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    RE: iSCSI: Framing Steps

    Thank you for the response.  I think a further point should have been
    strongly made.  Such changes to TCP are not actions of the IPS workgroup.
    These matters should be discussed within the tsvwg.  Even matters of Fixed
    Interval Marking brings concerns with respect to the impact even this
    seemingly innocuous iSCSI option may have.
    Should the interval within the FIM be a power of 2, guessing an initial
    sequence value allows injection of packets within existing connections.  A
    layer below TCP, as devised for iSCSI, is to place de-encapsulated iSCSI
    information from isolated packets that include marker information  despite
    prior packet loss.  A general goal of all the framing approaches being
    sought by the IPS wg.
    This would require extensive modification of TCP to facilitate this
    behavior.  In addition, without the specific details of this scheme, largely
    due to a desire to claim no changes, it is difficult to evaluate related
    security risks.  One risk of this scheme is the requirement for application
    specific code to be routinely placed below the transport.  There are no
    conventions for instituting the requisite signaling between this below the
    transport layer application process and the modified TCP.  Should an attack
    successfully inject even null structures, it would not be clear how the
    transport would behave.
    FIM has been suggested by those within the IPS wg that implementers consider
    implementing an otherwise obnoxious scheme requiring the injection of
    markers or suffer from discarded data otherwise retained using standard
    versions of TCP.  Clearly just sending these markers are not in themselves a
    risk to TCP.  It is their intended use that causes concern.  This FIM has
    also been indicated by several including the author of iSCSI that FIM is
    just an interim measure to be followed by a full framing scheme later.  It
    is clear this group wishes extensive modifications to TCP and does not wish
    to share these details openly.
    One suggestion was to have each iSCSI PDU become framed by a TCP segment.
    Just the reduction in the average packet size within a high bandwidth stream
    will stress standard versions of TCP as well as the intervening equipment.
    SCTP had the foresight to include bundling methods.  This is just one aspect
    of these proposals to fail consideration within the IPS wg.  In general, I
    think the IETF made a wise choice in proposing SCTP as the means of
    incorporating framing within IP protocols and the IPS wg was informed of
    SCTP at the outset of their endeavors.  SCTP provides many advantages with
    respect to pressing concerns especially the less disruptive nature
    incorporation of framing using SCTP would cause over an attempt of framing
    within TCP.  It is clear there is consensus within the IPS wg that SCTP is
    not to be considered and that TCP framing is despite prohibitions within the
    charter and the good judgement of the IETF.  The ongoing tacit approval of
    these discussions regarding modification of TCP within the IPS wg is
    > -----Original Message-----
    > From: [] On Behalf Of
    > []
    > Sent: Wednesday, January 23, 2002 11:10 PM
    > To:
    > Subject: iSCSI: Framing Steps
    > I want to attempt to make some steps towards resolving
    > the framing issues.  In reviewing the recent discussions
    > on framing, I have a couple of conclusions:
    > (1) I do not believe that WG consensus (rough or otherwise)
    > 	can be obtained for a "MUST implement" requirement
    > 	for any form of framing.
    > (2) The COWS mechanism has a lot of potential, but
    > 	its newness, the multiple versions that
    > 	have been mentioned, and the desire for some
    > 	sort of alignment with new work on DDP/RDMA
    > 	suggest that COWS is premature to specify as
    > 	part of iSCSI.
    > I suggest that these conclusions form the
    > basis for further ips WG consideration of framing.
    > Please think carefully before objecting to these
    > conclusions on the list (I'm happy to respond to
    > private questions/expressions of concern).  If the
    > framing issue cannot be driven to closure in
    > the next few weeks, I will be forced to conclude
    > that the entire topic is experimental, and hence
    > needs to be removed from the iSCSI specification
    > and handled in separate drafts intended to become
    > experimental RFCs.
    > Thanks,
    > --David
    > p.s. A desire to build NICs that never behave in
    > accordance with an important SHOULD in RFC 1122
    > (out-of-order segments SHOULD be queued) does not
    > strike me as a good reason for changing the first
    > conclusion above.
    > ---------------------------------------------------
    > David L. Black, Senior Technologist
    > EMC Corporation, 42 South St., Hopkinton, MA  01748
    > +1 (508) 249-6449 *NEW*      FAX: +1 (508) 497-8500
    >         Cell: +1 (978) 394-7754
    > ---------------------------------------------------


Last updated: Fri Jan 25 19:17:52 2002
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