Internet Area WG                                              T. Herbert
Internet-Draft                                                Quantonium
Intended status: Standard track                                  L. Yong
Expires April 6, 28, 2020                                       Independent
                                                                  O. Zia
                                                        October 4, 26, 2019

                       Generic UDP Encapsulation

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   This specification describes Generic UDP Encapsulation (GUE), which
   is a scheme for using UDP to encapsulate packets of different IP
   protocols for transport across layer 3 networks. By encapsulating
   packets in UDP, specialized capabilities in networking hardware for
   efficient handling of UDP packets can be leveraged. GUE specifies
   basic encapsulation methods upon which higher level constructs, such
   as tunnels and overlay networks for network virtualization, can be
   constructed. GUE is extensible by allowing optional data fields as
   part of the encapsulation, and is generic in that it can encapsulate
   packets of various IP protocols.

Table of Contents

   1. Introduction  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  5
     1.1. Applicability . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  5
     1.2. Terminology and acronyms  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  6
     1.3. Requirements Language . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  7
   2. Base packet format  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  8
     2.1. GUE variant . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  8
   3. Variant 0 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  8
     3.1. Header format . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  9
     3.2. Proto/ctype field . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10
       3.2.1. Proto field . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10
       3.2.2. Ctype field . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10
     3.3. Flags and extension fields  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 11 12
       3.3.1. Requirements  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 11 12
       3.3.2. Example GUE header with extension fields  . . . . . . . 12
     3.4. Surplus space . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 12 13
     3.5. Message types . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 13
       3.5.1. Control messages  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 13
       3.5.2. Data messages . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 13 14
   4. Variant 1 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 13 14
     4.1. Direct encapsulation of IPv4  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 14 15
     4.2. Direct encapsulation of IPv6  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 15 16
   5. Operation . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 16 17
     5.1. Network tunnel encapsulation  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 16 17
     5.2. Transport layer encapsulation . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 16 17
     5.3. Encapsulator operation  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 17 18
     5.4. Decapsulator operation  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 17 18
       5.4.1. Processing a received data message  . . . . . . . . . . 17 18
       5.4.2. Processing a received control message . . . . . . . . . 18 19
     5.5. Middlebox inspection  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 18 19
     5.6. Router and switch operation . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 19 20
       5.6.1. Connection semantics  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 19 20
       5.6.2. NAT . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 20 21
     5.7. MTU and fragmentation . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 20 21
     5.8. UDP Checksum Handling . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 20 21
       5.8.1. UDP Checksum with IPv4  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 20 21
       5.8.2. UDP Checksum with IPv6  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 21 22
     5.9. Congestion Considerations . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 24 25
       5.9.1. GUE tunnels . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 24 25
       5.9.2 Transport layer encapsulation  . . . . . . . . . . . . . 25 26
     5.10. Multicast  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 25 26
     5.11. Flow entropy for ECMP  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 25 26
       5.11.1. Flow classification  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 25 26
       5.11.2. Flow entropy properties  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 26 27
     5.12. Negotiation of acceptable flags and extension fields . . . 27 28
   6. Motivation for GUE  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 27 28
     6.1. Benefits of GUE . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 27 28
     6.2. Comparison of GUE to other encapsulations . . . . . . . . . 28 29
   7. Security Considerations . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 30 31
   8. IANA Considerations . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 30 31
     8.1. UDP source port . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 30 31
     8.2. GUE variant number  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 31 32
     8.3. Control types . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 31 32
     8.4 Control Type Experimental Identifiers  . . . . . . . . . . . 32
   9. Acknowledgements  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 31 33
   10. References . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 32 34
     10.1. Normative References . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 32 34
     10.2. Informative References . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 33 35
   Appendix A: NIC processing for GUE . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 36 38
     A.1. Receive multi-queue . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 36 38
     A.2. Checksum offload  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 36 38
       A.2.1. Transmit checksum offload . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 37 39
       A.2.2. Receive checksum offload  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 37 39
     A.3. Transmit Segmentation Offload . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 38 40
     A.4. Large Receive Offload . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 39 41
   Appendix B: Implementation considerations  . . . . . . . . . . . . 39 41
     B.1. Priveleged ports  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 39 41
     B.2. Setting flow entropy as a route selector  . . . . . . . . . 40 42
     B.3. Hardware protocol implementation considerations . . . . . . 40 42
   Authors' Addresses . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 41 43

1. Introduction

   This specification describes Generic UDP Encapsulation (GUE) which is
   a general method for encapsulating packets of arbitrary IP protocols
   within User Datagram Protocol (UDP) [RFC0768] packets. Encapsulating
   packets in UDP facilitates efficient transport across networks.
   Networking devices widely provide protocol specific processing and
   optimizations for UDP (as well as TCP) packets. Packets for atypical
   IP protocols (those not usually parsed by networking hardware) can be
   encapsulated in UDP packets to maximize deliverability and to
   leverage flow specific mechanisms for routing and packet steering.

   GUE provides an extensible header format for including optional data
   in the encapsulation header. This data potentially covers items such
   as a virtual networking identifier, security data for validating or
   authenticating the GUE header, congestion control data, etc.

   This document does not define any specific GUE extensions. [GUEEXTEN]
   specifies a set of initial extensions.

1.1. Applicability

   GUE is a network encapsulation protocol that encapsulates packets for
   various IP protocols. Potential use cases include network tunneling,
   multi-tenant network virtualization, tunneling for mobility, and
   transport layer encapsulation. GUE is intended for deploying overlay
   networks in public or private data center environments, as well as
   providing a general tunneling mechanism usable in the Internet.

   GUE is a UDP based encapsulation protocol transported over existing
   IPv4 and IPv6 networks. Hence, as a UDP based protocol, GUE adheres
   to the UDP usage guidelines as specified in [RFC8085]. Applicability
   of these guidelines are dependent on the underlay IP network and the
   nature of GUE payload protocol (for example TCP/IP or IP/Ethernet).
   GUE may also be used to create IP tunnels, hence the guidelines in
   [IPTUN] are applicable.

   [RFC8085] outlines two applicability scenarios for UDP applications:
   (1) general Internet and (2) a traffic-managed controlled environment
   (TMCE). The requirements of [RFC8085] pertaining to deployment of a
   UDP encapsulation protocol in these environments are applicable.
   Section 5 provides the specifics for satisfying requirements of
   [RFC8085]. It is the responsibility of the operator deploying GUE to
   ensure that the necessary operational requirements are met for the
   environment in which GUE is being deployed.

   GUE has much of the same applicability and benefits as GRE-in-UDP
   [RFC8086] that are afforded by UDP encapsulation protocols. GUE
   offers the possibility of good performance for load-balancing
   encapsulated IP traffic in transit networks using existing Equal-Cost
   Multipath (ECMP) mechanisms that use a hash of the five-tuple of
   source IP address, destination IP address, UDP/TCP source port,
   UDP/TCP destination port, and protocol number. Encapsulating packets
   in UDP enables use of the UDP source port to provide entropy to ECMP
   hashing. A material difference between GUE and GRE-in-UDP is that the
   payload of GUE is always an IP protocol whereas the payload in GRE-
   in-UDP may be a non-IP protocol; this distinction is pertinent in the
   discussion of congestion considerations (section 5.9) since IP
   protocols are generally assumed to be congestion controlled.

   In addition, GUE enables extending the use of atypical IP protocols
   (those other than TCP and UDP) across networks that might otherwise
   filter packets carrying those protocols. GUE may also be used with
   connection oriented UDP semantics in order to facilitate traversal
   through stateful firewalls and stateful NAT.

   Additional motivation for the GUE protocol is provided in section 6.

1.2. Terminology and acronyms

   GUE              Generic UDP Encapsulation

   GUE Header       A variable length protocol header that is composed
                    of a primary four byte header and zero or more four
                    byte words of optional header data

   GUE packet       A UDP/IP packet that contains a GUE header and GUE
                    payload within the UDP payload

   GUE variant      A version of the GUE protocol or an alternate form
                    of a version

   Encapsulator     A network node that encapsulates packets in GUE

   Decapsulator     A network node that decapsulates and processes
                    packets encapsulated in GUE

   Data message     An encapsulated packet in a GUE payload that is
                    addressed to the protocol stack for an associated

   Control message  A formatted message in the GUE payload that is
                    implicitly addressed to the decapsulator to monitor
                    or control the state or behavior of a tunnel

   Flags            A set of bit flags in the primary GUE header
   Extension field  An optional field in a GUE header whose presence is
                    indicated by corresponding flag(s)

   C-bit            A single bit flag in the primary GUE header that
                    indicates whether the GUE packet contains a control
                    message or data message

   Hlen             A field in the primary GUE header that gives the
                    length of the GUE header

   Proto/ctype      A field in the GUE header that holds either the IP
                    protocol number for a data message or a type for a
                    control message

   Outer IP header  Refers to the outer most IP header or packet when
                    encapsulating a packet over IP

   Inner IP header  Refers to an encapsulated IP header when an IP
                    packet is encapsulated

   Outer packet     Refers to an encapsulating packet

   Inner packet     Refers to a packet that is encapsulated

   TMCE             A traffic-managed controlled environment, i.e., an
                    IP network that is traffic-engineered and/or
                    otherwise managed

1.3. Requirements Language

   The key words "MUST", "MUST NOT", "REQUIRED", "SHALL", "SHALL NOT",
   document are to be interpreted as described in [RFC2119].

