Re: WG adoption poll - draft-fang-l3vpn-virtual-pe-05

Thomas Morin <> Wed, 22 October 2014 14:12 UTC

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Date: Wed, 22 Oct 2014 16:10:24 +0200
From: Thomas Morin <>
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To: Martin Vigoureux <>, L3VPN <>,
Subject: Re: WG adoption poll - draft-fang-l3vpn-virtual-pe-05
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Hi working group,

Let me chime a different bell...

(Please note well that this feedback is sent without my co-chair hat. I 
won't participate as a chair in the adoption decision on this draft.)

Let me quote the document: "A virtual PE (vPE) is a BGP/MPLS L3/L2 VPN 
PE software instance which may reside in any network or computing 
devices.". You can pretty much ignore the 'software' part of the 
definition since the document does obviously not ban the implementation 
of the forwarding plane in hardware.  What do we end up with ?  Answer: 
a virtual PE is... a PE !

So the notion presented by this document under the "virtual PE" name is 
merely an implementation choice that can be applied to RFC4364 and 
E-VPN. That explains why the amount of useful technical content in the 
document is so reduced (i.e. information that it neither obvious or 
already present elsewhere). I doubt that the document will be of any 
help to implementors or deployers.

Similarly, I doubt that it is very helpful to implementors or deployers 
to list all the split/no-split combinations for the control planes and 
dataplanes components; and furthermore nothing in that is really 
specific to BESS (e.g. it could apply equally to e.g. non-VPN BGP, or to 
some other routing protocol).

Don't misunderstand me, I think that the idea of implementing VRFs on 
the servers hosting VMs, is great. However, I don't think that a 
technical document is missing to facilitate the implementation of such 
an approach. It can be argued that an Informational RFC can be produced 
to promote the idea, but I would also challenge this: the IETF is not a 
marketing venue. [I would add that, even if it was, a 20+ pages RFC may 
not be the most efficient way to market an idea. People have been able 
to build solutions relying on this approach without a new RFC, and able 
to claim that their solution is based on IETF standard RFCs.]

Promoting the idea of an "SDN" implementation of PE functions (whatever 
that means) and/or organic data-plane/control-plane separation is yet 
another question, but if we were to adopt a document to promote this, at 
least I would expect the document to spell out the motivations and avoid 
just throwing I2RS references around.

At this point I'm leaving aside comments that could be made on details 
on the content, but I think that if this document was to be moved 
forward, a fair amount of clarification and editorial work would be 
needed. Given what I explained above, I don't think it would be worth to 
spend energy on that.

Overall, I don't think that BESS should adopt this document.


Sun Oct 19 2014 21:00:51 GMT+0200 (CEST), Martin Vigoureux:
> Hello Working Group,
> This email starts a two-week poll on adopting
> draft-fang-l3vpn-virtual-pe-05 [1].
> Please send comments to the list and state if you support adoption or
> not (in both cases please also state the reasons).
> This poll runs until November the 3rd.
> Coincidentally, we remind you to check and then state on this list if 
> you are aware, or not, of any undisclosed IPR (according to IETF IPR 
> rules, see RFCs 3979, 4879, 3669 and 5378 for more details) relating 
> to draft-fang-l3vpn-virtual-pe-05
> If you are listed as a document author or contributor please respond to
> this email and state whether or not you are aware of any relevant
> IPR. The response needs to be sent to the L3VPN WG mailing list. The 
> document will not advance to the next stage until a response has been
> received from each author and contributor.
> If you are on the L3VPN WG email list but are not listed as an author or
> contributor, then please explicitly respond only if you are aware of any
> IPR that has not yet been disclosed in conformance with IETF rules.
> Thank you
> M&T
> ---
> [1]