faqs.org - Internet FAQ Archives

RFC 5146 - Interworking Requirements to Support Operation of MPL

Or Display the document by number

Network Working Group                                     K. Kumaki, Ed.
Request for Comments: 5146                              KDDI Corporation
Category: Informational                                       March 2008

       Interworking Requirements to Support Operation of MPLS-TE
                          over GMPLS Networks

Status of This Memo

   This memo provides information for the Internet community.  It does
   not specify an Internet standard of any kind.  Distribution of this
   memo is unlimited.


   Operation of a Multiprotocol Label Switching (MPLS) traffic
   engineering (TE) network as a client network to a Generalized MPLS
   (GMPLS) network has enhanced operational capabilities compared to
   those provided by a coexistent protocol model (i.e., operation of
   MPLS-TE over an independently managed transport layer).

   The GMPLS network may be a packet or a non-packet network, and may
   itself be a multi-layer network supporting both packet and non-packet
   technologies.  An MPLS-TE Label Switched Path (LSP) originates and
   terminates on an MPLS Label Switching Router (LSR).  The GMPLS
   network provides transparent transport for the end-to-end MPLS-TE

   This document describes a framework and Service Provider requirements
   for operating MPLS-TE networks over GMPLS networks.

Table of Contents

   1. Introduction ....................................................3
      1.1. Terminology ................................................4
   2. Reference Model .................................................4
   3. Detailed Requirements ...........................................5
      3.1. End-to-End Signaling .......................................5
      3.2. Triggered Establishment of GMPLS LSPs ......................5
      3.3. Diverse Paths for End-to-End MPLS-TE LSPs ..................6
      3.4. Advertisement of MPLS-TE Information via the GMPLS
           Network ....................................................6
      3.5. Selective Advertisement of MPLS-TE Information via
           a Border Node ..............................................6
      3.6. Interworking of MPLS-TE and GMPLS Protection ...............7
      3.7. Independent Failure Recovery and Reoptimization ............7
      3.8. Complexity and Risks .......................................7
      3.9. Scalability Considerations .................................7
      3.10. Performance Considerations ................................8
      3.11. Management Considerations .................................8
   4. Security Considerations .........................................8
   5. Recommended Solution Architecture ...............................9
      5.1. Use of Contiguous, Hierarchical, and Stitched LSPs ........10
      5.2. MPLS-TE Control Plane Connectivity ........................10
      5.3. Fast Reroute Protection ...................................10
      5.4. GMPLS LSP Advertisement ...................................11
      5.5. GMPLS Deployment Considerations ...........................11
   6. Acknowledgments ................................................11
   7. References .....................................................11
      7.1. Normative References ......................................11
      7.2. Informative References ....................................12
   8. Contributors' Addresses ........................................13

1.  Introduction

   Multiprotocol Label Switching traffic engineering (MPLS-TE) networks
   are often deployed over transport networks such that the transport
   networks provide connectivity between the Label Switching Routers
   (LSRs) in the MPLS-TE network.  Increasingly, these transport
   networks are operated using a Generalized Multiprotocol Label
   Switching (GMPLS) control plane.  Label Switched Paths (LSPs) in the
   GMPLS network provide connectivity as virtual data links advertised
   as TE links in the MPLS-TE network.

   GMPLS protocols were developed as extensions to MPLS-TE protocols.
   MPLS-TE is limited to the control of packet switching networks, but
   GMPLS can also control technologies at layers one and two.

   The GMPLS network may be managed by an operator as a separate network
   (as it may have been when it was under management plane control
   before the use of GMPLS as a control plane), but optimizations of
   management and operation may be achieved by coordinating the use of
   the MPLS-TE and GMPLS networks and operating the two networks with a
   close client/server relationship.

   GMPLS LSP setup may be triggered by the signaling of MPLS-TE LSPs in
   the MPLS-TE network so that the GMPLS network is reactive to the
   needs of the MPLS-TE network.  The triggering process can be under
   the control of operator policies without needing direct intervention
   by an operator.

   The client/server configuration just described can also apply in
   migration scenarios for MPLS-TE packet switching networks that are
   being migrated to be under GMPLS control.  [RFC5145] describes a
   migration scenario called the Island Model.  In this scenario, groups
   of nodes (islands) are migrated from the MPLS-TE protocols to the
   GMPLS protocols and operate entirely surrounded by MPLS-TE nodes (the
   sea).  This scenario can be effectively managed as a client/server
   network relationship using the framework described in this document.

