Re: [tcpm] End to End Proprietary Information Field - Request for a new TCP option

Joe Touch <touch@ISI.EDU> Fri, 26 September 2008 16:11 UTC

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Date: Fri, 26 Sep 2008 09:10:09 -0700
From: Joe Touch <touch@ISI.EDU>
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Subject: Re: [tcpm] End to End Proprietary Information Field - Request for a new TCP option
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TCP options signal changes to the TCP protocol. That protocol is not
proprietary, and I do not support making it - or any variants thereof -

Proprietary information about a TCP connection is already encoded in the
port number, and in-band in the application data. If the information
determines the nature of the application data, it is a port number
issue. If the information is application data, it belongs in the data path.

I see no reason for a TCP option based on this argument, nor do I see a
reason for a proprietary TCP option either.

Additional note below...


Ish Shalom, Ran wrote:
> Increasingly businesses and their workforces are becoming more and more
> distributed as they spread globally and move their offices to be closer
> to their customers. At the same time, financial wisdom dictates strict
> cost control. The combination of which pushed more business to use the
> Internet as a transport medium for remote offices and/or employees.
> IP addresses shortage, privacy and security concerns have generated a
> myriad of solutions in the form of NATs, PATs, firewalls, etc. As a
> result, local information such as private IP addresses, ports and
> potentially additional local private information often gets rewritten
> and lost when a session traverses these functions. Furthermore, some
> gateway services might terminate sessions in order to carry them over a
> different medium or using a different service. All of which result in
> the same way - lost of end to end transparency. However, occasionally
> applications and/or network administrators may need a means to
> communicate local private IP information across the Internet domain so
> that the far end may be able to process the session correctly.

Any device that destroys information of a TCP connection (e.g.,
destination port of a SYN, or rewriting IP addresss) cannot be trusted
to preserve TCP options either. They often rewrite or omit such options

> I would like to propose creating a proprietary information channel using
> a dedicated TCP option that can be used by such application to
> communicate private local information across the internet. A flexible
> end-to-end private channel will allow Service Providers and application
> vendors to provide seamless communication across the Internet domain
> despite the many intermediate functions that are in place today.
> Sincerely,
> Ran Ish-Shalom
> Akamai technologies
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