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PROPOSED STANDARD

Network Working Group                                      M. Leelanivas
Request for Comments: 3478                                    Y. Rekhter
Category: Standards Track                               Juniper Networks
                                                             R. Aggarwal
                                                        Redback Networks
                                                           February 2003


       Graceful Restart Mechanism for Label Distribution Protocol

Status of this Memo

   This document specifies an Internet standards track protocol for the
   Internet community, and requests discussion and suggestions for
   improvements.  Please refer to the current edition of the "Internet
   Official Protocol Standards" (STD 1) for the standardization state
   and status of this protocol.  Distribution of this memo is unlimited.

Copyright Notice

   Copyright (C) The Internet Society (2003).  All Rights Reserved.

Abstract

   This document describes a mechanism that helps to minimize the
   negative effects on MPLS traffic caused by Label Switching Router's
   (LSR's) control plane restart, specifically by the restart of its
   Label Distribution Protocol (LDP) component, on LSRs that are capable
   of preserving the MPLS forwarding component across the restart.

   The mechanism described in this document is applicable to all LSRs,
   both those with the ability to preserve forwarding state during LDP
   restart and those without (although the latter needs to implement
   only a subset of the mechanism described in this document).
   Supporting (a subset of) the mechanism described here by the LSRs
   that can not preserve their MPLS forwarding state across the restart
   would not reduce the negative impact on MPLS traffic caused by their
   control plane restart, but it would minimize the impact if their
   neighbor(s) are capable of preserving the forwarding state across the
   restart of their control plane and implement the mechanism described
   here.

   The mechanism makes minimalistic assumptions on what has to be
   preserved across restart - the mechanism assumes that only the actual
   MPLS forwarding state has to be preserved; the mechanism does not
   require any of the LDP-related states to be preserved across the
   restart.




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   The procedures described in this document apply to downstream
   unsolicited label distribution.  Extending these procedures to
   downstream on demand label distribution is for further study.

Specification of Requirements

   The key words "MUST", "MUST NOT", "REQUIRED", "SHALL", "SHALL NOT",
   "SHOULD", "SHOULD NOT", "RECOMMENDED", "MAY", and "OPTIONAL" in this
   document are to be interpreted as described in BCP 14, RFC 2119
   [RFC2119].

1. Motivation

   For the sake of brevity in the context of this document, by "the
   control plane" we mean "the LDP component of the control plane".

   For the sake of brevity in the context of this document, by "MPLS
   forwarding state" we mean either <incoming label -> (outgoing label,
   next hop)> (non-ingress case), or <FEC->(outgoing label, next hop)>
   (ingress case) mapping.

   In the case where a Label Switching Router (LSR) could preserve its
   MPLS forwarding state across restart of its control plane,
   specifically its LDP component [LDP], it is desirable not to perturb
   the LSPs going through that LSR (specifically, the LSPs established
   by LDP).  In this document, we describe a mechanism, termed "LDP
   Graceful Restart", that allows the accomplishment of this goal.

   The mechanism described in this document is applicable to all LSRs,
   both those with the ability to preserve forwarding state during LDP
   restart and those without (although the latter need to implement only
   a subset of the mechanism described in this document).  Supporting (a
   subset of) the mechanism described here by the LSRs that can not
   preserve their MPLS forwarding state across the restart would not
   reduce the negative impact on MPLS traffic caused by their control
   plane restart, but it would minimize the impact if their neighbor(s)
   are capable of preserving the forwarding state across the restart of
   their control plane and implement the mechanism described here.

   The mechanism makes minimalistic assumptions on what has to be
   preserved across restart - the mechanism assumes that only the actual
   MPLS forwarding state has to be preserved.  Clearly this is the
   minimum amount of state that has to be preserved across the restart
   in order not to perturb the LSPs traversing a restarting LSR.  The
   mechanism does not require any of the LDP-related states to be
   preserved across the restart.