   In order to correctly manage the dynamic interaction between the MPLS
   and GMPLS networks, it is necessary to understand the operational
   requirements and the control that the operator can impose.  Although
   this problem is very similar to the multi-layer networks described in
   [MLN-REQ], it must be noted that those networks operate GMPLS
   protocols in both the client and server networks, which facilitates
   smoother interworking.  Where the client network uses MPLS-TE
   protocols over the GMPLS server network, there is a need to study the
   interworking of the two protocol sets.

   This document examines the protocol requirements for protocol
   interworking to operate an MPLS-TE network as a client network over a
   GMPLS server network, and provides a framework for such operations.

1.1.  Terminology

   Although this Informational document is not a protocol specification,
   The key words "MUST", "MUST NOT", "REQUIRED", "SHALL", "SHALL NOT",
   document are to be interpreted as described in [RFC2119] for clarity
   of exposure of the requirements.

2.  Reference Model

   The reference model used in this document is shown in Figure 1.  It
   can easily be seen that the interworking between MPLS-TE and GMPLS
   protocols must occur on a node and not on a link.  Nodes on the
   interface between the MPLS-TE and GMPLS networks must be responsible
   for handling both protocol sets and for providing any protocol
   interworking that is required.  We call these nodes Border Routers.

       --------------    -------------------------    --------------
      | MPLS Client  |  |   GMPLS Server Network  |  |  MPLS Client |
      |   Network    |  |                         |  |    Network   |
      |              |  |                         |  |              |
      |     ----   --+--+--    -----   -----    --+--+--   ----     |
      |    |    | |        |  |     | |     |  |        | |    |    |
      |    |MPLS|_| Border |__|GMPLS|_|GMPLS|__| Border |_|MPLS|    |
      |    |LSR | | Router |  | LSR | | LSR |  | Router | |LSR |    |
      |    |    | |        |  |     | |     |  |        | |    |    |
      |     ----   --+--+--    -----   -----    --+--+--   ----     |
      |              |  |                         |  |              |
      |              |  |                         |  |              |
       --------------    -------------------------    --------------

             |         |         GMPLS LSP         |         |
             |         |<------------------------->|         |
             |                                               |
                           End-to-End MPLS-TE LSP

         Figure 1.  Reference model of MPLS-TE/GMPLS interworking

   MPLS-TE network connectivity is provided through a GMPLS LSP which is
   created between Border Routers.  End-to-end connectivity between MPLS
   LSRs in the client MPLS-TE networks is provided by an MPLS-TE LSP
   that is carried across the MPLS-TE network by the GMPLS LSP using
   hierarchical LSP techniques [RFC4206], LSP stitching segments

   [RFC5150], or a contiguous LSP.  LSP stitching segments and
   contiguous LSPs are only available where the GMPLS network is a
   packet switching network.

3.  Detailed Requirements

   This section describes detailed requirements for MPLS-TE/GMPLS
   interworking in support of the reference model shown in Figure 1.

   The functional requirements for GMPLS-MPLS interworking described in
   this section must be met by any device participating in the
   interworking.  This may include routers, servers, network management
   devices, path computation elements, etc.

3.1.  End-to-End Signaling

   The solution MUST be able to preserve MPLS signaling information
   signaled within the MPLS-TE client network at the start of the MPLS-
   TE LSP and deliver it on the other side of the GMPLS server network
   for use within the MPLS-TE client network at the end of the MPLS-TE
   LSP.  This may require protocol mapping (and re-mapping), protocol
   tunneling, or the use of remote protocol adjacencies.

3.2.  Triggered Establishment of GMPLS LSPs

   The solution MUST provide the ability to establish end-to-end MPLS-TE
   LSPs over a GMPLS server network.  It SHOULD be possible for GMPLS
   LSPs across the core network to be set up between Border Routers
   triggered by the signaling of MPLS-TE LSPs in the client network, and
   in this case, policy controls MUST be made available at the border
   routers so that the operator of the GMPLS network can manage how core
   network resources are utilized.  GMPLS LSPs MAY also be pre-
   established as the result of management plane control.

