Network Working Group                                           R. Droms
INTERNET-DRAFT                                       Bucknell University
Obsoletes: draft-ietf-dhc-new-options-02.txt              September draft-ietf-dhc-new-options-03.txt                October 1998
                                                      Expires March April 1999

                Procedure for Defining New DHCP Options
                  <draft-ietf-dhc-new-options-03.txt>
                  <draft-ietf-dhc-new-options-04.txt>

Status of this memo

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Abstract

   The Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol (DHCP) provides a framework
   for passing configuration information to hosts on a TCP/IP network.
   Configuration parameters and other control information are carried in
   tagged data items that are stored in the 'options' field of the DHCP
   message.  The data items themselves are also called 'options.' "options."

   New DHCP options may be defined after the publication of the DHCP
   specification to accommodate requirements for conveyance of new
   configuration parameters.  This document describes the procedure for
   defining new DHCP options.

Introduction

   The Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol (DHCP) [1] provides a
   framework for passing configuration information to hosts on a TCP/IP
   network.  Configuration parameters and other control information are
   carried in tagged data items that are stored in the 'options' field
   of the DHCP message.  The data items themselves are also called
   "options." [2]

DRAFT           Procedure for Defining New DHCP Options   September     October 1998

   This document describes the procedure for defining new DHCP options.
   The procedure will guarantee that:

   * allocation of new option numbers is coordinated from a single
     authority,
   * new options are reviewed for technical correctness and
     appropriateness, and
   * documentation for new options is complete and published.

   As indicated in "Guidelines for Writing an IANA Considerations
   Section in RFCs" [3], (see references), IANA acts as a central authority
   for assignment of numbers for new such as DHCP options. option codes.  The new
   procedure outlined in this document will provide guidance to IANA in
   the assignment of new option numbers. codes.

Overview and background

   The procedure described in this document modifies and clarifies the
   procedure for defining new options in RFC 2131 [2].  The primary
   modification is to the time at which a new DHCP option is assigned an
   option number.  In the procedure described in this document, the
   option number is not assigned until specification for the option is
   about to be published as an RFC.

   Since the publication of RFC 2132, the option number space for
   publically defined DHCP options (1-127) has almost been exhausted.
   Many of the defined option numbers have not been followed up with
   Internet Drafts submitted to the DHC WG.  There has been a lack of
   specific guidance to IANA from the DHC WG as to the assignment of
   DHCP option numbers

   The procedure as specified in RFC 2132 does not clearly state that
   new options are to be reviewed individually for acceptance as
   Internet Standards technical
   correctness, appropriateness and that the specifications for newly accepted
   Standard options are to be published as separate RFCs. complete documentation.  RFC 2132
   also does not require that new options are to be submitted to the DHC WG
   through the WG chair,
   IESG for review, and that the author of the option specification is
   responsible for bringing new options to the attention of the WG
   chair for WG review. IESG.
   Finally, RFC 2132 does not make clear that newly defined options are
   not to be incorporated into products, included in other
   specifications or otherwise used until accepted as
   Internet Standards.

   The Internet Standard DHCP options assigned the specification for the
   option is published as of March 1997 are
   defined in RFC 2132. an RFC.

   In the future, new DHCP option codes will be assigned by IETF
   consensus.  New DHCP options will be
   reviewed individually documented in RFCs approved by
   the DHC WG IESG, and the IETF codes for acceptance as
   Internet Standards and the specifications those options will be published as
   separate RFCs. assigned at the
   time the relevant RFCs are published.  Typically, the IESG will seek
   input on prospective assignments from appropriate sources (e.g., a
   relevant Working Group if one exists).  Groups of related options may be combined  into a

DRAFT           Procedure for Defining New DHCP Options   September     October 1998

   be combined  into a single specification and reviewed as a set by the DHC WG.
   IESG.  Prior to
   acceptance as assignment of an Internet Standard, option code, it is not appropriate
   to incorporate new options into products, include the specification
   in other documents or otherwise make use of the new options.

