Internet-Draft OAM in GENEVE June 2022
Mirsky, et al. Expires 16 December 2022 [Page]
NVO3 Working Group
Intended Status:
Standards Track
G. Mirsky
S. Boutros
D. Black
Dell EMC
S. Pallagatti

OAM for use in GENEVE


This document lists a set of general requirements for active OAM protocols in the Geneve overlay network. Based on the requirements, IP encapsulation for active Operations, Administration, and Maintenance protocols in Geneve protocol is defined. Considerations for using ICMP and UDP-based protocols are discussed.

Status of This Memo

This Internet-Draft is submitted in full conformance with the provisions of BCP 78 and BCP 79.

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This Internet-Draft will expire on 16 December 2022.

Table of Contents

1. Introduction

Geneve [RFC8926] is intended to support various scenarios of network virtualization. In addition to carrying multi-protocol payload, e.g., Ethernet, IPv4/IPv6, the Geneve message includes metadata. Operations, Administration, and Maintenance (OAM) protocols support fault management and performance monitoring functions necessary for comprehensive network operation. Active OAM protocols, as defined in [RFC7799], use specially constructed packets that are injected into the network. To ensure that the measured performance metric or the detected failure of the transport layer are related to a particular Geneve flow, it is critical that these test packets share fate with overlay data packets for that flow when traversing the underlay network.

A set of general requirements for active OAM protocols in the Geneve overlay network is listed in Section 2. IP encapsulation conforms to these requirements and is defined as a suitable encapsulation of active OAM protocols in a Geneve overlay network. Note that the IP encapsulation of OAM is applicable to those VNIs that support the use of the necessary values of the Protocol Type field in the Geneve header, i.e., Ethertypes of IPv4 or IPv6. It does not apply to VNIs that lack that support, e.g., VNIs that only support Ethernet Ethertypes. Analysis and definition of other types of OAM encapsulation in Geneve are outside the scope of this document.

1.1. Conventions used in this document

1.1.1. Acronyms

CC Continuity Check

CV Connectivity Verification

FM Fault Management

Geneve Generic Network Virtualization Encapsulation

NVO3 Network Virtualization Overlays

OAM Operations, Administration, and Maintenance

VNI Virtual Network Identifier

1.1.2. Requirements Language

The key words "MUST", "MUST NOT", "REQUIRED", "SHALL", "SHALL NOT", "SHOULD", "SHOULD NOT", "RECOMMENDED", "NOT RECOMMENDED", "MAY", and "OPTIONAL" in this document are to be interpreted as described in BCP 14 [RFC2119] [RFC8174] when, and only when, they appear in all capitals, as shown here.

2. Active OAM Protocols in Geneve Networks

OAM protocols, whether part of fault management or performance monitoring, are intended to provide reliable information that can be used to detect a failure, identify the defect and localize it, thus helping to identify and apply corrective actions to minimize the negative impact on service. Several OAM protocols are used to perform these functions; these protocols require demultiplexing at the receiving instance of Geneve. To improve the accuracy of the correlation between the condition experienced by the monitored Geneve tunnel and the state of the OAM protocol the OAM encapsulation is required to comply with the following requirements:

An OAM protocol MAY be used to monitor the particular Geneve tunnel as a whole. In that case, test packets could be fate-sharing with a sub-set of tenant flows transported over the Geneve tunnel. If the goal is to monitor the condition experienced by the flow of a particular tenant, the test packets MUST be fate-sharing with that specific flow in the Geneve tunnel. In the latter case, the test packet MUST use the same Geneve encapsulation as the data packet (except for the value in the Protocol Type field [RFC8926]), including the value in the Virtual Network Identifier (VNI) field. Both scenarios are discussed in detail in Section 2.1.

A test packet generated by an active OAM protocol, either for a defect detection or performance measurement, according to REQ#1, MUST be fate-sharing with the tunnel or data flow being monitored. In an environment where multiple paths through the domain are available, underlay transport nodes can be programmed to use characteristic information to balance the load across known paths. It is essential that test packets follow the same route, i.e., traverses the same set of nodes and links, as a data packet of the monitored flow. Thus, the following requirement to support OAM packet fate-sharing with the data flow:

2.1. Defect Detection and Troubleshooting in Geneve Network with Active OAM

Figure 1 presents an example of a Geneve domain. In this section, we consider two scenarios of active OAM being used to detect and localize defects in the Geneve network.

