An Introduction to the Stream Control Transmission Protocol (SCTP) (RFC3286)
Original Publication Date: 2002-May-01
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2002-May-23
Internet Society Requests For Comment (RFCs)
L. Ong: AUTHOR [+1]
This document provides a high level introduction to the capabilities supported by the Stream Control Transmission Protocol (SCTP). It is intended as a guide for potential users of SCTP as a general purpose transport protocol.
Network Working Group L. Ong
Request for Comments: 3286 Ciena Corporation
Category: Informational J. Yoakum
An Introduction to the Stream Control Transmission Protocol (SCTP)
Status of this Memo
This memo provides information for the Internet community. It does
not specify an Internet standard of any kind. Distribution of this
memo is unlimited.
Copyright (C) The Internet Society (2002). All Rights Reserved.
This document provides a high level introduction to the capabilities
supported by the Stream Control Transmission Protocol (SCTP). It is
intended as a guide for potential users of SCTP as a general purpose
The Stream Control Transmission Protocol (SCTP) is a new IP transport
protocol, existing at an equivalent level with UDP (User Datagram
Protocol) and TCP (Transmission Control Protocol), which provide
transport layer functions to many Internet applications. SCTP has
been approved by the IETF as a Proposed Standard . The error
check algorithm has since been modified . Future changes and
updates will be reflected in the IETF RFC index.
Like TCP, SCTP provides a reliable transport service, ensuring that
data is transported across the network without error and in sequence.
Like TCP, SCTP is a session-oriented mechanism, meaning that a
relationship is created between the endpoints of an SCTP association
prior to data being transmitted, and this relationship is maintained
until all data transmission has been successfully completed.
Unlike TCP, SCTP provides a number of functions that are critical for
telephony signaling transport, and at the same time can potentially
benefit other applications needing transport with additional
performance and reliability. The original framework for the SCTP
definition is described in .
Ong & Yoakum Informational [Page 1]
RFC 3286 SCTP Overview May 2002
2. Basic SCTP Features
SCTP is a unicast protocol, and supports data exchange between
exactly 2 endpoints, although these may be represented by multiple IP
SCTP provides reliable transmission, detecting when data is
discarded, reordered, duplicated or corrupted, and retransmitting
damaged data as necessary. SCTP transmission is full duplex.
SCTP is message oriented and supports framing of individual message
boundaries. In comparison, TCP is byte oriented and does not
preserve any implicit structure within a transmitted byte stream
SCTP is rate adaptive similar to TCP, and will scale back data
transfer to the prevailing load conditions in the network. It is
designed to behave cooperatively with TCP sessions attempting to use
the same bandwidth.
3. SCTP Multi-Streaming Feature
The name Stream Control Transmission Protocol is derived from the
multi-streaming function provided by SCTP. This feature allows data
to be partitioned into multiple streams that have the property of
independently sequenced delivery, so that message loss in any one...