Premier IT Outsourcing and Support Services within the UK

User Tools

Site Tools

Problem, Formatting or Query -  Send Feedback

Was this page helpful?-10+1


Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) J. Hui Request for Comments: 6553 JP. Vasseur Category: Standards Track Cisco Systems ISSN: 2070-1721 March 2012

 The Routing Protocol for Low-Power and Lossy Networks (RPL) Option
        for Carrying RPL Information in Data-Plane Datagrams


 The Routing Protocol for Low-Power and Lossy Networks (RPL) includes
 routing information in data-plane datagrams to quickly identify
 inconsistencies in the routing topology.  This document describes the
 RPL Option for use among RPL routers to include such routing

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) 2012 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
 ( 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.

Hui & Vasseur Standards Track [Page 1] RFC 6553 RPL Option March 2012

Table of Contents

 1. Introduction ....................................................2
    1.1. Requirements Language ......................................3
 2. Overview ........................................................3
 3. Format of the RPL Option ........................................3
 4. RPL Router Behavior .............................................5
 5. Security Considerations .........................................6
    5.1. DAG Inconsistency Attacks ..................................6
    5.2. Destination Advertisement Object (DAO)
         Inconsistency Attacks ......................................7
 6. IANA Considerations .............................................7
 7. Acknowledgements ................................................8
 8. References ......................................................8
    8.1. Normative References .......................................8
    8.2. Informative References .....................................8

1. Introduction

 RPL is a distance vector IPv6 routing protocol designed for Low-Power
 and Lossy Networks (LLNs) [RFC6550].  Such networks are typically
 constrained in energy and/or channel capacity.  To conserve precious
 resources, a routing protocol must generate control traffic
 sparingly.  However, this is at odds with the need to quickly
 propagate any new routing information to resolve routing
 inconsistencies quickly.
 To help minimize resource consumption, RPL uses a slow proactive
 process to construct and maintain a routing topology but a reactive
 and dynamic process to resolving routing inconsistencies.  In the
 steady state, RPL maintains the routing topology using a low-rate
 beaconing process.  However, when RPL detects inconsistencies that
 may prevent proper datagram delivery, RPL temporarily increases the
 beacon rate to quickly resolve those inconsistencies.  This dynamic
 rate control operation is governed by the use of dynamic timers also
 referred to as "Trickle" timers and defined in [RFC6206].  In
 contrast to other routing protocols (e.g., OSPF [RFC2328]), RPL
 detects routing inconsistencies using data-path verification, by
 including routing information within the datagram itself.  In doing
 so, repair mechanisms operate only as needed, allowing the control
 and data planes to operate on similar time scales.  The main
 motivation for data-path verification in LLNs is that control-plane
 traffic should be carefully bounded with respect to the data traffic.
 Intuitively, there is no need to solve routing issues (which may be
 temporary) in the absence of data traffic.

Hui & Vasseur Standards Track [Page 2] RFC 6553 RPL Option March 2012

 RPL constructs a Directed Acyclic Graph (DAG) that attempts to
 minimize path costs to the DAG root according to a set of metrics and
 Objective Functions.  There are circumstances where loops may occur,
 and RPL is designed to use a data-path loop detection method.  This
 is one of the known requirements of RPL, and other data-path usage
 might be defined in the future.
 To that end, this document defines a new IPv6 option, called the RPL
 Option, to be carried within the IPv6 Hop-by-Hop header.  The RPL
 Option is only for use between RPL routers participating in the same
 RPL Instance.

1.1. Requirements Language

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

2. Overview

 The RPL Option provides a mechanism to include routing information
 with each datagram that a router forwards.  When receiving datagrams
 that include routing information, RPL routers process the routing
 information to help maintain the routing topology.
 Every RPL router along a packet's delivery path processes and updates
 the RPL Option.  If the received packet does not already contain a
 RPL Option, the RPL router must insert a RPL Option before forwarding
 it to another RPL router.  This document also specifies the use of
 IPv6-in-IPv6 tunneling [RFC2473] when attaching a RPL option to a
 packet.  Use of tunneling ensures that the original packet remains
 unmodified and that ICMP errors return to the RPL Option source
 rather than the source of the original packet.

3. Format of the RPL Option

 The RPL Option is carried in an IPv6 Hop-by-Hop Options header,
 immediately following the IPv6 header.  This option has an alignment
 requirement of 2n.  The option has the following format:

