Service Function Chaining (hSFC)", RFC 8459,
              DOI 10.17487/RFC8459, September 2018,

              Penno, R., Quinn, P., Pignataro, C., and D. Zhou,
              "Services Function Chaining Traceroute", Work in Progress,
              Internet-Draft, draft-penno-sfc-trace-03, 30 September

   [Y.1731]   ITU-T, "G.8013: Operations, administration and maintenance
              (OAM) functions and mechanisms for Ethernet-based
              networks", August 2015,


   We would like to thank Mohamed Boucadair, Adrian Farrel, Greg Mirsky,
   Tal Mizrahi, Martin Vigoureux, Tirumaleswar Reddy, Carlos Bernados,
   Martin Duke, Barry Leiba, Éric Vyncke, Roman Danyliw, Erik Kline,
   Benjamin Kaduk, Robert Wilton, Frank Brockner, Alvaro Retana, Murray
   Kucherawy, and Alissa Cooper for their review and comments.


   Nobo Akiya

   Email: nobo.akiya.dev@gmail.com

Authors' Addresses

   Sam K. Aldrin

   Email: aldrin.ietf@gmail.com

   Carlos Pignataro (editor)
   Cisco Systems, Inc.

   Email: cpignata@cisco.com

   Nagendra Kumar (editor)
   Cisco Systems, Inc.

   Email: naikumar@cisco.com

   Ram Krishnan

   Email: ramkri123@gmail.com

   Anoop Ghanwani

   Email: anoop@alumni.duke.edu