The goal of the IPsec architecture lies in the provision of various security services for traffic. This happens at the IP layer in both the environment of IPv4 an IPv6 in a more standardized and universal way. The IPSec architecture basically describes system requirements for the implementation of the IPSec. It further focuses on the fundamental elements of the implementation systems and how they fit together into the IP environment. All the security services offered by IPSec protocols are covered in the architecture. In attempts to visualize the IPSec architecture, Doraswamy & Harkins discuss the IPSec Roadmap diagram.IPSec protocols include the following: AH, ESP, IKE, ISAKMP/Oakley and transform. An understanding of how these components relate to each other gives a clear understanding, implementation and the ability to use IPSec. The IPSec Roadmap defines how these components interact with each other.The standard associated with security architecture is RFC 4301, the standard associated with IP Encapsulating Security Payload (ESP) is RFC 4303 and the standard associated with IP Authenticatication Header is 4302 just to mention but a few. ESP and AH documents define the protocol as well as the services they provide and also define packet processing rules. Their only undoing is their inability to specify the transforms used in the provision of these capabilities. Another component of great concern is the Internet Key Exchange (IKE) which is responsible for the generation of keys for the IPSec protocols. Furthermore, it also negotiates keys for other protocols that may require keys.In the IPSec network layer security, the above stated three components, that is the AH, ESP and IKE, are highly interconnected towards the achievement of IPSec. In this case, AH and ESP rely on an existing security association which is established by the IKE. This is, therefore, an implication that should IKE break then definitely there will be no protection provided by the AH and ESP.
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