Hui & Vasseur Standards Track [Page 3] RFC 6553 RPL Option March 2012

    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
                                   |  Option Type  |  Opt Data Len |
   |O|R|F|0|0|0|0|0| RPLInstanceID |          SenderRank           |
   |                         (sub-TLVs)                            |
                         Figure 1: RPL Option
 Option Type:  0x63
 Opt Data Len:  8-bit field indicating the length of the option, in
       octets, excluding the Option Type and Opt Data Len fields.
 Down 'O':  1-bit flag as defined in Section 11.2 of [RFC6550].  The
       processing SHALL follow the rules described in Section 11.2 of
 Rank-Error 'R':  1-bit flag as defined in Section 11.2 of [RFC6550].
       The processing SHALL follow the rules described in Section 11.2
       of [RFC6550].
 Forwarding-Error 'F':  1-bit flag as defined in Section 11.2 of
       [RFC6550].  The processing SHALL follow the rules described in
       Section 11.2 of [RFC6550].
 RPLInstanceID:  8-bit field as defined in Section 11.2 of [RFC6550].
       The processing SHALL follow the rules described in Section 11.2
       of [RFC6550].
 SenderRank:  16-bit field as defined in Section 11.2 of [RFC6550].
       The processing SHALL follow the rules described in Section 11.2
       of [RFC6550].
 The two high order bits of the Option Type MUST be set to '01' and
 the third bit is equal to '1'.  With these bits, according to
 [RFC2460], nodes that do not understand this option on a received
 packet MUST discard the packet.  Also, according to [RFC2460], the
 values within the RPL Option are expected to change en route.  The
 RPL Option Data Length is variable.

Hui & Vasseur Standards Track [Page 4] RFC 6553 RPL Option March 2012

 The action taken by using the RPL Option and the potential set of
 sub-TLVs carried within the RPL Option MUST be specified by the RFC
 of the protocol that uses that option.  No sub-TLVs are defined in
 this document.  A RPL device MUST skip over any unrecognized sub-TLVs
 and attempt to process any additional sub-TLVs that may appear after.

4. RPL Router Behavior

 Datagrams sent between RPL routers MUST include a RPL Option or RPL
 Source Route Header ([RFC6554]) and MAY include both.  A datagram
 including a Source Routing Header (SRH) does not need to include a
 RPL Option since both the source and intermediate routers ensure that
 the SRH does not contain loops.
 When the router is the source of the original packet and the
 destination is known to be within the same RPL Instance, the router
 SHOULD include the RPL Option directly within the original packet.
 Otherwise, routers MUST use IPv6-in-IPv6 tunneling [RFC2473] and
 place the RPL Option in the tunnel header.  Using IPv6-in-IPv6
 tunneling ensures that the delivered datagram remains unmodified and
 that ICMPv6 errors generated by a RPL Option are sent back to the
 router that generated the RPL Option.
 A RPL router chooses the next RPL router that should process the
 original packet as the tunnel exit-point.  In some cases, the tunnel
 exit-point will be the final RPL router along a path towards the
 original packet's destination, and the original packet will only
 traverse a single tunnel.  One example is when the final destination
 or the destination's attachment router is known to be within the same
 RPL Instance.
 In other cases, the tunnel exit-point will not be the final RPL
 router along a path and the original packet may traverse multiple
 tunnels to reach the destination.  One example is when a RPL router
 is simply forwarding a packet to one of its Destination-Oriented DAG
 (DODAG) parents.  In this case, the RPL router sets the tunnel exit-
 point to a DODAG parent.  When forwarding the original packet hop-by-
 hop, the RPL router only makes a determination on the next hop
 towards the destination.
 A RPL router receiving an IPv6-in-IPv6 packet destined to it
 processes the tunnel packet as described in Section 3 of [RFC2473].
 Before IPv6 decapsulation, the RPL router MUST process the RPL
 Option, if one exists.  After IPv6 decapsulation, if the router
 determines that it should forward the original packet to another RPL
 router, it MUST encapsulate the packet again using IPv6-in-IPv6

Hui & Vasseur Standards Track [Page 5] RFC 6553 RPL Option March 2012

 tunneling to include the RPL Option.  Fields within the RPL Option
 that do not change hop-by-hop MUST remain the same as those received
 from the prior tunnel.
 RPL routers are responsible for ensuring that a RPL Option is only
 used between RPL routers:
 1.  For datagrams destined to a RPL router, the router processes the
     packet in the usual way.  For instance, if the RPL Option was
     included using tunneled mode and the RPL router serves as the
     tunnel endpoint, the router removes the outer IPv6 header, at the
     same time removing the RPL Option as well.
 2.  Datagrams destined elsewhere within the same RPL Instance are
     forwarded to the correct interface.
 3.  Datagrams destined to nodes outside the RPL Instance are dropped
     if the outermost IPv6 header contains a RPL Option not generated
     by the RPL router forwarding the datagram.
 To avoid fragmentation, it is desirable to employ MTU sizes that
 allow for the header expansion (i.e., at least 1280 + 40 (outer IP
 header) + RPL_OPTION_MAX_SIZE), where RPL_OPTION_MAX_SIZE is the
 maximum RPL Option header size for a given RPL network.  To take
 advantage of this, however, the communicating endpoints need to be
 aware of the MTU along the path (i.e., through Path MTU Discovery).
 Unfortunately, the larger MTU size may not be available on all links
 (e.g., 1280 octets on IPv6 Low-Power Wireless Personal Area Network
 (6LoWPAN) links).  However, it is expected that much of the traffic
 on these types of networks consists of much smaller messages than the
 MTU, so performance degradation through fragmentation would be

5. Security Considerations

 The RPL Option assists RPL routers in detecting routing
 inconsistencies.  The RPL message security mechanisms defined in
 [RFC6550] do not apply to the RPL Option.