       +--------+                                             +--------+
       | Tenant +--+                                     +----| Tenant |
       | VNI 28 |  |                                     |    | VNI 35 |
       +--------+  |          ................           |    +--------+
                   |  +----+  .              .  +----+   |
                   |  | NVE|--.              .--| NVE|   |
                   +--| A  |  .              .  | B  |---+
                      +----+  .              .  +----+
                      /       .              .
                     /        .     Geneve   .
       +--------+   /         .    Network   .
       | Tenant +--+          .              .
       | VNI 35 |             .              .
       +--------+             ................
                                   | NVE|
                                   | C  |
                             |               |
                         +--------+      +--------+
                         | Tenant |      | Tenant |
                         | VNI 28 |      | VNI 35 |
                         +--------+      +--------+

Figure 1: An example of a Geneve domain

In the first case, a communication problem between Network Virtualization Edge (NVE) device A and NVE C was observed. The underlay, e.g., IP network, forwarding is working well but the Geneve connection is unstable for all tenants of NVE A and NVE C. Troubleshooting and localization of the problem can be done irrespective of the VNI value.

In the second case, traffic on VNI 35 between NVE A and NVE B has no problems, as on VNI 28 between NVE A and NVE C. But traffic on VNI 35 between NVE A and NVE C experiences problems, for example, excessive packet loss.

The first case can be detected and investigated using any VNI value, whether it connects tenant systems or not. To conform to REQ#4 (Section 2) OAM test packets could be transmitted on VNI that doesn't have any tenant. That VNI in a Geneve tunnel is dedicated to carrying only control and management data between the tunnel endpoints, hence communication that uses that VNI is also and referred to as a Geneve control channel. Thus, the control channel of a Geneve tunnel MUST NOT carry tenant data. As no tenants are connected using the control channel, a system that supports this specification, MUST NOT forward a packet received over the control channel to any tenant. A packet received over the control channel MAY be forwarded if and only if it is sent onto the control channel of the concatenated Geneve tunnel. A specific VNI MAY be used to identify the control channel. The value that is associated with this function is referred to as Management VNI. It is RECOMMENDED that the value 1 be used as the default value of Management VNI. Encapsulation of test packets, in this case, is discussed in Section 2.2. The Management VNI SHOULD be terminated on the tenant-facing side of the Geneve encap/decap functionality, not the DC-network-facing side (per definitions in Section 4 [RFC8014]) so that Geneve encap/decap functionality is included in its scope. This approach causes an active OAM packet, e.g., an ICMP echo request, to be decapsulated in the same fashion as any other received Geneve packet. In this example, the resulting ICMP packet is handed to NVE's local management functionality for the processing which generates an ICMP echo reply. The ICMP echo reply is encapsulated in Geneve for forwarding back to the NVE that sent the echo request. One advantage of this approach is that a repeated ping test could detect an intermittent problem in Geneve encap/decap hardware, which would not be tested if the Management VNI were handled as a "special case" at the DC-network-facing interface.

The second case requires that a test packet be transmitted using the VNI value for the traffic that is encountering problems. The encapsulation of the test packet, i.e., inner encapsulation, MUST be the same as the tenant packet's encapsulation in the Geneve tunnel and use the same VNI number. Encapsulation of test packets in this case, is discussed in Section 2.2.

2.2. OAM Encapsulation in Geneve

Active OAM in Geneve network uses an IP encapsulation. Protocols such as BFD [RFC5880] or STAMP [RFC8762] use UDP transport. Destination UDP port number in the inner UDP header (Figure 2) identifies the OAM protocol. This approach is well-known and has been used, for example, in MPLS networks [RFC8029]. The UDP source port can be used to provide entropy, e.g., for Equal Cost Multipath. To use IP encapsulation for an active OAM protocol the Protocol Type field of the Geneve header MUST be set to the IPv4 (0x0800) or IPv6 (0x86DD) value.

  0                   1                   2                   3
  0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 0 1
 |                                                               |
 ~                        Outer IPvX Header                      ~
 |                                                               |
 |                                                               |
 ~                        Outer UDP Header                       ~
 |                                                               |
 |                                                               |
 ~                          Geneve Header                        ~
 |                                                               |
 |                                                               |
 ~                        Inner IPvX Header                      ~
 |                                                               |
 |                                                               |
 ~                        Inner UDP Header                       ~
 |                                                               |
 |                                                               |
 ~                        Active OAM Packet                      ~
 |                                                               |
Figure 2: Geneve IP/UDP Encapsulation of an Active OAM Packet

Inner IP header:

Destination IP: IP address MUST NOT be of one of tenant's IP addresses. The IP address SHOULD be set to the loopback address for IPv4, or the loopback address ::1/128 for IPv6 [RFC4291]. Alternatively, the destination IP address MAY be set to VAP's IP address.
Source IP: IP address of the originating VAP.
TTL or Hop Limit: MUST be set to 255 per [RFC5082].

3. Echo Request and Echo Reply in Geneve Tunnel

ICMP and ICMPv6 ([RFC0792] and [RFC4443] respectively) provide required on-demand defect detection and failure localization. ICMP control messages immediately follow the inner IP header encapsulated in Geneve. ICMP extensions for Geneve networks use mechanisms defined in [RFC4884].

4. IANA Considerations

This document has no requirements for IANA. This section can be removed before the publication.

