RFCs in HTML Format


RFC 1786

                 Representation of IP Routing Policies
                         in a Routing Registry
                              (ripe-81++)






Bates, et al.                                                   [Page 1]

RFC 1786 Representing IP Routing Policies in a RR March 1995 Table of Contents 1. Introduction ................................................ 3 2. Organization of this Document ............................... 3 3. General Representation of Policy Information ............... 5 4. The Routing Registry and the RIPE Database .................. 11 5. The Route Object ............................................ 16 6. The Autonomous System Object ................................ 26 7. AS Macros ................................................... 36 8. The Community Object ........................................ 38 9. Representation of Routing Policies .......................... 41 10. Future Extensions .......................................... 50 11. References ................................................. 51 12. Security Considerations .................................... 52 13. Authors' Addresses ......................................... 53 Appendix A - Syntax for the "aut-num" object ................... 55 Appendix B - Syntax for the "community" object ................. 68 Appendix C - Syntax for the "as-macro" object .................. 72 Appendix D - Syntax for the "route" object ..................... 76 Appendix E - List of reserved words ............................ 80 Appendix F - Motivations for RIPE-81++ ......................... 81 Appendix G - Transition strategy ............................... 83 Bates, et al. [Page 2]
RFC 1786 Representing IP Routing Policies in a RR March 1995 1. Introduction This document is a much revised version of the RIPE routing registry document known as ripe-81 [1]. Since its inception in February, 1993 and the establishment of the RIPE routing registry, several additions and clarifications have come to light which can be better presented in a single updated document rather than separate addenda. Some of the text remains the same the as the original ripe-81 document keeping its tutorial style mixed with details of the RIPE database objects relating to routing policy representation. However this document does not repeat the background and historical remarks in ripe-81. For these please refer to the original document. It should be noted that whilst this document specifically references the RIPE database and the RIPE routing registry one can easily read "Regional routing registry" in place of RIPE as this representation is certainly general and flexible enough to be used outside of the RIPE community incorporating many ideas and features from other routing registries in this update. This document was originally published as a RIPE document known as ripe-181 but is also being published as an Informational RFC to reach a larger audience than its original scope. It has received large interest and acknowledgment within the Internet service provider community and will be used as the basic starting point for future work on Internet Routing Registries and routing policy representation. It but can also be referred to as ripe-81++. We would like to acknowledge many people for help with this document. Specifically, Peter Lothberg who was a co-author of the original ripe-81 document for his many ideas as well as Gilles Farrache, Harvard Eidnes, Dale Johnson, Kannan Varadhan and Cengiz Alaettinoglu who all provided valuable input. We would also like to thank the RIPE routing working group for their review and comment. Finally, we like to thank Merit Inc. for many constructive comments and ideas and making the routing registry a worldwide Internet service. We would also like to acknowledge the funding provided by the PRIDE project run in conjunction with the RARE Technical Program, RIPE and the RIPE NCC without which this paper would not have been possible. 2. Organization of this Document This document acts as both a basic tutorial for understanding routing policy and provides details of objects and attributes used within an Internet routing registry to store routing policies. Section 3 describes general issues about IP routing policies and their representation in routing registries. Experienced readers may wish to skip this section. Section 4 provides an overview of the RIPE Bates, et al. [Page 3]
RFC 1786 Representing IP Routing Policies in a RR March 1995 database, its basic concepts, schema and objects which make up the database itself. It highlights the way in which the RIPE database splits routing information from allocation information. Sections 5, 6, 7 and 8 detail all the objects associated with routing policy representation. Section 9 gives a fairly extensive "walk through" of how these objects are used for expressing routing policy and the general principles behind their use. Section 10 provides a list of references used throughout this document. Appendix A, B, C and D document the formal syntax for the database objects and attributes. Appendix F details the main changes from ripe-81 and motivations for these changes. Appendix G tackles the issues of transition from ripe-81 to ripe-81++. Bates, et al. [Page 4]
RFC 1786 Representing IP Routing Policies in a RR March 1995 3. General Representation of Policy Information Networks, Network Operators and Autonomous Systems Throughout this document an effort is made to be consistent with terms so as not to confuse the reader. When we talk about "networks" we mean physical networks which have a unique classless IP network number: Layer 3 entities. We do not mean organizations. We call the organizations operating networks "network operators". For the sake of the examples we divide network operators into two categories: "service providers" and "customers". A "service provider" is a network operator who operates a network to provide Internet services to different organizations, its "customers". The distinction between service providers and customers is not clear cut. A national research networking organization frequently acts as a service provider to Universities and other academic organizations, but in most cases it buys international connectivity from another service provider. A University networking department is a customer of the research networking organization but in turn may regard University departments as its customers. An Autonomous System (AS) is a group of IP networks having a single clearly defined routing policy which is run by one or more network operators. Inside ASes IP packets are routed using one or more Interior Routing Protocols (IGPs). In most cases interior routing decisions are based on metrics derived from technical parameters like topology, link speeds and load. The entity we refer to as an AS is frequently and more generally called a routing domain with the AS just being an implementation vehicle. We have decided to use the term AS exclusively because it relates more directly with the database objects and routing tools. By using only one term we hope to reduce the number of concepts and to avoid confusion. The academically inclined reader may forgive us. ASes exchange routing information with other ASes using Exterior Routing Protocols (EGPs). Exterior routing decisions are frequently based on policy based rules rather than purely on technical parameters. Tools are needed to configure complex policies and to communicate those policies between ASes while still ensuring proper operation of the Internet as a whole. Some EGPs like BGP-3 [8] and BGP-4 [9] provide tools to filter routing information according to policy rules and more. None of them provides a mechanism to publish or communicate the policies themselves. Yet this is critical for operational coordination and fault isolation among network operators and thus for the operation of the global Internet as a whole. This Bates, et al. [Page 5]
