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Babel routing protocol (babel) (BOF)

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Routing Area Area Director(s):

Assigned Area Director


Meeting Slides:

Blue Sheets:

No Current Internet-Drafts

No Request for Comments

Charter (as of 2016-05-23):

Babel is a loop-avoiding, distance vector routing protocol with good
provisions for dynamically computed link metrics. It is robust even in
the presence of link metric oscillations and the failure of
transitivity. The core of the Babel protocol and security extensions
are described in Experimental Independent Stream RFCs 6126, 7557, and

These RFCs are the basis of three independent, open source
implementations. There is some production deployment of these
implementations, notably in hybrid networks (networks that include
classical, wired parts with meshy radio bits) and in global overlay
networks (networks built out of large numbers of tunnels spanning

The working group will focus on moving the Babel protocol to IETF
Proposed Standard with IETF review. This includes clarifying RFC 6126
and integrating RFC 7557 and feedback provided by independent
implementations, and resolving the comments presented at the BABEL BoF
at IETF-95 and during ongoing WG review. Other documents that are
relevant to such consideration can also be produced. Particular
emphasis will be placed on work needed for a Proposed Standard routing
protocol, such as ensuring manageability and strong security.

Work Items:

- Produce a revision of RFC 6126 suitable for publication as a
Proposed Standard, and work with the IESG for its approval
-- incorporate in the revision developments since RFC 6126
-- resolve technical issues as found during earlier reviews and
ongoing working group discussions
-- include in the base specification the extensibility work in
RFC 7557
-- consider any important changes based on experience with Babel to

- Address security needs for BABEL. This may include using the
techniques in RFC 7298, or other alternatives. Security may be
included in the base spec or the base spec may normatively reference a
separate Proposed Standard specification. This is required as part of
moving Babel to Proposed Standard.

- As the Proposed Standard version of Babel is completed, an
Applicability Statement should be finalized to guide those potentially
interested in deploying Babel. This Applicability Statement may
include deployment advice and will be published as an RFC.

- Address manageability of Babel by producing an informational model,
for use by other network management, and a YANG module based on it, to
be consistent with the ongoing effort to use YANG modules in the
Routing Area. This is required as part of moving Babel to Proposed

- The working group is encouraged to keep its wiki updated with
implementation experience with Babel so that new WG participants can
understand the state that is driving this work and the experience
driving changes.

- As a secondary focus, the working group may work on multicast
aspects of Babel. Such work should be coordinated with PIM.

- Coordinate with other working groups as needed.

Thus, the working group will produce a Proposed Standard Babel
specification, including or paired with a suitable security
specification for BABEL. It will also produce a management model for
BABEL as a Proposed Standard RFC. An applicability statement will be
produced as an Informational RFC. If multicast aspects are pursued,
with AD and WG agreement, then a milestone may be added for an
associated document targeted as Proposed Standard.

Link metric measurement or link metric calculation procedures
significantly more complex that those currently in Babel are out of