2. Base packet format

   A GUE packet is comprised of a UDP packet whose payload is a GUE
   header followed by a payload which is either an encapsulated packet
   of some IP protocol or a control message such as an OAM (Operations,
   Administration, and Management) message. A GUE packet has the general

   |                               |
   |        UDP/IP header          |
   |                               |
   |                               |
   |         GUE Header            |
   |                               |
   |                               |
   |      Encapsulated packet      |
   |      or control message       |
   |                               |

   The GUE header is variable length as determined by the presence of
   optional extension fields.

2.1. GUE variant

   The first two bits of the GUE header contain the GUE protocol variant
   number. The variant number can indicate the version of the GUE
   protocol as well as alternate forms of a version.

   Variants 0 and 1 are described in this specification; variants 2 and
   3 are reserved.

3. Variant 0

   Variant 0 indicates version 0 of GUE. This variant defines a generic
   extensible format to encapsulate packets by Internet protocol number.

3.1. Header format

   The header format for variant 0 of GUE in UDP is:

    0                   1                   2                   3
    0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 0 1
   |        Source port            |      Destination port         | |
   +-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+ UDP
   |           Length              |          Checksum             | |
   | 0 |C|   Hlen  |  Proto/ctype  |             Flags             |\
   +-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+ |
   |                                                               | GUE
   ~                  Extensions Fields (optional)                 ~ |
   |                                                               | |

   The contents of the UDP header are:

      o Source port: If connection semantics (section 5.6.1) are applied
        to an encapsulation, this is set to the local source port for
        the connection. When connection semantics are not applied, the
        source port is either set to a flow entropy value, as described
        in section 5.11, or is set to the GUE assigned port number,

      o Destination port: If connection semantics (section 5.6.1) are
        applied to an encapsulation, this is set to the destination port
        for the tuple. If connection semantics are not applied then the
        destination port is set to the GUE assigned port number, 6080.

      o Length: Canonical length of the UDP packet (length of UDP header
        and payload).

      o Checksum: Standard UDP checksum (handling is described in
        section 5.8).

   The GUE header consists of:

      o Variant: 0 indicates GUE protocol version 0 with a header.

      o C: C-bit: When set indicates a control message. When not set
        indicates a data message.

      o Hlen: Length in 32-bit words of the GUE header, including
        optional extension fields but not the first four bytes of the
        header. Computed as (header_len - 4) / 4, where header_len is
        the total header length in bytes. All GUE headers are a multiple
        of four bytes in length. Maximum header length is 128 bytes.

      o Proto/ctype: When the C-bit is set, this field contains a
        control message type for the payload (section 3.2.2). When the
        C-bit is not set, the field holds the Internet protocol number
        for the encapsulated packet in the payload (section 3.2.1). The
        control message or encapsulated packet begins at the offset
        provided by Hlen.

      o Flags: Header flags that may be allocated for various purposes
        and may indicate the presence of extension fields. Undefined
        header flag bits MUST be set to zero on transmission.

      o Extension Fields: Optional fields whose presence is indicated by
        corresponding flags.

3.2. Proto/ctype field

   The proto/ctype fields either contains an Internet protocol number
   (when the C-bit is not set) or GUE control message type (when the C-
   bit is set).

3.2.1. Proto field

   When the C-bit is not set, the proto/ctype field MUST contain an IANA
   Internet Protocol Number [IANA-PN]. The protocol number is
   interpreted relative to the IP protocol that encapsulates the UDP
   packet (i.e. protocol of the outer IP header). The protocol number
   serves as an indication of the type of the next protocol header which
   is contained in the GUE payload at the offset indicated in Hlen.

   IP protocol number 59 ("No next header") can be set to indicate that
   the GUE payload does not begin with the header of an IP protocol.
   This would be the case, for instance, if the GUE payload were a
   fragment when performing GUE level fragmentation. The interpretation
   of the payload is performed through other means such as flags and
   extension fields, and nodes MUST NOT parse packets based on the IP
   protocol number in this case.

3.2.2. Ctype field

   When the C-bit is set, the proto/ctype field MUST be set to a valid
   control message type. A value of zero Control messages will be defined in an IANA
   registry. Type 0 and type 255 are specified in this document, type 1
   through 254 are reserved and may be defined in standards.

   Type 0 indicates that the GUE payload
   requires further interpretation to deduce the is a control type. message, or part
   of a control message that cannot be correctly parsed or interpreted
   without additional context. This might be the case when the payload
   is a fragment of a control message, where only the reassembled packet
   can be interpreted as a control message.

   Control messages will be defined in an IANA registry. Control message
   types 1 through 127 may be defined in standards. Types 128 through

   Type 255 are is reserved to be user defined for experimentation.

   This document does not specify any standard When this control message types
   other than type 0. Type 0 indicates that is
   set the first four bytes of the GUE payload (control message) are an
   experiment identifier (ExId). The ExID is used to differentiate
   experiments (similar to the experimental identifier defined for TCP
   options in [RFC6994]). A control message of type 255 MUST include an

   The format of a GUE control
   message, or message with the experimental control
   message type is:

    0                   1                   2                   3
    0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 0 1
   |        Source port            |      Destination port         | |
   +-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+ UDP
   |           Length              |          Checksum             | |
   | 0 |1|   Hlen  |      255      |             Flags             |\
   +-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+ |
   |                                                               | GUE
   ~                  Extensions Fields (optional)                 ~ |
   |                                                               | |
   |                              ExID                             |
   |                                                               |
   ~                        Control message                        ~
   |                                                               |

   Note that the ExID is not part of a the GUE header, it is in the
   payload. In particular, the ExID is not accounted for in the GUE

   ExIDs are selected at design time, when the protocol designer first
   implements or specifies the experimental control message (as might be message. An ExID is
   thirty-two bits. The value is stored in the case header in GUE
   fragmentation) that cannot network-
   standard (big-endian) byte order.

   ExIDs are registered with IANA using "first come, first served"
   (FCFS) priority. ExIDs MUST be correctly parsed or interpreted without
   additional context. unique.

3.3. Flags and extension fields

   Flags and associated extension fields are the primary mechanism of
   extensibility in GUE. As mentioned in section 3.1, GUE header flags
   indicate the presence of optional extension fields in the GUE header.
   [GUEEXTEN] defines an initial set of GUE extensions.

3.3.1. Requirements

   There are sixteen flag bits in the GUE header. Flags may indicate
   presence of extension fields. The size of an extension field
   indicated by a flag MUST be fixed in the specification of the flag.

   Flags can be grouped together to allow different lengths for an
   extension field. For example, if two flag bits are grouped, a field
   can possibly be three different lengths-- that is bit value of 00
   indicates no field present; 01, 10, and 11 indicate three possible
   lengths for the field. Regardless of how flag bits are grouped, the
   lengths and offsets of extension fields corresponding to a set of
   flags MUST be well defined and deterministic.

   Extension fields are placed in order of the flags. New flags are to
   be allocated from high to low order bit contiguously without holes.
   Flags allow random access, for instance to inspect the field
   corresponding to the Nth flag bit, an implementation only considers
   the previous N-1 flags to determine the offset. Flags after the Nth
   flag are not pertinent in calculating the offset of the field for the
   Nth flag. Random access of flags and fields permits processing of
   optional extensions in an order that is independent of their position
   in the packet.

   Flags (or grouped flags) are idempotent such that new flags MUST NOT
   cause reinterpretation of old flags. Also, new flags MUST NOT alter
   interpretation of other elements in the GUE header nor how the
   message is parsed (for instance, in a data message the proto/ctype
   field always holds an IP protocol number as an invariant).

   The set of available flags can be extended in the future by defining
   a "flag extensions bit" that refers to a field containing a new set
   of flags.

3.3.2. Example GUE header with extension fields

   An example GUE header for a data message encapsulating an IPv4 packet
   and containing the Group Identifier and Security extension fields
   (both defined in [GUEEXTEN]) is shown below:

    0                   1                   2                   3
    0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 0 1
   | 0 |0|    3    |       4       |1|0 0 1|          0            |
   |                        Group Identifier                       |
   |                                                               |
   +                           Security                            +
   |                                                               |

   In the above example, the first flag bit is set which indicates that
   the Group Identifier extension is present which is a 32 bit field.
   The second through fourth bits of the flags are grouped flags that
   indicate the presence of a Security field with seven possible sizes.
   In this example 001 indicates a sixty-four bit security field.

