Internet Engineering Task Force                                 R. Bless
Internet-Draft                   Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT)
Obsoletes: 3662 (if approved)                           February 6, 2017
Updates: 3662,4594 4594 (if approved)                       November 14, 2016
Intended status: Standards Track
Expires: May 18, August 10, 2017

                A Lower Effort Per-Hop Behavior (LE PHB)


   This document specifies properties and characteristics of a Lower
   Effort (LE) per-hop behavior (PHB).  The primary objective of this LE
   PHB is to protect best-effort (BE) traffic (packets forwarded with
   the default PHB) from LE traffic in congestion situations, i.e., when
   resources become scarce, best-effort traffic has precedence over LE
   traffic and may preempt it.  There are numerous uses for this PHB,
   e.g., for background traffic of low precedence, such as bulk data
   transfers with low priority in time, non time-critical backups,
   larger software updates, web search engines while gathering
   information from web servers and so on.  This document recommends a
   standard DSCP value for the LE PHB.

Status of This Memo

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   provisions of BCP 78 and BCP 79.

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   This Internet-Draft will expire on May 18, August 10, 2017.

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Table of Contents

   1.  Introduction  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   2
     1.1.  Applicability . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   3
     1.2.  Deployment Considerations . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   4
     1.3.  Requirements Language . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   4   5
   2.  PHB Description . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   4   5
   3.  Traffic Conditioning Actions  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   5
   4.  Recommended DS Codepoint  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   5   6
   5.  Remarking to other DSCPs/PHBs . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   5   6
   6.  Changes to RFC 4594 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   7
   7.  IANA Considerations . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   6
   7.   8
   8.  Security Considerations . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   6
   8.   8
   9.  References  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   6
     8.1.   8
     9.1.  Normative References  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   6
     8.2.   8
     9.2.  Informative References  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   6   8
   Appendix A.  History of the LE PHB  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   7   9
   Appendix B.  Acknowledgments  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   7   9
   Appendix C.  Change History . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  10
   Appendix D.  Note to RFC Editor . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  10
   Author's Address  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   7  10

1.  Introduction

   This document defines a Differentiated Services per-hop behavior
   RFC 2474
   [RFC2474] called "Lower Effort" (LE) which is intended for traffic of
   sufficiently low urgency, in which all other traffic takes precedence
   over LE traffic in consumption of network link bandwidth.  Low
   urgency traffic has got a low priority in time, which does not
   necessarily imply that it is generally of minor importance.  From
   this viewpoint, it can be considered as a network equivalent to a
   background priority for processes in an operating system.  There may
   or may not be memory (buffer) resources allocated for this type of

   Some networks carry traffic for which delivery is considered
   optional; that is, packets of this type of traffic ought to consume
   network resources only when no other traffic is present.

   Alternatively, the effect of this type of traffic on all other
   network traffic is strictly limited.  This is distinct from "best-
   effort" (BE) traffic since the network makes no commitment to deliver
   LE packets.  In contrast, BE traffic receives an implied "good faith"
   commitment of at least some available network resources.  This
   document proposes a Lower Effort Differentiated Services per-hop
   behavior (LE PHB) for handling this "optional" traffic in a
   differentiated services node.

1.1.  Applicability

   A Lower Effort PHB is applicable for most elastic applications that
   otherwise use best-effort delivery.  More specifically, it is
   suitable for sending extremely non-critical traffic
   across a Differentiated Services (DS) domain and services accepting strongly varying
   throughput for their data flows, especially with respect to periods
   of very low throughput or DS region.  There even starvation (i.e., long interruptions
   due to excessive packet loss).  Therefore, an application sending an
   LE marked flow must be able to tolerate short or (even very) long
   interruptions due to the presence of severe congestion conditions
   during the transmission of the flow.  Thus, there should be an
   expectation that packets of the LE PHB may be excessively delayed or
   dropped when any other traffic is present.  The LE PHB is suitable
   for sending traffic of low urgency across a Differentiated Services
   (DS) domain or DS region.

   LE traffic SHOULD be congestion controlled.  Since LE traffic may be
   starved completely for a longer period of time, transport protocols
   or applications (and their related congestion control mechanisms)
   SHOULD be able to detect and react to such a situation and should
   resume the transfer as soon as possible.  Congestion control is not
   only useful to let the flows within the LE behavior aggregate adapt
   to the available bandwidth that may be highly fluctuating, but also
   in case that LE traffic is mapped to the default PHB (e.g., due to
   DSCP bleaching).

