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RFC 6355 - Definition of the UUID-Based DHCPv6 Unique Identifier

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Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF)                         T. Narten
Request for Comments: 6355                                    J. Johnson
Category: Standards Track                                            IBM
ISSN: 2070-1721                                              August 2011

   Definition of the UUID-Based DHCPv6 Unique Identifier (DUID-UUID)


   This document defines a new DHCPv6 Unique Identifier (DUID) type
   called DUID-UUID.  DUID-UUIDs are derived from the already-
   standardized Universally Unique IDentifier (UUID) format.  DUID-UUID
   makes it possible for devices to use UUIDs to identify themselves to
   DHC servers and vice versa.  UUIDs are globally unique and readily
   available on many systems, making them convenient identifiers to
   leverage within DHCP.

Status of This Memo

   This is an Internet Standards Track document.

   This document is a product of the Internet Engineering Task Force
   (IETF).  It represents the consensus of the IETF community.  It has
   received public review and has been approved for publication by the
   Internet Engineering Steering Group (IESG).  Further information on
   Internet Standards is available in Section 2 of RFC 5741.

   Information about the current status of this document, any errata,
   and how to provide feedback on it may be obtained at

Copyright Notice

   Copyright (c) 2011 IETF Trust and the persons identified as the
   document authors.  All rights reserved.

   This document is subject to BCP 78 and the IETF Trust's Legal
   Provisions Relating to IETF Documents
   (http://trustee.ietf.org/license-info) in effect on the date of
   publication of this document.  Please review these documents
   carefully, as they describe your rights and restrictions with respect
   to this document.  Code Components extracted from this document must
   include Simplified BSD License text as described in Section 4.e of
   the Trust Legal Provisions and are provided without warranty as
   described in the Simplified BSD License.

Table of Contents

   1.  Introduction  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2
   2.  Background  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2
   3.  UUID Considerations . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3
   4.  DUID-UUID Format  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4
   5.  Acknowledgements  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4
   6.  IANA Considerations . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5
   7.  Security Considerations . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5
   8.  References  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5
     8.1.  Normative References  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5
     8.2.  Informative Reference . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5

1.  Introduction

   DHCP Unique Identifiers (DUIDs) are used in DHCPv6 to identify
   clients and servers.  This document defines a new DHCP Unique
   Identifier (DUID) type that embeds a Universally Unique IDentifier
   (UUID) [RFC4122].  UUIDs are already in widespread use and serve as
   an existing identifier that could be leveraged by DHCPv6.  For
   example, x86-based systems ship with an embedded UUID in firmware
   that is readily available to the software running on the device.

   Although DUIDs are new to DHCPv6, identifying clients in DHCP via a
   UUID is not.  DHCPv4 [RFC2132] defines a Client Machine Identifier
   Option (option 97) that embeds a UUID (aka a Globally Unique
   Identifier (GUID)) [RFC4578].  This document extends that capability
   to DHCPv6.

   Terminology specific to IPv6 and DHCPv6 is used as defined in the
   "Terminology" sections of [RFC3315].

2.  Background

   In DHCPv6, clients identify themselves to servers via DHCP Unique
   Identifiers (DUIDs) [RFC3315].  DUIDs are identifiers that DHCP
   servers treat as opaque objects with no internal structure.  DUIDs
   are intended to be globally unique, with no two devices using the
   same DUID.  Three DUIDs types have been defined previously:

   DUID-LLT -  the Link-Layer address of one of the device's network
               interfaces, concatenated with a timestamp

   DUID-EN -   an Enterprise Number plus additional information specific
               to the enterprise

   DUID-LL -   the Link-Layer address of one of the device's network

   DUIDs are intended to remain constant over time, so that they can be
   used as permanent identifiers for a device.  In the case of DUID-
   LLTs, they are intended to be generated once, stored in stable
   storage, and reused from that point forward.

   One issue that has arisen concerns devices that employ multi-step
   network boot loading.  An initial step (typically run out of
   firmware) loads a small image that, in turn, loads a second image and
   so forth until the actual target system is loaded.  Each step in the
   booting process may invoke DHCP.  In some operational environments,
   it is important that each step in the sequence use the same DUID, so
   that the server knows it is getting requests from the same device and
   can return the proper configuration information (including the
   pointer to the correct image to load).