3.4. Surplus space

   The length of a GUE header, as indicated in the GUE Hlen field, may
   exceed the space consumed by optional extensions in a packet. The
   space between the end of the last optional field and the end of the
   header is termed the "surplus space".

   Surplus space is reserved per this specification and uses may be
   defined in future specifications. If a node receives a GUE packet
   with non-zero length of surplus space then it MUST NOT attempt to
   interpret the data in the surplus space. For purposes of transforms
   across the header, such as optional integrity check over the header,
   the surplus space is considered to be part of the GUE header and
   would be included in computation.

3.5. Message types

   There are two message types in GUE variant 0: control messages and
   data messages.

3.5.1. Control messages

   Control messages carry formatted data that are implicitly addressed
   to the decapsulator to monitor or control the state or behavior of a
   tunnel (OAM). For instance, an echo request and corresponding echo
   reply message can be defined to test for liveness.

   Control messages are indicated in the GUE header when the C-bit is
   set. The payload is interpreted as a control message with type
   specified in the proto/ctype field. The format and contents of the
   control message are indicated by the type and can be variable length.

   Other than interpreting the proto/ctype field as a control message
   type, the meaning and semantics of the rest of the elements in the
   GUE header are the same as that of data messages. Forwarding and
   routing of control messages should be the same as that of a data
   message with the same outer IP and UDP header; this ensures that
   control messages can be created that follow the same path through the
   network as data messages.

3.5.2. Data messages

   Data messages carry encapsulated packets that are addressed to the
   protocol stack for the associated protocol. Data messages are a
   primary means of encapsulation and can be used to create tunnels for
   overlay networks.

   Data messages are indicated in the GUE header when the C-bit is not
   set. The payload of a data message is interpreted as an encapsulated
   packet of an Internet protocol indicated in the proto/ctype field.
   The encapsulated packet immediately follows the GUE header.

4. Variant 1

   Variant 1 of GUE allows direct encapsulation of IPv4 and IPv6 in UDP.
   In this variant there is no GUE header, a UDP packet carries an IP
   packet. The first two bits of the UDP payload are the GUE variant
   field and coincide with the first two bits of the version number in
   the IP header. The first two version bits of IPv4 and IPv6 are 01, so
   we use GUE variant 1 for direct IP encapsulation which makes the two
   bits of GUE variant to also be 01.

   This technique is effectively a means to compress out the GUE version
   0 header when encapsulating IPv4 or IPv6 packets and there are no
   flags or extension fields. This method is compatible to use on the
   same port number as packets with the GUE header (GUE variant 0
   packets). This technique saves encapsulation overhead on costly links
   for the common use of IP encapsulation, and also obviates the need to
   allocate a separate UDP port number for IP-over-UDP encapsulation.

4.1. Direct encapsulation of IPv4

   The format for encapsulating IPv4 directly in UDP is:

    0                   1                   2                   3
    0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 0 1
   |        Source port            |      Destination port         | |
   +-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+ UDP
   |           Length              |          Checksum             | |
   |0|1|0|0|  IHL  |Type of Service|          Total Length         |
   |         Identification        |Flags|      Fragment Offset    |
   |  Time to Live |   Protocol    |   Header Checksum             |
   |                       Source IPv4 Address                     |
   |                     Destination IPv4 Address                  |

   The UDP fields are set in a similar manner as described in section

   Note that the 0100 value in the first four bits of the UDP payload
   expresses both the GUE variant as 1 (bits 01) and IP version as 4
   (bits 0100).

4.2. Direct encapsulation of IPv6

   The format for encapsulating IPv6 directly in UDP is demonstrated

    0                   1                   2                   3
    0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 0 1
   |        Source port            |      Destination port         | |
   +-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+ UDP
   |           Length              |          Checksum             | |
   |0|1|1|0| Traffic Class |           Flow Label                  |
   |         Payload Length        |     NextHdr   |   Hop Limit   |
   |                                                               |
   +                                                               +
   |                                                               |
   +                        Source IPv6 Address                    +
   |                                                               |
   +                                                               +
   |                                                               |
   |                                                               |
   +                                                               +
   |                                                               |
   +                      Destination IPv6 Address                 +
   |                                                               |
   +                                                               +
   |                                                               |

   The UDP fields are set in a similar manner as described in section

   Note that the 0110 value in the first four bits of the the UDP
   payload expresses both the GUE variant as 1 (bits 01) and IP version
   as 6 (bits 0110).

5. Operation

   The figure below illustrates the use of GUE encapsulation between two
   hosts. Host 1 is sending packets to Host 2. An encapsulator performs
   encapsulation of packets from Host 1. These encapsulated packets
   traverse the network as UDP packets. At the decapsulator, packets are
   decapsulated and sent on to Host 2. Packet flow in the reverse
   direction need not be symmetric; for example, the reverse path might
   not use GUE or any other form of encapsulation.

   +---------------+                       +---------------+
   |               |                       |               |
   |    Host 1     |                       |     Host 2    |
   |               |                       |               |
   +---------------+                       +---------------+
          |                                        ^
          V                                        |
   +---------------+   +---------------+   +---------------+
   |               |   |               |   |               |
   | Encapsulator  |-->|    Layer 3    |-->| Decapsulator  |
   |               |   |    Network    |   |               |
   +---------------+   +---------------+   +---------------+

   The encapsulator and decapsulator may be co-resident with the
   corresponding hosts, or may be on separate nodes in the network.

5.1. Network tunnel encapsulation

   Network tunneling can be achieved by encapsulating layer 2 or layer 3
   packets. In this case, the encapsulator and decapsulator nodes are
   the tunnel endpoints. These could be routers that provide network
   tunnels on behalf of communicating hosts.

5.2. Transport layer encapsulation

   When encapsulating layer 4 packets, the encapsulator and decapsulator
   should be co-resident with the hosts. In this case, the encapsulation
   headers are inserted between the IP header and the transport packet.
   The addresses in the IP header refer to both the endpoints of the
   encapsulation and the endpoints for terminating the encapsulated
   transport protocol. Note that the transport layer ports in the
   encapsulated packet are independent of the UDP ports in the outer

5.3. Encapsulator operation

   Encapsulators create GUE data messages, set the fields of the UDP
   header, set flags and optional extension fields in the GUE header,
   and forward packets to a decapsulator.

   An encapsulator can be an end host originating the packets of a flow,
   or can be a network device performing encapsulation on behalf of
   hosts (routers implementing tunnels for instance). In either case,
   the intended target (decapsulator) is indicated by the outer
   destination IP address and destination port in the UDP header.

   If an encapsulator is tunneling packets, that is encapsulating
   packets of layer 2 or layer 3 protocols (e.g. EtherIP, IPIP, ESP
   tunnel mode), it SHOULD follow standard conventions for tunneling one
   protocol over another. For instance, if an IP packet is being
   encapsulated in GUE then diffserv interaction [RFC2983] and ECN
   propagation for tunnels [RFC6040] SHOULD be followed.

5.4. Decapsulator operation

   A decapsulator performs decapsulation of GUE packets. A decapsulator
   is addressed by the outer destination IP address and UDP destination
   port of a GUE packet. The decapsulator validates packets, including
   fields of the GUE header.

   If a decapsulator receives a GUE packet with an unsupported variant,
   unknown flag, bad header length (too small for included extension
   fields), unknown control message type, bad protocol number, an
   unsupported payload type, or an otherwise malformed header, it MUST
   drop the packet. Such events MAY be logged subject to configuration
   and rate limiting of logging messages. Note that set flags in a GUE
   header that are unknown to a decapsulator MUST NOT be ignored. If a
   GUE packet is received by a decapsulator with unknown flags, the
   packet MUST be dropped.

5.4.1. Processing a received data message

   If a valid data message is received, the UDP header and GUE header
   are (logically) removed from the packet. The outer IP header remains
   intact and the next protocol in the IP header is set to the protocol
   from the proto field in the GUE header. The resulting packet is then
   resubmitted into the protocol stack to process the packet as though
   it was received with the protocol indicated in the GUE header.

   As an example, consider that a data message is received where GUE
   encapsulates an IPv4 packet using GUE variant 0. In this case proto
   field in the GUE header is set to 4 for IPv4 encapsulation:

   |   IP header (next proto = 17,UDP)   |
   |                  UDP                |
   |  GUE (proto = 4,IPv4 encapsulation) |
   |        IPv4 header and packet       |

   The receiver removes the UDP and GUE headers and sets the next
   protocol field in the IP packet to 4, which is derived from the GUE
   proto field. The resultant packet would have the format:

   |   IP header (next proto = 4,IPv4)   |
   |        IPv4 header and packet       |

   This packet is then resubmitted into the protocol stack to be
   processed as an IPv4 encapsulated packet.