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   In the scenario where label binding on an LSR is created/maintained
   not just by the LDP component of the control plane, but by other
   protocol components as well (e.g., BGP, RSVP-TE), and the LSR
   supports restart of the individual components of the control plane
   that create/maintain label binding (e.g., restart of LDP, but no
   restart of BGP), the LSR needs to preserve across the restart the
   information about which protocol has assigned which labels.

   The procedures described in this document apply to downstream
   unsolicited label distribution.  Extending these procedures to
   downstream on demand label distribution is for further study.

2. LDP Extension

   An LSR indicates that it is capable of supporting LDP Graceful
   Restart, as defined in this document, by including the Fault Tolerant
   (FT) Session TLV as an Optional Parameter in the LDP Initialization
   message.  The format of the FT Session TLV is defined in [FT-LDP].
   The L (Learn from Network) flag MUST be set to 1, which indicates
   that the procedures in this document are used.  The rest of the FT
   flags are set to 0 by a sender and ignored on receipt.

   The value field of the FT Session TLV contains two components that
   are used by the mechanisms defined in this document: FT Reconnect
   Timeout, and Recovery Time.

   The FT Reconnect Timeout is the time (in milliseconds) that the
   sender of the TLV would like the receiver of that TLV to wait after
   the receiver detects the failure of LDP communication with the
   sender.  While waiting, the receiver SHOULD retain the MPLS
   forwarding state for the (already established) LSPs that traverse a
   link between the sender and the receiver.  The FT Reconnect Timeout
   should be long enough to allow the restart of the control plane of
   the sender of the TLV, and specifically its LDP component to bring it
   to the state where the sender could exchange LDP messages with its
   neighbors.

   Setting the FT Reconnect Timeout to 0 indicates that the sender of
   the TLV will not preserve its forwarding state across the restart,
   yet the sender supports the procedures, defined in Section 3.3,
   "Restart of LDP communication with a neighbor LSR" of this document,
   and therefore could take advantage if its neighbor to preserve its
   forwarding state across the restart.

   For a restarting LSR, the Recovery Time carries the time (in
   milliseconds) the LSR is willing to retain its MPLS forwarding state
   that it preserved across the restart.  The time is from the moment
   the LSR sends the Initialization message that carries the FT Session



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   TLV after restart.  Setting this time to 0 indicates that the MPLS
   forwarding state was not preserved across the restart (or even if it
   was preserved, is no longer available).

   The Recovery Time SHOULD be long enough to allow the neighboring
   LSR's to re-sync all the LSP's in a graceful manner, without creating
   congestion in the LDP control plane.

3. Operations

   An LSR that supports functionality described in this document
   advertises this to its LDP neighbors by carrying the FT Session TLV
   in the LDP Initialization message.

   This document assumes that in certain situations, as specified in
   section 3.1.2, "Egress LSR", in addition to the MPLS forwarding
   state, an LSR can also preserve its IP forwarding state across the
   restart.  Procedures for preserving an IP forwarding state across the
   restart are defined in [OSPF-RESTART], [ISIS-RESTART], and [BGP-
   RESTART].

3.1. Procedures for the restarting LSR

   After an LSR restarts its control plane, the LSR MUST check whether
   it was able to preserve its MPLS forwarding state from prior to the
   restart.  If not, then the LSR sets the Recovery Time to 0 in the FT
   Session TLV the LSR sends to its neighbors.

   If the forwarding state has been preserved, then the LSR starts its
   internal timer, called MPLS Forwarding State Holding timer (the value
   of that timer SHOULD be configurable), and marks all the MPLS
   forwarding state entries as "stale".  At the expiration of the timer,
   all the entries still marked as stale SHOULD be deleted.  The value
   of the Recovery Time advertised in the FT Session TLV is set to the
   (current) value of the timer at the point in which the Initialization
   message carrying the FT Session TLV is sent.

   We say that an LSR is in the process of restarting when the MPLS
   Forwarding State Holding timer is not expired.  Once the timer
   expires, we say that the LSR completed its restart.

