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Avoiding Transient Loops During the Convergence of Link-State Routing Protocols

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2 Author(s)
Pierre Francois ; Univ. Catholique de Louvain, Louvain-la-Neuve ; Olivier Bonaventure

When using link-state protocols such as OSPF or IS-IS, forwarding loops can occur transiently when the routers adapt their forwarding tables as a response to a topological change. In this paper, we present a mechanism that lets the network converge to its optimal forwarding state without risking any transient loops and the related packet loss. The mechanism is based on an ordering of the updates of the forwarding tables of the routers. Our solution can be used in the case of a planned change in the state of a set of links and in the case of unpredictable changes when combined with a local protection scheme. The supported topology changes are link transitions from up to down, down to up, and updates of link metrics. Finally, we show by simulations that sub-second loop-free convergence is possible on a large Tier-1 ISP network.

Published in:

IEEE/ACM Transactions on Networking  (Volume:15 ,  Issue: 6 )