RFC 1786 Representing IP Routing Policies in a RR March 1995 document describes a "Routing Registry" providing this functionality. Routing Policies The exchange of routing information between ASes is subject to routing policies. Consider the case of two ASes, X and Y exchanging routing information: NET1 ...... ASX <---> ASY ....... NET2 ASX knows how to reach a network called NET1. It does not matter whether NET1 is belonging to ASX or some other AS which exchanges routing information with ASX either directly or indirectly; we just assume that ASX knows how to direct packets towards NET1. Likewise ASY knows how to reach NET2. In order for traffic from NET2 to NET1 to flow between ASX and ASY, ASX has to announce NET1 to ASY using an external routing protocol. This states that ASX is willing to accept traffic directed to NET1 from ASY. Policy thus comes into play first in the decision of ASX to announce NET1 to ASY. In addition ASY has to accept this routing information and use it. It is ASY's privilege to either use or disregard the information that ASX is willing to accept traffic for NET1. ASY might decide not to use this information if it does not want to send traffic to NET1 at all or if it considers another route more appropriate to reach NET1. So in order for traffic in the direction of NET1 to flow between ASX and ASY, ASX must announce it to ASY and ASY must accept it from ASX: Bates, et al. [Page 6]
RFC 1786 Representing IP Routing Policies in a RR March 1995 resulting packet flow towards NET1 <<=================================== | | announce NET1 | accept NET1 --------------> + -------------> | AS X | AS Y | <------------- + <-------------- accept NET2 | announce NET2 | | resulting packet flow towards NET2 ===================================>> Ideally, and seldom practically, the announcement and acceptance policies of ASX and ASY are identical. In order for traffic towards NET2 to flow, announcement and acceptance of NET2 must be in place the other way round. For almost all applications connectivity in just one direction is not useful at all. Usually policies are not configured for each network separately but for groups of networks. In practise these groups are almost always defined by the networks forming one or more ASes. Routing Policy limitations It is important to realize that with current destination based forwarding technology routing policies must eventually be expressed in these terms. It is relatively easy to formulate reasonable policies in very general terms which CANNOT be expressed in terms of announcing and accepting networks. With current technology such policies are almost always impossible to implement. The generic example of a reasonable but un-implementable routing is a split of already joined packet streams based on something other than destination address. Once traffic for the same destination network passes the same router, or the same AS at our level of abstraction, it will take exactly the same route to the destination (disregarding special cases like "type of service" routing, load sharing and Bates, et al. [Page 7]
RFC 1786 Representing IP Routing Policies in a RR March 1995 routing instabilities). In a concrete example AS Z might be connected to the outside world by two links. AS Z wishes to reserve these links for different kinds of traffic, let's call them black and white traffic. For this purpose the management of AS Z keeps two lists of ASes, the black and the white list. Together these lists comprise all ASes in the world reachable from AS Z. "W" <---> ... AS Z .... NET 3 <---> "B" It is quite possible to implement the policy for traffic originating in AS Z: AS Z will only accept announcements for networks in white ASes on the white link and will only accept announcements for networks in black ASes on the black link. This causes traffic from networks within AS Z towards white ASes to use the white link and likewise traffic for black ASes to use the black link. Note that this way of implementing things makes it necessary to decide on the colour of each new AS which appears before traffic can be sent to it from AS Z. A way around this would be to accept only white announcements via the white link and to accept all but white announcements on the black link. That way traffic from new ASes would automatically be sent down the black link and AS Z management would only need to keep the list of white ASes rather than two lists. Now for the unimplementable part of the policy. This concerns traffic towards AS Z. Consider the following topology: B AS ---) "W" W AS ---) ---> B AS ---)>> AS A ---> ... AS Z .... NET 3 B AS ---) ---> W AS ---) "B" As seen from AS Z there are both black and white ASes "behind" AS A. Since ASes can make routing decisions based on destination only, AS A and all ASes between AS A and the two links connecting AS Z can only make the same decision for traffic directed at a network in AS Z, say NET 3. This means that traffic from both black and white ASes towards NET 3 will follow the same route once it passes through AS A. This will either be the black or the white route depending on the routing policies of AS A and all ASes between it and AS Z. Bates, et al. [Page 8]
RFC 1786 Representing IP Routing Policies in a RR March 1995 The important thing to note is that unless routing and forwarding decisions can be made based on both source and destination addresses, policies like the "black and white" example cannot be implemented in general because "once joined means joined forever". Access Policies Access policies contrary to routing policies are not necessarily defined in terms of ASes. The very simplest type of access policy is to block packets from a specific network S from being forwarded to another network D. A common example is when some inappropriate use of resources on network D has been made from network S and the problem has not been resolved yet. Other examples of access policies might be resources only accessible to networks belonging to a particular disciplinary group or community of interest. While most of these policies are better implemented at the host or application level, network level access policies do exist and are a source of connectivity problems which are sometimes hard to diagnose. Therefore they should also be documented in the routing registry according to similar requirements as outlined above. Routing vs. Allocation information The RIPE database contains both routing registry and address space allocation registry information. In the past the database schema combined this information. Because RIPE was tasked with running both an allocation and routing registry it seemed natural to initially combine these functions. However, experience has shown that a clear separation of routing information from allocation is desirable. Often the maintainer of the routing information is not the same as the maintainer of the allocation information. Moreover, in other parts of the world there are different registries for each kind of information. Whilst the actual routing policy objects will be introduced in the next section it is worthy of note that a transition from the current objects will be required. Appendix G details the basic steps of such a transition. This split in information represents a significant change in the representational model of the RIPE database. Appendix F expands on the reasons for this a little more. Bates, et al. [Page 9]
