As the Internet takes an increasingly central role in our communications infrastructure, the slow convergence of routing protocols after a network failure becomes a growing problem. To assure fast recovery from link and node failures in IP networks, we present a new recovery scheme called Multiple Routing Configurations (MRC). We also show how an estimate of the traffic demands in the network can be used to improve the distribution of the recovered traffic, and thus reduce the chances of congestion when MRC is used.
Shortest path routing protocols may suffer from congestion due to the use of a single shortest path between a source and a destination. The goal of our work is to first understand how links become overloaded in an IP backbone, and then to explore if the routing protocol, -either in its existing form, or in some enhanced form could be made to respond immediately to overload and reduce the likelihood of its occurrence. Our method is to use extensive measurements of Sprint's backbone network, measuring 138 links between September 2000 and June 2001. We find that since the backbone is designed to be over provisioned, link overload is rare, and when it occurs, 80% of the time it is caused due to link failures.
Furthermore, we find that when a link is overloaded, few (if any) other links in the network are also overloaded. This suggests that deflecting packets to less utilized alternate paths could be an effective method for tackling overload. We analytically derive the condition that a network, which has multiple equal length shortest paths between every pair of nodes (as is common in the highly meshed backbone networks) can provide for loop-free deflection paths if all the link weights are within a ratio 1 + 1/(d- I) of each other; where d is the diameter of the network. Based on our measurements, the nature of the backbone topology and the careful use of link weights, we propose a deflection routing algorithm to tackle link overload where each node makes local decisions. Simulations suggest that this can be a simple and efficient way to overcome link overload, without requiring any changes to the routing protocol.
Our proposed scheme guarantees recovery in all single failure scenarios, using a single mechanism to handle both link and node failures, and without knowing the root cause of the failure. MRC is strictly connectionless, and assumes only destination based hop-by-hop forwarding. MRC is based on keeping additional routing information in the routers, and allows packet forwarding to continue on an alternative output link immediately after the detection of a failure. It can be implemented with only minor changes to existing solutions. In this paper we present MRC, and analyze its performance with respect to scalability, backup path lengths, and load distribution after a failure.
- Network Module
- Multiple Routing Configurations(MRC)
- Hop by Hop Forwarding
- Backup Path