5.4.2. Processing a received control message

   If a valid control message is received, the packet MUST be processed
   as a control message. The specific processing to be performed depends
   on the value in the ctype field of the GUE header.

   If an experimental control message is received (ctype is 255) then
   the ExID MUST be processed. The ExID is used to identify the
   particular experimental control message.

   If a receiver does not recognize a control message type, or an
   experimental identifier in an experimental control message, then the
   packet MUST be dropped and and error message MAY be logged. If a GUE
   control message is received with control type 255 and the length of
   the GUE payload is less than four, the size of the ExId, then the
   packet MUST be dropped and an error message MAY be logged.

5.5. Middlebox inspection

   A middlebox MAY inspect a GUE header. A middlebox MUST NOT modify a
   GUE header or UDP payload.

   To inspect a GUE header, a middlebox needs to identify GUE packets.
   The obvious method is to match the destination UDP port number to be
   the GUE port number (i.e. 6080). Per [RFC7605], transport port
   numbers only have meaning at the endpoints of communications, so
   inferring the type of a UDP payload based on port number may be
   incorrect. Middleboxes MUST NOT take any action that would have
   harmful side effects if a UDP packet were misinterpreted as being a
   GUE packet. In particular, a middlebox MUST NOT modify a UDP payload
   based on inferring the payload type from the port number lest the
   middlebox could cause silent data corruption.

   A middlebox MAY interpret some flags and extension fields of the GUE
   header for classification purposes, but is not required to understand
   any of the flags or extension fields in GUE packets. A middlebox MUST
   NOT drop a GUE packet merely because there are flags unknown to it.
   Similarly, a middlebox MUST NOT arbitrarily filter packets based on
   GUE flags or extension fields that are present or not present. The
   header length in the GUE header allows a middlebox to inspect the
   payload packet without needing to parse the flags or extension

5.6. Router and switch operation

   Routers and switches SHOULD forward GUE packets as standard UDP/IP
   packets. The outer five-tuple should contain sufficient information
   to perform flow classification corresponding to the flow of the inner
   packet. A router does not normally need to parse a GUE header, and
   none of the flags or extension fields in the GUE header are expected
   to affect routing. In cases where the outer five-tuple does not
   provide sufficient entropy for flow classification, for instance UDP
   ports are fixed to provide connection semantics (section 5.6.1), then
   the encapsulated packet MAY be parsed to determine flow entropy.

   A router MUST NOT modify a GUE header or payload when forwarding a
   packet. It MAY encapsulate a GUE packet in another GUE packet, for
   instance to implement a network tunnel (i.e. by encapsulating an IP
   packet with a GUE payload in another IP packet as a GUE payload). In
   this case, the router takes the role of an encapsulator, and the
   corresponding decapsulator is the logical endpoint of the tunnel.
   When encapsulating a GUE packet within another GUE packet, there are
   no provisions to automatically copy flags or fields to the outer GUE
   header. Each layer of encapsulation is considered independent.

5.6.1. Connection semantics

   A middlebox might infer bidirectional connection semantics for a UDP
   flow. For instance, a stateful firewall might create a five-tuple
   rule to match flows on egress, and a corresponding five-tuple rule
   for matching ingress packets where the roles of source and
   destination are reversed for the IP addresses and UDP port numbers.
   To operate in this environment, a GUE tunnel should be configured to
   assume connected semantics defined by the UDP five tuple and the use
   of GUE encapsulation needs to be symmetric between both endpoints.
   The source port set in the UDP header MUST be the destination port
   the peer would set for replies. In this case, the UDP source port for
   a tunnel would be a fixed value and not set to be flow entropy.

   The selection of whether to make the UDP source port fixed or set to
   a flow entropy value for each packet sent SHOULD be configurable for
   a tunnel. The default MUST be to set the flow entropy value in the
   UDP source port.

5.6.2. NAT

   IP address and port translation can be performed on the UDP/IP
   headers adhering to the requirements for NAT (Network Address
   Translation) with UDP [RFC4787]. In the case of stateful NAT,
   connection semantics MUST be applied to a GUE tunnel as described in
   section 5.6.1. GUE endpoints MAY also invoke STUN [RFC5389] or ICE
   [RFC5245] to manage NAT port mappings for encapsulations.

5.7. MTU and fragmentation

   Standard conventions for handling of MTU (Maximum Transmission Unit)
   and fragmentation in conjunction with networking tunnels
   (encapsulation of layer 2 or layer 3 packets) SHOULD be followed.
   Details are described in MTU and Fragmentation Issues with In-the-
   Network Tunneling [RFC4459].

   If a packet is fragmented before encapsulation in GUE, all the
   related fragments MUST be encapsulated using the same UDP source
   port. An operator SHOULD set MTU to account for encapsulation
   overhead and reduce the likelihood of fragmentation.

   Alternative to IP fragmentation, the GUE fragmentation extension can
   be used. GUE fragmentation is described in [GUEEXTEN].

5.8. UDP Checksum Handling

5.8.1. UDP Checksum with IPv4

   For UDP in IPv4, when a non-zero UDP checksum is used, the UDP
   checksum MUST be processed as specified in [RFC0768] and [RFC1122]
   for both transmit and receive. The IPv4 header includes a checksum
   that protects against misdelivery of the packet due to corruption of
   IP addresses. The UDP checksum potentially provides protection
   against corruption of the UDP header, GUE header, and GUE payload.
   Disabling the use of checksums is a deployment consideration that
   should take into account the risk and effects of packet corruption.

   When a decapsulator receives a packet, the UDP checksum field MUST be
   processed. If the UDP checksum is non-zero, the decapsulator MUST
   verify the checksum before accepting the packet. By default, a
   decapsulator SHOULD accept UDP packets with a zero checksum.  A node
   MAY be configured to disallow zero checksums per [RFC1122]; this may
   be done selectively, for instance by disallowing zero checksums from
   certain hosts that are known to be sending over paths subject to
   packet corruption. If verification of a non-zero checksum fails, a
   decapsulator lacks the capability to verify a non-zero checksum, or a
   packet with a zero checksum was received and the decapsulator is
   configured to disallow, the packet MUST be dropped and an event MAY
   be logged.

5.8.2. UDP Checksum with IPv6

   For UDP in IPv6, the UDP checksum MUST be processed as specified in
   [RFC0768] and [RFC2460] for both transmit and receive.

   When UDP is used over IPv6, the UDP checksum is relied upon to
   protect both the IPv6 and UDP headers from corruption. As such, by
   default a GUE encapsulator MUST use UDP checksums.

   [GUEEXTEN] specifies a GUE checksum option that includes a pseudo
   header containing the IP addresses. An encapsulator MAY use zero-UDP
   checksums if it uses the GUE checksum. A non-zero UDP checksum and
   the GUE checksum SHOULD NOT be used simultaneously in a packet since
   that would be redundant.

   When deployed in a TMCE, a GUE encapsulator MAY be configured to use
   UDP zero-checksum mode and no GUE checksum if the traffic-managed
   controlled environment or a set of closely cooperating traffic-
   managed controlled environments (such as by network operators who
   have agreed to work together in order to jointly provide specific
   services) meet at least one of the following conditions:

      a. It is known (perhaps through knowledge of equipment types and
         lower-layer checks) that packet corruption is exceptionally
         unlikely and where the operator is willing to take the risk of
         undetected packet corruption.

      b. It is judged through observational measurements (perhaps of
         historic or current traffic flows that use a non-zero checksum)
         that the level of packet corruption is tolerably low and where
         the operator is willing to take the risk of undetected packet

      c. Carrying applications that are tolerant of misdelivered or
         corrupted packets (perhaps through higher-layer checksum,
         validation, and retransmission or transmission redundancy)
         where the operator is willing to rely on the applications using
         GUE to survive any corrupt packets.