RFC 1786 Representing IP Routing Policies in a RR March 1995 Tools The network operators will need a series of tools for policy routing. Some tools are already available to perform some of the tasks. Most notably, the PRIDE tools [3] from the PRIDE project started in September 1993 as well as others produced by Merit Inc [4] and CERN [5]. These tools will enable them to use the routing policy stored in the RIPE routing registry to perform such tasks as check actual routing against policies defined, ensure consistency of policies set by different operators, and simulate the effects of policy changes. Work continues on producing more useful tools to service the Internet community. Bates, et al. [Page 10]
RFC 1786 Representing IP Routing Policies in a RR March 1995 4. The Routing Registry and the RIPE Database One of the activities of RIPE is to maintain a database of European IP networks, DNS domains and their contact persons along with various other kinds of network management information. The database content is public and can be queried using the whois protocol as well as retrieved as a whole. This supports NICs/NOCs all over Europe and beyond to perform their respective tasks. The RIPE database combines both allocation registry and routing registry functions. The RIPE allocation registry contains data about address space allocated to specific enterprises and/or delegated to local registries as well as data about the domain name space. The allocation registry is described in separate documents [6,7] and outside the scope of this document. Database Objects Each object in the database describes a single entity in the real world. This basic principle means that information about that entity should only be represented in the corresponding database object and not be repeated in other objects. The whois service can automatically display referenced objects where appropriate. The types of objects stored in the RIPE database are summarized in the table below: R Object Describes References ____________________________________________________________________ B person contact persons A inetnum IP address space person A domain DNS domain person R aut-num autonomous system person (aut-num,community) R as-macro a group of autonomous systems person, aut-num R community community person R route a route being announced aut-num, community R clns CLNS address space and routing person The first column indicates whether the object is part of the allocation registry (A), the routing registry (R) or both (B). The Bates, et al. [Page 11]
RFC 1786 Representing IP Routing Policies in a RR March 1995 last column indicates the types of objects referenced by the particular type of object. It can be seen that almost all objects reference contact persons. Objects are described by attributes value pairs, one per line. Objects are separated by empty lines. An attribute that consists of multiple lines should have the attribute name repeated on consecutive lines. The information stored about network 192.87.45.0 consists of three objects, one inetnum object and two person objects and looks like this: Bates, et al. [Page 12]
RFC 1786 Representing IP Routing Policies in a RR March 1995 inetnum: 192.87.45.0 netname: RIPE-NCC descr: RIPE Network Coordination Centre descr: Amsterdam, Netherlands country: NL admin-c: Daniel Karrenberg tech-c: Marten Terpstra rev-srv: ns.ripe.net rev-srv: ns.eu.net notify: ops@ripe.net changed: tony@ripe.net 940110 source: RIPE person: Daniel Karrenberg address: RIPE Network Coordination Centre (NCC) address: Kruislaan 409 address: NL-1098 SJ Amsterdam address: Netherlands phone: +31 20 592 5065 fax-no: +31 20 592 5090 e-mail: dfk@ripe.net nic-hdl: DK58 changed: ripe-dbm@ripe.net 920826 source: RIPE person: Marten Terpstra address: RIPE Network Coordination Centre (NCC) address: PRIDE Project address: Kruislaan 409 address: NL-1098 SJ Amsterdam address: Netherlands phone: +31 20 592 5064 fax-no: +31 20 592 5090 e-mail: Marten.Terpstra@ripe.net nic-hdl: MT2 notify: marten@ripe.net changed: marten@ripe.net 931230 source: RIPE Objects are stored and retrieved in this tag/value format. The RIPE NCC does not provide differently formatted reports because any desired format can easily be produced from this generic one. Bates, et al. [Page 13]
RFC 1786 Representing IP Routing Policies in a RR March 1995 Routing Registry Objects The main objects comprising the routing registry are "aut-num" and "route", describing an autonomous system and a route respectively. It should be noted that routes not described in the routing registry should never be routed in the Internet itself. The autonomous system (aut-num) object provides contact information for the AS and describes the routing policy of that AS. The routing policy is described by enumerating all neighboring ASes with which routing information is exchanged. For each neighbor the routing policy is described in terms of exactly what is being sent (announced) and allowed in (accepted). It is important to note that this is exactly the part of the global policy over which an AS has direct control. Thus each aut-num object describes what can indeed be implemented and enforced locally by the AS concerned. Combined together all the aut-num objects provide the global routing graph and permit to deduce the exact routing policy between any two ASes. While the aut-num objects describe how routing information is propagated, the route object describes a single route injected into the external routing mesh. The route object references the AS injecting (originating) the route and thereby indirectly provides contact information for the originating AS. This reference also provides the primary way of grouping routes into larger collections. This is necessary because describing routing policy on the level of single routes would be awkward to impractical given the number of routes in the Internet which is about 20,000 at the time of this writing. Thus routing policy is most often defined for groups of routes by originating AS. This method of grouping is well supported by current exterior routing protocols. The route object also references community objects described below to provide another method of grouping routes. Modification of aut-num object itself and the referencing by route objects is strictly protected to provide network operators control over the routing policy description and the routes originated by their ASes. Sometimes even keeping track of groups of routes at the AS level is cumbersome. Consider the case of policies described at the transit provider level which apply transitively to all customers of the transit provider. Therefore another level of grouping is provided by the as-macro object which provides groups of ASes which can be referenced in routing policies just like single ASes. Membership of as-macro groups is also strictly controlled. Sometimes there is a need to group routes on different criteria than ASes for purposes like statistics or local access policies. This is provided by the community object. A community object is much like an Bates, et al. [Page 14]
