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Request For Comments - RFC3147

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Network Working Group                                       P. Christian
Request for Comments: 3147                               Nortel Networks
Category: Informational                                        July 2001

           Generic Routing Encapsulation over CLNS Networks

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 Notice

   Copyright (C) The Internet Society (2001).  All Rights Reserved.


   This document proposes a method for transporting an arbitrary
   protocol over a CLNS (Connectionless Network Service) network using
   GRE (Generic Routing Encapsulation).  This may then be used as a
   method to tunnel IPv4 or IPv6 over CLNS.

1. Introduction

   RFC 2784 Generic Routing Encapsulation (GRE) [1] provides a standard
   method for transporting one arbitrary network layer protocol over
   another arbitrary network layer protocol.

   RFC 1702 Generic Routing Encapsulation over IPv4 networks [2]
   provides a standard method for transporting an arbitrary network
   layer protocol over IPv4 using GRE.

   However no standard method exists for transporting other network
   layer protocols over CLNS.  This causes lack of interoperability
   between different vendors' products as they provide solutions to
   migrate from CLNS networks to IP networks.  This is a problem
   specifically in, but not limited to, the context of management
   networks for SONET and SDH networks elements.

   Large networks exist for the purpose of providing management
   communications for SONET and SDH network elements.  Standards
   Bellcore GR-253-CORE [3] and ITU-T G.784 [4] mandate that these
   networks are based on CLNS.

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RFC 3147    Generic Routing Encapsulation over CLNS Networks   July 2001

   Many vendors have already started to offer SONET and SDH products
   that are managed by IP instead of CLNS and a general migration from
   CLNS towards IP is anticipated within the industry.

   Part of any migration strategy from CLNS to IP should provide for the
   co-existence of both CLNS managed and IP managed network elements in
   the same network.

   Such a migration strategy should foresee the need to manage existing
   CLNS managed network elements that become isolated by a new IP
   network.  Such a scenario may be tackled by tunnelling CLNP PDUs over
   IP using the existing GRE standard RFC 2784 [1] and informational RFC
   1702 [2].  Networks have already been deployed that use this method.

   Such a migration strategy should also foresee the need to manage new
   IP managed network elements that are installed on the far side of
   existing CLNS managed network.  Such a scenario requires a method for
   tunnelling IP over CLNS.

2. GRE over CLNS advantages

   Using GRE to tunnel IP over CLNS offers some advantages.

      In the absence of a standard for tunnelling IP over CLNS, GRE as
      specified in RFC 2784 [1] is the most applicable standard that

      The move from CLNS to IP comes at a time when IP is itself
      migrating from IPv4 to IPv6.  GRE defines a method to tunnel any
      protocol that has an Ethernet Protocol Type.  Therefore by
      defining a method for CLNS to transport GRE, a method will then
      exist for CLNS to transport any other protocol that has an
      Ethernet Protocol Type defined in RFC 1700 [5].  Thus GRE over
      CLNS can be used to tunnel both IPv4 and IPv6.

      GRE is already commonly used to tunnel CLNP PDUs over IP and so
      using GRE to tunnel IP over CLNS gives a common approach to
      tunnelling and may simplify software within network elements that
      initiate and terminate tunnels.

   The only disadvantage of using GRE is the extra minimum of four bytes
   that will be used between CLNP header and IP payload packet.  Given
   the large size of CLNP headers this will not make a  significant
   difference to the performance of any network that has IP over CLNP
   PDUs present on it.

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RFC 3147    Generic Routing Encapsulation over CLNS Networks   July 2001

3. Transporting GRE packets over CLNS.

   It is suggested that GRE should be transported over CLNS at the
   lowest layer possible, which is as a transport layer protocol over
   the network layer.  This can be achieved by placing the entire GRE
   packet inside a CLNP Data Type PDU (DT PDU) as data payload.

   The GRE packet is a GRE packet as defined in RFC 2784 [1], in other
   words GRE header plus payload packet.

   Data payload is the part of a Data PDU that is described as "Data" in
   the structure of a Data PDU in ISO/IEC 8473-1 [6].

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RFC 3147    Generic Routing Encapsulation over CLNS Networks   July 2001

   For convenience the structure of a Data PDU is reproduced from
   ISO/IEC 8473-1 [6] below:

            |  Network Layer Protocol Identifier   |    1
            |           Length Indicator           |    2
            |    Version/Protocol Id Extension     |    3
            |              Lifetime                |    4
            | SP | MS | E/R |   Type               |    5
            |            Segment Length            |   6,7
            |               Checksum               |   8,9
            | Destination Address Length Indicator |   10
            |                                      |   11
            |         Destination Address          |
            |                                      |   m-1
            |   Source Address Length Indicator    |    m
            |                                      |   m+1
            |            Source Address            |
            |                                      |   n-1
            |         Data Unit Identifier         |  n,n+1
            |            Segment Offset            | n+2,n+3
            |             Total Length             | n+4,n+5
            |                                      |   n+6
            |               Options                |
            |                                      |    p
            |                                      |   p+1
            |          Data ( GRE packet )         |
            |                                      |    z

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RFC 3147    Generic Routing Encapsulation over CLNS Networks   July 2001

4. NSAP selector (N-SEL) value.

   Transport of GRE packets is a new type of Network Service (NS) user.
   Different Network Service users are identified by using different
   NSAP selector bytes also known as N-SEL bytes.