   The following requirements apply to encapsulators deployed in a TMCE
   environment that use UDP zero-checksum mode:

      a. Use of the UDP checksum with IPv6 MUST be the default
         configuration for all communications.

      b. The GUE implementation MUST comply with all requirements
         specified in Section 4 of [RFC6936] and with requirement 1
         specified in Section 5 of [RFC6936].

      c. A decapsulator SHOULD only allow the use of UDP zero-checksum
         mode for IPv6 on a single received UDP Destination Port,
         regardless of the encapsulator. The motivation for this
         requirement is possible corruption of the UDP Destination Port,
         which may cause packet delivery to the wrong UDP port. If that
         other UDP port requires the UDP checksum, the misdelivered
         packet will be discarded.

      d. It is RECOMMENDED that the UDP zero-checksum mode for IPv6 is
         only enabled for certain selected source addresses. The
         decapsulator MUST check that the source and destination IPv6
         addresses in a received packets are permitted by configuration
         to use UDP zero-checksum mode and discard any packet for which
         this check fails.

      e. The tunnel encapsulator SHOULD use different IPv6 addresses for
         each GUE communication (tunnel or transport flow) that uses UDP
         zero-checksum mode, regardless of the decapsulator, in order to
         strengthen the decapsulator's check of the IPv6 source address
         (i.e., the same IPv6 source address SHOULD NOT be used with
         more than one IPv6 destination address, independent of whether
         that destination address is a unicast or multicast address).
         When this is not possible, it is RECOMMENDED to use each source
         IPv6 address for as few GUE communications that use UDP zero-
         checksum mode as is feasible.

      f. When any middlebox exists on the path of GUE communication, it
         is RECOMMENDED to use the default mode, i.e., use UDP checksum,
         to reduce the chance that the encapsulated packets will be

      g. Any middlebox that allows the UDP zero-checksum mode for IPv6
         MUST comply with requirements 1 and 8-10 in Section 5 of

      h. Measures SHOULD be taken to prevent IPv6 traffic with zero UDP
         checksums from "escaping" to the general Internet; see Section
         5.9 for examples of such measures.

      i. IPv6 traffic with zero UDP checksums MUST be actively monitored
         for errors by the network operator. For example, the operator
         may monitor Ethernet-layer packet error rates.

      j. If a packet with a non-zero checksum is received, the checksum
         MUST be verified before accepting the packet. This is
         regardless of whether the tunnel encapsulator and decapsulator
         have been configured with UDP zero-checksum mode.

   The above requirements do not change either the requirements
   specified in [RFC8200] as modified by [RFC6935] or the requirements
   specified in [RFC6936].

   The requirement to check the source IPv6 address in addition to the
   destination IPv6 address and the strong recommendation against reuse
   of source IPv6 addresses among GUE communications collectively
   provide some mitigation for the absence of UDP checksum coverage of
   the IPv6 header. A traffic-managed controlled environment that
   satisfies at least one of three conditions listed at the beginning of
   this section provides additional assurance.

   GUE packets are suitable for transmission over lower layers in the
   traffic-managed controlled environments that are allowed by the
   exceptions stated above, and the rate of corruption of the inner IP
   packet on such networks is not expected to increase by comparison to
   traffic that is not encapsulated in UDP. For these reasons, GUE does
   not provide an additional integrity check except when GUE checksum
   [GUEEXTEN] is used when UDP zero-checksum mode is used with IPv6, and
   this design is in accordance with requirements 2, 3, and 5 specified
   in Section 5 of [RFC6936].

   Generic UDP Encapsulation does not accumulate incorrect transport-
   layer state as a consequence of GUE header corruption. A corrupt GUE
   packet may result in either packet discard or packet forwarding
   without accumulation of GUE state. Active monitoring of GUE traffic
   for errors is REQUIRED, as the occurrence of errors will result in
   some accumulation of error information outside the protocol for
   operational and management purposes. This design is in accordance
   with requirement 4 specified in Section 5 of [RFC6936].

   The remaining requirements specified in Section 5 of [RFC6936] are
   not applicable to GUE. Requirements 6 and 7 do not apply because GUE
   does not include a control feedback mechanism. Requirements 8-10 are
   middlebox requirements that do not apply to GUE tunnel endpoints.

   (See Section 5.5 for further middlebox discussion.)

   In summary, a TMCE GUE tunnel is allowed to use UDP zero- checksum
   mode for IPv6 when the conditions and requirements stated above are
   met. Otherwise, the UDP checksum needs to be used for IPv6 as
   specified in [RFC768] and [RFC8200]. Use of GUE checksum is
   RECOMMENDED when the UDP checksum is not used.

5.9. Congestion Considerations

   This section describes congestion considerations for GUE tunnels
   (Layer 2 and Layer 3 encapsulation) and transport layer encapsulation
   (Layer 4 protocol over GUE).

5.9.1. GUE tunnels

   Section 3.1.9 of [RFC8085] discusses the congestion considerations
   for design and use of UDP tunnels; this is important because other
   flows could share the path with one or more UDP tunnels,
   necessitating congestion control [RFC2914] to avoid destructive

   Congestion has potential impacts both on the rest of the network
   containing a UDP tunnel and on the traffic flows using the UDP
   tunnels. These impacts depend upon what sort of traffic is carried
   over the tunnel, as well as the path of the tunnel. The GUE protocol
   does not provide any congestion control and GUE UDP packets are
   regular UDP packets. Therefore, a GUE tunnel MUST NOT be deployed to
   carry non-congestion-controlled traffic over the Internet [RFC8085].

   Within a TMCE network, GUE tunnels are appropriate for carrying
   traffic that is not known to be congestion controlled. For example, a
   GUE tunnel may be used to carry Multiprotocol Label Switching (MPLS)
   traffic such as pseudowires or VPNs where specific bandwidth
   guarantees are provided to each pseudowire or VPN. In such cases,
   operators of TMCE networks avoid congestion by careful provisioning
   of their networks, rate-limiting of user data traffic, and traffic
   engineering according to path capacity.

   When a GUE tunnel carries traffic that is not known to be congestion
   controlled in a TMCE network, the tunnel MUST be deployed entirely
   within that network, and measures SHOULD be taken to prevent the GUE
   traffic from "escaping" the network to the general Internet. Examples
   of such measures are:

      o physical or logical isolation of the links carrying GUE from the
        general Internet,

      o deployment of packet filters that block the UDP ports assigned
        for GUE, and

      o imposition of restrictions on GUE traffic by software tools used
        to set up GUE tunnels between specific end systems (as might be
        used within a single data center) or by tunnel ingress nodes for
        tunnels that don't terminate at end systems.

5.9.2 Transport layer encapsulation

   If GUE encapsulates a transport layer protocol, such as TCP, it is
   expected that the transport layer or application layer properly
   implements congestion control or avoidance. In the case that UDP is
   encapsulated, the application is expected to provide congestion
   control as specified in [RFC8085].

5.10. Multicast

   GUE packets can be multicast to decapsulators using a multicast
   destination address in the outer IP header. Each receiving host will
   decapsulate the packet independently following normal decapsulator
   operations. The receiving decapsulators need to agree on the same set
   of GUE parameters and properties; how such an agreement is reached is
   outside the scope of this document.

   GUE allows encapsulation of unicast, broadcast, or multicast traffic.
   Flow entropy (the value in the UDP source port) can be generated from
   the header of encapsulated unicast or broadcast/multicast packets at
   an encapsulator. The mapping mechanism between the encapsulated
   multicast traffic and the multicast capability in the IP network is
   transparent and independent of the encapsulation and is otherwise
   outside the scope of this document.

5.11. Flow entropy for ECMP

   A major objective of using GUE is that a network device can perform
   flow classification corresponding to the flow of the inner
   encapsulated packet based on the contents of the outer headers.

5.11.1. Flow classification

   When a packet is encapsulated with GUE and connection semantics are
   not applied, the source port in the outer UDP packet is set to a flow
   entropy value that corresponds to the flow of the inner packet. When
   a device computes a five-tuple hash on the outer UDP/IP header of a
   GUE packet, the resultant value classifies the packet per its inner

   Examples of deriving flow entropy for encapsulation are:

      o If the encapsulated packet is a layer 4 packet, TCP/IPv4 for
        instance, the flow entropy could be based on the canonical five-
        tuple hash of the inner packet.

      o If the encapsulated packet is an AH transport mode packet with
        TCP as next header, the flow entropy could be a hash over a
        three-tuple: TCP protocol and TCP ports of the encapsulated

      o If a node is encrypting a packet using ESP tunnel mode and GUE
        encapsulation, the flow entropy could be based on the contents
        of the clear-text packet. For instance, a canonical five-tuple
        hash for a TCP/IP packet could be used.

   [RFC6438] discusses methods to compute and set flow entropy value for
   IPv6 flow labels, such methods can also be used to create flow
   entropy values for GUE.

5.11.2. Flow entropy properties

   The flow entropy is the value set in the UDP source port of a GUE
   packet. Flow entropy in the UDP source port SHOULD adhere to the
   following properties:

      o The value set in the source port is within the ephemeral port
        range (49152 to 65535 [RFC6335]). Since the high order two bits
        of the port are set to one, this provides fourteen bits of
        entropy for the value.

      o The flow entropy has a uniform distribution across encapsulated

      o An encapsulator MAY occasionally change the flow entropy used
        for an inner flow per its discretion (for security, route
        selection, etc). To avoid thrashing or flapping the value, the
        flow entropy used for a flow SHOULD NOT change more than once
        every thirty seconds (or a configurable value).

      o Decapsulators, or any networking devices, SHOULD NOT attempt to
        interpret flow entropy as anything more than an opaque value.
        Neither should they attempt to reproduce the hash calculation
        used by an encapasulator in creating a flow entropy value. They
        MAY use the value to match further receive packets for steering
        decisions, but MUST NOT assume that the hash uniquely or
        permanently identifies a flow.

      o Input to the flow entropy calculation is not restricted to ports
        and addresses; input could include the flow label from an IPv6
        packet, SPI from an ESP packet, or other flow related state in
        the encapsulator that is not necessarily conveyed in the packet.

      o The assignment function for flow entropy SHOULD be randomly
        seeded to mitigate denial of service attacks. The seed SHOULD be
        changed periodically.