RFC 1786 Representing IP Routing Policies in a RR March 1995 AS but without a routing policy. It just describes a group of routes. This is not supported at all by exterior routing protocols and depending on aggregation of routes may not be generally usable to define routing policies. It is suitable for local policies and non- routing related purposes. These routing related objects will be described in detail in the sections below. Bates, et al. [Page 15]
RFC 1786 Representing IP Routing Policies in a RR March 1995 5. The Route Object As stated in the previous chapter routing and address space allocation information are now clearly separated. This is performed with the introduction of the route object. The route object will contain all the information regarding a routing announcement. All routing related attributes are removed from the inetnum object. Some old attributes are obsoleted: connect, routpr-l, bdryg-l, nsf- in, nsf-out, gateway). The currently useful routing attributes are moved to the route object: aut-sys becomes origin, ias-int will be encoded as part of the inet-rtr [15] object and comm-list simply moves. See [6] for detail of the "inetnum" object definition. The information in the old inetnum object inetnum: 192.87.45.0 netname: RIPE-NCC descr: RIPE Network Coordination Centre descr: Amsterdam, Netherlands country: NL admin-c: Daniel Karrenberg tech-c: Marten Terpstra connect: RIPE NSF WCW aut-sys: AS3333 comm-list: SURFNET ias-int: 192.87.45.80 AS1104 ias-int: 192.87.45.6 AS2122 ias-int: 192.87.45.254 AS2600 rev-srv: ns.ripe.net rev-srv: ns.eu.net notify: ops@ripe.net changed: tony@ripe.net 940110 source: RIPE will be distributed over two objects: Bates, et al. [Page 16]
RFC 1786 Representing IP Routing Policies in a RR March 1995 inetnum: 192.87.45.0 netname: RIPE-NCC descr: RIPE Network Coordination Centre descr: Amsterdam, Netherlands country: NL admin-c: Daniel Karrenberg tech-c: Marten Terpstra rev-srv: ns.ripe.net rev-srv: ns.eu.net notify: ops@ripe.net changed: tony@ripe.net 940110 source: RIPE route: 192.87.45.0/24 descr: RIPE Network Coordination Centre origin: AS3333 comm-list: SURFNET changed: dfk@ripe.net 940427 source: RIPE The route object is used to represent a single route originated into the Internet routing mesh. The actual syntax is given in Appendix D. However, there are several important aspects of the attributes worthy of note. The value of the route attribute will be a classless address. It represents the exact route being injected into the routing mesh. The representation of classless addresses is described in [10]. The value of the origin attribute will be an AS reference of the form AS1234 referring to an aut-num object. It represents the AS injecting this route into the routing mesh. The "aut-num" object (see below) thus referenced provides all the contact information for this route. Special cases: There can only be a single originating AS in each route object. However in todays Internet sometimes a route is injected by more than one AS. This situation is potentially dangerous as it can create conflicting routing policies for that route and requires coordination between the originating ASes. In the routing registry this is represented by multiple route objects. Bates, et al. [Page 17]
RFC 1786 Representing IP Routing Policies in a RR March 1995 This is a departure from the one route (net), one AS principle of the ripe-81 routing registry. The consequences for the different tools based in the routing registry will need to be evaluated and possibly additional consistency checking of the database is needed. The examples below will illustrate the usage of the route object further. Suppose three chunks of address space of 2 different enterprises represented by the following inetnum objects: Examples inetnum: 193.0.1.0 netname: ENT-1 descr: Enterprise 1 ... inetnum: 193.0.8.0 netname: ENT-2 descr: Enterprise 2 ... inetnum: 193.0.9.0 netname: ENT-2-SPEC descr: Enterprise 2 ... Supposing that the Enterprises have their own AS numbers straight application of routing without aggregation would yield: route: 193.0.1.0/24 descr: Enterprise 1 origin: AS1 ... route: 193.0.8.0/24 descr: Enterprise 2 origin: AS2 ... route: 193.0.9.0/24 descr: Enterprise 2 origin: AS2 ... Bates, et al. [Page 18]
RFC 1786 Representing IP Routing Policies in a RR March 1995 NB: This representation can be achieved by straight translation from the ripe-81 representation. See Appendix G for more details. Homogeneous Aggregation The two chunks of address space of Enterprise 2 can be represented by one aggregate route turning two route objects into one and potentially saving routing table space for one route. route: 193.0.8.0/23 descr: Enterprise 2 origin: AS2 ... Note that AS2 can also decide to originate all routes mentioned so far, two 24-bit prefixes and one 23-bit prefix. This case would be represented by storing all three route objects in the database. In this particular example the additional routes will not add any functionality however and only increase the amount of routes announced unnecessarily. Heterogeneous Aggregation Consider the following case however: route: 193.0.8.0/24 descr: Enterprise 2 origin: AS2 ... route: 193.0.9.0/24 descr: Enterprise 2 / Special origin: AS2 comm-list: SPECIAL ... Now the prefix 193.0.9.0/24 belongs to community SPECIAL (this community may well not be relevant to routing) and the other prefix originated by AS2 does not. If AS2 aggregates these prefixes into the 193.0.8.0/23 prefix, routing policies based on the community value SPECIAL cannot be implemented in general, because there is no way to distinguish between the special and the not-so-special parts of AS2. Bates, et al. [Page 19]
RFC 1786 Representing IP Routing Policies in a RR March 1995 If another AS has the policy to accept only routes to members of community SPECIAL it cannot implement it, because accepting the route to 193.0.8.0/23 would also route to 193.0.8.0/24 and not accepting this route would lose connectivity to the special part 193.0.9.0/24. We call aggregate routes consisting of components belonging to different communities or even different ASes "heterogeneous aggregates". The major problem introduced with heterogeneous aggregates is that once the homogeneous more specific routes are withdrawn one cannot tell if a more specific part of the heterogeneous route has a different policy. However, it can be counter argued that knowing this policy is of little use since a routing policy based on the less specific heterogeneous aggregate only cannot be implemented. In fact, this displays a facet of CIDR itself in that one may actually trade off implementing slight policy variations over announcing a larger (albeit heterogeneous in terms of policy) aggregate to save routing table space. However, it is still useful to be able to document these variations in policy especially when this homogeneous more specific route is just being withdrawn. For this one can use the "withdrawn" attribute. The withdrawn attribute can serve to both indicate that a less specific aggregate is in fact heterogeneous and also allow the general documenting of route withdrawal. So there has to be a way for AS2 to document this even if it does not originate the route to 193.0.9.0/24 any more. This can be done with the "withdrawn" attribute of the route object. The aggregate route to 193.0.8.0/23 is now be registered as: route: 193.0.8.0/23 descr: Enterprise 2 origin: AS2 ... With the two homogeneous routes marked as withdrawn from the Internet routing mesh but still preserving their original routing information. Bates, et al. [Page 20]