5. Security Considerations

As part of a Geneve network, active OAM inherits the security considerations discussed in [RFC8926]. Additionally, a system MUST provide control to limit the rate of Geneve OAM packets punted to the Geneve control plane for processing in order to avoid overloading that control plane.

6. Acknowledgments


7. References

7.1. Normative References

Bradner, S., "Key words for use in RFCs to Indicate Requirement Levels", BCP 14, RFC 2119, DOI 10.17487/RFC2119, , <>.
Bryant, S., Swallow, G., Martini, L., and D. McPherson, "Pseudowire Emulation Edge-to-Edge (PWE3) Control Word for Use over an MPLS PSN", RFC 4385, DOI 10.17487/RFC4385, , <>.
Bocci, M., Ed., Vigoureux, M., Ed., and S. Bryant, Ed., "MPLS Generic Associated Channel", RFC 5586, DOI 10.17487/RFC5586, , <>.
Leiba, B., "Ambiguity of Uppercase vs Lowercase in RFC 2119 Key Words", BCP 14, RFC 8174, DOI 10.17487/RFC8174, , <>.
Gross, J., Ed., Ganga, I., Ed., and T. Sridhar, Ed., "Geneve: Generic Network Virtualization Encapsulation", RFC 8926, DOI 10.17487/RFC8926, , <>.

7.2. Informative References

Postel, J., "Internet Control Message Protocol", STD 5, RFC 792, DOI 10.17487/RFC0792, , <>.
Hinden, R. and S. Deering, "IP Version 6 Addressing Architecture", RFC 4291, DOI 10.17487/RFC4291, , <>.
Conta, A., Deering, S., and M. Gupta, Ed., "Internet Control Message Protocol (ICMPv6) for the Internet Protocol Version 6 (IPv6) Specification", STD 89, RFC 4443, DOI 10.17487/RFC4443, , <>.
Bonica, R., Gan, D., Tappan, D., and C. Pignataro, "Extended ICMP to Support Multi-Part Messages", RFC 4884, DOI 10.17487/RFC4884, , <>.
Gill, V., Heasley, J., Meyer, D., Savola, P., Ed., and C. Pignataro, "The Generalized TTL Security Mechanism (GTSM)", RFC 5082, DOI 10.17487/RFC5082, , <>.
Katz, D. and D. Ward, "Bidirectional Forwarding Detection (BFD)", RFC 5880, DOI 10.17487/RFC5880, , <>.
Morton, A., "Active and Passive Metrics and Methods (with Hybrid Types In-Between)", RFC 7799, DOI 10.17487/RFC7799, , <>.
Black, D., Hudson, J., Kreeger, L., Lasserre, M., and T. Narten, "An Architecture for Data-Center Network Virtualization over Layer 3 (NVO3)", RFC 8014, DOI 10.17487/RFC8014, , <>.
Kompella, K., Swallow, G., Pignataro, C., Ed., Kumar, N., Aldrin, S., and M. Chen, "Detecting Multiprotocol Label Switched (MPLS) Data-Plane Failures", RFC 8029, DOI 10.17487/RFC8029, , <>.
Mirsky, G., Jun, G., Nydell, H., and R. Foote, "Simple Two-Way Active Measurement Protocol", RFC 8762, DOI 10.17487/RFC8762, , <>.

Appendix A. Additional Considerations for OAM Encapsulation Method in Geneve

Several other options for OAM encapsulation were considered. Those are listed in the Appendix solely for informational purposes. These options were discarded in favor of the approach described in the main body of this document.

A Protocol Type field might be used to demultiplex active OAM protocols directly. Such method avoids the use of additional intermediate header but requires that each active OAM protocol be assigned unique identifier from the Ether Types registry maintained by IANA.

The alternative to using the Protocol Type directly is to use a shim that, in turn, identifies the OAM Protocol and, optionally, includes additional information. [RFC5586] defines how the Generic Associated Channel Label (GAL) can be used to identify that the Associated Channel Header (ACH), defined in [RFC4385], immediately follows the Bottom-of-the-Stack label. Thus, the MPLS Generic Associated Channel can be identified, and protocols are demultiplexed based on the Channel Type field's value. Number of channel types, e.g., for continuity check and performance monitoring, already have been defined and are listed in IANA MPLS Generalized Associated Channel Types (including Pseudowire Associated Channel Types) registry. The value of the Protocol Type field in the Geneve header MUST be set to MPLS to use this approach. The Geneve header MUST be immediately followed by the GAL label with the S flag set to indicate that GAL is the Bottom-of-the-stack label. Then ACH MUST follow the GAL label and the value of the Channel Type identifies which of active OAM protocols being encapsulated in the packet.

Authors' Addresses

Greg Mirsky
Sami Boutros
David Black
Dell EMC
176 South Street
Hopkinton, MA, 01748
United States of America
Santosh Pallagatti