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Composite Link Trademark Issue (Was: Composite Link Requirements)

Subject: Composite Link Trademark Issue Was: Composite Link Requirements
From: "Andrew G. Malis"
Date: Tue, 2 Mar 2010 09:43:42 -0800

The co-authors of this draft reviewed your comments and decided to
respond with three separate messages, to separate the threads as
follows so that all of the issues you raise can be resolved

       #1 Composite Link Trademark Issue (Was: Composite Link Requirements)
       #2. Acknowledgement of Prior Work (Was: Composite Link Requirements)
       #3. Proposed Resolution of Comments (Was: Composite Link Requirements)

This is thread #1.

In response to received comments to date, we have tried to use a
generic term "composite link" that does not refer to or have
connotations of any particular existing or proposed solution, such as
Ethernet LAG, PPP multi-link, and so on. In the particular case of
"composite link", we were not aware of Avici's prior use of the term,
and we'll be happy to add a reference to Avici's use of the term while
making it clear that our use of the term is generic, rather than
referring to Avici's prior work. We would greatly appreciate it if you
could provide a reference that describes Avici's approach, so that we
can add it to the list of informative references.


On Sat, Feb 27, 2010 at 1:00 AM, Curtis Villamizar <[email protected]> wrote:
> Hi there good people of RTGWG,
> This is in regards to the goals that are embodied in the RTGWG
> acceptance of a draft to deal with requirements for composite link,
> currently named draft-ietf-rtgwg-cl-requirement-00.txt
> I'm bringing up two issues in this email.  One is prior composite link
> work and the other is prior methods of handling composite link, which
> should be acknowledged.  After that I just have some comments and
> questions on the draft.
> First issue is prior composite link work, both under the name
> "composite link" and under other names.
> A search of US trademarks yields:
>  Goods and Services     (ABANDONED) IC 009. US 021 023 026 036 038. G &
>  S: Computer software, namely, routing software for use in enabling
>  multiple links or fiber interfaces between routers to be grouped into
>  a single logical connection
>  Standard Characters Claimed
>  Mark Drawing Code   (4) STANDARD CHARACTER MARK
>  Serial Number     78363042
>  Filing Date       February 5, 2004
>  Current Filing Basis       1B
>  Original Filing Basis      1B
>  Published for Opposition     June 21, 2005
>  Owner   (APPLICANT) Avici Systems, Inc. CORPORATION DELAWARE 101
>  Billerica Avenue North Billerica MASSACHUSETTS 018621256
>  Attorney of Record     John L. DuPre'
>  Type of Mark   TRADEMARK
>  Register       PRINCIPAL
>  Live/Dead Indicator   DEAD
>  Abandonment Date      September 14, 2007
> Since this may predate (and certainly overlaps) the ITU use of the
> term "composite link", I think Avici should be acknowledged if we
> continue to use the term composite link.
> The definition is nice:
>  Computer software, namely, routing software for use in enabling
>  multiple links or fiber interfaces between routers to be grouped
>  into a single logical connection.
> Note that ITU's G.800 does not define what a composite link is and
> only mentions composite four times in the document, including use of
> composite link and composite trail.  The figure indicates that a
> composite link is "inverse multiplexing".  For this reason, I don't
> think G.800 should be referenced because its a big load of **** with
> only slight mention of CL.
> Prior to the registered tradement, composite link was used by Avici as
> a plain old trademark.  Although the registered trademark does not
> predate Ethernet Link Aggregation, the product and technique to which
> the registered trademark applies does predate it (1998 vs circa 2000
> for IEEE).  The techniques are the same expect IEEE focused solely on
> Ethernet, while Avici made use of extensions to PPP (as in POS).
> In any case the aspect of the composite link dealt with in IEEE 802.1x
> or Avici's composite link was the protocol to negociate the binding.
> Second issue is how CL has been handed in the past.
> Whether it was two links to two places that took completely different
> paths (trails in ITU speak but this is IETF where we say path), or two
> parallel links, this has been called ECMP in IETF (and elsewhere) for
> two decades or more.  Both ISIS and OSPF use the term ECMP.  The
> techniques used for ECMP load balance was discussed on IETF lists
> quite a bit in the early to mid-1990s.  The three techniques applied
> to IP networks (in the terminology of that time) were:
>  1.  per packet load balance
>  2.  per bit or byte load balance aka bit striping or inverse-mux
>  3.  IP src/dst hash
> The second is applicable only to parallel links.  Using larger chunks
> it is also the technique used in MPPP (multilink PPP).  MPPP is also
> sometimes abbreviated PPP-ML, though not in the RFC.  MPPP is no
> longer of much interest as it was only applied to low speed links.
> The per packet load balance caused packet reorder and a great deal of
> grief for service providers, hence the abundance of discussion within
> IETF at the time.  The use of IP src/dst hash, while widespread and
> widely discussed, did not get documented in an RFC until Chris Hopps
> and Dave Thaler wrote RFC 2991 "Multipath Issues in Unicast and
> Multicast Next-Hop Selection" and RFC 2992 "Analysis of an Equal-Cost
> Multi-Path Algorithm" in November 2000.  (at least AFAIK).
> The IP src/dst technique itself is beleived to have originated in the
> T1-NSFNET, which puts its use back to circa 1987.
> The OMP work predates RFC 2991 and RFC 2992 but never made it past the
> internet-draft stage.  In that work the use of src/dst hash and the
> use of adaptive algorithms with src/dst hash is discussed.  On the IETF
