IETF-88 Proceedings

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Interface to the Routing System (i2rs) (WG)

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Routing Area Area Director(s):

Routing Area Advisor

Technical Advisor(s)

Meeting Slides:

Blue Sheets:


No Request for Comments

Charter (as of 2013-01-29):

In an IP routed network, the routing system:

- Distributes topology and other state (network metadata)
- Uses this network metadata to determine the best paths to each given
reachable destination attached to the network
- Communicates these decisions to the forwarding plane of each
forwarding device in the network.

That is, the routing system is the collection of entities, protocols and
processes that collectively build the forwarding tables that are
exported into the entities that constitute the network's forwarding

While processes participating in the routing system are often colocated
with the local forwarding elements, this isn't a necessary condition.
Thus, the routing system includes control plane protocols and processes
that compute routes and paths for data packets, wherever the processes
implementing those protocols and processes may be running.

I2RS facilitates real-time or event driven interaction with the routing
system through a collection of protocol-based control or management
interfaces. These allow information, policies, and operational
parameters to be injected into and retrieved (as read or by
notification) from the routing system while retaining data consistency
and coherency across the routers and routing infrastructure, and among
multiple interactions with the routing system. The I2RS interfaces will
co-exist with existing configuration and management systems and

It is envisioned that users of the I2RS interfaces will be management
applications, network controllers, and user applications that make
specific demands on the network.

The I2RS working group works to develop a high-level architecture that
describes the basic building-blocks necessary to enable the specific use
cases, and that will lead to an understanding of the abstract
informational models and requirements for encodings and protocols for the I2RS interfaces. Small and well-scoped use cases are critical to
constrain the scope of the work and achieve sufficient focus for the
working group to deliver successful outcomes. Initial work within the
working group will be limited to a single administrative domain.

The working group is chartered to work on the following items:

- High-level architecture for I2RS including considerations of policy
and security.

- Tightly scoped key use cases for operational use of I2RS as follows:
o Interactions with the Routing Information Base (RIB). Allowing read
and write access to the RIB, but no direct access to the Forwarding
Information Base (FIB).
o Control and analysis of the operation of the Border Gateway Protocol
(BGP) including the setting and activation of policies related to
the protocol.
o Control, optimization, and choice of traffic exit points from
networks based on more information than provided by the dynamic
control plane.
o Distributed reaction to network-based attacks through rapid
modification of the control plane behavior to reroute traffic for
one destination while leaving standard mechanisms (filters, metrics,
and policy) in place for other routes.
o Service layer routing to improve on existing hub-and-spoke traffic.
o The ability to extract information about topology from the network.
Injection and creation of topology will not be considered as an initial work item.

Other use cases may be adopted by the working group only through

- Abstract information models consistent with the use cases.

- Requirements for I2RS protocols and encoding languages.

- An analysis of existing IETF and other protocols and encoding
languages against the requirements.

The working group is not currently chartered to develop protocols,
encoding languages, or data models. The objective of this work effort is
to arrive at common standards for these items, but these items are
dependent on the progress of the topics listed above. Work for these
items will be conducted in this working group only after a re-charter,
and/or may be carried out in another working group with specific
responsibility for the protocol or encoding language.

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