   Note that multiple GMPLS LSPs may be set up between a given pair of
   Border Routers in support of connectivity in the MPLS client network.
   If these LSPs are advertised as TE links in the client network, the
   use of link bundling [RFC4201] can reduce any scaling concerns
   associated with the advertisements.

   The application of the Path Computation Element (PCE) [RFC4655] in
   the context of an inter-layer network [PCE-INT] may be considered to
   determine an end-to-end LSP with triggered GMPLS segment or tunnel.

3.3.  Diverse Paths for End-to-End MPLS-TE LSPs

   The solution SHOULD provide the ability to establish end-to-end
   MPLS-TE LSPs having diverse paths for protection of the LSP traffic.
   This means that MPLS-TE LSPs SHOULD be kept diverse both within the
   client MPLS-TE network and as they cross the server GMPLS network.
   This means that there SHOULD be a mechanism to request the provision
   of diverse GMPLS LSPs between a pair of Border Routers to provide
   protection of the GMPLS span, but also that there SHOULD be a way to
   keep GMPLS LSPs between different Border Routers disjoint.

3.4.  Advertisement of MPLS-TE Information via the GMPLS Network

   The solution SHOULD provide the ability to exchange advertisements of
   TE information between MPLS-TE client networks across the GMPLS
   server network.

   The advertisement of TE information from within an MPLS-TE client
   network to all LSRs in the client network enables a head-end LSR to
   compute an optimal path for an LSP to a tail-end LSR that is reached
   over the GMPLS server network.

   Where there is more than one client MPLS-TE network, the TE
   information from separate MPLS-TE networks MUST be kept private,
   confidential and secure.

3.5.  Selective Advertisement of MPLS-TE Information via a Border Node

   The solution SHOULD provide the ability to distribute TE reachability
   information from the GMPLS server network to MPLS-TE networks
   selectively.  This information is useful for the LSRs in the MPLS-TE
   networks to compute paths that cross the GMPLS server network and to
   select the correct Border Routers to provide connectivity.

   The solution MUST NOT distribute TE information from within a non-PSC
   (Packet Switch Capable) GMPLS server network to any client MPLS-TE
   network as that information may cause confusion and selection of
   inappropriate paths.

   The use of PCE [RFC4655] may provide a solution for non-PSC GMPLS
   networks supporting PSC MPLS networks.

3.6.  Interworking of MPLS-TE and GMPLS Protection

   If an MPLS-TE LSP is protected using MPLS Fast Reroute (FRR)
   [RFC4090], then similar protection MUST be provided over the GMPLS
   island.  Operator and policy controls SHOULD be made available at the
   Border Router to determine how suitable protection is provided in the
   GMPLS island.

3.7.  Independent Failure Recovery and Reoptimization

   The solution SHOULD provide failure recovery and reoptimization in
   the GMPLS server network without impacting the MPLS-TE client network
   and vice versa.  That is, it SHOULD be possible to recover from a
   fault within the GMPLS island or to reoptimize the path across the
   GMPLS island without requiring signaling activity within the MPLS-TE
   client network.  Similarly, it SHOULD be possible to perform recovery
   or reoptimization within the MPLS-TE client network without requiring
   signaling activity within the GMPLS server networks.

   If a failure in the GMPLS server network can not be repaired
   transparently, some kind of notification of the failure SHOULD be
   transmitted to MPLS-TE network.

3.8.  Complexity and Risks

   The solution SHOULD NOT introduce unnecessary complexity to the
   current operating network to such a degree that it would affect the
   stability and diminish the benefits of deploying such a solution in
   service provider networks.

3.9.  Scalability Considerations

   The solution MUST scale well with consideration to at least the
   following metrics.

   - The number of GMPLS-capable nodes (i.e., the size of the GMPLS
     server network).

   - The number of MPLS-TE-capable nodes (i.e., the size of the MPLS-TE
     client network).

   - The number of MPLS-TE client networks.

   - The number of GMPLS LSPs.

   - The number of MPLS-TE LSPs.

3.10.  Performance Considerations

   The solution SHOULD be evaluated with regard to the following

   - Failure and restoration time.

   - Impact and scalability of the control plane due to added overheads.