   Unfortunately, none of the previously defined DUIDs are ideal for
   multi-step network booting.  The DUID-LLT and DUID-LL identifiers
   that a given device may use are not guaranteed to remain constant
   across each booting step.  Even if the different stages used DUID-LL
   or DUID-LLT, on devices with multiple interfaces, there is no way to
   guarantee that the same interface (and hence DUID) will be selected.
   Finally, in the case of DUID-LLT, even if the same interface is
   chosen, it can be difficult to ensure that each stage uses the same
   timestamp value.  While a DUID-EN could be defined and used, such
   usage is proprietary by definition.

   This document defines a new DUID type, based on the Universally
   Unique IDentifier (UUID) [RFC4122].  UUIDs are already used in
   practice and serve as an existing identifier that could be leveraged
   by DHCP.  In some environments, a UUID-based DUID is preferable to
   the other existing DUID types.

   It should be noted that use of a DUID-UUID will not, by itself, solve
   all the network boot problems described in this document.  Given the
   availability of a suitable DUID-UUID, implementations will still need
   to take steps to ensure that all boot stages use the same DUID-UUID
   as appropriate.  Given that DHCP has already defined multiple DUID
   types, the question of which of several DUIDs to select from already
   exists, and defining a new DUID type does not, by itself, help.  It
   is believed, however, that network boot services can be configured to
   use a DUID-UUID and that other software can do so as well.  Ensuring
   this happens in general is beyond the scope of this document.

3.  UUID Considerations

   Although many UUIDs are in use today, not all UUIDs meet DHCP's
   requirements (see Section 9 of [RFC3315]).  DHCP UUIDs should be
   persistent across system restarts, system reconfiguration events,

   system software and operating system upgrades or reinstallation as
   well as be easily available to any part of the boot process that
   requires access to the DHCP UUID.  For example, UUIDs used in
   Microsoft's Component Object Module (COM), and for labeling
   partitions in filesystems, are likely not appropriate as they may not
   be accessible to firmware boot loaders and can change over time.

   Implementations of this specification using DUID-UUID must select a
   UUID that is persistent across system restart and reconfiguration
   events and that is available to all DHCP protocol agents that may
   need to identify themselves.  For instance, a UUID that is part of
   the system firmware, or managed by the system firmware, satisfies
   this requirement.

4.  DUID-UUID Format

   The DUID-UUID is carried within Client Identifier or Server
   Identifier options.  It has the following format:

    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
   |          DUID-Type (4)        |    UUID (128 bits)            |
   +-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+                               |
   |                                                               |
   |                                                               |
   |                                -+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+
   |                                |

                        Figure 1: DUID-UUID Format

   DUID-Type -  DUID-UUID (4) - (16 bits)

   UUID -  An [RFC4122] UUID (128 bits)

5.  Acknowledgements

   This document was inspired by a discussion on the DHC mailing list in
   November 2009 on the topic of netboot for IPv6.  Specifically, some
   scenarios were described where it was difficult to do something in
   DHCPv6 that had worked well in DHCPv4.

   We would like to thank the following individuals in particular for
   their specific comments and suggestions on this document: Thomas
   Huth, Andre Kostur, Stephen Jacob, Suresh Krishnan, Ted Lemon, Bernie
   Volz, and Vincent Zimmer.

6.  IANA Considerations

   IANA has assigned the value 4 for use by the DHCPv6 DUID-UUID type.

7.  Security Considerations

   DHCP traffic between a client and server is sent in the clear.  An
   eavesdropper residing on the path between the client and server could
   see DHCP traffic and obtain the UUID for a particular machine.  This
   may raise some privacy issues but is not a new issue brought on by
   the use of the DUID type defined in this document.

8.  References

8.1.  Normative References

   [RFC2132]  Alexander, S. and R. Droms, "DHCP Options and BOOTP Vendor
              Extensions", RFC 2132, March 1997.

   [RFC3315]  Droms, R., Bound, J., Volz, B., Lemon, T., Perkins, C.,
              and M. Carney, "Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol for
              IPv6 (DHCPv6)", RFC 3315, July 2003.

   [RFC4122]  Leach, P., Mealling, M., and R. Salz, "A Universally
              Unique IDentifier (UUID) URN Namespace", RFC 4122,
              July 2005.

8.2.  Informative Reference

   [RFC4578]  Johnston, M. and S. Venaas, "Dynamic Host Configuration
              Protocol (DHCP) Options for the Intel Preboot eXecution
              Environment (PXE)", RFC 4578, November 2006.

Authors' Addresses

   Thomas Narten

   EMail: narten@us.ibm.com

   Jarrod B. Johnson

   EMail: jarrod.b.johnson@gmail.com


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