   Use of the LE PHB might assist a network operator in moving certain
   kinds of traffic or users to off-peak times.  Alternatively, or in
   addition, packets can be designated for the LE PHB when the goal is
   to protect all other packet traffic from competition with the LE
   aggregate while not completely banning LE traffic from the network.
   An LE PHB should not be used for a customer's "normal internet"
   traffic nor should packets be "downgraded" to the LE PHB used as a
   substitute for dropping packets that ought simply to be dropped as
   unauthorized.  The LE PHB is expected to have applicability in
   networks that have at least some unused capacity at some times of

   This is a

   The LE PHB that allows networks to protect themselves from selected types
   of traffic rather than giving a selected traffic aggregate
   preferential treatment.  Moreover, it the LE PHB may also exploit all
   unused resources from other PHBs.

   There is no intrinsic reason to limit the applicability of the LE PHB
   to any particular application or type of traffic.  It is intended as
   an additional tool for administrators in engineering networks.  For
   instance, it can be used for filling up protection capacity of
   transmission links which is otherwise unused.  Some network providers
   keep link utilization below 50% in order to being able carrying all
   traffic without loss in case of rerouting due to a link failure.  LE
   marked traffic can utilize the normally unused capacity and will be
   preempted automatically in case of link failure when 100% of the link
   capacity is required for all other traffic.  Ideally, applications
   mark their packets as LE traffic, since they know the urgency of

   Example uses for the LE PHB comprise:

   o  For traffic caused by world-wide web search engines while they
      gather information from web servers.

   o  For software updates or dissemination of new releases of operating

   o  For backup traffic or non-time critical sychronization synchronization or
      mirroring traffic.

   o  For content distribution transfers between caches.

   o  For Netnews and other "bulk mail" of the Internet.

   o  For "downgraded" traffic from some other PHB when this does not
      violate the operational objectives of the other PHB or the overall
      network.  LE should not be used for the general case of downgraded
      traffic, but may be used by design, e.g., to protect an internal
      network from untrusted external traffic sources.  In this case
      there is no way for attackers to preempt internal (non LE) traffic
      by flooding.  Another use case is mentioned in [RFC3754]: non-
      admitted multicast traffic.

1.2.  Deployment Considerations

   Internet-wide deployment of the LE PHB is eased by the following

   o  No harm to other traffic: since the LE PHB has got the lowest
      forwarding priority it does not take consume resources from other PHBs.
      Deployment across different provider domains causes no trust
      issues or attack vectors to existing traffic.

   o  No parameters or configuration: the LE PHB requires no parameters
      and no configuration of traffic profiles and so on.

   o  No traffic conditioning mechanisms: the LE PHB requires only a
      queue and a scheduling mechanism, but no traffic
      meters, droppers droppers, or shapers.

   Since LE traffic may be starved completely for a longer period of
   time, transport protocols

   DS domains that cannot or applications should be able do not want to detect
   such a situation support the LE PHB SHOULD
   NOT drop LE marked packets, but rather map them to the default PHB
   and should resume keep the transfer as soon as possible. LE DSCP.  See also Section 5 for further discussion of
   forwarding LE traffic with the default PHB instead.

1.3.  Requirements Language

   The key words "MUST", "MUST NOT", "REQUIRED", "SHALL", "SHALL NOT",
   document are to be interpreted as described in RFC 2119 [RFC2119].

2.  PHB Description


   The LE PHB is defined in relation to the default PHB (best-effort).
   A packet forwarded with this the LE PHB SHOULD have lower precedence than
   packets forwarded with the default PHB. PHB, i.e., in case of congestion,
   LE marked traffic SHOULD be dropped prior to dropping any default PHB
   traffic.  Ideally, LE packets should SHOULD be forwarded only if no best-effort best-
   effort packet is waiting for its transmission.

   A straightforward implementation could be a simple priority scheduler
   serving the default PHB queue with higher priority than the lower-effort lower-
   effort PHB queue.  Alternative implementations may use scheduling
   algorithms that assign a very small weight to the LE class.  This,
   however, may sometimes cause better service for LE packets compared
   to BE packets in cases when the BE share is fully utilized and the LE
   share not.

3.  Traffic Conditioning Actions

   As for most other PHBs an initial classification and marking would
   usually be performed at the first DS boundary node.  In many cases,  If possible,
   packets may also SHOULD be pre-marked in DS aware DS-aware end systems by applications
   due to their specific knowledge about the particular precedence of
   packets.  There is no incentive for DS domains to distrust this
   initial marking, because letting LE traffic enter a DS domain causes
   no harm.  In the worst case it evokes the same effect as it would
   have been marked with the default PHB, i.e., as best-
   effort best-effort traffic.  Thus, any policing such as limiting the traffic rate
   is not necessary at the DS boundary.
   Usually, the amount of LE traffic is implicitly limited by queueing
   mechanisms and related discard actions of the PHB.  Therefore, there  Thus, any
   policing such as limiting the rate of LE traffic is normally no need not necessary at
   the DS boundary.