5.12. Negotiation of acceptable flags and extension fields

   An encapsulator and decapsulator need to achieve agreement about GUE
   parameters that will be used in communications. Parameters include
   supported GUE variants, flags and extension fields that can be used,
   security algorithms and keys, supported protocols and control
   messages, etc. This document proposes different general methods to
   accomplish this, however the details of implementing these are
   considered out of scope.

   General methods for this are:

      o Configuration. The parameters used for a tunnel are configured
        at each endpoint.

      o Negotiation. A tunnel negotiation can be performed. This could
        be accomplished in-band of GUE using control messages.

      o Via a control plane. Parameters for communicating with a tunnel
        endpoint can be set in a control plane protocol (such as that
        needed for network virtualization).

      o Via security negotiation. Use of security typically implies a
        key exchange between endpoints. Other GUE parameters may be
        conveyed as part of that process.

6. Motivation for GUE

   This section provides the motivation for GUE with respect to other
   encapsulation methods.

6.1. Benefits of GUE

      * GUE is a generic encapsulation protocol. GUE can encapsulate
        protocols that are represented by an IP protocol number. This
        includes layer 2, layer 3, and layer 4 protocols.

      * GUE is an extensible encapsulation protocol. Standardized
        optional data such as security, virtual networking identifiers,
        fragmentation are defined.

      * For extensibility, GUE uses flag fields as opposed to TLVs as
        some other encapsulation protocols do. Flag fields are strictly
        ordered, allow random access, and are efficient in use of header

      * GUE allows sending of control messages such as OAM using the
        same GUE header format (for routing purposes) as normal data

      * GUE maximizes deliverability of non-UDP and non-TCP protocols.

      * GUE provides a means for exposing per flow entropy for ECMP for
        IP atypical protocols such as SCTP, DCCP, ESP, etc.

6.2. Comparison of GUE to other encapsulations

   A number of different encapsulation techniques have been proposed for
   the encapsulation of one protocol over another. EtherIP [RFC3378]
   provides layer 2 tunneling of Ethernet frames over IP. GRE [RFC2784],
   MPLS [RFC4023], and L2TP [RFC2661] provide methods for tunneling
   layer 2 and layer 3 packets over IP. NVGRE [RFC7637] and VXLAN
   [RFC7348] are proposals for encapsulation of layer 2 packets for
   network virtualization. IPIP [RFC2003] and Generic packet tunneling
   in IPv6 [RFC2473] provide methods for tunneling IP packets over IP.

   Several proposals exist for encapsulating packets over UDP including
   ESP over UDP [RFC3948], TCP directly over UDP [TCPUDP], VXLAN
   [RFC7348], LISP [RFC6830] which encapsulates layer 3 packets,
   MPLS/UDP [RFC7510], GENEVE [GENEVE], and GRE-in-UDP Encapsulation

   GUE has the following discriminating features:

      o UDP encapsulation leverages specialized network device
        processing for efficient transport. The semantics for using the
        UDP source port for flow entropy as input to ECMP are defined in
        section 5.11.

      o GUE permits encapsulation of arbitrary IP protocols, which
        includes layer 2, 3, and 4 protocols.

      o Multiple protocols can be multiplexed over a single UDP port
        number. This is in contrast to techniques to encapsulate
        protocols over UDP using a protocol specific port number (such
        as ESP/UDP, GRE/UDP, SCTP/UDP). GUE provides a uniform and
        extensible mechanism for encapsulating all IP protocols in UDP
        with minimal overhead (four bytes of additional header).

      o GUE is extensible. New flags and extension fields can be

      o The GUE header includes a header length field. This allows a
        network node to inspect an encapsulated packet without needing
        to parse the full encapsulation header.

      o GUE includes both data messages (encapsulation of packets) and
        control messages (such as OAM).

      o The flags-field model facilitates efficient implementation of
        extensibility in hardware. For instance, a TCAM can be used to
        parse a known set of N flags where the number of entries in the
        TCAM is 2^N. By comparison, the number of TCAM entries needed to
        parse a set of N arbitrarily ordered TLVs is approximately e*N!.

      o GUE includes a variant that encapsulates IPv4 and IPv6 packets
        directly within UDP.

7. Security Considerations

   There are two important considerations of security with respect to

      o Authentication and integrity of the GUE header.

      o Authentication, integrity, and confidentiality of the GUE

   GUE security is provided by extensions for security defined in
   [GUEEXTEN]. These extensions include methods to authenticate the GUE
   header and encrypt the GUE payload.

   The GUE header can be authenticated using a security extension for an
   HMAC (Hashed Message Authentication Code). Securing the GUE payload
   can be accomplished by use of the GUE Payload Transform extension.
   This extension allows the use of DTLS (Datagram Transport Layer
   Security) to encrypt and authenticate the GUE payload.

   A hash function for computing flow entropy (section 5.11) SHOULD be
   randomly seeded to mitigate some possible denial service attacks.

8. IANA Considerations

8.1. UDP source port

   A user UDP port number assignment for GUE has been assigned:

          Service Name: gue
          Transport Protocol(s): UDP
          Assignee: Tom Herbert <>
          Contact: Tom Herbert <>
          Description: Generic UDP Encapsulation
          Reference: draft-herbert-gue
          Port Number: 6080
          Service Code: N/A
          Known Unauthorized Uses: N/A
          Assignment Notes: N/A

8.2. GUE variant number

   IANA is requested to set up a registry for the GUE variant number.
   The GUE variant number is two bits containing four possible values.
   This document defines variants 0 and 1. New values are assigned in
   accordance with RFC Required policy [RFC5226].

      | Variant number | Description    | Reference     |
      | 0              | GUE Version 0  | This document |
      |                | with header    |               |
      |                |                |               |
      | 1              | GUE Version 0  | This document |
      |                | with direct IP |               |
      |                | encapsulation  |               |
      |                |                |               |
      | 2..3           | Unassigned     |               |

8.3. Control types

   IANA is requested to set up a registry for the GUE control types.
   Control types are 8 bit values.  New values for control types 1-127
   are assigned in accordance with RFC Required policy [RFC5226].

      |  Control type  | Description      | Reference     |
      | 0              | Control payload  | This document |
      |                | needs more       |               |
      |                | context for      |               |
      |                | interpretation   |               |
      |                |                  |               |
      | 1..127 1..254         | Unassigned       |               |
      |                |                  |               |
      | 128..255 255            | Experimental     | This document |

8.4 Control Type Experimental Identifiers

   IANA is requested to create a "GUE Control Type Experimental
   Identifiers (GUE Control ExIDs)" registry. The registry records 32-
   bit ExIDs, as well as a reference (description, document pointer,
   assignee name, and e-mail contact) for each entry.

   Entries are assigned on a First Come, First Served (FCFS) basis
   [RFC5226]. The registry operates FCFS on the entire ExID (in network-
   standard order).

   IANA will advise applicants of duplicate entries to select an
   alternate value, as per typical FCFS processing.

   IANA will record known duplicate uses to assist the community in both
   debugging assigned uses as well as correcting unauthorized duplicate

   IANA should impose no requirements on making a registration other
   than indicating the desired codepoint and providing a point of
   contact. A short description or acronym for the use is desired but
   should not be required.

   Initial assignments are:

     |      ExI D     | Description    | Reference     |
     | 1..x0ffffffff  | Unassigned     |               |

9. Acknowledgements

   The authors would like to thank David Liu, Erik Nordmark, Fred
   Templin, Adrian Farrel, Bob Briscoe, Murray Kucherawy, Mirja
   Kuhlewind, and David Black Black, Joe Touch, and Greg Mirsky for valuable input
   on this draft. Special thanks to Fred Templin who is serving as
   document shepherd.

10. References

10.1. Normative References

   [RFC2119]  Bradner, S., "Key words for use in RFCs to Indicate
              Requirement Levels", BCP 14, RFC 2119, DOI
              10.17487/RFC2119, March 1997, <https://www.rfc-

   [RFC0768]  Postel, J., "User Datagram Protocol", STD 6, RFC 768, DOI
              10.17487/RFC0768, August 1980, <http://www.rfc-

   [RFC8085]  Eggert, L., Fairhurst, G., and G. Shepherd, "UDP Usage
              Guidelines", BCP 145, RFC 8085, DOI 10.17487/RFC8085,
              March 2017, <>.

