Re: [TLS] DTLS/SCTP and fragmentation

Michael Tuexen <> Mon, 05 April 2021 12:24 UTC

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From: Michael Tuexen <>
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Date: Mon, 5 Apr 2021 14:23:52 +0200
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To: Rick van Rein <>
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Subject: Re: [TLS] DTLS/SCTP and fragmentation
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> On 5. Apr 2021, at 14:12, Rick van Rein <> wrote:
> Hi,
> Larger frames than the MTU are not just a problem to Diameter; they also
> complicate the normal handshake in DTLS which is a bit of a misfit with
> DTLS delivery semantics.
> Since the version is bit-swapped in DTLS, each record can easily be
> distinguished as being either DTLS or TLS.  Then, why not allow the
> mixing of those records in a stream, and map them differently to the
> transport protocol?
Why do to use TLS over SCTP? It has substantial limitations. That is
why DTLS over SCTP was specified.
> I suppose the records could be marked as being the first and/or last in
> a large user message, and this could be meaningfully translated to
> properties and behaviour of the transport.  Below the DTLS MTU,
> information is sent as DTLS, and above it, it is sent as a sequence of
> TLS frames -- or are rejected, if the transport cannot handle that.
> Plain TLS could be a special case where the DTLS MTU is set to 0.
You still would need to preserve message boundaries, don't you?
> Datagrams may have a number of meanings, too, that translate to
> different transport meanings.  Diameter differs from RTP in that it
> wants reliable delivery (which is why it does not carry over UDP) but it
> is like RTP in that it does not want ordered delivery.  Plain TLS
> applications would present the usecase of reliable ordered delivery.
My understanding is that Diameter wants reliable unordered delivery.
So basically you can send every diameter message as an unordered
SCTP user message. At least this is what is described in

Best regards
> Hopefully helpful,
> -Rick
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