RFC 1786 Representing IP Routing Policies in a RR March 1995 route: 193.0.8.0/24 descr: Enterprise 2 origin: AS2 withdrawn: 940701 ... route: 193.0.9.0/24 descr: Enterprise 2 / Special origin: AS2 comm-list: SPECIAL withdrawn: 940701 ... It should be noted that the date value used in the withdrawn attribute can only be in the past. Proxy Aggregation The next step of aggregation are aggregates consisting of more than one AS. This generally means one AS is aggregating on behalf of another. It is called proxy aggregation. Proxy aggregation should be done with great care and always be coordinated with other providers announcing the same route. Consider the following: route: 193.0.0.0/20 descr: All routes known by AS1 in a single package origin: AS1 ... route: 193.0.1.0/24 descr: Foo origin: AS1 withdrawn: 940310 ... Bates, et al. [Page 21]
RFC 1786 Representing IP Routing Policies in a RR March 1995 route: 193.0.8.0/24 descr: Bar origin: AS2 withdrawn: 940310 ... route: 193.0.9.0/24 descr: Bar-2 origin: AS2 withdrawn: 940310 comm-list: SPECIAL ... If AS1 announced no other routes to a single homed neighboring AS, that neighbor can in general either take that route or leave it but not differentiate between AS1 and AS2. Note: If the neighbor was previously configured to accept routes originating in AS2 but not in AS1 they lose connectivity to AS2 as well. This means that proxy aggregation has to be done carefully and in a well coordinated fashion. The information in the withdrawn route object can help to achieve that. Aggregates with Holes If we assume that the world of our example still consists of only three chunks of address space the aggregate above contains what are called holes, parts of an aggregate that are not reachable via the originator of the route. From the routing information itself one cannot tell whether these are holes and what part of the route falls inside one. The only way to tell is to send a packet there and see whether it gets to the destination, or an ICMP message is received back, or there is silence. On the other hand announcing aggregates with holes is quite legitimate. Consider a 16-bit aggregate with only one 24-bit prefix unreachable. The savings in routing table size by far outweigh the hole problem. For operational reasons however it is very useful to register these holes in the routing registry. Consider the case where a remote network operator experiences connectivity problems to addresses Bates, et al. [Page 22]
RFC 1786 Representing IP Routing Policies in a RR March 1995 inside an aggregate route. If the packets are getting to the AS announcing the aggregate and there are no more specific routes, the normal cause of action is to get in touch with the originating AS of the aggregate route and ask them to fix the problem. If the address falls into a hole this is futile. Therefore problem diagnosis can be sped up and unnecessary calls prevented by registering the holes in the routing registry. We do this by using the "hole" attribute. In our example the representation would be: route: 193.0.0.0/20 descr: All routes known by AS1 origin: AS1 hole: 193.0.0.0/24 hole: 193.0.2.0/23 hole: 193.0.4.0/22 hole: 193.0.10.0/23 hole: 193.0.12.0/22 ... Note: there would also be two routes with the withdrawn attribute as displayed above (i.e. 193.0.8.0/24 and 193.0.9.0/24). It is not mandatory to document all holes. It is recommended all holes routed by another service provider are documented. Multiple Proxy Aggregation Finally suppose that AS2 decides to announce the same aggregate, as in the previous example, they would add the following route object to the registry: route: 193.0.0.0/20 descr: All routes known by AS2 origin: AS2 hole: 193.0.0.0/24 hole: 193.0.2.0/23 hole: 193.0.4.0/22 hole: 193.0.10.0/23 hole: 193.0.12.0/22 ... Both AS1 and AS2 will be notified that there already is a route to the same prefix in the registry. Bates, et al. [Page 23]
RFC 1786 Representing IP Routing Policies in a RR March 1995 This multiple proxy aggregation is very dangerous to do if the sub- aggregates of the route are not the same. It is still dangerous when the sub-aggregates are consistent but connectivity to the sub- aggregates varies widely between the originators. Route object update procedures Adding a route object will have to be authorised by the maintainer of the originating AS. The actual implementation of this is outside the scope of this document. This guarantees that an AS guardian has full control over the registration of the routes it announces [11]. What is an Inter-AS network ? An inter-AS network (Inter-AS IP networks are those networks are currently called FIXes, IXFs, DMZs, NAPs, GIX and many other acronyms) exists for the purpose of passing traffic and routing information between different autonomous systems. The most simple example of an inter-AS network is a point-to-point link, connecting exactly two ASes. Each end of such a link is connected to an interface of router belonging to each of the autonomous systems. More complex examples are broadcast type networks with multiple interfaces connecting multiple ASes with the possibility of more than one connection per AS. Consider the following example of three routers 1, 2 and 3 with interfaces a through f connected by two inter-AS networks X and Y: X Y a1b --- c2d --- e3f Suppose that network X is registered in the routing registry as part of AS1 and net Y as part of AS3. If traffic passes from left to right prtraceroute will report the following sequence of interfaces and ASes: a in AS1 c in AS1 e in AS3 The traceroute algorithm enumerates only the receiving interfaces on the way to the destination. In the example this leads to the passage Bates, et al. [Page 24]
RFC 1786 Representing IP Routing Policies in a RR March 1995 of AS2 going unnoticed. This is confusing to the user and will also generate exceptions when the path found is checked against the routing registry. For operational monitoring tools such as prtraceroute it is necessary to know which interface on an inter-AS network belongs to which AS. If AS information is not known about interfaces on an inter-AS network, tools like prtraceroute cannot determine correctly which ASes are being traversed. All interfaces on inter-AS networks will are described in a separate object know as the `inet-rtr' object [15]. Bates, et al. [Page 25]
RFC 1786 Representing IP Routing Policies in a RR March 1995 6. The Autonomous System Object Autonomous Systems An Autonomous System (AS) is a group of IP networks operated by one or more network operators which has a single and clearly defined external routing policy. An AS has a unique number associated with it which is used both in exchange of exterior routing information and as an identifier of the AS itself. Exterior routing protocols such as BGP and EGP are used to exchange routing information between ASes. In routing terms an AS will normally use one or more interior gateway protocols (IGPs) in conjunction with some sort of common agreed metrics when exchanging network information within its own AS. The term AS is often confused or even misused as a convenient way of grouping together a set of networks which belong under the same administrative umbrella even if within that group of networks there are various different routing policies. We provide the "community" concept for such use. ASes can strictly have only one single external routing policy. The creation of an AS should be done in a conscious and well coordinated manner to avoid creating ASes for the sake of it, perhaps resulting in the worst case scenario of one AS per routing announcement. It should be noted that there is a limited number of AS numbers available. Also creating an AS may well increase the number of AS paths modern EGPs will have to keep track of. This aggravates what is known as "the routing table growth problem". This may mean that by applying the general rules for the creation and allocation of an AS below, some re-engineering may well be needed. However, this may be the only way to actually implement the desired routing policy anyway. The creation and allocation of an AS should be done with the following recommendations in mind: + Creation of an AS is only required when exchanging routing information with other ASes. Some router implementations make use of an AS number as a form of tagging to identify the routing process. However, it should be noted that this tag does not need to be unique unless routing information is indeed exchanged with other ASes. Bates, et al. [Page 26]
