[Tsv-art] Tsvart last call review of draft-ietf-sfc-nsh-integrity-06

Joseph Touch via Datatracker <noreply@ietf.org> Mon, 26 July 2021 05:04 UTC

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Subject: [Tsv-art] Tsvart last call review of draft-ietf-sfc-nsh-integrity-06
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Reviewer: Joseph Touch
Review result: Not Ready

This document has been reviewed as part of the transport area review team's
ongoing effort to review key IETF documents. These comments were written
primarily for the transport area directors, but are copied to the document's
authors and WG to allow them to address any issues raised and also to the IETF
discussion list for information.

When done at the time of IETF Last Call, the authors should consider this
review as part of the last-call comments they receive. Please always CC
tsv-art@ietf.org if you reply to or forward this review.

It was very difficult to review this document for IETF transport protocol

Although "transport encapsulation" is indicated repeatedly, it is never
referred to directly or described either in this document or its citations. It
appears to be using this term in the sense of RFC8300, which too never defines
it, but uses examples that are more accurately referred to in the IETF as link
layer protocols or either network or link tunnel protocols (IP in IP, GRE,
VXLAN, Ethernet).

Regardless of the fact that this confusion originates in RFC8300, it needs to
be addressed here and corrected before this document can be reviewed to
determine if there are any IETF transport area issues.

The remainder of these notes provide detail of this issue.


The document refers back to RFC8300 to define the NSH itself; that document
discusses transport issues just as vaguely (never mentioning a particular
transport protocol), and when it discusses fragmentation, it refers to section
9 of a document (draft-ietf-rtgwg-dt-encap-02 from 2017) that had expired prior
to the publication of RFC8300.  Because transport fragmentation is, IMO, a
normative issue, this should not have been permitted.

Further, Section 9 of that draft incorrectly recommends reliance on ICMP
feedback to address MTU failures when not under a single operator’s management.
That was widely known even then to be insufficient due to blackholing; this had
motivated PLPMTUD in RFC4821 a full decade earlier. RFC8300 compounds this
error by simply asserting that the operator should ensure that ICMPs are not
blocked, overlooking the need to address when this is not the case.

This document cannot ignore that issue and simply refer to RFC8300 on this

Note that one of the only places an actual encapsulation protocol is mentioned
is RFC8300, in which Section 5 mentions IP and  Section 6.1 Table 1 describes
VXLAN-GPE, GRE, and Ethernet – all of which are described as “transport

If, in fact, IETF transport protocols are being used, at some point the use of
an actual IETF transport protocol should be described (e.g., TCP, UDP, SCTP,
DCCP). At that point, the transport issues would be reviewable. As the document
currently stands, it completely ignores such transport issues and should not
proceed until this is addressed and re-reviewed.

If instead, as I suspect, the term “transport encapsulation” actually refers to
“network layer encapsulation” or “link layer encapsulation” and really implies
some sort of tunnel, there would be no transport area issues to review unless
that tunnel were to include a transport protocol as part of the layers of
encapsulation. If that is the case, the document should be revised to replace
the term “transport” with something that more accurately describes VXLAN-GPE,
GRE, Ethernet, and IP encapsulation using IETF terminology. Note that
draft-ietf-intarea-tunnels never uses the term “transport” except when
referring to the use of IETF transport protocols as a tunnel layer, e.g. (i.e.,
the last sentence of Sec 8 of this doc is incorrect in implying otherwise).

(I would also note that neither this doc nor RFC8300 define “transport
encapsulation” in their terminology; even if they would, they should not
attempt to define it in a way inconsistent with widespread use in the IETF).