   This is a similar concept to the use of the IP Protocol Type used in
   IP packets.

   Whilst it is not strictly necessary for all vendors to use the same
   N-SEL values, they must use the same N-SEL value for it to be
   possible for one vendor's CLNS device or network element to initiate
   a GRE tunnel which is then terminated on a different vendor's CLNS

   Although N-SEL values (other than zero) are not defined in CLNS/CLNP
   standards, some are defined when CLNS is used in SONET networks by
   Bellcore GR-253-CORE [3] whilst others are in common use.

   As the IP protocol number for GRE is 47, as defined in RFC 1702 [2],
   and as 47 is not commonly used as an N-SEL value, it is suggested
   that 47 (decimal) should be used as an N-SEL value to indicate to the
   CLNS stack that the Data portion of the Data Type PDU contains a GRE

   The N-SEL byte should be set to 47 (decimal) in both the source
   address and the destination address of the CLNP PDU.

   The N-SEL value of 47 should indicate only that the payload is GRE,
   and the device or network element that transmits the PDU should use
   the GRE header to indicate what protocol (for example IPv4 or IPv6)
   is encapsulated within the GRE packet in conformance with RFC 2784
   [1].  Similarly the device or network element that receives the PDU
   should then inspect the GRE header to ascertain what protocol is
   contained within the GRE packet in conformance with RFC 2784 [1].

5. Segmentation Permitted (SP) value.

   It is recommended that the SP flag in all CLNP PDUs containing GRE
   packets should be set.

   If the SP flag is not set, and a CLNP PDU is too large for a
   particular link, then a CLNS device or network element will drop the
   PDU.  The originator of the packet that is inside the GRE packet will
   not have visibility of the packet loss or the reason for the packet
   loss, and a black hole may form.

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RFC 3147    Generic Routing Encapsulation over CLNS Networks   July 2001

6. Interaction with Path MTU Discovery (PMTU), RFC 1191 [7].

   A tunnel entry point for a GRE tunnel should treat IP packets that
   are bigger than the MTU size of the GRE tunnel as per RFC 1191 [7].
   If the oversize IP packet that is about to enter the GRE tunnel does
   not have its Don't Fragment (DF) bit set then it should be fragmented
   before entering the tunnel.

   If the oversize IP packet that is about to enter the GRE tunnel has
   its DF bit set then the packet should be discarded, and an ICMP
   unreachable error message (in particular the "fragmentation needed
   and DF set" code) should be sent back to the originator of the packet
   as described in RFC 1191 [7].

7. Security Considerations

   CLNS and GRE do not provide any security when employed in the way
   recommended in this document.

   If security is required, then it must be provided by other methods
   and applied to the payload protocol before it is transported by GRE
   over CLNS.

8. References

   [1] Farinacci, D., Li, T., Hanks, S., Meyer, D. and P. Traina,
       "Generic Routing Encapsulation (GRE)", RFC 2784, March 2000.

   [2] Hanks, S., Li, T., Farinacci, D. and P. Traina, "Generic Routing
       Encapsulation over IPv4", RFC 1702, October 1994.

   [3] Bellcore Publication GR-253-Core "Synchronous Optical Network
       (SONET) Transport Systems: Common Generic Criteria", January 1999

   [4] ITU-T Recommendation G.784 "Synchronous Digital Hierarchy (SDH)
       management", June 1999

   [5] Reynolds, J. and J. Postel, "Assigned Numbers", STD 2, RFC 1700,
       October 1994.

   [6] "Information technology - Protocol for providing the
       connectionless-mode network service", ISO/IEC 8473-1, 1994

   [7] Mogul, J. and S. Deering, "Path MTU Discovery", RFC 1191,
       November 1990.

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RFC 3147    Generic Routing Encapsulation over CLNS Networks   July 2001

9. Acknowledgements

   Chris Murton, Paul Fee, Mike Tate for their contribution in writing
   this document.

10. Author's Address

   Philip Christian
   Nortel Networks Harlow Laboratories
   London Road, Harlow,
   Essex, CM17 9NA UK

   EMail: christi@nortelnetworks.com

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RFC 3147    Generic Routing Encapsulation over CLNS Networks   July 2001

11. Full Copyright Statement

   Copyright (C) The Internet Society (2001).  All Rights Reserved.

   This document and translations of it may be copied and furnished to
   others, and derivative works that comment on or otherwise explain it
   or assist in its implementation may be prepared, copied, published
   and distributed, in whole or in part, without restriction of any
   kind, provided that the above copyright notice and this paragraph are
   included on all such copies and derivative works.  However, this
   document itself may not be modified in any way, such as by removing
   the copyright notice or references to the Internet Society or other
   Internet organizations, except as needed for the purpose of
   developing Internet standards in which case the procedures for
   copyrights defined in the Internet Standards process must be
   followed, or as required to translate it into languages other than

   The limited permissions granted above are perpetual and will not be
   revoked by the Internet Society or its successors or assigns.

   This document and the information contained herein is provided on an


   Funding for the RFC Editor function is currently provided by the
   Internet Society.

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