   - Impact and scalability of the data/forwarding plane due to added

3.11.  Management Considerations

   Manageability of the deployment of an MPLS-TE client network over
   GMPLS server network MUST addresses the following considerations.

   - Need for coordination of MIB modules used for control plane
     management and monitoring in the client and server networks.

   - Need for diagnostic tools that can discover and isolate faults
     across the border between the MPLS-TE client and GMPLS server

4.  Security Considerations

   Border routers in the model described in this document are present on
   administrative domain boundaries.  That is, the administrative
   boundary does not lie on a link as it might in the inter-Autonomous-
   System (inter-AS) case seen in IP networks.  Thus, many security
   concerns for the inter-domain exchange of control plane messages do
   not arise in this model -- the border router participates fully in
   both the MPLS and the GMPLS network and must participate in the
   security procedures of both networks.  Security considerations for
   MPLS-TE and GMPLS protocols are discussed in [SECURITY].

   However, policy considerations at the border routers are very
   important and may be considered to form part of the security of the
   networks.  In particular, the server network (the GMPLS network) may
   wish to protect itself from behavior in the client network (such as
   frequent demands to set up and tear down server LSPs) by appropriate
   policies implemented at the border routers.  It should be observed
   that, because the border routers form part of both networks, they are
   trusted in both networks, and policies configured (whether locally or
   centrally) for use by a border router are expected to be observed.

   Nevertheless, authentication and access controls for operators will
   be particularly important at border routers.  Operators of the client

   MPLS-TE network MUST NOT be allowed to configure the server GMPLS
   network (including setting server network policies), and operators of
   the server GMPLS network MUST NOT be able configure the client MPLS-
   TE network.  Obviously, it SHOULD be possible to grant an operator
   privileges in both networks.  It may also be desirable to give
   operators of one network access to (for example) status information
   about the other network.

   Mechanisms for authenticating operators and providing access controls
   are not part of the responsibilities of the GMPLS protocol set, and
   will depend on the management plane protocols and techniques

5.  Recommended Solution Architecture

   The recommended solution architecture to meet the requirements set
   out in Section 3 is known as the Border Peer Model.  This
   architecture is a variant of the Augmented Model described in
   [RFC3945].  The remainder of this document presents an overview of
   this architecture.

   In the Augmented Model, routing information from the lower layer
   (server) network is filtered at the interface to the higher layer
   (client) network and a subset of the information is distributed
   within the higher layer network.

   In the Border Peer Model, the interface between the client and server
   networks is the Border Router.  This router has visibility of the
   routing information in the server network yet also participates as a
   peer in the client network.  Thus, the Border Router has full
   visibility into both networks.  However, the Border Router does not
   distribute server routing information into the client network, nor
   does it distribute client routing information into the server

   The Border Peer Model may also be contrasted with the Overlay Model
   [RFC3945].  In this model there is a protocol request/response
   interface (the user network interface (UNI)) between the client and
   server networks.  [RFC4208] shows how this interface may be supported
   by GMPLS protocols operated between client edge and server edge
   routers while retaining the routing information within the server
   network.  That is, in the Overlay Model there is no exchange of
   routing or reachability information between client and server
   networks, and no network element has visibility into both client and
   server networks.  The Border Peer Model can be viewed as placing the
   UNI within the Border Router thus giving the Border Router peer
   capabilities in both the client and server network.

5.1.  Use of Contiguous, Hierarchical, and Stitched LSPs

   All three LSP types MAY be supported in the Border Peer Model, but
   contiguous LSPs are the hardest to support because they require
   protocol mapping between the MPLS-TE client network and the GMPLS
   server network.  Such protocol mapping can be achieved currently
   since MPLS-TE signaling protocols are a subset of GMPLS, but this
   mechanism is not future-proofed.

   Contiguous and stitched LSPs can only be supported where the GMPLS
   server network has the same switching type (that is, packet
   switching) as the MPLS-TE network.  Requirements for independent
   failure recovery within the GMPLS island require the use of loose
   path reoptimization techniques [RFC4736] and end-to-end make-before-
   break [RFC3209], which will not provide rapid recovery.

   For these reasons, the use of hierarchical LSPs across the server
   network is RECOMMENDED for the Border Peer Model, but see the
   discussion of Fast Reroute protection in Section 5.3.