   Non-LE traffic (e.g., BE traffic) SHOULD not be remarked to meter and police LE traffic explicitly. on a
   regular basis without consent or knowledge of the user.

4.  Recommended DS Codepoint

   The recommended RECOMMENDED codepoint for the LE PHB is 000010.

   RFC 4594 '000010'.

   Earlier specifications [RFC4594] recommended to use CS1 as codepoint
   (as mentioned in [RFC3662]. [RFC3662]).  This is problematic since it may cause
   a priority inversion in DiffServ domains that treat CS1 as originally
   proposed in [RFC2474], resulting in treating forwarding LE packets with higher
   precedence than BE packets.  Existing implementations SHOULD
   therefore use the unambiguous LE codepoint 000010 '000010' whenever

5.  Remarking to other DSCPs/PHBs

   "DSCP bleaching", i.e., setting the DSCP to 000000 '000000' (default PHB) is
   not recommended
   NOT RECOMMENDED for this PHB.  This may cause effects that are in
   contrast to the original intent in protecting BE traffic from LE
   traffic.  In case DS domains do not support the LE PHB, they may SHOULD
   treat LE marked packets with the default PHB instead, instead (by mapping the
   LE DSCP to the default PHB), but they should SHOULD do so without remarking
   to the DSCP 000000. '000000'.  The reason for this is that later traversed DS
   domains may then have still the possibility to treat such packets
   according the LE PHB.

6.  IANA Considerations

   This memo includes a request to assign a Differentiated Services
   Field Codepoint (DSCP) 000010 from the Differentiated Services Field
   Codepoints (DSCP) registry

7.  Security Considerations

   There are no specific security exposures for this PHB.  Since it
   defines a new class  However, operators of low forwarding priority, other DS domains that forward
   LE traffic may be
   downgraded to within the BE aggregate should be aware of the
   implications, i.e., induced congestion situations and quality-of-
   service degradation of the original BE traffic.  In this case, the LE
   property of not harming other traffic is no longer fulfilled.  In
   order to limit the impact in such cases, traffic policing of the LE
   aggregate may be used.

   In case LE marked packets are effectively carried within the default
   PHB (i.e., forwarded as best-effort traffic) they get a better
   forwarding treatment than expected.  For some applications and
   services, it is favorable if the transmission is finished earlier
   than expected.  However, in some cases it may be against the original
   intention of the LE PHB user to strictly send the traffic only if
   otherwise unused resources are available, i.e., LE traffic may
   compete with BE traffic for the same resources and thus adversely
   affect the original BE aggregate.  One possible solution for a clear
   distinction in such cases would be to use two different codepoints,
   "LE-min = LE, better treatment allowed", "LE-strict = LE, better
   treatment NOT allowed".  However, since DSCPs are a scarce resource,
   applications that want to ensure the lower precedence compared to BE
   traffic SHOULD use additionally a corresponding Lower-than-Best-
   Effort transport protocol [RFC6297], e.g., LEDBAT [RFC6817].

   A DS domain that still uses DSCP CS1 for marking LE traffic
   (including Low Priority-Data as defined in [RFC4594] or the old
   definition in [RFC3662]) MUST remark traffic to the LE DSCP '000010'
   at the egress to the next DS domain.  This increases the probability
   that the DSCP is preserved end-to-end, whereas a CS1 marked packet
   may be remarked by the default DSCP if the next domain is applying
   DiffServ-intercon [I-D.ietf-tsvwg-diffserv-intercon].

6.  Changes to RFC 4594

   [RFC4594] recommended to use CS1 as codepoint in section 4.10,
   whereas CS1 was defined in [RFC2474] to have a higher precedence than
   CS0, i.e., the default PHB.  Consequently, DiffServ domains
   implementing CS1 according to [RFC2474] will cause a priority
   inversion for LE packets that contradicts with the original purpose
   of LE.  Therefore, every occurrence of the CS1 DSCP is replaced by
   the LE DSCP.


   o  The Low-Priority Data row in Figure 3 is updated as follows:

    | Low-Priority  |   LE    |   000010    | Any flow that has no BW  |
    |     Data      |         |             | assurance                |

   o  The Low-Priority Data row in Figure 4 is updated as follows:

    | Low-Priority  | LE   | Not applicable    | RFCXXXX |  Rate  | Yes|
    |     Data      |      |                   |         |        |    |

   o  Section 4.10: The RECOMMENDED DSCP marking is LE (Lower Effort).

   o  [RFC4594] recommended to remark Low-Priority Data to DSCP '000001'
      inside a DS domain that uses IP precedence marking.  By using the
      herein defined LE DSCP such remarking is not necessary, so even if
      Low-Priority Data is unsupported (i.e., mapped to the default PHB)
      the LE DSCP should be kept across the domain as RECOMMENDED in
      Section 5.