   The following procedures apply when an LSR is in the process of
   restarting.

3.1.1. Non-egress LSR

   If the label carried in the newly received Mapping message is not an
   Implicit NULL, the LSR searches its MPLS forwarding state for an



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   entry with the outgoing label equal to the label carried in the
   message, and the next hop equal to one of the addresses (next hops)
   received in the Address message from the peer.  If such an entry is
   found, the LSR no longer marks the entry as stale.  In addition, if
   the entry is of type <incoming label, (outgoing label, next hop)>
   (rather than <FEC, (outgoing label, next hop)>), the LSR associates
   the incoming label from that entry with the FEC received in the Label
   Mapping message, and advertises (via LDP) <incoming label, FEC> to
   its neighbors.  If the found entry has no incoming label, or if no
   entry is found, the LSR follows the normal LDP procedures.  (Note
   that this paragraph describes the scenario where the restarting LSR
   is neither the egress, nor the penultimate hop that uses penultimate
   hop popping for a particular LSP.  Note also that this paragraph
   covers the case where the restarting LSR is the ingress.)

   If the label carried in the Mapping message is an Implicit NULL
   label, the LSR searches its MPLS forwarding state for an entry that
   indicates Label pop (means no outgoing label), and the next hop equal
   to one of the addresses (next hops) received in the Address message
   from the peer.  If such an entry is found, the LSR no longer marks
   the entry as stale, the LSR associates the incoming label from that
   entry with the FEC received in the Label Mapping message from the
   neighbor, and advertises (via LDP) <incoming label, FEC> to its
   neighbors.  If the found entry has no incoming label, or if no entry
   is found, the LSR follows the normal LDP procedures.  (Note that this
   paragraph describes the scenario where the restarting LSR is a
   penultimate hop for a particular LSP, and this LSP uses penultimate
   hop popping.)

   The description in the above paragraph assumes that the restarting
   LSR generates the same label for all the LSPs that terminate on the
   same LSR (different from the restarting LSR), and for which the
   restarting LSR is a penultimate hop.  If this is not the case, and
   the restarting LSR generates a unique label per each such LSP, then
   the LSR needs to preserve across the restart, not just the <incoming
   label, (outgoing label, next hop)> mapping, but also the FEC
   associated with this mapping.  In such case, the LSR searches its
   MPLS forwarding state for an entry that (a) indicates Label pop
   (means no outgoing label), (b) indicates the next hop equal to one of
   the addresses (next hops) received in the Address message from the
   peer, and (c) has the same FEC as the one received in the Label
   Mapping message.  If such an entry is found, the LSR no longer marks
   the entry as stale, the LSR associates the incoming label from that
   entry with the FEC received in the Label Mapping message from the
   neighbor, and advertises (via LDP) <incoming label, FEC> to its
   neighbors.  If the found entry has no incoming label, or if no entry
   is found, the LSR follows the normal LDP procedures.




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3.1.2. Egress LSR

   If an LSR determines that it is an egress for a particular FEC, the
   LSR is configured to generate a non-NULL label for that FEC, and that
   the LSR is configured to generate the same (non-NULL) label for all
   the FECs that share the same next hop and for which the LSR is an
   egress, the LSR searches its MPLS forwarding state for an entry that
   indicates Label pop (means no outgoing label), and the next hop equal
   to the next hop for that FEC.  (Determining the next hop for the FEC
   depends on the type of the FEC.  For example, when the FEC is an IP
   address prefix, the next hop for that FEC is determined from the IP
   forwarding table.)  If such an entry is found, the LSR no longer
   marks this entry as stale, the LSR associates the incoming label from
   that entry with the FEC, and advertises (via LDP) <incoming label,
   FEC> to its neighbors.  If the found entry has no incoming label, or
   if no entry is found, the LSR follows the normal LDP procedures.