5.2.  MPLS-TE Control Plane Connectivity

   Control plane connectivity between MPLS-TE LSRs connected by a GMPLS
   island in the Border Peer Model MAY be provided by the control
   channels of the GMPLS network.  If this is done, a tunneling
   mechanism (such as GRE [RFC2784]) SHOULD be used to ensure that
   MPLS-TE information is not consumed by the GMPLS LSRs.  But care is
   required to avoid swamping the control plane of the GMPLS network
   with MPLS-TE control plane (particularly routing) messages.

   In order to ensure scalability, control plane messages for the MPLS-
   TE client network MAY be carried between Border Routers in a single
   hop MPLS-TE LSP routed through the data plane of the GMPLS server

5.3.  Fast Reroute Protection

   If the GMPLS network is packet switching, Fast Reroute protection can
   be offered on all hops of a contiguous LSP.  If the GMPLS network is
   packet switching then all hops of a hierarchical GMPLS LSP or GMPLS
   stitching segment can be protected using Fast Reroute.  If the end-
   to-end MPLS-TE LSP requests Fast Reroute protection, the GMPLS packet
   switching network SHOULD provide such protection.

   However, note that it is not possible to provide FRR node protection
   of the upstream Border Router without careful consideration of
   available paths, and protection of the downstream Border Router is
   not possible where hierarchical LSPs or stitching segments are used.

   Note further that Fast Reroute is not available in non-packet
   technologies.  However, other protection techniques are supported by
   GMPLS for non-packet networks and are likely to provide similar
   levels of protection.

   The limitations of FRR need careful consideration by the operator and
   may lead to the decision to provide end-to-end protection for the

5.4.  GMPLS LSP Advertisement

   In the Border Peer Model, the LSPs established by the Border Routers
   in the GMPLS server network SHOULD be advertised in the MPLS-TE
   client network as real or virtual links.  In case real links are
   advertised into the MPLS-TE client network, the Border Routers in the
   MPLS-TE client network MAY establish IGP neighbors.  The Border
   Routers MAY automatically advertise the GMPLS LSPs when establishing

5.5.  GMPLS Deployment Considerations

   The Border Peer Model does not require the existing MPLS-TE client
   network to be GMPLS aware and does not affect the operation and
   management of the existing MPLS-TE client network.  Only border
   routers need to be upgraded with the GMPLS functionality.  In this
   fashion, the Border Peer Model renders itself for incremental
   deployment of the GMPLS server network, without requiring
   reconfiguration of existing areas/ASs, changing operation of IGP and
   BGP or software upgrade of the existing MPLS-TE client network.

6.  Acknowledgments

   The author would like to express thanks to Raymond Zhang, Adrian
   Farrel, and Deborah Brungard for their helpful and useful comments
   and feedback.

7.  References

7.1.  Normative References

   [RFC2119]   Bradner, S., "Key words for use in RFCs to Indicate
               Requirement Levels", BCP 14, RFC 2119, March 1997.

   [RFC3209]   Awduche, D., Berger, L., Gan, D., Li, T., Srinivasan, V.,
               and G. Swallow, "RSVP-TE: Extensions to RSVP for LSP
               Tunnels", RFC 3209, December 2001.

   [RFC3945]   Mannie, E., Ed., "Generalized Multi-Protocol Label
               Switching (GMPLS) Architecture", RFC 3945, October 2004.

   [RFC4090]   Pan, P., Ed., Swallow, G., Ed., and A. Atlas, Ed., "Fast
               Reroute Extensions to RSVP-TE for LSP Tunnels", RFC 4090,
               May 2005.

   [RFC4201]   Kompella, K., Rekhter, Y., and L. Berger, "Link Bundling
               in MPLS Traffic Engineering (TE)", RFC 4201, October

   [RFC4206]   Kompella, K. and Y. Rekhter, "Label Switched Paths (LSP)
               Hierarchy with Generalized Multi-Protocol Label Switching
               (GMPLS) Traffic Engineering (TE)", RFC 4206, October

   [RFC4208]   Swallow, G., Drake, J., Ishimatsu, H., and Y. Rekhter,
               "Generalized Multiprotocol Label Switching (GMPLS) User-
               Network Interface (UNI): Resource ReserVation Protocol-
               Traffic Engineering (RSVP-TE) Support for the Overlay
               Model", RFC 4208, October 2005.