RFC 1786 Representing IP Routing Policies in a RR March 1995 + For a simple case of customer networks connected to a single service provider, the IP network should normally be a member of the service providers AS. In terms of routing policy the IP network has exactly the same policy as the service provider and there is no need to make any distinction in routing information. This idea may at first seem slightly alien to some, but it highlights the clear distinction in the use of the AS number as a representation of routing policy as opposed to some form of administrative use. + If a network operator connects to more than one AS with different routing policies then they need to create their own AS. In the case of multi-homed customer networks connected to two service providers there are at least two different routing policies to a given customer network. At this point the customer networks will be part of a single AS and this AS would be distinct from either of the service providers ASes. This allows the customer the ability of having a different representation of policy and preference to the different service providers. This is the ONLY case where a network operator should create its own AS number. + As a general rule one should always try to populate the AS with as many routes as possible, providing all routes conform to the same routing policy. Each AS is represented in the RIPE database by both an aut-num object and the route objects representing the routes originated by the AS. The aut-num object stores descriptive, administrative and contact information about the AS as well as the routing policies of the AS in relation to all neighboring ASes. The origin attributes of the route objects define the set of routes originated by the AS. Each route object can have exactly one origin attribute. Route objects can only be created and updated by the maintainer of the AS and not by those immediately responsible for the particular routes referenced therein. This ensures that operators, especially service providers, remain in control of AS routing announcements. The AS object itself is used to represent a description of administrative details and the routing policies of the AS itself. The AS object definition is depicted as follows. Bates, et al. [Page 27]
RFC 1786 Representing IP Routing Policies in a RR March 1995 Example: aut-num: AS1104 descr: NIKHEF-H Autonomous system as-in: from AS1213 100 accept AS1213 as-in: from AS1913 100 accept AS1913 as-in: from AS1755 150 accept ANY as-out: to AS1213 announce ANY as-out: to AS1913 announce ANY as-out: to AS1755 announce AS1104 AS1913 AS1213 tech-c: Rob Blokzijl admin-c: Eric Wassenaar guardian: as-guardian@nikhef.nl changed: ripe-dbm@ripe.net 920910 source: RIPE See Appendix A for a complete syntax definition of the "aut-num" object. It should be noted that this representation provides two things: + a set of routes. + a description of administrative details and routing policies. The set of routes can be used to generate network list based configuration information as well as configuration information for exterior routing protocols knowing about ASes. This means an AS can be defined and is useful even if it does not use routing protocols which know about the AS concept. Bates, et al. [Page 28]
RFC 1786 Representing IP Routing Policies in a RR March 1995 Description of routing policies between ASs with multiple connections - "interas-in/interas-out" The following section is only relevant for ASes which use different policies on multiple links to the same neighboring AS. Readers not doing this may want to skip this section. Description of multiple connections between ASs defines how two ASs have chosen to set different policies for the use of each or some of the connections between the ASs. This description is necessary only if the ASs are connected in more than one way and the routing policy and differs at these two connections. Example: LINK1 193.0.1.1 +----------+ 193.0.1.2 | | AS1------AS2== ==AS3-----AS4 | | 193.0.1.5 +----------+ 193.0.1.6 LINK2 Note: LINK here denotes the peer connection points between ASs. It is not necessarily just a serial link. It could be ethernet or any other type of connection as well. It can also be a peer session where the address is the same at one end and different at the other end. It may be that AS2 wants to use LINK2 only for traffic towards AS4. LINK1 is used for traffic to AS3 and as backup to AS4, should LINK2 fail. To implement this policy, one would use the attribute "interas-in" and "interas-out." This attribute permits ASs to describe their local decisions based on its preference such as multi-exit-discriminators (MEDs) as used in some inter-domain routing protocols (BGP4, IDRP) and to communicate those routing decisions. This information would be useful in resolving problems when some traffic paths changed from traversing AS3's gateway in Timbuktu rather than the gateway in Mogadishu. The exact syntax is given in Appendix A. However, if we follow this example through in terms of AS2 we would represent this policy as follows: Bates, et al. [Page 29]
RFC 1786 Representing IP Routing Policies in a RR March 1995 Example: aut-num: AS2 as-in: from AS3 10 accept AS3 AS4 as-out: to AS3 announce AS1 AS2 interas-in:from AS3 193.0.1.1/32 193.0.1.2/32 (pref=5) accept AS3 interas-in:from AS3 193.0.1.1/32 193.0.1.2/32 (pref=9) accept AS4 interas-in:from AS3 193.0.1.5/32 193.0.1.6/32 (pref=7) accept AS4 ... Here we see additional policy information between two ASs in terms of the IP addresses of the connection. The parentheses and keyword are syntactic placeholders to add the readability of the attributes. If pref=MED is specified the preference indicated by the remote AS via the multi-exit- discriminator metric such as BGP is used. Of course this type on inter-AS policy should always be bilaterally agreed upon to avoid asymmetry and in practice there may need to be corresponding interas-out attributes in the policy representation of AS3. The interas-out attribute is similar to interas-in as as-out is to as-in. The one major difference being that interas-out allows you to associate an outgoing metric with each route. It is important to note that this metric is just passed to the peer AS and it is at the peer AS's discretion to use or ignore it. A special value of IGP specifies that the metric passed to the receiving AS will be derived from the IGP of the sending AS. In this way the peer AS can choose the optimal link for its traffic as determined by the sending AS. If we look at the corresponding interas-out for AS3 we would see the following: Example: aut-num: AS3 as-in: from AS2 10 accept AS1 A2 as-out: to AS2 announce AS3 AS4 interas-out:to AS2 193.0.1.2/32 193.0.1.1/32 (metric-out=5) announce AS3 interas-out:to AS2 193.0.1.2/32 193.0.1.1/32 (metric-out=9) announce AS4 interas-out:to AS2 193.0.1.6/32 193.0.1.5/32 (metric-out=7) announce AS4 ... Bates, et al. [Page 30]