   If an LSR determines that it is an egress for a particular FEC, the
   LSR is configured to generate a non-NULL label for that FEC, and that
   the LSR is configured to generate a unique label for each such FEC,
   then the LSR needs to preserve across the restart, not just the
   <incoming label, (outgoing label, next hop)> mapping, but also the
   FEC associated with this mapping.  In such case, the LSR would search
   its MPLS forwarding state for an entry that indicates Label pop
   (means no outgoing label), and the next hop equal to the next hop for
   that FEC associated with the entry (Determining the next hop for the
   FEC depends on the type of the FEC.  For example, when the FEC is an
   IP address prefix, the next hop for that FEC is determined from the
   IP forwarding table.)  If such an entry is found, the LSR no longer
   marks this entry as stale, the LSR associates the incoming label from
   that entry with the FEC, and advertises (via LDP) <incoming label,
   FEC> to its neighbors.  If the found entry has no incoming label, or
   if no entry is found, the LSR follows the normal LDP procedures.

   If an LSR determines that it is an egress for a particular FEC, and
   the LSR is configured to generate a NULL (either Explicit or
   Implicit) label for that FEC, the LSR just advertises (via LDP) such
   label (together with the FEC) to its neighbors.

3.2. Alternative procedures for the restarting LSR

   In this section we describe an alternative to the procedures
   described in Section 3.1, "Procedures for the restarting LSR".

   The procedures described in this section assumes that the restarting
   LSR has (at least) as many unallocated as allocated labels.  The
   latter form the MPLS forwarding state that the LSR managed to
   preserve across the restart.



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   After an LSR restarts its control plane, the LSR MUST check whether
   it was able to preserve its MPLS forwarding state from prior to the
   restart.  If no, then the LSR sets the Recovery Time to 0 in the FT
   Session TLV the LSR sends to its neighbors.

   If the forwarding state has been preserved, then the LSR starts its
   internal timer, called MPLS Forwarding State Holding timer (the value
   of that timer SHOULD be configurable), and marks all the MPLS
   forwarding state entries as "stale".  At the expiration of the timer,
   all the entries still marked as stale SHOULD be deleted.  The value
   of the Recovery Time advertised in the FT Session TLV is set to the
   (current) value of the timer at the point when the Initialization
   message carrying the FT Session TLV is sent.

   We say that an LSR is in the process of restarting when the MPLS
   Forwarding State Holding timer is not expired.  Once the timer
   expires, we say that the LSR completed its restart.

   While an LSR is in the process of restarting, the LSR creates local
   label binding by following the normal LDP procedures.

   Note that while an LSR is in the process of restarting, the LSR may
   have not one, but two local label bindings for a given FEC - one that
   was retained from prior to restart, and another that was created
   after the restart.  Once the LSR completes its restart, the former
   will be deleted.  Both of these bindings though would have the same
   outgoing label (and the same next hop).

3.3. Restart of LDP communication with a neighbor LSR

   When an LSR detects that its LDP session with a neighbor went down,
   and the LSR knows that the neighbor is capable of preserving its MPLS
   forwarding state across the restart (as was indicated by the FT
   Session TLV in the Initialization message received from the
   neighbor), the LSR retains the label-FEC bindings received via that
   session (rather than discarding the bindings), but marks them as
   "stale".

   After detecting that the LDP session with the neighbor went down, the
   LSR tries to re-establish LDP communication with the neighbor
   following the usual LDP procedures.

   The amount of time the LSR keeps its stale label-FEC bindings is set
   to the lesser of the FT Reconnect Timeout, as was advertised by the
   neighbor, and a local timer, called the Neighbor Liveness Timer.  If
   within that time the LSR still does not establish an LDP session with
   the neighbor, all the stale bindings SHOULD be deleted.  The Neighbor




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   Liveness Timer is started when the LSR detects that its LDP session
   with the neighbor went down.  The value of the Neighbor Liveness
   timer SHOULD be configurable.

