2.2.5 IP over Fibre Channel (ipfc)

NOTE: This charter is a snapshot of the 48th IETF Meeting in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. It may now be out-of-date. Last Modified: 18-Jul-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



Definitions of Managed Objects for the Fabric Element in Fibre Channel Standard

Current Meeting Report


1) RFC 2625 UNH Test Report - Raj Bhagwat, LightSand Communications Raj presented the UNH testing results and indicated that 6 companies (Qlogic, Emulex, Brocade, Sun, Crossroads, Interphase) had participated in the testing. A matrix of the test suites versus partcipating companies was briefly presented. It was indicated that the details of the testing could be found at the UNH test site www.iol.unh.edu/testsuites/fc/IP_over_FC.html

Next Step is to submit with modifications for DRAFT STD consideration.

2) MIB Status -

a) draft-ietf-ipfc-mib-framework-02.txt : Mark Carlson, SUN Microsystems
Mark indicated that the document was complete and is ready for starting the process of submitting it as an Informational RFC.
The Chair (Murali) indicated that the draft will sent to WG for Last Call comments.

b) Draft-ietf-ipfc-fcmgmt-int-mib-04.txt: Jack Hardwood, EMC Corp.
Jack stated that the work was undergoing formatting changes only with no technical content change. Jack explained the reason for the delay in completing this work due to the formatting changes and was targeted for completion around the Dec 2000 time frame.

c) RFC 2837 "Definitions of Managed Objects for the Fabric Element in FC Standard" - is now a PROPOSED STD

d) Storage Library MIB (SNIA) still an unapproved work item from the Australia WG meeting.

3) FC Over IP - draft-ietf-ipfc-fcoverip-02.txt - Raj Bhagwat, LightSand Comm., Elizabeth Rodriguez, Lucent Tech

This presenatation was not a formal work item under this group. At this time, it was still debated as to where it belongs. The presentation was essentially a repeat from the last IETF meeting but was presented by Elizabeth (Lucent) with some updates from the latest draft.

The attachement provides the details of the presentation, but much discussion in the room was centered around retransmission of frames if a Transport level protocol were to be used (TCP), and its effects on the overall FC end-to-end transport. Lack of Congestion Control was brought up as an issue and it was pointed out that inclusion of this work item under IPS WG would be beneficial.

Murali Rajagopal


RFC 2625 IP and ARP over Fibre Channel Interoperability Test
FC Over IPv4
MIB Framework Latest Changes
Status on Fibre Channel Management MIB
IP Testing June 2000