2.3.4 IP Over Fibre Channel (ipfc)

NOTE: This charter is a snapshot of the 47th IETF Meeting in Adelaide, Australia. It may now be out-of-date. Last Modified: 03-Feb-00


Murali Rajagopal <murali@gadzoox.com>

Internet Area Director(s):

Thomas Narten <narten@raleigh.ibm.com>
Erik Nordmark <nordmark@eng.sun.com>

Internet Area Advisor:

Erik Nordmark <nordmark@eng.sun.com>

Mailing Lists:

General Discussion:ipfc@standards.gadzoox.com
To Subscribe: ipfc-request@standards.gadzoox.com
In Body: subscribe
Archive: standards.gadzoox.com/pub/archives/ipfc/ipfc

Description of Working Group:

The importance of running IP and ARP over Fibre Channels has reached a critical point wherein a standardized approach seems to be the only solution. Historically over the past few years, there have been a multitude of attempts and approaches to implementing IP and ARP over Fibre Channel (FC). This has resulted in islands of implementations with no interoperability. Several vendors from the Fibre Channel Association (FCA) have proposed taking this problem to the IETF with the intent of generating one "standard" specification.

This working group will be responsible for standardizing a specification that will allow IP and ARP to ride over various Fibre Channel topologies, which may include point-to-point, Loop, and Fabric.

The specification will include procedures and protocols for the broadcast of ARP packets between Fibre Channel devices and an encapsulation mechanism to carry IP payloads.


1. Specify a Standards Track procedure for broadcasting ARP packets and resolving IP to FC MAC address and FC MAC to FC port address

2. Specify a Standards Track encapsulation for carrying IP over FC.

Goals and Milestones:

May 99


Submit to IESG the Fabric Element MIB for consideration as a Proposed Standard

Aug 99


Start email discussion on IP and ARP Over Fibre Channel as a Draft Standard

Nov 99


Submit final version of Fibre Channel Management MIB as an Internet-Draft

Dec 99


WG Last Call on IP Over Fibre Channel for Draft Standard

Mar 00


Submit Fabric Management MIB to IESG for consideration as a Proposed Standard

Mar 00


Submit IP and ARP Over Fibre Channel to IESG for consideration as a Draft Standard


Request For Comments:







IP and ARP over Fibre Channel

Current Meeting Report

IPFC WG Meeting on Wed March 29 from 1 -3 PM

Number of Attendees: 26

Agenda/Meeting Minutes:

Draft Status:
1) draft-ietf-ipfc-mib-framework-02.txt
· Presented by Lee Hu, TWP Networks
· Status: Mostly complete
· Issue raised by Chair that the MIB lacked the Fabric Element and Fabric Management comparison, since this was one of the original goals.
· Andrea (SNIA) indicated that she may be able to help
· Lee said that the work should be complete by next IETF meet

2) draft-ietf-ipfc-mib-fcmgmt-int-mib-03.txt -
· No representative from EMC Corp. and no update available on this in over 3 months.
· Chair indicated the danger of dropping a work item if no progress is made.

3) draft-ietf-ipfc-fabric-element-mib-07.txt -
· This is now a Proposed Standard and awaiting an RFC number

RFC 2625 Next Step:
4) Interoperability Testing
· Test date now planned for second week of August at the SNIA facility in Colorado.
· Andrea (SNIA) will coordinate this effort (Facilities, Equipment, Hotel, etc)
· Barry Rienhold from UNH will drive the development of Test Suites. There is a $1500 charge per company to participate, payable to UNH.
· Plan is to submit for DRAFT STD soon after.

New Business:
5) Storage Library MIB
· Presented by Andrea (SNIA) as proposal for the WG item. (see attachment of slides)
· Question about relevance was asked and Andrea said that it was relevant to Fibre Channel as well many as other Storage devices
· There was no objection in the WG to adopt it as a new WG item

6) FC Over IP
· Presented by Murali (Gadzoox)
· draft-ietf-ipfc-fcoverip-00.txt is a joint proposal by the following authors: E. Rodriguez, Lucent Technologies; M. Rajagopal, R. Bhagwat, W. Rickard from Gadzoox (see power-point attachment)
· A number of questions were raised on reliability of IP versus TCP; the underlying assumption was that the data link layers were assumed to very reliable as in SONET; End-to--end recovery was also assumed in case
· of a IP datagram loss;
· WG suggested that the draft should indicate Reliable data links under IP, perhaps in the Abstract, otherwise it could be misleading; WG had no objections to adopting this as a new work item with the above recommendation
· Question of combining this work with IP Storage BOF was brought up


Framework Changes Presentation
IPFC WG Agenda (5/10)
IPFC WG Agenda (6/7)
Storage Library MIB 5/10/00
Storage Library MIB 6/7/00