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Study of mechanisms ensuring service continuity for IKEv2 and IPsec protocols

Abstract : During 2012, the global mobile traffic represented 70\% more than 2011. The arrival of the 4G technology introduced 19 times more traffic than non-4G sessions, and in 2013 the number of mobile-connected to the Internet exceeded the number of human beings on earth. This scenario introduces great pressure towards the Internet service providers (ISPs), which are called to ensure access to the network and maintain its QoS. At short/middle term, operators will relay on alternative access networks in order to maintain the same performance characteristics. Thus, the traffic of the clients might be offloaded from RANs to some other available access networks. However, the same security level is not ensured by those wireless access networks. Femtocells, WiFi or WiMAX (among other wireless technologies), must rely on some mechanism to secure the communications and avoid untrusted environments. Operators are mainly using IPsec to extend a security domain over untrusted networks. This introduces new challenges in terms of performance and connectivity for IPsec. This thesis concentrates on the study of the mechanism considering improving the IPsec protocol in terms of continuity of service. The continuity of service, also known as resilience, becomes crucial when offloading the traffic from RANs to other access networks. This is why we first concentrate our effort in defining the protocols ensuring an IP communication: IKEv2 and IPsec. Then, we present a detailed study of the parameters needed to keep a VPN session alive, and we demonstrate that it is possible to dynamically manage a VPN session between different gateways. Some of the reasons that justify the management of VPN sessions is to provide high availability, load sharing or load balancing features for IPsec connections. These mechanisms increase the continuity of service of IPsec-based communication. For example, if for some reason a failure occurs to a security gateway, the ISP should be able to overcome this situation and to provide mechanisms to ensure continuity of service to its clients. Some new mechanisms have recently been implemented to provide High Availability over IPsec. The open source VPN project, StrongSwan, implemented a mechanism called ClusterIP in order to create a cluster of IPsec gateways. We merged ClusterIP with our own developments in order to define two architectures: High Availability and Context Management over Mono-LAN and Multi-LAN environments. We called Mono-LAN those architectures where the cluster of security gateways is configured under a single IP address, whereas Multi-LAN concerns those architectures where different security gateways are configured with different IP addresses. Performance measurements throughout the thesis show that transferring a VPN session between different gateways avoids re-authentication delays and reduce the amount of CPU consumption and calculation of cryptographic material. From an ISP point of view, this could be used to avoid overloaded gateways, redistribution of the load, better network performances, improvements of the QoS, etc. The idea is to allow a peer to enjoy the continuity of a service while maintaining the same security level that it was initially proposed
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  • HAL Id : tel-00939092, version 1

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Daniel Palomares Velasquez. Study of mechanisms ensuring service continuity for IKEv2 and IPsec protocols. Architecture, space management. Institut National des Télécommunications, 2013. English. ⟨NNT : 2013TELE0025⟩. ⟨tel-00939092⟩

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