   The DHCP option number space (1-254) is split into two parts.  The
   site-specific options (128-254) are defined as "Private Use" and
   require no review by the DHC WG.  The public options (1-127) are
   defined as "Specification Required" and new options must be reviewed
   prior to assignment of an option number by IANA.  The details of the
   review process are given in the following section of this document.

Procedure

   The author of a new DHCP option will follow these steps to obtain
   acceptance of
   approval for the option as a part and publication of the DHCP Internet Standard: specification of the
   option as an RFC:

   1. The author devises the new option.
   2. The author documents the new option, leaving the option code as
      "To Be Determined" (TBD), as an Internet Draft.

      The requirement that the new option be documented as an Internet
      Draft is a matter of expediency.  In theory, the new option could
      be documented on the back of an envelope for submission; as a
      practical matter, the specification will eventually become an
      Internet Draft as part of the review process.

   3. The author submits the Internet Draft for review through by the IETF
      standards process as defined in "Internet Official Protocol
      Standards" (STD 1) [4] and "Internet Standards Process" (BCP 9)
      [6]. IESG.
      Preferably, the author will submit the Internet Draft to the DHC
      Working Group, but the author may choose to submit the Internet
      Draft directly to the IESG.

      Note that simply publishing the new option as an Internet Draft
      does not automatically enter bring the option into to the Standards Track. attention of the
      IESG.  The author of the new option must explicitly forward a
      request for action on the new option to the DHC WG or the IESG.

   4. The new option progresses through the IETF standards process.  The specification of the new option is reviewed by the IESG.  The
      specification is reviewed by the DHC WG (if it exists) or by the
      IETF.  The option is considered for acceptance
      as an Internet Standard.  If the option is accepted as a Standard, for inclusion in the DHCP
      specification, the specification for of the option is published as an
      RFC.  It may be published as either a standards-track or a separate non-
      standards-track RFC.

   5. At the time of publication as an RFC, IANA assigns a DHCP option
      number to the new option.

DRAFT           Procedure for Defining New DHCP Options   September     October 1998

References

[1] Droms, R., "Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol", RFC 2131, Bucknell
    University, March 1997.

[2] Alexander, S. and R. Droms, "DHCP Options and BOOTP Vendor
    Extensions", RFC 2132, Lachman Associates, March 1997.

[3] Narten, T. and H. T. Alvestrand, "Guidelines for Writing an IANA
    Considerations Section in RFCs", (work in progress), May 1998.

[4] Postel, J. (Ed.), "Internet Official Protocol Standards", STD 1, May
    1998.

[5] Droms, R. and K. Fong, "NetWare/IP Domain Name and Information", RFC
    2142, November 1997.

[6] Bradner, S., "The Internet Standards Process -- Revision 3", BCP 9,
    October, 1996.

    Note: This document was written after consideration of information
    found in "Guidelines for Writing an IANA Considerations Section in
    RFCs" <draft-iesg-iana-considerations-06.txt>, by T. Narten and H.
    T. Alvestrand, which is a work in progress.

Security Considerations

   Information that creates or updates an option number assignment needs
   to be authenticated.

   An analysis of security issues is required for all newly defined DHCP
   options.  The description of security issues in the specification of
   new options must be as accurate as possible.  The specification for a
   new option may reference the "Security Considerations" section in the
   DHCP specification [1]; e.g. (from "NetWare/IP Domain Name and
   Information" [5]): [3]):

      DHCP currently provides no authentication or security mechanisms.
      Potential exposures to attack are discussed in section 7 of the
      DHCP protocol specification [RFC 2131].

Author's Address

   Ralph Droms
   Computer Science Department
   323 Dana Engineering
   Bucknell University
   Lewisburg, PA 17837

   Phone: (717) 524-1145
   EMail: droms@bucknell.edu

DRAFT           Procedure for Defining New DHCP Options   September 1998

Expiration

   This document will expire on March 31, 1999.

DRAFT           Procedure for Defining New DHCP Options   September     October 1998

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