Re: [RTG-DIR] RtgDir Early review: draft-ietf-spring-segment-routing-mpls-13

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Thank you for this useful review.

Can you please engage with Sasha to address his comments?

Thanks you,

From: mpls [] On Behalf Of Alexander Vainshtein
Sent: Saturday, June 16, 2018 8:09 AM
Cc:;; '';; Jonathan Hardwick (
Subject: Re: [mpls] RtgDir Early review: draft-ietf-spring-segment-routing-mpls-13

Re-sending to  correct SPRING WG list.
Sincere apologies for the delay caused by a typo.
Thumb typed by Sasha Vainshtein

From: Alexander Vainshtein
Sent: Sunday, June 10, 2018 10:43:52 AM
Cc:;; ''; ''; Jonathan Hardwick (;
Subject: RE: RtgDir Early review: draft-ietf-spring-segment-routing-mpls-13

Explicitly adding Shraddha  who is the shepherd of this draft.


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From: Alexander Vainshtein
Sent: Friday, June 8, 2018 5:43 PM
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Subject: RtgDir Early review: draft-ietf-spring-segment-routing-mpls-13

I have been selected to do a routing directorate “early” review of this draft:

The routing directorate will, on request from the working group chair, perform an “early” review of a draft before it is submitted for publication to the IESG. The early review can be performed at any time during the draft’s lifetime as a working group document. The purpose of the early review depends on the stage that the document has reached. As this document is currently in the WG Last call, my focus for the review was to determine whether the document is ready to be published. Please consider my comments along with the other working group last call comments.

For more information about the Routing Directorate, please see ​

Document: draft-ietf-spring-segment-routing-mpls-13
Reviewer: Alexander (“Sasha”) Vainshtein (<>)
Review Date: 08-Jun-18
Intended Status: Proposed Standard.


I have some minor concerns about this document that I think should be resolved before it is submitted to the IESG.


I consider this draft as an important  companion document to the Segment Routing Architecture<> draft that, ideally, should augment definitions of the Segment Routing (SR) notions and constructs given there with details specific for the SR instantiation that uses  the MPLS data plane (SR-MPLS).  Many issues raised in my review reflect either gaps that should be, but have not been, closed, or inconsistencies between the two drafts.

Since RFC 8287<> is already published as a Standards Track RFC, I expect such augmentation to be backward compatible with this document (or to provide clear indications of required updates to this document). And I include the MPLS WG into distribution list.

This draft was not easy reading for me. In particular, the style of Section 2.5 that discusses at length and in some detail multiple “corner cases” resulting, presumably, from misconfiguration, before it explains the basic (and relatively simple) “normal” behavior, looks problematic to me.

The WG Last Call has been extended by one week. Nevertheless, I am sending out my comments

Major Issues: None found

Minor Issues: Quite a few but, hopefully, easy to resolve.

1.    Encapsulation of SR-MPLS packets:

a.    RFC 3032 (referenced by the draft) and RFC 5332 (not mentioned in the draft) depend two encapsulations of labeled packets - one for Downstream-allocated labels and another for Upstream-allocated ones.

b.    From my POV the ST-MPLS only uses Downstream-allocated labels – but I expect the draft to state that explicitly, one way or another. (If Upstream-allocated labels are relevant for SR-MPLS, I would see it as a major gap, so I hope that this is not the case).

2.    Label spaces in SR-MPLS:

a.    RFC 3031 (referenced by the draft) defines per-platform and per-interface label spaces, and RFC 5331 (not mentioned in the draft) adds context-specific label spaces and context labels.

b.    The draft does not say which of these are or are not relevant for SR-MPLS

c.    From my POV:

                                         i.    Labels representing all kinds of SIDs mentioned in the draft MUST be allocated from the per-platform label space only

                                        ii.    At the same time, instantiation of Mirror Segment IDs defined in Section 5.1 of the Segment Routing Architecture draft using MPLS data plane clearly calls for context labels and context-specific label spaces

d.    I expect the draft to provide a clear-cut position on these aspects of SR-MPLS.

