Requirements for Reliable Server Pooling
RFC 3237

Document Type RFC - Informational (January 2002; No errata)
Authors Qiaobing Xie  , Randall Stewart  , John Loughney  , Melinda Shore  , Lyndon Ong  , Maureen Stillman  , Michael Tüxen 
Last updated 2013-03-02
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Network Working Group                                          M. Tuexen
Request for Comments: 3237                                    Siemens AG
Category: Informational                                           Q. Xie
                                                              R. Stewart
                                                                M. Shore
                                                                  L. Ong
                                                             J. Loughney
                                                             M. Stillman
                                                            January 2002

                Requirements for Reliable Server Pooling

Status of this Memo

   This memo provides information for the Internet community.  It does
   not specify an Internet standard of any kind.  Distribution of this
   memo is unlimited.

Copyright Notice

   Copyright (C) The Internet Society (2002).  All Rights Reserved.


   This document defines a basic set of requirements for reliable server

   The goal of Reliable Server Pooling (RSerPool) is to develop an
   architecture and protocols for the management and operation of server
   pools supporting highly reliable applications, and for client access
   mechanisms to a server pool.

1.  Introduction

1.1.  Overview

   The Internet is always on.  Many users expect services to be always
   available; many businesses depend upon connectivity 24 hours a day, 7
   days a week, 365 days a year.  In order to fulfill this level of
   performance, many proprietary solutions and operating system
   dependent solutions have been developed to provide highly reliable
   and highly available servers.

Tuexen, et al.               Informational                      [Page 1]
RFC 3237        Requirements for Reliable Server Pooling    January 2002

   This document defines requirements for an architecture and protocols
   enabling pooling of servers to support high reliability and
   availability for applications.

   The range of applications that can benefit from reliable server
   pooling includes both mobile and real-time applications.  Reliable
   server pooling mechanisms will be designed to support functionality
   for flexible pooling such as registration and deregistration, and
   load balancing of traffic across the server pool.  Mechanisms will
   need to balance the needs of scalability, overhead traffic and
   response time to changes in pool status, as discussed below.

1.2.  Terminology

   This document uses the following terms:

      Operation scope:
         The part of the network visible to pool users by a specific
         instance of the reliable server pooling protocols.

      Pool (or server pool):
         A collection of servers providing the same application

      Pool handle (or pool name):
         A logical pointer to a pool.  Each server pool will be
         identifiable in the operation scope of the system by a unique
         pool handle or "name".

      Pool element:
         A server entity having registered to a pool.

      Pool user:
         A server pool user.

      Pool element handle (or endpoint handle):
         A logical pointer to a particular pool element in a pool,
         consisting of the name of the pool and one or more destination
         transport addresses for the pool element.

      Name space:
         A cohesive structure of pool names and relations that may be
         queried by an internal or external agent.

      Name server:
         Entity which is responsible for managing and maintaining the
         name space within the RSerPool operation scope.

Tuexen, et al.               Informational                      [Page 2]
RFC 3237        Requirements for Reliable Server Pooling    January 2002

         The architecture and protocols for reliable server pooling.

1.3.  Abbreviations

      PE:   Pool element

      PU:   Pool user

      SCTP: Stream Control Transmission Protocol

      TCP:  Transmission Control Protocol

2.  Requirements

2.1.  Robustness

   The solution must allow itself to be implemented and deployed in such
   a way that there is no single point of failure in the system.

2.2.  Failover Support

   The RSerPool architecture must be able to detect failure of pool
   elements and name servers supporting the pool, and support failover
   to available alternate resources.

2.3.  Communication Model

   The general architecture should support flexibility of the
   communication model between pool users and pool elements, especially
   allowing for a peer-to-peer relationship to support some
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