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Manual Chapter: Allowing Clients to Create their Own Translations with PCP
Manual Chapter
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Overview: PCP client address translation

Port Control Protocol (PCP) clients can request specific NAT/CGNAT mappings for themselves and/or for third-party devices. This allows the PCP clients to set their own public-side IP addresses (also called translation addresses) in a network that uses CGNAT. In cases where the BIG-IP system assigns a translation address or port other than the one requested, the client is at least aware of their assigned address or port.

You apply a PCP profile to a Large Scale NAT (LSN) pool of translation addresses. A client that uses the LSN pool can also send PCP requests to the BIG-IP system to request a particular address/port from the pool. RFC 6887 defines PCP.

Task list

Creating a PCP profile

Someone must license the CGNAT module through System > License, and enable it through System > Resource Provisioning before you can create a PCP profile.
A PCP profile defines limitations for PCP-client requests.
  1. On the Main tab, click Carrier Grade NAT > PCP Profiles > +. The New PCP Profile screen opens.
    LSN pool configuration screen LSN pool configuration screen
  2. In the Name field, type a unique name.
  3. You can accept the defaults in this profile, or you can select the check box next to any setting that you want to change. The online help describes each field.
  4. Click Finished.
Your PCP profile is now ready to be used in one or more LSN pools.

Configuring an LSN pool with a PCP profile

An LSN Pool is a group of addresses and ports to be used as translation addresses by a virtual server's clients. If one of those clients sends a PCP request (for example, to map the client's private IP address to a particular translation address), the LSN pool's PCP profile determines the ranges and limits allowed for the request.

You assign a PCP profile to an LSN pool in the pool's configuration screen. You also designate the IP address and/or DS-Lite tunnel to which the virtual server's clients can send their PCP requests.

  1. On the Main tab, click Carrier Grade NAT > LSN Pools. The LSN Pool List screen opens.
  2. Select an LSN pool from the list. The configuration screen for the pool opens.
    LSN pool configuration screen LSN pool configuration screen
  3. From the PCP Profile list, select a pre-created PCP profile. If you have not yet created a customized profile, you can use the default PCP profile pcp. The other two PCP-related settings become active.
    LSN pool configuration screen:  PCP fields LSN pool configuration screen: PCP fields
  4. Type a self IP address or a DS-Lite tunnel where the virtual server's clients can send their PCP requests. You can use either field:
    • Use the PCP Server IP list to select one of the existing self IP addresses on the system, or
    • Use the PCP DS-LITE Tunnel Name - IPv6 list to select an existing DS-Lite tunnel
    The virtual server's clients can send PCP requests to the self-IP address or through the DS-Lite tunnel you selected.
After you perform this task, any virtual server with this LSN pool can support PCP. The virtual server's clients can send PCP MAP requests to the address or tunnel you specified here.
No client can use this PCP configuration unless the LSN pool is assigned to at least one virtual server. Go to Carrier Grade NAT > Virtual Servers > Virtual Server List for a list of servers. Look for the LSN pool's name in the LSN Pool column. Confirm that at least one virtual server uses this LSN pool.

Implementation result

All virtual servers that use the preceding LSN pool can now support PCP. A client can request a CGNAT mapping for its own IP address/port or that of a third party.

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