7.  IANA Considerations

   This memo includes a request to assign a Differentiated Services
   Field Codepoint (DSCP) '000010' from the Differentiated Services
   Field Codepoints (DSCP) registry

8.  Security Considerations

   There are no specific security exposures for this PHB.  Since it
   defines a new class of low forwarding priority, other traffic may be
   downgraded to this LE PHB in case it is remarked as LE traffic.  See
   the general security considerations in RFC 2474 [RFC2474] and RFC
   2475 [RFC2475].


9.  References


9.1.  Normative References

   [RFC2119]  Bradner, S., "Key words for use in RFCs to Indicate
              Requirement Levels", BCP 14, RFC 2119,
              DOI 10.17487/RFC2119, March 1997,

   [RFC2474]  Nichols, K., Blake, S., Baker, F., and D. Black,
              "Definition of the Differentiated Services Field (DS
              Field) in the IPv4 and IPv6 Headers", RFC 2474,
              DOI 10.17487/RFC2474, December 1998,

   [RFC2475]  Blake, S., Black, D., Carlson, M., Davies, E., Wang, Z.,
              and W. Weiss, "An Architecture for Differentiated
              Services", RFC 2475, DOI 10.17487/RFC2475, December 1998,


9.2.  Informative References

              Bless, R. and K. Wehrle, "A Lower Than Best-Effort Per-Hop
              Behavior", draft-bless-diffserv-lbe-phb-00 (work in
              progress), September 1999, <

              Geib, R. and D. Black, "Diffserv-Interconnection classes
              and practice", draft-ietf-tsvwg-diffserv-intercon-14 (work
              in progress), December 2016.

   [RFC3662]  Bless, R., Nichols, K., and K. Wehrle, "A Lower Effort
              Per-Domain Behavior (PDB) for Differentiated Services",
              RFC 3662, DOI 10.17487/RFC3662, December 2003,

   [RFC3754]  Bless, R. and K. Wehrle, "IP Multicast in Differentiated
              Services (DS) Networks", RFC 3754, DOI 10.17487/RFC3754,
              April 2004, <>.

   [RFC4594]  Babiarz, J., Chan, K., and F. Baker, "Configuration
              Guidelines for DiffServ Service Classes", RFC 4594,
              DOI 10.17487/RFC4594, August 2006,

   [RFC6297]  Welzl, M. and D. Ros, "A Survey of Lower-than-Best-Effort
              Transport Protocols", RFC 6297, DOI 10.17487/RFC6297, June
              2011, <>.

   [RFC6817]  Shalunov, S., Hazel, G., Iyengar, J., and M. Kuehlewind,
              "Low Extra Delay Background Transport (LEDBAT)", RFC 6817,
              DOI 10.17487/RFC6817, December 2012,

Appendix A.  History of the LE PHB

   A first version of this PHB was suggested by Roland Bless and Klaus
   Wehrle in 1999 [draft-bless-diffserv-lbe-phb-00].  After some
   discussion in the DiffServ Working Group Brian Carpenter and Kathie
   Nichols proposed a bulk handling per-domain behavior and believed a
   PHB was not necessary.  Eventually, Lower Effort was specified as
   per-domain behavior and finally became [RFC3662].  More detailed
   information about its history can be found in Section 10 of

Appendix B.  Acknowledgments

   Since text is borrowed from earlier Internet-Drafts and RFCs the co-
   authors of previous specifications are acknowledged here: Kathie
   Nichols and Klaus Wehrle.  Ruediger Geib provided helpful comments
   and suggestions.

Appendix C.  Change History

   This section briefly lists changes between Internet-Draft versions
   for convenience.

   Changes in Version 01:

   o  Now obsoletes RFC 3662.

   o  Tried to be more precise in section 1.1 (Applicability) according
      to R.  Geib's suggestions, so rephrased several paragraphs.  Added
      text about congestion control

   o  Change section 2 (PHB Description) according to R.  Geib's

   o  Added RFC 2119 language to several sentences.

   o  Detailed the description of remarking implications and
      recommendations in Section 5.

   o  Added Section 6 to explicitly list changes with respect to RFC
      4594, because this document will update it.

Appendix D.  Note to RFC Editor

   This section lists actions for the RFC editor during final

   o  Please replace the occurrence of RFCXXXX in Section 6 with the
      assigned RFC number for this document.

   o  Delete Appendix C.

   o  Delete this section.

Author's Address

   Roland Bless
   Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT)
   Kaiserstr. 12
   Karlsruhe  76131

   Phone: +49 721 608 46413