   [RFC2119]  Bradner, S., "Key words for use in RFCs to Indicate
              Requirement Levels", BCP 14, RFC 2119, DOI
              10.17487/RFC2119, March 1997, <https://www.rfc-

   [RFC2983]  Black, D., "Differentiated Services and Tunnels", RFC
              2983, DOI 10.17487/RFC2983, October 2000, <http://www.rfc-

   [RFC6040]  Briscoe, B., "Tunnelling of Explicit Congestion
              Notification", RFC 6040, DOI 10.17487/RFC6040, November
              2010, <>.

   [RFC6935]  Eubanks, M., Chimento, P., and M. Westerlund, "IPv6 and
              UDP Checksums for Tunneled Packets", RFC 6935, DOI
              10.17487/RFC6935, April 2013, <http://www.rfc-

   [RFC6936]  Fairhurst, G. and M. Westerlund, "Applicability Statement
              for the Use of IPv6 UDP Datagrams with Zero Checksums",
              RFC 6936, DOI 10.17487/RFC6936, April 2013,

   [RFC1122]  Braden, R., Ed., "Requirements for Internet Hosts -
              Communication Layers", STD 3, RFC 1122, DOI
              10.17487/RFC1122, October 1989, <http://www.rfc-

   [RFC4459]  Savola, P., "MTU and Fragmentation Issues with In-the-
              Network Tunneling", RFC 4459, DOI 10.17487/RFC4459, April
              2006, <>.

   [RFC6335]  Cotton, M., Eggert, L., Touch, J., Westerlund, M., and S.
              Cheshire, "Internet Assigned Numbers Authority (IANA)
              Procedures for the Management of the Service Name and
              Transport Protocol Port Number Registry", BCP 165, RFC
              6335, DOI 10.17487/RFC6335, August 2011, <https://www.rfc-

   [RFC5226]  Narten, T. and H. Alvestrand, "Guidelines for Writing an
              IANA Considerations Section in RFCs", RFC 5226, DOI
              10.17487/RFC5226, May 2008, <https://www.rfc-

10.2. Informative References

   [RFC6994]  Touch, J., "Shared Use of Experimental TCP Options", RFC
              6994, DOI 10.17487/RFC6994, August 2013, <https://www.rfc-

   [RFC8086]  Yong, L., Ed., Crabbe, E., Xu, X., and T. Herbert, "GRE-
              in-UDP Encapsulation", RFC 8086, DOI 10.17487/RFC8086,
              March 2017, <>.

   [RFC7605]  Touch, J., "Recommendations on Using Assigned Transport
              Port Numbers", BCP 165, RFC 7605, DOI 10.17487/RFC7605,
              August 2015, <>.

   [RFC4787]  Audet, F., Ed., and C. Jennings, "Network Address
              Translation (NAT) Behavioral Requirements for Unicast
              UDP", BCP 127, RFC 4787, DOI 10.17487/RFC4787, January
              2007, <>.

   [RFC5389]  Rosenberg, J., Mahy, R., Matthews, P., and D. Wing,
              "Session Traversal Utilities for NAT (STUN)", RFC 5389,
              DOI 10.17487/RFC5389, October 2008, <http://www.rfc-

   [RFC5245]  Rosenberg, J., "Interactive Connectivity Establishment
              (ICE): A Protocol for Network Address Translator (NAT)
              Traversal for Offer/Answer Protocols", RFC 5245, DOI
              10.17487/RFC5245, April 2010, <http://www.rfc-

   [RFC8084]  Fairhurst, G., "Network Transport Circuit Breakers", BCP
              208, RFC 8084, DOI 10.17487/RFC8084, March 2017,

   [RFC6438]  Carpenter, B. and S. Amante, "Using the IPv6 Flow Label
              for Equal Cost Multipath Routing and Link Aggregation in
              Tunnels", RFC 6438, DOI 10.17487/RFC6438, November 2011,

   [RFC3378]  Housley, R. and S. Hollenbeck, "EtherIP: Tunneling
              Ethernet Frames in IP Datagrams", RFC 3378, DOI
              10.17487/RFC3378, September 2002, <http://www.rfc-

   [RFC2784]  Farinacci, D., Li, T., Hanks, S., Meyer, D., and P.
              Traina, "Generic Routing Encapsulation (GRE)", RFC 2784,
              DOI 10.17487/RFC2784, March 2000, <http://www.rfc-

   [RFC4023]  Worster, T., Rekhter, Y., and E. Rosen, Ed.,
              "Encapsulating MPLS in IP or Generic Routing Encapsulation
              (GRE)", RFC 4023, DOI 10.17487/RFC4023, March 2005,

   [RFC2661]  Townsley, W., Valencia, A., Rubens, A., Pall, G., Zorn,
              G., and B. Palter, "Layer Two Tunneling Protocol "L2TP"",
              RFC 2661, DOI 10.17487/RFC2661, August 1999,

   [RFC7637]  Garg, P., Ed., and Y. Wang, Ed., "NVGRE: Network
              Virtualization Using Generic Routing Encapsulation", RFC
              7637, DOI 10.17487/RFC7637, September 2015,

   [RFC7348]  Mahalingam, M., Dutt, D., Duda, K., Agarwal, P., Kreeger,
              L., Sridhar, T., Bursell, M., and C. Wright, "Virtual
              eXtensible Local Area Network (VXLAN): A Framework for
              Overlaying Virtualized Layer 2 Networks over Layer 3
              Networks", RFC 7348, August 2014, <http://www.rfc-

   [RFC2003]  Perkins, C., "IP Encapsulation within IP", RFC 2003, DOI
              10.17487/RFC2003, October 1996, <http://www.rfc-

   [RFC2473]  Conta, A. and S. Deering, "Generic Packet Tunneling in
              IPv6 Specification", RFC 2473, DOI 10.17487/RFC2473,
              December 1998, <>.

   [RFC3948]  Huttunen, A., Swander, B., Volpe, V., DiBurro, L., and M.
              Stenberg, "UDP Encapsulation of IPsec ESP Packets", RFC
              3948, DOI 10.17487/RFC3948, January 2005, <http://www.rfc-

   [RFC6830]  Farinacci, D., Fuller, V., Meyer, D., and D. Lewis, "The
              Locator/ID Separation Protocol (LISP)", RFC 6830, DOI
              10.17487/RFC6830, January 2013, <http://www.rfc-

   [RFC7510]  Xu, X., Sheth, N., Yong, L., Callon, R., and D. Black,
              "Encapsulating MPLS in UDP", RFC 7510, DOI
              10.17487/RFC7510, April 2015, <http://www.rfc-

   [GUEEXTEN] Herbert, T., Yong, L., and Templin, F., "Extensions for
              Generic UDP Encapsulation", draft-ietf-intarea-gue-

   [IPTUN]    Touch, J. and Townsley, M., "IP Tunnels in the Internet
              Architecture", draft-ietf-intarea-tunnels-10

   [IANA-PN]  IANA, "Protocol Numbers",

   [TCPUDP]   Chesire, S., Graessley, J., and McGuire, R.,
              "Encapsulation of TCP and other Transport Protocols over
              UDP", draft-cheshire-tcp-over-udp-00

   [GENEVE]   Gross, J., Ed., Ganga, I. Ed., and Sridhar, T., "Geneve:
              Generic Network Virtualization Encapsulation", draft-ietf-

   [UDPENCAP] Herbert, T., "UDP Encapsulation in Linux",

   [MULTIQ]   Herbert, T. and de Bruijn, W., "Scaling in the Linux
              Networking Stack", <

   [CSUMOFF]  Cree, E., "Checksum Offloads in the Linux Networking
              Stack", <

   [SEGOFF]   Duyck, A., "Segmentation Offloads in the Linux Networking
              Stack", <

Appendix A: NIC processing for GUE

   This appendix is informational and does not constitute a normative
   part of this document.

   This appendix provides some guidelines for Network Interface Cards
   (NICs) to implement common offloads and accelerations to support GUE.
   Note that most of this discussion is generally applicable to other
   methods of UDP based encapsulation. An overview of UDP based
   encapsulation and acceleration is in [UDPENCAP]

A.1. Receive multi-queue

   Contemporary NICs support multiple receive descriptor queues (multi-
   queue) [MUTLIQ]. Multi-queue enables load balancing of network
   processing for a NIC across multiple CPUs. On packet reception, a NIC
   selects an appropriate queue for host processing. Receive Side
   Scaling (RSS) is a common method which uses the flow hash for a
   packet to index an indirection table where each entry stores a queue
   number. Flow Director and Accelerated Receive Flow Steering (aRFS)
   allow a host to program the queue that is used for a given flow which
   is identified either by an explicit five-tuple or by the flow's hash.