   [RFC5150]    Ayyangar, A., Kompella, K., Vasseur, JP., and A. Farrel,
               "Label Switched Path Stitching with Generalized
               Multiprotocol Label Switching Traffic Engineering (GMPLS
               TE)", RFC 5150, February 2008.

7.2.  Informative References

   [RFC2784]   Farinacci, D., Li, T., Hanks, S., Meyer, D., and P.
               Traina, "Generic Routing Encapsulation (GRE)", RFC 2784,
               March 2000.

   [RFC4655]   Farrel, A., Vasseur, J.-P., and J. Ash, "A Path
               Computation Element (PCE)-Based Architecture", RFC 4655,
               August 2006.

   [RFC4736]   Vasseur, JP., Ed., Ikejiri, Y., and R. Zhang,
               "Reoptimization of Multiprotocol Label Switching (MPLS)
               Traffic Engineering (TE) Loosely Routed Label Switched
               Path (LSP)", RFC 4736, November 2006.

   [RFC5145]   Shiomoto, K., Ed., "Framework for MPLS-TE to GMPLS
               Migration", RFC 5145, March 2008.

   [MLN-REQ]   Shiomoto, K., Papadimitriou, D., Le Roux, J.L.,
               Vigoureux, M., and D. Brungard, "Requirements for GMPLS-
               Based Multi-Region and Multi-Layer Networks (MRN/MLN)",
               Work in Progress, January 2008.

   [PCE-INT]   Oki, E., Le Roux , J-L., and A. Farrel, "Framework for
               PCE-Based Inter-Layer MPLS and GMPLS Traffic
               Engineering," Work in Progress, January 2008.

   [SECURITY]  Fang, L., "Security Framework for MPLS and GMPLS
               Networks", Work in Progress, November 2007.

8.  Contributors' Addresses

   Tomohiro Otani
   KDDI R&D Laboratories, Inc.
   2-1-15 Ohara Kamifukuoka
   Saitama, 356-8502, Japan

   Phone:  +81-49-278-7357
   EMail:  otani@kddilabs.jp

   Shuichi Okamoto
   NICT JGN II Tsukuba Reserach Center
   1-8-1, Otemachi Chiyoda-ku,
   Tokyo, 100-0004, Japan

   Phone: +81-3-5200-2117
   EMail: okamoto-s@nict.go.jp

   Kazuhiro Fujihara
   NTT Communications Corporation
   Tokyo Opera City Tower 3-20-2 Nishi Shinjuku, Shinjuku-ku
   Tokyo 163-1421, Japan

   EMail: kazuhiro.fujihara@ntt.com

   Yuichi Ikejiri
   NTT Communications Corporation
   Tokyo Opera City Tower 3-20-2 Nishi Shinjuku, Shinjuku-ku
   Tokyo 163-1421, Japan

   EMail: y.ikejiri@ntt.com

Editor's Address

   Kenji Kumaki
   KDDI Corporation
   Garden Air Tower
   Iidabashi, Chiyoda-ku,
   Tokyo, 102-8460, JAPAN

   EMail: ke-kumaki@kddi.com

Full Copyright Statement

   Copyright (C) The IETF Trust (2008).

   This document is subject to the rights, licenses and restrictions
   contained in BCP 78, and except as set forth therein, the authors
   retain all their rights.

   This document and the information contained herein are provided on an

Intellectual Property

   The IETF takes no position regarding the validity or scope of any
   Intellectual Property Rights or other rights that might be claimed to
   pertain to the implementation or use of the technology described in
   this document or the extent to which any license under such rights
   might or might not be available; nor does it represent that it has
   made any independent effort to identify any such rights.  Information
   on the procedures with respect to rights in RFC documents can be
   found in BCP 78 and BCP 79.

   Copies of IPR disclosures made to the IETF Secretariat and any
   assurances of licenses to be made available, or the result of an
   attempt made to obtain a general license or permission for the use of
   such proprietary rights by implementers or users of this
   specification can be obtained from the IETF on-line IPR repository at

   The IETF invites any interested party to bring to its attention any
   copyrights, patents or patent applications, or other proprietary
   rights that may cover technology that may be required to implement
   this standard.  Please address the information to the IETF at


User Contributions:

Comment about this RFC, ask questions, or add new information about this topic: