[lacnog] Fwd: [routing-wg] Route flap damping considered usable

Carlos Martinez-Cagnazzo carlosm3011 en gmail.com
Jue Jul 26 11:53:49 BRT 2012

BGP dampening revisitado, lectura interesante!



-------- Original Message --------
Subject: 	[routing-wg] Route flap damping considered usable
Date: 	Thu, 26 Jul 2012 14:11:10 +0100
From: 	Rob Evans <rhe en nosc.ja.net>
To: 	routing-wg en ripe.net


Those of you that were in Ljubljana will have seen Randy Bush's presentation 'Route Flap Damping Made Useful.'

Based on the work behind this, Randy, Cristel Pelsser, Mirjam Kuehne and myself have produced the following document which we'd like to publish as a document of this working group.  Please have a look and discuss on this list.

I'd also like to remind you that we'll be meeting nine weeks from today in Amsterdam at RIPE65.  I should be allowed out for this meeting, so if you have any suggestions for what you'd like to see on the working group's agenda, please send it to Joao and myself via <routing-wg-chairs en ripe.net>.

Hope you're having a good summer!


RIPE Routing Working Group 
Recommendations on Route Flap Damping


Route Flap Damping (RFD) [1] is a mechanism for BGP speaking routers
that penalises prefixes that exhibit a large number of updates
(‘flapping’), and suppresses a route when the accumulated penalty
exceeds a given threshold.  The penalty decays over time until it
reaches a lower threshold at which point the route is unsuppressed.
RFD is intended to improve the overall stability of the Internet
routing table and reduce the load on BGP speaking routers. In
ripe-378 [2] it was stated that due to the dynamics of BGP, especially
a phenomenon called ‘path hunting,’ the default configurations of
flap damping can do more harm than good as it may suppress a prefix
after it has only flapped a few times. Consequently RFD was deprecated
due to the problem of over damping (see [2] for more details).

A small number of prefixes on the Internet continue to flap rapidly
and cause a disproportionate number of updates to BGP and load on
BGP speaking routers, this document uses experimental data gathered
from an operational environment to suggest changes to the RFD
parameters to suppress the prefixes that flap the most, while
minimising the suppression of other prefixes.

This document suggests parameters which would make RFD usable and
is based around the work of Cristel Pelsser, Olaf Maennel, Pradosh
Mohapatra, Randy Bush, and Keyur Patel presented at PAM2011[3].

History and Background 

In the early 1990s the accelerating growth in the number of prefixes
being announced to the Internet (often due to inadequate prefix
aggregation), the denser meshing through multiple inter-provider
paths, and increased instabilities started to cause significant
impact on the performance and efficiency of some Internet backbone
routers. Every time a routing prefix altered state because of a
single line-flap, the withdrawal was advertised to the whole
BGP-Speaking Zone (BSZ) and handled by every router that carried
the full Internet routing table.

The load this processing placed on the control planes of routers
caused further instability as the routers were not able to process
other BGP updates or they dropped traffic transiting the device.
This could produce cyclic crashing behaviour.

To overcome this situation RFD was developed in 1993 and has since
been integrated into most router BGP software implementations. RFD
is described in detail in RFC 2439[1].

When RFD was first implemented in commercial routers, vendor
implementations had different default values and different
characteristics. As this inconsistency would result in different
rates of flap damping, and therefore introduce inconsistent path
selection and behavior that was hard to diagnose, the operator
community introduced a consistent set of recommendations for flap
damping parameters, so that ISPs deploying RFD would treat flapping
prefixes in the same way.

This call for consistency resulted in the RIPE Routing Working Group
producing first ripe-178, then ripe-210, and finally the ripe-229
documents [2a].  The parameters documented in ripe-229 were considered,
at  time of publication in 2001, the best current practice. In 2006,
this was reviewed again and resulted in ripe-378 [2] which recommended
to disable RFD because it created more harm than good.


In the work by Pelsser et al [3], it is shown that 3% of all prefixes
cause 36% of BGP updates, and just 0.01% of the prefixes cause 10%
of the BGP updates.  The aim is to only penalise those prefixes
with excessive numbers of updates.

The default values used in current implementations of RFD apply a
penalty of 1000 each time a route flaps, and suppresses the prefix
when the penalty exceeds a figure in the region of 2000 (Cisco IOS)
or 3000 (Juniper JunOS).

The table shows the percentage of prefixes above the suppress
threshold and the percentage reduction in BGP churn for various
values of suppress threshold.  The current default suppress value
of 2000 reduces BGP churn by 47%, but it suppressed 14% of the
prefixes at some point over the lifetime of the experiment.
Significantly larger values of suppress threshold such as 12000,
15000 or 18000 still reduced BGP churn, but suppressed far fewer
prefixes which it is believed reduces the risk of penalising otherwise
well-behaved prefixes.

	Suppress	% prefixes	% reduction in BGP churn
	Threshold	suppressed	compared with no damping
	2000		14		47
	4000		4.2		26
	6000		2.1		19
	12000		0.63		11.26
	15000		0.44		9.51
	18000		0.32		8.12


In order to punish the biggest offenders - those prefixes that flap
the most – yet without punishing others, the RIPE Routing-WG
recommends vendors raise the maximum suppress threshold in router
implementations to 50,000 and operators configure a suppress threshold
value of at least 6,000.   The vendors might also change the default
suppress threshold to 6,000.  But this might surprise operators who
use the defult.

This has a number of advantages: 
•	it is easy to implement
•	it will reduce the churn compared to the situation we have
	now where no RFD is applied
•	it spares the smaller offenders.

Changing the default suppress threshold could result in an increase
in forwarding table size or announcement rate for operators who use
RFD with the default settings.  This warrants further discussion.

[1] Curtis Villamizar, Ravi Chandra, Ramesh Govindan 
RFC2439: BGP Route-flap Damping (Proposed Standard) 
[2] Most recent RIPE Document 

[2a] Older RIPE Documents

[3] Cristel Pelsser, Olaf Maennel, Pradosh Mohapatra, Randy Bush
and Keyur Patel. "Route Flap Damping Made Usable". PAM 2011, March

[4] Zhouqing Mao, Ramesh Govindan, George Varghese, Randy Katz 
Route-flap Damping Exacerbates Internet Routing Congerence SIGCOMM 2002 

[5] Randy Bush, Tim Griffin, Zhouqing Mao Route-flap Damping: Harmful? 

[6] Craig Labovitz, Abha Ahuja, Abhijit Bose, Farnam Jihanian 
Delayed Internet Routing Convergence 

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