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2.8.5 IP Storage (ips)

NOTE: This charter is a snapshot of the 55th IETF Meeting in Altanta, Georgia USA. It may now be out-of-date.

Last Modifield: 08/02/2002

Elizabeth Rodriguez <>
David Black <>
Transport Area Director(s):
Scott Bradner <>
A. Mankin <>
Transport Area Advisor:
A. Mankin <>
Technical Advisor(s):
Keith McCloghrie <>
M. Rajagopal <muralir@>
Franco Travostino <>
John Hufferd <>
Mailing Lists:
General Discussion:
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's protocol encapsulations will incorporate the following:

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

- Security including authentication, keyed cryptographic data integrity and confidentiality, sufficient to defend against threats up to and including those that can be expected on a public network. Implementation of basic security functionality will be required, although usage may be optional.

The WG will also address the following issues related to its protocol encapsulations:

- 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) for the encapsulations.

- By agreement with the IESG, the WG will additionally develop MIB definitions for the SCSI and Fiber Channel standards.

The WG specifications will allow the implementation of 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 using 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 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:

Keith McCloghrie ( will serve as the MIB and Network Management advisor for the WG.

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 are responsible 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 initial protocol 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
Done  WG Last Call on IPS security considerations document.
APR 02  WG Last Calls on iSCSI, iSCSI naming/discovery, and iSCSI MIB.
MAY 02  Submit above last called protocol specifications to IESG for consideration as Proposed Standards.
MAY 02  WG Last Calls on SLP usage, iSCSI boot and iSNS drafts.
JUL 02  Submit SLP usage, iSCSI boot and iSNS drafts to IESG.
AUG 02  Submit SCSI and FC MIB drafts to IESG.
AUG 02  Submit iSNS, iFCP and FCIP MIB drafts to IESG.
AUG 02  Review with ADs what (if any) additional work the WG should undertake.
  • - draft-ietf-ips-fcovertcpip-11.txt
  • - draft-ietf-ips-iscsi-15.txt
  • - draft-ietf-ips-iscsi-boot-06.txt
  • - draft-ietf-ips-isns-12.txt
  • - draft-ietf-ips-ifcp-13.txt
  • - draft-ietf-ips-iscsi-name-disc-06.txt
  • - draft-ietf-ips-fcencapsulation-08.txt
  • - draft-ietf-ips-iscsi-slp-03.txt
  • - draft-ietf-ips-iscsi-mib-05.txt
  • - draft-ietf-ips-fcip-mib-01.txt
  • - draft-ietf-ips-fcip-slp-03.txt
  • - draft-ietf-ips-security-14.txt
  • - draft-ietf-ips-isns-mib-02.txt
  • - draft-ietf-ips-ifcp-mib-01.txt
  • - draft-ietf-ips-scsi-mib-03.txt
  • - draft-ietf-ips-fcmgmt-mib-02.txt
  • - draft-ietf-ips-iscsi-string-prep-02.txt
  • - draft-ietf-ips-auth-mib-01.txt
  • - draft-ietf-ips-fcencap-wglc-01.txt
  • - draft-ietf-ips-fcip-wglc-02.txt
  • - draft-ietf-ips-ifcp-wglcc-00.txt
  • Request For Comments:
    RFC3347 I Small Computer Systems Interface protocol over the Internet (iSCSI) Requirements and Design Considerations

    Current Meeting Report

    IP Storage (ips) Working Group
    Atlanta Minutes - November 18, 2002
    -- Agenda Bashing and Status of Drafts - David L. Black, EMC (WG 
    Most drafts are not on the agenda because they are in or beyond WG Last 
    Call.  Last four WG drafts are in WG Last Call which will end on 
    December 9.  See "status of drafts" file for detailed status of all 
    drafts.  WG members should review 
    draft-ietf-dhc-isnsoption-03.txt ASAP as it will be jointly Last Called in 
    the IPS and DHC WGs in the near future - send comments to the IPS list.
    The WG has accomplished a great deal of work (4 major protocols, plus 
    ancillary documents, including 7 MIBs) in about 2 years, and the 
    Technical Coordinators received a round of applause for their efforts to 
    ensure that everything else (especially MIBs) was completed at about the 
    same time as the main protocols.
    -- SCSI MIB - Roger Cummings, Veritas
    SCSI MIB is in WG Last Call.  Some additional T10 document references need to 
    be added.  The request made on the list to add some counter64 elements will 
    not be done because it is not in keeping with IETF guidelines for 
    appropriate use of counter64 (based on how fast a counter32 element rolls 
    -- DHC config of SNMP trap config for iSCSI boot failure - Mark Bakke, 
    This is a string format DHCP option to report boot failure.  Will most 
    likely go forward in DHC WG.  Rationale, requirements, scenarios are ok to 
    discuss on IPS list, but details will be on DHC and appropriate SNMP 
    lists.  Discussion in DHC earlier the same day was that there is 
    definitely a problem here that needs to be addressed, but there were some 
    open issues about how much of the problem to take on initially and 
    details of how to go about it.  General sense of the room is that this is 
    something worth working on.
    -- NAA naming format for iSCSI - Mallikarjun Chadalapaka, HP
    Proposal for a new "naa." naming format in addition to "iqn." and 
    "eui.".  Motivated in part by a T10 proposal (02-419r0), but described as 
    having value on its own for multi-protocol devices (i.e. 
    implementing SCSI over more than one transport).  David Black put up a T11 
    document (01-630v0) describing NAA (WWN) to EUI mapping for some NAA 
    formats.  About 1/4 of the room understands the issues here, and among that 
    1/4 there is clear rough consensus for carrying this proposal forward in 
    appropriate coordination with T10.
    Co-chairs and ADs will consult off line about how to do this, and will also 
    ensure that current text in iSCSI -19 that prohibits adding a naming 
    format is appropriately changed/weakened to allow this, but the 
    resulting text will set a high criterion for future additions to meet.
    -- Future of WG Discussion - WG co-chairs, and Allison Mankin, 
    Transport AD
    WG has completed a lot of work and is close to done.  The Transport ADs 
    like WGs that set out to do something, do it and shut down, so IPS WG will 
    probably shut down in near future.  Mailing list will remain alive, and the 
    above NAA draft may be progressed solely via mailing list.  
    Progression of any of IPS's protocols to Draft Standard requires 
    interoperability reports on which work could start now, but the WG 
    co-chairs are adamant that the main protocol documents will not be 
    re-opened for general revisions prior to 2004 at the earliest, although bug 
    fixes and the like can be done in the interim if/as necessary.


    Internet-Draft Status
    DHCP Option for SNMP Notifications
    'naa.' type for iSCSI names
    WWN to EUI-64 Mapping
    Device identifiers and VPD data