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SEGMENT ROUTING APPLICATION SEGMENT

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000237638D
Publication Date: 2014-Jun-30
Document File: 7 page(s) / 810K

Publishing Venue

The IP.com Prior Art Database

Related People

Stefano Previdi: AUTHOR [+3]

Abstract

A mechanism is presented based on a new type of Segment Identifier that allows operators and large enterprise networks to deploy service chaining without requiring any change in the existing applications. The application segment mechanisms are applicable to both SR-MPLS and SR-IPv6 and address the strongest requirement in terms of service chaining: preserve current applications. This mechanism allows the source (or the ingress node) to apply the service chain, without requiring any configuration or provisioning.

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SEGMENT ROUTING APPLICATION SEGMENT

AUTHORS:

Stefano Previdi Clarence Filsfils Pierre Francois

CISCO SYSTEMS, INC.

ABSTRACT

    A mechanism is presented based on a new type of Segment Identifier that allows operators and large enterprise networks to deploy service chaining without requiring any change in the existing applications. The application segment mechanisms are applicable to both SR-MPLS and SR-IPv6 and address the strongest requirement in terms of service chaining: preserve current applications. This mechanism allows the source (or the ingress node) to apply the service chain, without requiring any configuration or provisioning.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION

    Segment Routing is a routing control process in which it is possible to steer a packet through a set of instructions represented by a segment. In a Multi-Protocol Label Switching (MPLS) dataplane, a segment is instantiated through a label while in an IPv6 dataplane, the segment is instantiated through an IPv6 address.

    Network operators are looking to segment routing in order to implement what is referred to as "Service Chaining." Service Chaining involves controlling the path of the packet from an application perspective. An example is a packet entering in the operator network and the operator wants to send the packet to devices for various services, such as a Deep Packet Inspection (DPI) device followed by a firewall, cache, Network Address Translation (NAT) (or other device) prior to delivering the packet to the destination.

    Segment Routing (SR) allows for control of the path of the packet but it requires that all nodes participating into the path (as segments) are SR capable. In such a case, Service Chaining with SR would require application entities to be SR-aware (which would incur a major upgrade effort). Therefore, there is a strong requirement for a

Copyright 2014 Cisco Systems, Inc.

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mechanism that would avoid need for the application to be SR-capable while still allowing SR to support service chaining mechanisms.

    The techniques presented herein are based on the definition of a new SR component: the application segment (app-segment) for both SR-MPLS and SR-IPv6 networks. In addition, a novel mechanism is presented in order for SR-IPv6 networks to be fully compliant with the requirements of Service Chaining with non-SR-aware applications. The router connecting an application instance advertises the app-segment. When the router receives a packet (from the network) with the app-segment as the active segment, it applies a set of rules prior to delivering the packet to the connected application instance. These rules ensure proper processing by the application, without requiring the application to be SR capable. The application processes the packet and sends the packet back to the network. This allows for the introduction of service chaining in existing networks without requiring any application upgrade.

    The Segment Routing/Service Chaining (SR/SC) architecture p...