Current Meeting Report

2.7.4 IP Storage (ips)

NOTE: This charter is a snapshot of the 53rd IETF Meeting in Minneapolis, MN USA. It may now be out-of-date. Last Modified: 11-Feb-02
Elizabeth Rodriguez <>
David Black <>
Transport Area Director(s):
Scott Bradner <>
Allison Mankin <>
Transport Area Advisor:
Allison Mankin <>
Technical Advisor(s):
Keith McCloghrie <>
Murali Rajagopal <muralir@>
Franco Travostino <>
John Hufferd <>
Mailing Lists:
To Subscribe:
In Body: subscribe ips
Description of Working Group:
There is significant interest in using IP-based networks to transport block storage traffic. This group will pursue the pragmatic approach of encapsulating existing protocols, such as SCSI and Fibre Channel, in an IP-based transport or transports. The group will focus on the transport or transports and related issues (e.g., security, naming, discovery, and configuration), as opposed to modifying existing protocols. Standards for the protocols to be encapsulated are controlled by other standards organizations (e.g., T10 [SCSI] and T11 [Fibre Channel]). The WG cannot assume that any changes it desires will be made in these standards, and hence will pursue approaches that do not depend on such changes unless they are unavoidable. In that case the WG will create a document to be forwarded to the standards group responsible for the technology explaining the issue and requesting the desired changes be considered. The WG will endeavor to ensure high quality communications with these standards organizations. The WG will consider whether a layered architecture providing common transport, security, and/or other functionality for its encapsulations is the best technical approach.

The protocols to be encapsulated expect a reliable transport, in that failure to deliver data is considered to be a rare event for which time-consuming recovery at higher levels is acceptable. This has implications for both the choice of transport protocols and design of the encapsulation(s). The WG's encapsulations may require quality of service assurances (e.g., bounded latency) to operate successfully; the WG will consider what assurances are appropriate and how to provide them in shared traffic environments (e.g., the Internet) based on existing IETF QoS mechanisms such as Differentiated Services.

Use of IP-based transports raises issues that do not occur in the existing transports for the protocols to be encapsulated. The WG will address at least the following:

- Congestion control suitable for shared traffic network environments such as the Internet.

- Security measures, including authentication and privacy, sufficient to defend against threats up to and including those that can be expected on a public network.

- Naming and discovery mechanisms for the encapsulated protocols on IP-based networks, including both discovery of resources (e.g., storage) for access by the discovering entity, and discovery for management.

- Management, including appropriate MIB definition(s).

The WG will address security and congestion control as an integral part of bits protocol encapsulation(s); naming, discovery, and management are important related issues, but may be addressed in companion documents.

The WG specifications will provide support for bridges and gateways that connect to existing implementations of the encapsulated protocols. The WG will preserve the approaches to discovery, multi-pathing, booting, and similar issues taken by the protocols it encapsulates to the extent feasible.

It may be necessary for traffic utilizing the WG's encapsulations to pass through Network Address Translators (NATs) and/or firewalls in some circumstances; the WG will endeavor to design NAT- and firewall-friendly protocols that do not dynamically select target ports or require Application Level Gateways.

Effective implementations of some IP transports for the encapsulated protocols are likely to require hardware acceleration; the WG will consider issues concerning the effective implementation of its protocols in hardware.

The standard internet checksum is weaker than the checksums use by other implementations of the protocols to be encapsulated. The WG will consider what levels of data integrity assurance are required and how they should be achieved.

The WG will produce a framework document that provides an overview of the environments in which its encapsulated protocols and related protocols are expected to operate. The WG will produce requirements and specification documents for each protocol encapsulation, and may produce applicability statements. The requirements and specification documents will consider both disk and tape devices, taking note of the variation in scale from single drives to large disk arrays and tape libraries, although the requirements and specifications need not encompass all such devices.

The WG will not work on:

- Extensions to existing protocols such as SCSI and Fibre Channel beyond those strictly necessary for the use of IP-based transports.

- Modifications to internet transport protocols or approaches requiring transport protocol options that are not widely supported, although the WG may recommend use of such options for block storage traffic.

- Support for environments in which significant data loss or data corruption is acceptable.

- File system protocols.

Operational Structure:

Due to the scope of the task and the need for parallel progress on multiple work items, the WG effort is organized as follows:

A technical coordinator will be identified and selected for each protocol encapsulation adopted as a work item by the group. This person will be responsible for coordinating the technical efforts of the group with respect to that encapsulation, working with and motivating the document editors, and evangelizing the group's work within both the community and relevant external organizations such as T10 and T11.

In addition to the normal responsibilities of IETF working group chairs, the IPS chairs hold primary responsibility for selection of coordinators, identifying areas of technical commonality and building cross-technology efforts within the group.

Coordinators for initially important encapsulations:

SCSI over IP (aka iSCSI): John Hufferd (

Fibre Channel (FC-2) over IP: Murali Rajagopal (

iFCP: Franco Travostino (

Goals and Milestones:
Done   Submit the initialprotocol encapsulations as working group Internet-Drafts.
Done   Submit initial version of framework document as an Internet-Draft.
Done   Discuss drafts and issues at the IETF meeting in San Diego.
Done   Discuss framework, specification and related drafts (e.g., MIBs, discovery) for the protocol encapsulations at IETF meeting in Minneapolis.
Done   Submit final version of iSCSI requirements draft to the IESG for consideration as Informational RFC.
Done   Submit initial Internet-Draft of FCIP/iFCP common encapsulation format
Done   Begin revision of WG charter in consultation with the Area Directors.
Done   Meet at IETF meeting in London to discuss specification and related drafts (e.g., MIBs, discovery) for the protocol encapsulations
Sep 01   Submit protocol specification drafts (iSCSI, FCIP, iFCP, FCIP/iFCP common encapsulation format) to the IESG for consideration as Proposed Standards
Oct 01   Submit iSNS and MIB drafts to the IESG for consideration appropriate to each draft.
No Request For Comments

Current Meeting Report

None received.


IP Storage Security
FCIP-SLPv2 Status
FCIP MIB Status Minneapolis
iFCP Last Call Status
iSNS Update
FC Management MIB
iSCSI Plugfest (Feb 11- Feb15) UNH InterOperability Laboratory
IP Storage WG SRP Patent Issue
SRP Intellectual Property Rights Update
iSCSI Naming & Discovery
iSCSI MIB Team Status
iSCSI - a SCSI over TCP mapping
iSCSI Items
Interim- iSNS Issues
Interim- iSCSI MIB Team Status
Interim- iSCSI Naming & Discovery
Interim- New ISID Format
Interim- Providing a 64-bit iSCSI Node Identifier
Interim- iSCSI Framing
Interim- The RFC Process
Interim- SCSI MIB Update
Interim- SRP Intellectual Property Rights Update
Interim- IP Storage Security
Interim- FC Management MIB
Interim- FCIP MIB Status Huntington Beach
Interim- FC Encapsulation
Interim- iFCP Status
Interim- FCIP
IP Storage WG SRP Patent Issue