   If the LSR re-establishes an LDP session with the neighbor within the
   lesser of the FT Reconnect Timeout and the Neighbor Liveness Timer,
   and the LSR determines that the neighbor was not able to preserve its
   MPLS forwarding state, the LSR SHOULD immediately delete all the
   stale label-FEC bindings received from that neighbor.  If the LSR
   determines that the neighbor was able to preserve its MPLS forwarding
   state (as was indicated by the non-zero Recovery Time advertised by
   the neighbor), the LSR SHOULD further keep the stale label-FEC
   bindings, received from the neighbor, for as long as the lesser of
   the Recovery Time advertised by the neighbor, and a local
   configurable value, called Maximum Recovery Time, allows.

   The LSR SHOULD try to complete the exchange of its label mapping
   information with the neighbor within 1/2 of the Recovery Time, as
   specified in the FT Session TLV received from the neighbor.

   The LSR handles the Label Mapping messages received from the neighbor
   by following the normal LDP procedures, except that (a) it treats the
   stale entries in its Label Information Base (LIB) as if these entries
   have been received over the (newly established) session, (b) if the
   label-FEC binding carried in the message is the same as the one that
   is present in the LIB, but is marked as stale, the LIB entry is no
   longer marked as stale, and (c) if for the FEC in the label-FEC
   binding carried in the message there is already a label-FEC binding
   in the LIB that is marked as stale, and the label in the LIB binding
   is different from the label carried in the message, the LSR just
   updates the LIB entry with the new label.

   An LSR, once it creates a <label, FEC> binding, SHOULD keep the value
   of the label in this binding for as long as the LSR has a route to
   the FEC in the binding.  If the route to the FEC disappears, and then
   re-appears again later, this may result in using a different label
   value, as when the route re-appears, the LSR would create a new
   <label, FEC> binding.

   To minimize the potential mis-routing caused by the label change when
   creating a new <label, FEC> binding, the LSR SHOULD pick up the least
   recently used label.  Once an LSR releases a label, the LSR SHOULD
   NOT re-use this label for advertising a <label, FEC> binding to a
   neighbor that supports graceful restart for at least the sum of the
   FT Reconnect Timeout plus Recovery Time, as advertised by the
   neighbor to the LSR.





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4. Security Consideration

   The security considerations pertaining to the original LDP protocol
   [RFC3036] remain relevant.

   In addition, LSRs that implement the mechanism described here are
   subject to to additional denial-of-service attacks as follows:

      An intruder may impersonate an LDP peer in order to force a
      failure and reconnection of the TCP connection, but where the
      intruder sets the Recovery Time to 0 on reconnection.  This forces
      all labels received from the peer to be released.

      An intruder could intercept the traffic between LDP peers and
      override the setting of the Recovery Time to be set to 0.  This
      forces all labels received from the peer to be released.

   All of these attacks may be countered by use of an authentication
   scheme between LDP peers, such as the MD5-based scheme outlined in
   [LDP].

   As with LDP, a security issue may exist if an LDP implementation
   continues to use labels after expiration of the session that first
   caused them to be used.  This may arise if the upstream LSR detects
   the session failure after the downstream LSR has released and re-used
   the label.  The problem is most obvious with the platform-wide label
   space and could result in mis-routing data to other than intended
   destinations, and it is conceivable that these behaviors may be
   deliberately exploited to either obtain services without
   authorization or to deny services to others.

   In this document, the validity of the session may be extended by the
   Reconnect Timeout, and the session may be re-established in this
   period.  After the expiry of the Reconnection Timeout, the session
   must be considered to have failed and the same security issue applies
   as described above.

   However, the downstream LSR may declare the session as failed before
   the expiration of its Reconnection Timeout.  This increases the
   period during which the downstream LSR might reallocate the label
   while the upstream LSR continues to transmit data using the old usage
   of the label.  To reduce this issue, this document requires that
   labels not be re-used until at least the sum of Reconnect Timeout
   plus Recovery Time.