   GUE encapsulation is compatible with multi-queue NICs that support
   five-tuple hash calculation for UDP/IP packets as input to RSS. The
   flow entropy in the UDP source port ensures classification of the
   encapsulated flow even in the case that the outer source and
   destination addresses are the same for all flows (e.g. all flows are
   going over a single tunnel).

   By default, UDP RSS support is often disabled in NICs to avoid out-
   of-order reception that can occur when UDP packets are fragmented. As
   discussed is section 5.7, fragmentation of GUE packets is mostly
   avoided by fragmenting packets before entering a tunnel, GUE
   fragmentation, path MTU discovery in higher layer protocols, or
   operator adjusting MTUs. Other UDP traffic might not implement such
   procedures to avoid fragmentation, so enabling UDP RSS support in the
   NIC might be a considered tradeoff during configuration.

A.2. Checksum offload

   Many NICs provide capabilities to calculate the standard ones
   complement checksum for packets in transmit or receive [CSUMOFF].
   When using GUE encapsulation, there are at least two checksums that
   are of interest: the encapsulated packet's transport checksum, and
   the UDP checksum in the outer header.

A.2.1. Transmit checksum offload

   NICs can provide a protocol agnostic method to offload the transmit
   checksum (NETIF_F_HW_CSUM in Linux parlance) that can be used with
   GUE. In this method, the host provides checksum related parameters in
   a transmit descriptor for a packet. These parameters include the
   starting offset of data to checksum, the length of data to checksum,
   and the offset in the packet where the computed checksum is to be
   written. The host initializes the checksum field to a pseudo header

   In the case of GUE, the checksum for an encapsulated transport layer
   packet, a TCP packet for instance, can be offloaded by setting the
   appropriate checksum parameters.

   NICs typically can offload only one transmit checksum per packet, so
   simultaneously offloading both an inner transport packet's checksum
   and the outer UDP checksum is likely not possible.

   If an encapsulator is co-resident with a host, then checksum offload
   may be performed using remote checksum offload (RCO)[GUEEXTEN].
   Remote checksum offload relies on NIC offload of the simple UDP/IP
   checksum which is commonly supported even in legacy devices. In
   remote checksum offload, the outer UDP checksum is set and the GUE
   header includes an option indicating the start and offset of the
   inner "offloaded" checksum. The inner checksum is initialized to the
   pseudo header checksum. When a decapsulator receives a GUE packet
   with the remote checksum offload option, it completes the offload
   operation by determining the packet checksum from the indicated start
   point to the end of the packet, and then adds this into the checksum
   field at the offset given in the option. Computing the checksum from
   the start to end of packet is efficient if checksum-complete is
   provided on the receiver.

   Another alternative when an encapsulator is co-resident with a host
   is to perform Local Checksum Offload (LCO) [CSUMOFF]. In this method,
   the inner transport layer checksum is offloaded and the outer UDP
   checksum can be deduced based on the fact that the portion of the
   packet covered by the inner transport checksum will sum to zero or at
   least the bitwise "not" of the inner pseudo header.

A.2.2. Receive checksum offload

   GUE is compatible with NICs that perform a protocol agnostic receive
   checksum (CHECKSUM_COMPLETE in Linux parlance). In this technique, a
   NIC computes a ones complement checksum over all (or some predefined
   portion) of a packet. The computed value is provided to the host
   stack in the packet's receive descriptor. The host driver can use
   this checksum to "patch up" and validate any inner packet transport
   checksums, as well as the outer UDP checksum if it is non-zero.

   Many legacy NICs don't provide checksum-complete but instead provide
   an indication that a checksum has been verified (CHECKSUM_UNNECESSARY
   in Linux). Usually, such validation is only done for simple TCP/IP or
   UDP/IP packets. If a NIC indicates that a UDP checksum is valid, the
   checksum-complete value for the UDP packet is the bitwise "not" of
   the pseudo header checksum. In this way, checksum-unnecessary can be
   converted to checksum-complete. So, if the NIC provides checksum-
   unnecessary for the outer UDP header in an encapsulation, checksum
   conversion can be done so that the checksum-complete value is derived
   and can be used by the stack to validate checksums in the
   encapsulated packet.

A.3. Transmit Segmentation Offload

   Transmit Segmentation Offload (TSO) [SEGOFF] is a NIC feature where a
   host provides a large (>MTU size) TCP packet to the NIC, which in
   turn splits the packet into separate segments and transmits each one.
   This is useful to reduce CPU load on the host.

   The process of TSO can be generalized as:

      - Split the TCP payload into segments of size less than or equal
        to MTU.

      - For each created segment:

        1. Replicate the TCP header and all preceding headers of the
           original packet.

        2. Set payload length fields in any headers to reflect the
           length of the segment.

        3. Set TCP sequence number to correctly reflect the offset of
           the TCP data in the stream.

        4. Recompute and set any checksums that either cover the payload
           of the packet or cover header which was changed by setting a
           payload length.

   Following this general process, TSO can be extended to support TCP
   encapsulation in GUE.  For each segment the Ethernet, outer IP, UDP
   header, GUE header, inner IP header (if tunneling), and TCP headers
   are replicated. Any packet length header fields need to be set
   properly (including the length in the outer UDP header), and
   checksums need to be set correctly (including the outer UDP checksum
   if being used).

   To facilitate TSO with GUE, it is recommended that extension fields
   do not contain values that need to be updated on a per segment basis.
   For example, extension fields should not include checksums, lengths,
   or sequence numbers that refer to the payload. If the GUE header does
   not contain such fields then the TSO engine only needs to copy the
   bits in the GUE header when creating each segment and does not need
   to parse the GUE header.

A.4. Large Receive Offload

   Large Receive Offload (LRO) [SEGOFF] is a NIC feature where received
   packets of a TCP connection are reassembled, or coalesced, in the NIC
   and delivered to the host as one large packet. This feature can
   reduce CPU utilization in the host.

   LRO requires significant protocol awareness to be implemented
   correctly and is difficult to generalize. Packets in the same flow
   need to be unambiguously identified. In the presence of tunnels or
   network virtualization, this may require more than a five-tuple match
   (for instance packets for flows in two different virtual networks may
   have identical five-tuples). Additionally, a NIC needs to perform
   validation over packets that are being coalesced, and needs to
   fabricate a single meaningful header from all the coalesced packets.

   The conservative approach to supporting LRO for GUE would be to
   assign packets to the same flow only if they have identical five-
   tuple and were encapsulated the same way. That is the outer IP
   addresses, the outer UDP ports, GUE protocol, GUE flags and fields,
   and inner five tuple are all identical.

Appendix B: Implementation considerations

   This appendix is informational and does not constitute a normative
   part of this document.

B.1. Priveleged ports

   Using the source port to contain a flow entropy value disallows the
   security method of a receiver enforcing that the source port be a
   privileged port. Privileged ports are defined by some operating
   systems to restrict source port binding. Unix, for instance,
   considered port number less than 1024 to be privileged.

   Enforcing that packets are sent from a privileged port is widely
   considered an inadequate security mechanism and has been mostly
   deprecated. To approximate this behavior, an implementation could
   restrict a user from sending a packet destined to the GUE port
   without proper credentials.

B.2. Setting flow entropy as a route selector

   An encapsulator generating flow entropy in the UDP source port could
   modulate the value to perform a type of multipath source routing.
   Assuming that networking switches perform ECMP based on the flow
   hash, a sender can affect the path by altering the flow entropy.  For
   instance, a host can store a flow hash in its protocol control block
   (PCB) for an inner flow, and might alter the value upon detecting
   that packets are traversing a lossy path. Changing the flow entropy
   for a flow SHOULD be subject to hysteresis (at most once every thirty
   seconds) to limit the number of out of order packets.

B.3. Hardware protocol implementation considerations

   Low level data path protocols, such as GUE, are often supported in
   high speed network device hardware. Variable length header (VLH)
   protocols like GUE are sometimes considered difficult to efficiently
   implement in hardware. In order to retain the important
   characteristics of an extensible and robust protocol, hardware
   vendors may practice "constrained flexibility". In this model, only
   certain combinations or protocol header parameterizations are
   implemented in the hardware fast path. Each such parameterization is
   fixed length so that the particular instance can be optimized as a
   fixed length protocol. In the case of GUE, this constitutes specific
   combinations of GUE flags, fields, and next protocol. The selected
   combinations would naturally be the most common cases which form the
   "fast path", and other combinations are assumed to take the "slow

   In time, the needs and requirements of a protocol may change which
   may manifest themselves as new parameterizations to be supported in
   the fast path. To allow this extensibility, a device practicing
   constrained flexibility should allow fast path parameterizations to
   be programmable.

Authors' Addresses

   Tom Herbert
   4701 Patrick Henry
   Santa Clara, CA 95054


   Lucy Yong
   Austin, TX


   Osama Zia
   1 Microsoft Way
   Redmond, WA 98029