5.1. DAG Inconsistency Attacks

 Using the Down 'O' flag and SenderRank field, an attacker can cause
 RPL routers to believe that a DAG inconsistency exists within the RPL
 Instance identified by the RPLInstanceID field.  This attack would
 cause a RPL router to reset its DODAG Information Object (DIO)
 Trickle timer and begin transmitting DIO messages more frequently.

Hui & Vasseur Standards Track [Page 6] RFC 6553 RPL Option March 2012

 In order to avoid any unacceptable impact on network operations, an
 implementation MAY limit the rate of Trickle timer resets caused by
 receiving a RPL Option to no greater than MAX_RPL_OPTION_RANK_ERRORS
 per hour.  A RECOMMENDED value for MAX_RPL_OPTION_RANK_ERRORS is 20.

5.2. Destination Advertisement Object (DAO) Inconsistency Attacks

 In Storing mode, RPL routers maintain Downward routing state.  Under
 normal operation, the RPL Option assists RPL routers in cleaning up
 stale Downward routing state by using the Forwarding-Error 'F' flag
 to indicate that a datagram could not be delivered by a child and is
 being sent back to try a different child.  Using this flag, an
 attacker can cause a RPL router to discard Downward routing state.
 In order to avoid any unacceptable impact on network operations, an
 implementation MAY limit the rate of discarding Downward routing
 state caused by receiving a RPL Option to no greater than
 In Non-Storing mode, only the Low-Power and Lossy Network Border
 Router (LBR) maintains Downward routing state.  Because RPL routers
 do not maintain Downward routing state, the RPL Option cannot be used
 to mount such attacks.

6. IANA Considerations

 IANA has assigned a new value in the Destination Options and Hop-by-
 Hop Options registry.  The value is as follows:
 Hex Value     Binary Value
               act  chg  rest     Description        Reference
 ---------     ---  ---  -------  -----------------  ----------
   0x63         01    1   00011   RPL Option         [RFC6553]
 As specified in [RFC2460], the first two bits indicate that the IPv6
 node MUST discard the packet if it doesn't recognize the option type,
 and the third bit indicates that the Option Data may change en route.
 The remaining bits serve as the option type.
 IANA has created a registry called RPL-option-TLV, for the sub-TLVs
 carried in the RPL Option header.  New codes may be allocated only by
 IETF Review [RFC5226].  The type field is an 8-bit field whose value
 be between 0 and 255, inclusive.

Hui & Vasseur Standards Track [Page 7] RFC 6553 RPL Option March 2012

7. Acknowledgements

 The authors thank Jari Arkko, Ralph Droms, Adrian Farrel, Stephen
 Farrell, Richard Kelsey, Suresh Krishnan, Vishwas Manral, Erik
 Nordmark, Pascal Thubert, Sean Turner, and Tim Winter, for their
 comments and suggestions that helped shape this document.

8. References

8.1. Normative References

 [RFC2119]  Bradner, S., "Key words for use in RFCs to Indicate
            Requirement Levels", BCP 14, RFC 2119, March 1997.
 [RFC2328]  Moy, J., "OSPF Version 2", STD 54, RFC 2328, April 1998.
 [RFC2460]  Deering, S. and R. Hinden, "Internet Protocol, Version 6
            (IPv6) Specification", RFC 2460, December 1998.
 [RFC2473]  Conta, A. and S. Deering, "Generic Packet Tunneling in
            IPv6 Specification", RFC 2473, December 1998.
 [RFC5226]  Narten, T. and H. Alvestrand, "Guidelines for Writing an
            IANA Considerations Section in RFCs", BCP 26, RFC 5226,
            May 2008.
 [RFC6206]  Levis, P., Clausen, T., Hui, J., Gnawali, O., and J. Ko,
            "The Trickle Algorithm", RFC 6206, March 2011.
 [RFC6550]  Winter, T., Ed., Thubert, P., Ed., Brandt, A., Hui, J.,
            Kelsey, R., Levis, P., Pister, K., Struik, R., Vasseur,
            JP., and R. Alexander, "RPL: IPv6 Routing Protocol for
            Low-Power and Lossy Networks", RFC 6550, March 2012.

8.2. Informative References

 [RFC6554]  Hui, J., Vasseur, JP., Culler, D., and V. Manral, "An IPv6
            Routing Header for Source Routes with the Routing Protocol
            for Low-Power and Lossy Networks (RPL)", RFC 6554,
            March 2012.

Hui & Vasseur Standards Track [Page 8] RFC 6553 RPL Option March 2012

Authors' Addresses

 Jonathan W. Hui
 Cisco Systems
 170 West Tasman Drive
 San Jose, California  95134
 Phone: +408 424 1547
 JP. Vasseur
 Cisco Systems
 11, Rue Camille Desmoulins
 Issy Les Moulineaux  92782

Hui & Vasseur Standards Track [Page 9]

/data/webs/external/dokuwiki/data/pages/rfc/rfc6553.txt · Last modified: 2012/03/26 10:55 (external edit)