RFC 1786 Representing IP Routing Policies in a RR March 1995 Descriptions of interas policies do not replace the global policy described in as-in, as-out and other policy attributes which should be specified too. If the global policy mentions more routes than the combined local policies then local preferences for these routes are assumed to be equal for all links. Any route specified in interas-in/out and not specified in as-in/out is assumed not accepted/announced between the ASes concerned. Diagnostic tools should flag this inconsistency as an error. It should be noted that if an interas-in or interas-out policy is specified then it is mandatory to specify the corresponding global policy in the as-in or as-out line. Please note there is no relevance in the cost associated with as-in and the preferences used in interas-in. The interaction of interas-in/interas-out with as-in/as-out Although formally defined above, the rules associated with policy described in terms of interas-in and interas-out with respect to as- in and as-out are worthy of clarification for implementation. When using interas-in or interas-out policy descriptions, one must always make sure the set of policies described between two ASes is always equal to or a sub-set of the policy described in the global as-in or as-out policy. When a sub-set is described remember the remaining routes are implicitly shared across all connections. It is an error for the interas policies to describe a superset of the global policies, i.e. to announce or accept more routes than the global policies. When defining complex interas based policies it is advisable to ensure that any possible ambiguities are not present by explicitly defining your policy with respect to the global as-in and as-out policy. If we look at a simple example, taking just in-bound announcements to simplify things. If we have the following global policy: aut-num: AS1 as-in: from AS2 10 accept AS100 OR {10.0.0.0/8} Suppose there are three peerings between AS1 and AS2, known as L1-R1, L2-R2 and L3-R3 respectively. The actual policy of these connections is to accept AS100 equally on these three links and just route 10.0.0.0/8 on L3-R3. The simple way to mention this exception is to just specify an interas policy for L3-R3: Bates, et al. [Page 31]
RFC 1786 Representing IP Routing Policies in a RR March 1995 interas-in: from AS2 L3 R3 (pref=100) accept {10.0.0.0/8} The implicit rule that all routes not mentioned in interas policies are accepted on all links with equal preference ensures the desired result. The same policy can be written explicitly as: interas-in: from AS2 L1 R1 (pref=100) accept AS100 interas-in: from AS2 L2 R2 (pref=100) accept AS100 interas-in: from AS2 L3 R3 (pref=100) accept AS100 OR {10.0.0.0/8} Whilst this may at first sight seem obvious, the problem arises when not all connections are mentioned. For example, if we specified only an interas-in line for L3-R3 as below: aut-num: AS1 as-in: from AS2 10 accept AS100 OR {10.0.0.0/8} interas-in: from AS2 L3 R3 (pref=100) accept AS100 OR {10.0.0.0/8} then the policy for the other links according to the rules above would mean they were equal to the global policy minus the sum of the local policies (i.e. ((AS100 OR {10.0.0.0/0}) / (AS100 OR {10.0.0.0/0})) = empty) which in this case would mean nothing is accepted on connections L1-R1 and L2-R2 which is incorrect. Another example: If we only registered the policy for link L2- R2: interas-in: from AS2 L2 R2 (pref=100) accept AS100 The implicit policy for both L1-R1 and L3-R3 would be as follows: interas-in: from AS2 L1 R1 (pref=100) accept {10.0.0.0/8} interas-in: from AS2 L3 R3 (pref=100) accept {10.0.0.0/8} This is derived as the set of global policies minus the set of interas-in policies (in this case just accept AS100 as it was the L2-R2 interas-in policy we registered) with equal cost for the remaining connection. This again is clearly not what was intended. Bates, et al. [Page 32]
RFC 1786 Representing IP Routing Policies in a RR March 1995
RFC 1786 Representing IP Routing Policies in a RR March 1995 Example: descr: Macro for EBONE connected ASes Status: mandatory, multiple lines allowed as-list: The list of ASes or other AS macros that make up this macro. It should be noted that recursive use of AS macros is to be encouraged. Format: <aut-num> <as-macro> ... See Appendix A for <aut-num> definition. Example: as-list: AS786 AS513 AS1104 as-list: AS99 AS-NORDUNET Status: mandatory, multiple lines allowed guardian: Mailbox of the guardian of this AS macro. Format: <email-address> The <email-address> should be in RFC822 domain format wherever possible. Example: guardian: as-ebone-guardian@ebone.net Status: mandatory, only one line and e-mail address allowed tech-c: Full name or uniquely assigned NIC-handle of a technical contact person for this macro. This is someone to be contacted for technical problems such as misconfiguration. Format: <firstname> <initials> <lastname> or <nic-handle> Bates, et al. [Page 73]
RFC 1786 Representing IP Routing Policies in a RR March 1995 Examples: tech-c: John E Doe tech-c: JED31 Status: mandatory, multiple lines allowed admin-c: Full name or uniquely assigned NIC-handle of an administrative contact person. In many cases this would be the name of the guardian. Format: <firstname> <initials> <lastname> or <nic-handle> Examples: admin-c: Joe T Bloggs admin-c: JTB1 Status: mandatory, multiple lines allowed remarks: Remarks/comments, to be used only for clarification. Format: free text Example: remarks: AS321 will be removed from this Macro shortly Status: optional, multiple lines allowed notify: The notify attribute contains an email address to which notifications of changes to this object should be send. See also [11]. Format: <email-address> The <email-address> should be in RFC822 domain syntax wherever possible. Example: notify: Marten.Terpstra@ripe.net Bates, et al. [Page 74]
RFC 1786 Representing IP Routing Policies in a RR March 1995 Status: optional, multiple lines allowed mnt-by: The mnt-by attribute contains a registered maintainer name. See also [11]. Format: <registered maintainer name> Example: mnt-by: RIPE-DBM Status: optional, multiple lines allowed changed: Who changed this object last, and when was this change made. Format: <email-address> YYMMDD <email-address> should be the address of the person who made the last change. YYMMDD denotes the date this change was made. Example: changed: johndoe@terabit-labs.nn 900401 Status: mandatory, multiple lines allowed source: Source of the information. This is used to separate information from different sources kept by the same database software. For RIPE database entries the value is fixed to RIPE. Format: RIPE Status: mandatory, only one line allowed Bates, et al. [Page 75]