3.    SR-MPLS and hierarchical LSPs:

a.    SR LSPs that include more than one segment are hierarchical LSPs from the POV of the MPLS data plane. Therefore some (possibly, all) of the models for handling TTL and TC bits that have been defined in RFC 3443 (not mentioned in the draft) should apply to SR-MPLS

b.    RFC 8287 (not referenced in the draft) specifically discussed operation of the LSP Traceroute function for SR LSPs in the case when Pipe/Short Pipe model for TTL handling is used

c.    I expect the draft to provide at least some guidelines regarding applicability of each specific model defined in RFC 3443 (separately for TTL and TC bits) to SR-MPLS.

4.    Inferring network layer protocol in SR-MPLS:

a.    I wonder if the draft could provide any details on the situation when a label that represents some kind of SID is the bottom-of-stack label to be popped by the egress LER

b.    For the reference, RFC 3032 says that “the identity of the network layer protocol  must be inferable from the value of the label which is popped from  the bottom of the stack, possibly along with the contents  of the network layer header itself”

c.    From my POV the following scenario indicates relevance of this expectation for SR-MPLS:

                                         i.    IS-IS is used for distributing both IPv4 and IPv6 reachability in a given domain

                                        ii.    An IS-IS adjacency over some dual-stack link is established, and a single Adj-SID for this adjacency is advertised

                                       iii.    The node that has assigned and advertised this Adj-SID receives a labeled packet with the label representing this Adj-SID being both the top and bottom-of-stack label

                                       iv.    The implementers must be given unambiguous instructions for forwarding the unlabeled packet via the dual-stack link as an Ipv4 or an IPv6 packet.

5.    Resolution of Conflicts: Are the

a.    Are the conflict resolution procedures listed in section 2.5 mandatory to implement?

b.    If they are mandatory to implement, are they also mandatory to deploy, or can the operators simply treat any detected conflict as requiring human intervention and preventing normal operation of SR-MPLS?

c.    For the reference, the IETF capitalized MUST appears just in a few places in Section 2.5, and each appearance has very narrow context:

                                         i.    For MCCs where the "Topology" and/or "Algorithm" fields are not defined, the numerical value of zero MUST be used for these two fields

                                        ii.    If the same set of FECs are attached to the same label "L1", then the tie-breaking rules MUST always select the same FEC irrespective of the order in which the FECs and the label "L1" are received. In other words, the tie-breaking rule MUST be deterministic.

                                       iii.    An implementation of explicit SID assignment MUST guarantee collision freeness on the same router
From my POV, it is not possible to infer the answer to my question from these statements. Some explicit statement is required.

d.    The tie-breaking rules in section 2.5.1 include some specific values for encoding FEC types and address families – but these values are not supposed to appear in any IANA registries (because the draft does not request any IANA actions). Can you please clarify what is so special about these values?

e.    I also doubt that comparison of FECs that represent IPv4 and IPv6 prefix SIDs makes much sense (for conflict resolution or else), because, among other things, there are valid scenarios when an IPv4 /32 prefix is embedded in an IPv6 /128 one.

f.     Section 2.5.1 defines 3 types of SR-MPLS FECs, but I am not sure all SID types defined in the Segment Routing Architecture draft can be unambiguously mapped to one of these types. Problematic examples include at least the following:

                                         i.    Parallel Adjacency SID

                                        ii.    Mirror SID
Explicit mapping of SID types to SR-MPLS FEC types would be most useful IMO. If some SID types cannot be mapped to SR-MPLS FECs, this must be explicitly stated in the draft.

6.    Node SIDs in SR-MPLS:

a.    Node SIDs are explicitly defined and discussed in the Segment Routing Architecture draft but are not mentioned even once in this draft

b.    AFAIK, the common implementation practice today includes assignment of at least one Node SID to every node in the SR-MPLS domain

c.    Is there a requirement to assign at least one Node SID per {routing instance, topology, algorithm} in SR-MPLS? If not, can the authors explain expected behavior of such a node? (See also my comment about routing instances below).

