ILNP - Identifier-Locator Network Protocol

Coming soon: ILNP prototype code release (based on Linux kernel version 4.9).

A prototype implementation of ILNP will be released by the end of May 2019 June 2019 (please see below). The code is based on extensions to the Linux kernel v4.9 code, and is specifically to demonstrate mobility in ILNP. More details when we release the code! After demos at both netdev0x13 and the IETF104 Hackathon, we found a few bugs, which we are currently fixing.

Update (10 May 2019): Found the bugs, fixing/checking in progress! Release delayed.

Research Objectives

This project is enhancing the Internet Architecture by enriching the set of namespaces. The basic approach to this is to deprecate the concept of an Address and replace it with separate Locator and Identifier values. Although the architectural concept is independent of any particular network protocol, our research demonstration will be based on IPv6. Prototypes for FreeBSD and Linux are planned.

This work was influenced by Mike O'Dell's prior work on the GSE/8+8 proposal for IPv6 and by work undertaken in the IRTF Namespace Research Group (NSRG), although the current work is different in various ways from those earlier proposals and discussions. In RFC6115 (Feb 2011), the IRTF Routing Research Group (RRG) co-chairs recommended that ILNP be pursued within the IETF.

Although our work is architectural, it is driven by actual problems with the current Internet Architecture (RC4984). For example, a current operational concern addressed by this proposal is the rapid increase in size and in entropy of the Internet routing table, specifically the Default-Free Zone's (DFZ) Routing Information Base (RIB) (RFC4098). It appears that a primary cause for both routing table growth and the increase in entropy is the current method for site multi-homing, which depends on adding extra more-specific prefixes globally for each multi-homed site.

Another example is support for mobile hosts and mobile networks. Mobile systems was not part of the original Interent Protocol design, and so supporting mobility requires additions to IP, as well as treating addresses differently, resulting in inconsistent end-to-end semantics ('home' addresses, and 'care-of' addresses in Mobile IP).

An increasingly important concern is that of security and privacy online. The ILNP architecture can support both (toplogical) location privacy, as well as identity privacy at the network layer.

We believe that ILNP will lead to several specific advantages over the currently deployed Internet Architecture. These advantages include harmoniously integrating various functionality:

A good starting point to is to read the paper from JSAC (2010) then RFC6740 (2012).

Internet RFC documents

The following Experimental RFCs were reviewed and discussed within the IRTF Routing Research Group (RRG). The authors are extremely grateful to the IRTF RRG particpants, the IRTF RRG Chair (Tony Li), the IRTF Chair (Lars Eggert) and the RFC Editor team for all their help. (Please see the RFCs, linked below, for other acknowledgements.)

RFC6740 Identifier-Locator Network Protocol (ILNP) Architectural Description (Nov 2012)
RFC6741 Identifier-Locator Network Protocol (ILNP) Engineering Considerations (Nov 2012)
RFC6742 DNS Resource Records for the Identifier-Locator Network Protocol (ILNP) (Nov 2012)
RFC6743 ICMP Locator Update Message for the Identifier-Locator Network Protocol for IPv6 (ILNPv6) (Nov 2012)
RFC6744 IPv6 Nonce Destination Option for the Identifier-Locator Network Protocol for IPv6 (ILNPv6) (Nov 2012)
RFC6745 ICMP Locator Update Message for the Identifier-Locator Network Protocol for IPv4 (ILNPv4) (Nov 2012)
RFC6746 IPv4 Options for the Identifier-Locator Network Protocol (ILNP) (Nov 2012)
RFC6747 Address Resolution Protocol (ARP) for the Identifier-Locator Network Protocol for IPv4 (ILNPv4) (Nov 2012)
RFC6748 Optional Advanced Deployment Scenarios for the Identifier-Locator Network Protocol (ILNP) (Nov 2012)

Stephane Bortzmeyer has French introduction / summary information for RFC6740, RFC6741, RFC6742, RFC6743 and RFC6744.




Cheltenham Research: Ran Atkinson
University of St Andrews: Saleem Bhatti