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Rapid Convergence in IP Networks: Tom Scholl, AT&T Labs NANOG 46.

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Presentation on theme: "Rapid Convergence in IP Networks: Tom Scholl, AT&T Labs NANOG 46."— Presentation transcript:

1 Rapid Convergence in IP Networks: Tom Scholl, AT&T Labs NANOG 46

2 Convergence? No, this is not about the convergence regarding being able to twitter, facebook, linkedin update, irc msg, sms or myspace on a single device using RSS or XML in this web 2.0 world. This presentation is covering the convergence time in IP networks as the result of routing changes. This covers specifically intra-domain changes. AS-to-AS convergence is another story altogether. 2

3 What are we trying to solve? Events occur within IP networks today that result in traffic being dropped. This dropping can be the result of: Congestion Forwarding errors (unable to forward out an interface that has gone down) TTL expiration (packets looping) Network convergence dictates the amount of time it takes to resolve some of the above conditions. It is often highlighted that IP networks may not be able to achieve the same level of convergence performance of SONET transport networks. However, IP networks can achieve similar performance with the right set of tools. 3

4 Who cares about rapid convergence? A few people actually: VoIP and IP-based call center applications Several second threshold before calls are dropped Video (IPTV) Stringent requirements as to not drop any significant amount of frames resulting in defects Cellular/Mobile Networks SIGTRAN, Voice traffic And anyone else whose been accustomed to rapid convergence on their existing transport services. 4

5 What are the targets an operator may have to aim for? Each application has its own thresholds. Very few customers actually know the requirements of their applications. But 50ms or sub-second is a common customer goal Where did this magic 50ms come from? The telco world (specifications on equipment) Werent driven from customer application requirements No actual application that said Hey, I need 50ms or Im broken! 5

6 What kind of events are involved in convergence? Generally, link/node failures or IGP cost changes. Any of the above two actions will result in routers having to: Flood link-state-advertisements Recalculate the shortest-path-first (SPF) tree Install any applicable forwarding changes into the FIB Of course, the above can take awhile to occur Can take as long as hundreds of milliseconds to several seconds, depending on IGP scale and hardware. Each router does the above action as an independent process. There is no ordered execution of SPF across a network. 6

7 What happens in IGP convergence today 1) Failure detection 2) Flooding of topology changes via IGP Queuing, serialization and propagation of updates 3) SPF recalculation 4) Updating the RIB (routing engine) 5) Update the FIB (forwarding plane) 7

8 Defaults arent going to cut it If you are looking to achieve rapid convergence, default router settings are not going to work. Several knobs need to be modified (which vary from vendor to vendor): SPF Intervals / SPF Throttle Timers Flooding Timers / Thresholds FIB-related knobs RIB-related knobs The use of rapid-failure-detecting protocols (lowered IGP timers, L2 keepalives or BFD). But wait, theres more… 8

9 The Fast in Fast Reroute Even with the right knobs, some networks will still be unable to reach sub-100ms or even sub-second goals. Two main options exists for operators in this space: IP Fast Reroute MPLS-TE Fast Reroute 9

10 IP Fast Reroute / Loop Free Alternates Does not require MPLS. Relies upon paths that would not result in a micro-loop, but does not require explicit-path routing. SRLG awareness may be an issue. Who actually supports SRLG identification via the IGP? Can work well in some environments where MPLS is too much overhead. Simple topologies such as edge router uplinks work well. Operator doesnt have the ability to selectively control what can be FRR protected and what is not (not like MPLS-TE). 10

11 MPLS-TE Fast Reroute A logical interface can have a bypass LSP assigned to be used in the event of a failure. Traffic that was traversing the logical interface will then be encapsulated in the bypass LSP. FIB is pre-programmed with instructions on what to do in the event of a logical interface failure. Does not require any recalculation at time of failure. Can result in sub-optimal routing momentarily Traffic may backtrack the way it came in order to detour around the failure. 11

12 MPLS-TE Fast Reroute (contd) When you are protecting a link, make sure the bypass LSP does not run through the same facilities / SRLG as the link you intend to protect! If you protect a Chicago-NYC link, make sure the bypass via Cleveland doesnt run through the same fiber, span, etc. Being able to determine the diversity is not easy. If you dont own your own facilities (and you probably dont), you are left to reading over circuit design layouts and comparing them. Even if you know what paths are diverse, building each backup LSP by hand is not easy. Best to have an internal database translating IP address to SRLG identifiers and auto-build backup LSPs. There once was a capability in IGPs to signal SRLGs. 12

13 MPLS-TE Fast Reroute (contd) FRR bypass LSPs require some amount of care besides just diversity: Do you have any latency limitations? Do you have sufficient bandwidth? Modeling tools are incredibly helpful here. Make-before-break nature of MPLS-TE LSPs will result in reordering as packets go from a longer path (bypass LSP) to a shorter path (re-optimized path). 13

14 Bottlenecks still exist which may beyond your control Even with the right protocols and the right knobs, your own routers still have limitations: FIB programming/updates are limited by other factors (IPC, linecard CPU utilization, etc). Attempt to detect failures as fast as possible: Reduce down-convergence where safe (carrier/link-transition delays) 802.3ah BFD 14

15 Can IP networks deliver SONET convergence speed? Yes, with a properly designed and maintained network. Its up to the operator to determine if they want to use MPLS-TE, IPFRR or a combination of both. Combination being using MPLS-TE for the hard stuff (WAN links) and IPFRR for the simple topologies (edges). Even if you can provide some fast convergence, whose counting? Do you even have the monitoring systems to verify what you are providing? Are you going to provide this for all users, or just specific users/applications? 15

16 How you can start improving your network today Cisco IOS: Set lower interface carrier-delays Enable CEF Table loadinfo force Modify CEF linecard timers (GSR) Modify CEF linecard IPC memory (GSR) Lower IGP SPF throttling Lower process-max-time Enable IP routing purge interface Juniper JUNOS: Enable next-hop indirection Lower IGP SPF timers 16

17 Send questions, comments, complaints to: Tom Scholl, AT&T Labs

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