Re: [v6ops] Operational Implications of IPv6 Packets with Extension Headers - implications from new development for EHs

Tom Herbert <> Wed, 29 July 2020 14:34 UTC

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From: Tom Herbert <>
Date: Wed, 29 Jul 2020 07:34:26 -0700
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To: Gert Doering <>
Cc: Ole Troan <>, Fernando Gont <>, IPv6 Operations <>
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Subject: Re: [v6ops] Operational Implications of IPv6 Packets with Extension Headers - implications from new development for EHs
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On Wed, Jul 29, 2020 at 5:26 AM Gert Doering <> wrote:
> Hi,
> On Wed, Jul 29, 2020 at 12:43:23PM +0200, wrote:
> > >> Anyway I don't quite understand what this document adds to work describing ossification in general
> > > Avoiding rehashing the same discussion everytime the issue of EHs comes up?
> >
> > So you are proposing to fully embrace ossification and deprecate all EHs?
> Can you see a way to make them work?


Yes. We can apply the same principles that helped IPv6 get any
traction (even if it only took twenty years :-) ): Assume deployment
of any new feature on the Internet will be incremental, Provide an
automatic fallback to a lesser protocol when the feature doesn't work
over some path at the possible cost of degraded service to the user,
Collect real time data on status of feature support in different parts
of the Internet and make it public, Ensure there is economic value in
supporting the feature so it's not just an academic exercise, Be
flexible in use of the feature (e.g. extension header

IETF can address issues in the protocols themselves that inhibit
practical implementation. For instance, in retrospect wrt extension
headers it's clear that requiring every node to process HBH options
and requiring these devices to potentially process hundreds of TLVs in
the fast path wasn't feasible-- we can provide practical guidance to
mitigate these (which RFC8200 and RFC8504 does in these cases).
There's still work to be done, for instance hardware limitations
around how many bytes of headers a device can process is regularly
raised (including by this drat) but what exactly is "too big" has yet
to be quantified; it would be nice to provide guidance for host
implementations so they can know when they're sending a packet with
too many bytes of headers (draft-ietf-6man-icmp-limits-08 is a good
direction but only to the extent that ICMP is usable).


> Gert Doering
>         -- NetMaster
> --
> have you enabled IPv6 on something today...?
> SpaceNet AG                      Vorstand: Sebastian v. Bomhard, Michael Emmer
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