[mpls] Alvaro Retana's Discuss on draft-ietf-mpls-sr-over-ip-03: (with DISCUSS and COMMENT)

Alvaro Retana via Datatracker <noreply@ietf.org> Thu, 14 March 2019 01:58 UTC

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Subject: [mpls] Alvaro Retana's Discuss on draft-ietf-mpls-sr-over-ip-03: (with DISCUSS and COMMENT)
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Alvaro Retana has entered the following ballot position for
draft-ietf-mpls-sr-over-ip-03: Discuss

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I am balloting DISCUSS because the specification is incomplete and not clear
enough.  I have concerns about both the construction of forwarding entries,
including the setting of the tunnel endpoints.

(1) Forwarding Entries

The procedures in §3.1 seem to want to be specified by example, but I think
that this approach doesn't serve the document well as it goes into specifics
for the protocols used in the example only (even using Normative language), and
doesn't provide a general specification.  As §3 says, "the examples in Section
3.1 and Section 3.2 assume that OSPF or ISIS is enabled: in fact, other
mechanisms of discovery and advertisement could be used including other routing
protocols (such as BGP) or a central controller."  I would prefer if the text
would talk about the general process first.  If the authors think that the
examples serve an important function then it's ok to leave them.

Others have raised the point about the link state extensions needing to be
Normative references.  The way the text is written, Normative language is used
in some cases to specifically talk about the use of those extensions...so I
would agree.  Using the extensions just in examples (and not mixing them with
specification text) would solve that issue.

What would I like to see?  For example, the third step talks about "If A and E
are in different IGP areas/levels, then..."  How does the rest of the text help
with understanding how BGP, for example, would be used?  In this case I believe
that the step can be summarized into the need to advertise the SID and
encapsulation with enough information so that the receiver "knows the
characteristics of the router that originated the advertisement", even if not
in the same routing/flooding domain (maybe: "information MUST be advertised
across flooding domain boundaries..." -- I'm sure the authors can come up with
better text).  Making that (or some text to the effect) the normative statement
would be better than using normative language in the example (e.g. "MUST set
the "router-ID" field to a valid value") and hoping/expecting for the reader to
be able to translate that into whatever makes sense for BGP, or OSPFv3 or the
central controller...  After the general specification, you can then use an
example ("for example, if using OSPF, then the router-ID field is set to a
valid value...").

(2) Tunnel Endpoints

§2: "The tunnel selected MUST have its remote end point (destination) address
equal to the address of the next SR-MPLS capable node along the path (i.e., the
egress of the active node segment)."  I find this statement misleading and

In the general case the statement is wrong: Yes, the tunnel destination should
be the next SR-MPLS node, but that isn't always "the egress of the active node
segment".  For example, in Figure 2 the SID could direct the traffic to the
Egress Router (e.g. using it's Node SID) while having individual tunnels from
the Ingress Router to the first SR, then to the next SR, etc., as explained in

I realize that the sentence after the statement above is "This is shown in
Figure 1."  Figure 1 is a degenerate case of the (almost) general case from
Figure 2.  Even in the single tunnel (Figure 1) case, "the egress of the active
node segment" doesn't have to be R2, it could be another node inside the
SR-MPLS network (as R2, being SR-MPLS aware, should be able to forward the

As I hopefully explained above, I have two issues with the statement:

1. It is wrong.  I think that what makes it wrong is the clarification that
"the next SR-MPLS capable node along the path" is "the egress of the active
node segment".  Taken the text is parenthesis out would solve this issue.

2. It is a general statement.  The placement is somewhat unfortunate because it
seems that it may apply only to the Figure 1 case...but it applies in
general...and there is no similar statement then describing other cases. 
Instead of adding something similar for Figure 2, perhaps move the sentence to
a place that covers all the use cases.

A third issue with the statement comes up when considering §3.1/§3.2: there is
no specification there that explains how to figure out which should be the
tunnel destination address.  The example in §3.1 only talks about receiving
information from E, including the "the encapsulation endpoint and the tunnel
type of any tunnel used to reach E"...but says nothing about other potential
SR-MPLS capable nodes between A and E, or how A would use a tunnel to one of
those transit nodes on the way to E...which is what is illustrated in

(3) A very, very late IPR declaration came in after the IETF LC started.  I
didn't find a thread where the WG was made aware of it.



Thank you for writing this document!

In general, the use of terminology (defined in rfc8402 and elsewhere) needs to
be cleaned up throughout the document.

(1) [nit] From the Abstract: "SR-MPLS could be leveraged...while preserving
backward compatibility with SR-MPLS."  I'm sure you want to say something
related to making no changes to SR-MPLS for this application...the use of
backwards compatibility with itself just sounds strange.  The Introduction has
similar text, but it does go on to clarify a little.

(2) [nit] §3.1: "the FIB can be used to tell a router how to process packets" 
The FIB is generally in the router, so no need to tell it anything. ;-)  Maybe:
"the FIB can be used by the router to process packets".

(3) §3.2: "Not all of the nodes in an SR-MPLS domain are SR-MPLS capable."  By
definition, all nodes in an SR domain participate in the source-based routing
model [rfc8402].  I think that you meant to say that not all nodes in the
network (or maybe just the domain) are SR-MPLS capable.

Note that the SR domain in the networks in Figure 1, for example, includes both
the SR-MPLS networks at both sides and the tunneled portion.  If you mean for
that picture to represent 3 different SR domains, then please don't use
"SR-MPLS domain" to describe what is happening in the IP network portion.

(4) §3.2: "There are six types of node in an SR-MPLS domain..."  Again, I think
you mean to point at the types of nodes in the network and not in the SR domain.

(5) Security Considerations:  Please also point at the considerations in