RFC 1786 Representing IP Routing Policies in a RR March 1995 Appendix D - Syntax for the "route" object. There is a summary of the tags associated with route object itself and their status. The first column specifies the attribute, the second column whether this attribute is mandatory in the community object, and the third column whether this specific attribute can occur only once per object [single], or more than once [multiple]. When specifying multiple lines per attribute, the attribute name must be repeated. See [6] the example for the descr: attribute. route: [mandatory] [single] descr: [mandatory] [multiple] origin: [mandatory] [single] hole: [optional] [multiple] withdrawn: [optional] [single] comm-list: [optional] [multiple] remarks: [optional] [multiple] notify: [optional] [multiple] mnt-by: [optional] [multiple] changed: [mandatory] [multiple] source: [mandatory] [single] Each attribute has the following syntax: route: Route being announced. Format: Classless representation of a route with the RIPE database known as the "prefix length" representation. See [10] for more details on classless representations. Examples: route: 192.87.45.0/24 This represents addressable bits 192.87.45.0 to 192.87.45.255. route: 192.1.128.0/17 This represents addressable bits 192.1.128.0 to 192.1.255.255. Status: mandatory, only one line allowed Bates, et al. [Page 76]
RFC 1786 Representing IP Routing Policies in a RR March 1995 origin: The autonomous system announcing this route. Format: <aut-num> See Appendix A for <aut-num> syntax. Example: origin: AS1104 Status: mandatory, only one line allowed hole: Denote the parts of the address space covered this route object to which the originator does not provide connectivity. These holes may include routes that are being currently routed by another provider (e.g., a customer using that space has moved to a different service provider). They may also include space that has not yet been assigned to any customer. Format: Classless representation of a route with the RIPE database known as the "prefix length" representation. See [10] for more details on classless representations. It should be noted that this sub-aggregate must be a component of that registered in the route object. Example: hole: 193.0.4.0/24 Status: optional, multiple lines allowed withdrawn: Used to denote the day this route has been withdrawn from the Internet routing mesh. This will be usually be used when a less specific aggregate route is now routed the more specific (i.e. this route) is not need anymore. Format: YYMMDD YYMMDD denotes the date this route was withdrawn. Bates, et al. [Page 77]
RFC 1786 Representing IP Routing Policies in a RR March 1995 Example: withdrawn: 940711 Status: optional, one line allowed. comm-list: List of one or more communities this route is part of. Format: <community> <community> ... See Appendix B for <community> definition. Example: comm-list: HEP LEP Status: optional, multiple lines allowed remarks: Remarks/comments, to be used only for clarification. Format: free text Example: remarks: Multihomed AS talking to AS1755 and AS786 remarks: Will soon connect to AS1104 also. Status: optional, multiple lines allowed notify: The notify attribute contains an email address to which notifications of changes to this object should be send. See also [11]. Format: <email-address> The <email-address> should be in RFC822 domain syntax wherever possible. Example: notify: Marten.Terpstra@ripe.net Bates, et al. [Page 78]
RFC 1786 Representing IP Routing Policies in a RR March 1995 Status: optional, multiple lines allowed mnt-by: The mnt-by attribute contains a registered maintainer name. See also [11]. Format: <registered maintainer name> Example: mnt-by: RIPE-DBM Status: optional, multiple lines allowed changed: Who changed this object last, and when was this change made. Format: <email-address> YYMMDD <email-address> should be the address of the person who made the last change. YYMMDD denotes the date this change was made. Example: changed: johndoe@terabit-labs.nn 900401 Status: mandatory, multiple lines allowed source: Source of the information. This is used to separate information from different sources kept by the same database software. For RIPE database entries the value is fixed to RIPE. Format: RIPE Status: mandatory, only one line allowed Bates, et al. [Page 79]
RFC 1786 Representing IP Routing Policies in a RR March 1995 Appendix E - List of reserved words The following list of words are reserved for use within the attributes of the AS object. The use of these words is solely for the purpose of clarity. All keywords must be lower case. accept announce exclude from to transit Examples of the usage of the reserved words are: as-in: from <neighborAS> accept <route> as-out: to <neighborAS> announce <route> as-exclude: exclude <ASpath> to <destination> as-transit: transit <ASpath> to <destination> default: from <neighborAS> accept <route> default: to <neighborAS> announce <route> Note: that as-transit is an experimental attribute. See section 10. Bates, et al. [Page 80]
RFC 1786 Representing IP Routing Policies in a RR March 1995 Appendix F - Motivations for RIPE-81++ This appendix gives motivations for the major changes in this proposal from ripe-81. The main goals of the routing registry rework are: SPLIT Separate the allocation and routing registry functions into different database objects. This will facilitate data management if the Internet registry and routing registry functions are separated (like in other parts of the world). It will also make more clear what is part of the routing registry and who has authority to change allocation vs. routing data. CIDR Add the possibility to specify classless routes in the routing registry. Classless routes are being used in Internet production now. Aggregation information in the routing registry is necessary for network layer troubleshooting. It is also necessary because aggregation influences routing policies directly. CALLOC Add the possibility to allocate address space on classless boundaries in the allocation registry. This is a way to preserve address space. CLEAN To clean up some of the obsolete and unused parts of the routing registry. The major changes are now discussed in turn: Introduce Classless Addresses CIDR, CALLOC Introduce route object. SPLIT, CIDR and CALLOC. Bates, et al. [Page 81]
RFC 1786 Representing IP Routing Policies in a RR March 1995 Delete obsolete attributes from inetnum. CLEAN. Delete RIPE-DB and LOCAL from routing policy expressions. CLEAN Allow multiple ASes to originate the same route Because it is being done. CIDR. Made possible by SPLIT. Bates, et al. [Page 82]
RFC 1786 Representing IP Routing Policies in a RR March 1995 Appendix G - Transition strategy from RIPE-81 to RIPE-81++ Transition from the routing registry described by ripe-81 to the routing registry described in this document is a straightforward process once the new registry functions have been implemented in the database software and are understood by the most commonly used registry tools. The routing related attributes in the classful inetnum objects of ripe- 81 can be directly translated into new routing objects. Then these attributes can be deleted from the inetnum object making that object if conform to the new schema. Proposed transition steps: 1) Implement classless addresses and new object definition in the database software. 2) Make common tools understand the new schema and prefer it if both old and new are present. 3) Invite everyone to convert their data to the new format. This can be encouraged by doing conversions automatically and proposing them to maintainers. 4) At a flag day remove all remaining routing information from the inetnum objects. Before the flag day all usage of obsoleted inetnum attributes has to cease and all other routing registry functions have to be taken over by the new objects and attributes.



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