> mailing lists even methods of implementation were discussed, table
> based and parallel sets of comparator pairs (TCAM like).
> Circa 2000 there was a lot of discussion of the use of the MPLS label
> stack to provide the entropy for ECMP vs looking past the label stack
> at the IP payload.  Today's PW control word acknowledges this common
> practice and avoids it for PW, but the fat-pw aka entropy label puts
> better entropy back into PW.
> In practice today, all core hardware uses the same IP src/dst hash to
> provide a load balance for ECMP and LAG.
> The existing internet-draft acknowledges link bundling, but does not
> accurately characterize ECMP and LAG and the src/dst hash technicque
> used by both, nor does it acknowledge the prior OMP work.
> Comments on the draft:
> The following statements may be inaccurate:
>   The Link Bundle concept is somewhat limited because of the
>   requirement that all component links must have identical
>   capabilities, and because it applies only to TE links.
>     This may be inaccurate.  I don't think there is a requirement
>     that a link bundle use identical links.
>     In any case, both Avici composite links and many LAG
>     implementations allow a mix of member speeds and neither was
>     applicable to TE links only.
> The following should be replaced:
>   Traffic Flow: A set of packets that with common identifier
>   characteristics that the composite link is able to use to aggregate
>   traffic into Connections.  Identifiers can be an MPLS label stack
>   or any combination of IP addresses and protocol types for routing,
>   signaling and management packets.
> Diffserv already defined a microflow to be the same thing.  We should
> not invent new terms to mean the same thing as existing terms.  We can
> just point out that labels can also be used to identify a microflow.
> This statement is definitely inaccurate for a number of reasons:
>   o  ECMP/Hashing/LAG: IP traffic composed of a large number of flows
>      with bandwidth that is small with respect to the individual link
>      capacity can be handled relatively well using ECMP/LAG
>      approaches.  However, these approaches do not make use of MPLS
>      control plane information nor traffic volume
>      information. Distribution techniques applied only within the
>      data plane can result in less than ideal load balancing across
>      component links of a composite link.
>  Avici used feedback from the egress port to the ingress port on
>  traffic volume and queue occupancy to influence the distribution of
>  the hash.  There is nothing in the definition of ECMP to prohibit
>  this and the OMP technique explicitly called for doing so and
>  proposed protocol extension to be able to go beyond just a decision
>  within a single NE as Avici did.
> This is inaccurate:
>  o 2.  It does not support a set of component links with different
>        characteristics (e.g., different bandwidth and/or latency).
>      For example, in practice carriers commonly use link bandwidth
>      and link latency to set link TE metrics for RSVP-TE.  For
>      RSVP-TE, limiting the component links to same TE metric has the
>      practical effect of dis-allowing component links with different
>      link bandwidth and latencies.
> There is no formal meaning to the link metric in ISIS or OSPF.
> Under inverse-mux: the real problem with inverse-mux is the amount of
> bandwidth that needs to be multiplexed greatly exceeds the fastest
> single packet processing element and therefore doesn't work.  The
> latency argument is not really valid.
> I think that the ability of an LSR to measure latency on and LSP and
> report a latency figure or route based on lowest latency is almost
> orthogonal to the problem of composite link.  If latency and bandwidth
> at each holding priority is advertised, then we have a cross product
> of advertisements.  For example, you can have 1 Gb/s at 10msec at
> pri#1, but if you can live with 12msec you can have 2Gb/s, or at 14
> msec 3Gb/s, but at pri#2 you only get ... and so on for 8 priorities.
> Is this what we're aiming for?
> The table at the beginning of seciton 4 is meaningless.
> In this section:
> Traffic Flow and Connection Mapping
>   The solution SHALL support operator assignment of traffic flows to
>   specific connections.
>   The solution SHALL support operator assignment of connections to
>   specific component links.
> How is this supposed to work for signaled LSP where the component
> links are not idendified in control signaling?  Is this scalable from
> a configuration standpoint or only applicable to staticly configured
> MPLS cross connect?
>   In order to prevent packet loss, the solution must employ make-
>   before-break when a change in the mapping of a connection to a
>   component link mapping change has to occur.
> Only the ingress of an LSP can initiate make-before-break and the
> ingress doesn't know about the component links.  In RFC3209,
> make-before-break involves a new LSP using the same tunnel-id.
> Are you using a different meaning for make-before-break?
> Regarding this statelent:
>   The solution SHALL support management plane controlled parameters
>   that define at least a minimum bandwidth, maximum bandwidth,
>   preemption priority, and holding priority for each connection
>   without TE information (i.e., LDP signaled LSP that does not
>   contain the same information as an RSVP-TE signaled LSP).
> Could you explain how preemption would work for LDP?  Do you plane to
> withdraw the FEC?  If so, for how long?  Forever?  If not forever
> would the traffic periodically come back, get remeasured and withdrawn
> again?
> In what does this mean?
>   o  Bandwidth of the highest and lowest speed
> Overall I find many of the stated requirements to be unclear.  Perhaps
> some discussion and improvements to the wording will bring clarity.
> Or maybe I'm just dense.
> Curtis
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