NOTE: This charter is accurate as of the 30th IETF Meeting in Toronto. It may now be out-of-date. (Consider this a "snapshot" of the working group from that meeting.) Up-to-date charters for all active working groups can be found elsewhere in this Web server.

Routing over Large Clouds (ROLC) Charter


Mailing List Information

Description of Working Group

Summary: This group is created to analyse and propose solutions to those problems that arise when trying to perform IP routing over large ``shared media'' networks. Examples of these networks include SMDS, Frame Relay, X.25, and ATM.

Definition: Internetwork Layer: To avoid confusion with multiple meanings of ``network'' layer, we will use the term ``Internetwork'' layer to unambiguously refer to that layer at which IP runs. This is the layer at which IP routing functions. This is also the layer at which CLNP, DECnet, etc. run.

Large cloud: A collection of ``end-points'' be they routers or hosts, connected over a fabric such that communication can be established, in the absence of policy restrictions, between any two such entities. This communication within a cloud takes place using addressing and capabilities below the ``Internetwork'' layer.

The connectivity may or may not require circuit setup before communication. Such a collection is considered large if it is infeasible for all routing entities on such a ``cloud'' to maintain ``adjacencies'' with all others. Examples include, but are not limited to, ATM, Frame Relay, SMDS, and X.25 public services.

The group will investigate the operation of IP routing protocols and services over ``Large Clouds.'' Whenever possible, solutions shall be applicable to a range of ``cloud'' services. That is, the goal is a single solution applicable to multiple kinds of large ``clouds'' be they public or private, and independent of the specific technology used to realize the ``cloud'' (even a very large bridged Ethernet). It is also an objective that solutions, where possible, apply to network layer protocols other than IP.

The problems the group will cover are:

A) The architectural implications of allowing direct communication between entities which do not share a common IP network number. The group will also entertain proposals on the use of a common IP network number. If (as many believe) it is infeasible, an effort to document the difficulties will be made.

B) The routing/information protocol required to allow direct communication between two entities which were not directly exchanging routing information. This will include address resolution. The solution must couple closely to routing. It must take into account realistic connectivity policies.

C) Operation of existing protocols between peers on such clouds. Are any changes necessary or desirable? If changes are required, they will be proposed to the relevant working group.

D) Consideration of how policy restrictions and constraints (such as access control and policy-based routing paths) affect A, B, and C.

The group will also review the applicability of the work to ISDN and POTS. These technologies have a prima-facia difference, in that the number of simultaneous connections is much smaller. The implications of this for routing and relaying at the Internetwork layer will need to be explored further.

Goals and Milestones

Kick off meeting of group
Release initial proposal for problem B.
Discussed problem A in reference to RFC 1620, concluded that given a well-specified use, IAB would allow direct communication.
Completed NBMA Address Resolution Protocol Internet-Draft. Multiple implementations in progress. Working Group recommended that the specification be issued as an Experimental RFC.
Completed and discussed second draft of NBMA Next Hop Resolution Protocol.
Next Internet-Draft of NHRP circulated and discussed electronically.
Dec 1994
Meet at San Jose, put finishing touches on NHRP, plan implementations and analysis document.
Dec 1994
Submit NHRP document to IESG as a Proposed Standard.
Apr 1995
Submit companion analysis document to IESG.

NOTE: The Internet-Draft(s) listed below may have been deleted since they are only good for six months.