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5. Intellectual Property Considerations

   This section is taken from Section 10.4 of [RFC2026].

   The IETF takes no position regarding the validity or scope of any
   intellectual property or other rights that might be claimed to
   pertain to the implementation or use of the technology described in
   this document or the extent to which any license under such rights
   might or might not be available; neither does it represent that it
   has made any effort to identify any such rights.  Information on the
   IETF's procedures with respect to rights in standards-track and
   standards-related documentation can be found in BCP-11.  Copies of
   claims of rights made available for publication and any assurances of
   licenses to be made available, or the result of an attempt made to
   obtain a general license or permission for the use of such
   proprietary rights by implementors or users of this specification can
   be obtained from the IETF Secretariat.

   The IETF invites any interested party to bring to its attention any
   copyrights, patents or patent applications, or other proprietary
   rights which may cover technology that may be required to practice
   this standard.  Please address the information to the IETF Executive
   Director.

   The IETF has been notified of intellectual property rights claimed in
   regard to some or all of the specification contained in this
   document.  For more information consult the online list of claimed
   rights.

6. Acknowledgments

   We would like to thank Loa Andersson, Chaitanya Kodeboyina, Ina
   Minei, Nischal Sheth, Enke Chen, and Adrian Farrel for their
   contributions to this document.

7. Normative References

   [LDP]          Andersson, L., Doolan, P., Feldman, N., Fredette, A.
                  and B. Thomas, "Label Distribution Protocol", RFC
                  3036, January 2001.

   [FT-LDP]       Farrel, A., "Fault Tolerance for the Label
                  Distribution Protocol (LDP)", RFC 3479, February 2003.

   [RFC2119]      Bradner, S., "Key words for use in RFCs to Indicate
                  Requirement Levels", BCP 14, RFC 2119, March 1997.





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   [RFC2026]      Bradner, S., "The Internet Standards Process --
                  Revision 3", BCP 9, RFC 2026, October 1996.

8. Informative References

   [OSPF-RESTART] "Hitless OSPF Restart", Work in Progress.

   [ISIS-RESTART] "Restart signaling for ISIS", Work in Progress.

   [BGP-RESTART]  "Graceful Restart Mechanism for BGP", Work in
                  Progress.

9. Authors' Addresses

   Manoj Leelanivas
   Juniper Networks
   1194 N. Mathilda Ave
   Sunnyvale, CA 94089

   EMail: manoj@juniper.net

   Yakov Rekhter
   Juniper Networks
   1194 N. Mathilda Ave
   Sunnyvale, CA 94089

   EMail: yakov@juniper.net

   Rahul Aggarwal
   Redback Networks
   350 Holger Way
   San Jose, CA 95134

   EMail: rahul@redback.com

















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10.  Full Copyright Statement

   Copyright (C) The Internet Society (2003).  All Rights Reserved.

   This document and translations of it may be copied and furnished to
   others, and derivative works that comment on or otherwise explain it
   or assist in its implementation may be prepared, copied, published
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   kind, provided that the above copyright notice and this paragraph are
   included on all such copies and derivative works.  However, this
   document itself may not be modified in any way, such as by removing
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   Internet organizations, except as needed for the purpose of
   developing Internet standards in which case the procedures for
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   followed, or as required to translate it into languages other than
   English.

   The limited permissions granted above are perpetual and will not be
   revoked by the Internet Society or its successors or assigns.

   This document and the information contained herein is provided on an
   "AS IS" basis and THE INTERNET SOCIETY AND THE INTERNET ENGINEERING
   TASK FORCE DISCLAIMS ALL WARRANTIES, EXPRESS OR IMPLIED, INCLUDING
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   HEREIN WILL NOT INFRINGE ANY RIGHTS OR ANY IMPLIED WARRANTIES OF
   MERCHANTABILITY OR FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE.

Acknowledgement

   Funding for the RFC Editor function is currently provided by the
   Internet Society.



















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