7.    SRGB Size in SR-MPLS:

a.    The draft correctly treats the situation when an index assigned to some global SID cannot be mapped to a label using the procedure in Section 2.4 as a conflict.

b.    At the same time the draft does not define any minimum size of SRGB (be it defined as a single contiguous block or as a sequence of such blocks) that MUST be implemented by all SR-capable nodes

c.    I suspect that lack of such a definition could be detrimental to interoperability of SR-MPLS solutions. AFAIK, the IETF has been following, for quite some time, a policy that some reasonable MUST-to-implement defaults should be assigned for all configurable parameters exactly in order to prevent this.

8.    Algorithms and Prefix SIDs:

a.    The draft mentions Algorithms (as part of SR-MPLS Prefix FEC) in, but it does not explicitly link them with the Prefix-SID algorithms defined in section 3.1.1 of the Segment Routing Architecture draft

b.    From my POV, the draft should explicitly state that the default Prefix-SID algorithm MUST be implemented in all SR-MPLS-compliant routers.

c.    The Segment Routing Architecture draft states (in section 3.1.3) that “Support of multiple algorithms applies to SRv6”. But neither draft states whether multiple algorithms apply to SR-MPLS. Can you please clarify this point?

9.    Routing instances and the context for Prefix-SIDs:

a.    The Segment Routing Architecture draft states in Section 3.1 that the “context for an IGP-Prefix segment includes the prefix, topology, and algorithm”

b.    This draft seems to define (in section 2.5) the context for the Prefix SID as “Prefix, Routing Instance, Topology, Algorithm” where ”a routing instance is identified by a single incoming label downloader to FIB” (but the notion of the label downloader to FIB is not defined).

c.    These two definitions look different to me.

d.    At the very least I would expect alignment between the definitions of context for the Prefix-SID between the two drafts. Preferably, the definition given in the Segment Routing Architecture draft should be used in both drafts.

10. Example of PUSH operation in Section 2.10.1:

a.    The first para of this section begins with the sentence “Suppose an MCC on a router "R0" determines that PUSH or CONTINUE   operation is to be applied to an incoming packet whose active SID is the global SID "Si"”. In the context of SR-MPLS this means (to me) that the incoming packet is a labeled packet and its top label matches the global SID “Si”.

b.    However, the example for PUSH operation in the next para of this section is the case of an (unlabeled) IP packet with the destination address covered by the IP prefix for which “Si” has been assigned.

c.    From my POV:

                                         i.    Mapping unlabeled packets to SIDs is indeed out of scope of the draft. Therefore an example of a PUSH operation that is applied to a labeled packet (with the active SID inferred from the top label in the stack) is preferable.

                                        ii.    Valid examples of  PUSH operation applied to a labeled incoming packet can be found in Sections 4.2 or 4.3 of the TI-LFA<> draft


1.    I concur with Adrian regarding numerous nits he has reported in his WG LC Comment<>. I would like to thank Adrian for an excellent review that have saved me lots of hard work.

2.    In addition, I’d like to report the following nits:

a.    Ti-LFA in Section 2.11.1 should be TI-LFA (as in the TI-LFA<> draft)

b.    TI-LFA draft is referenced in the text of Section 2.11.1, but there is no matching reference in the “References” section (probably, Informational)

c.    “zero Algorithm” in Section 2.5 (immediately above Section 2.5.1) must be replaced with “default algorithm”. Similarly, “non-zero Algorithm” should be replaced with “non-default algorithm”

3.    I think that RFC 3443 and RFC 5332 should be listed as Normative references in this draft while RFC 5331 and RFC 8277 should be listed as Informative references. This would improve the readability of the draft without any impact on its advancement.

Hopefully, these comments will be useful.


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