Computer Network Architectures and Multimedia. Guy Leduc. Chapter 2 MPLS networks. Chapter 2: MPLS

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1 Computer Network Architectures and Multimedia Guy Leduc Chapter 2 MPLS networks Chapter based on Section 5.5 of Computer Networking: A Top Down Approach, 6 th edition. Jim Kurose, Keith Ross Addison-Wesley, March Section and chapter 2 of MPLS - Technology and Applications. Bruce Davie, Yakov Rekhter. Morgan Kaufmann, Chapter 6 of ACM SIGCOMM ebook on Recent Advances in Networking, MPLS 2-1 Chapter 2: MPLS Overview Virtual Circuits (VC) - Reminder MPLS networks MPLS Virtual Private Networks (VPNs) MPLS 2-2 1

2 VC forwarding table (1) Model #1 : VC number is link local Forwarding table in northwest router: VC number interface number Incoming interface Incoming VC # Outgoing interface Outgoing VC # Need incoming interface number in table! MPLS 2-3 VC forwarding table (2) Model #2 : VC number is node local Forwarding table in northwest router: VC number interface number Incoming VC # Outgoing interface Outgoing VC # VC number is unique in the node. Incoming VC number is enough to identify a VC MPLS 2-4 2

3 Chapter 2: MPLS Overview Virtual Circuits (VC) - Reminder MPLS networks MPLS Virtual Private Networks (VPNs) MPLS 2-5 MultiProtocol Label Switching (MPLS) Initial goal: high-speed IP forwarding by using fixed length label (instead of IP address) to do forwarding fast lookup using fixed length identifier (rather than longest prefix matching) borrowing ideas from Virtual Circuit (VC) approach but IP datagram inside still keeps IP address! Data link header MPLS header IP header remainder of link-layer frame label Exp S TTL The label is the main field. Others will be explained later MPLS 2-6 3

4 IP-Over-MPLS Classic IP only (e.g., over Ethernet) 3 networks (e.g., LANs) MAC (802.3) and IP addresses IP over MPLS MPLS network seen as layer 2 network (like an Ethernet LAN) MPLS labels and IP addresses = Ethernet switch = IP router = IP router with MPLS switching capabilities MPLS network Ethernet LANs Ethernet LANs MPLS 2-7 MPLS-capable (IP) routers a.k.a. Label-Switched Router (LSR) Forwards packets to outgoing interface based only on label value (don t inspect IP address) MPLS forwarding table distinct from IP forwarding table Flexibility: MPLS forwarding decisions can differ from those of IP Labels can be based on destination and source addresses and TOS byte, so that flows can be routed to the same destination differently (traffic engineering) Possible to re-route flows quickly if link fails: pre-computed backup paths (useful for real-time flows such as VoIP) Signaling protocol is needed to set up forwarding state based on labels in nodes Must co-exist with IP-only routers MPLS 2-8 4

5 MPLS versus IP paths (1) R6 R5 R4 IP routing: path to destination determined by destination address alone All paths towards a given destination form a tree rooted at this destination R2 R3 D A IP router MPLS 2-9 MPLS versus IP paths (2) R6 R5 R4 entry router (R4) can use different MPLS routes to A based, e.g., on source address R2 R3 D A IP-only router MPLS and IP router IP routing: path to destination determined by destination address alone MPLS routing: path to destination can be based, e.g., on source and destination addresses, and/or TOS byte, and/or on available link resources, and/or on link performance metrics MPLS

6 MPLS signaling for traffic engineering Extend the intra-domain routing protocol OSPF and IS-IS link state packets can carry additional link information used by MPLS Establish MPLS paths (i.e., forwarding state based on labels) Done by ingress MPLS router, typically by RSVP-TE (see later) R6 R5 R4 modified link state flooding RSVP-TE D A MPLS 2-11 MPLS forwarding tables IP-only router R6 R5 in out out label label dest interface 10 A 0 12 D 0 8 A 1 LSR R4 0 R2 in out out label label dest interface A 0 R3 0 in out out label label dest interface 10 6 A D D R1 0 A in out out label label dest interface 6 - A 0 MPLS

7 Network Layer Routing Functional Components Routing and Forwarding Routing Routing algorithm: build routing tables Forwarding Forward packets according to forwarding tables derived from routing tables Unicast IP forwarding: Uses IP destination address prefix Longest prefix match Unicast IP forwarding with Types of Service Uses destination address prefix and TOS value Longest prefix match on address prefix and exact match on TOS Multicast forwarding Uses destination and source addresses and incoming interface Exact match MPLS 2-13 Forwarding Equivalence Class (FEC) The set of all possible packets can be partitioned into disjoint subsets according to the forwarding point of view A Forwarding Equivalence Class (FEC) is such a subset All packets in a FEC are forwarded in the same way Examples of FECs: A set of unicast packets whose destination address matches a particular IP address prefix A set of unicast packets with the same TOS and whose destination address matches a particular IP address prefix A set of unicast packets whose source and destination addresses match particular IP address prefixes (load sharing) A set of multicast packets with the same source and destination addresses All granularities are possible provided that they are based on the IP header fields (+ possibly the port numbers) Trade-off between granularity and scalability MPLS

8 Label Switching: The Forwarding Component Every packet has a label A label is a short, fixed-length (20 bits) entity, with no internal structure It s a Virtual Circuit Identifier (VCI) Forwarding will be based solely on labels (+ possibly on the incoming interface) Forwarding entry: Incoming label {components} component = (outgoing label, outgoing interface, next-hop, other fields) Example of other fields: an outgoing queue (for QoS) Labels are thus swapped by nodes Single forwarding algorithm! Not one for unicast, one for multicast, one for unicast + TOS, No constraint on the forwarding granularity A label can be associated with any chosen FEC Paths followed by labeled IP packets are called LSPs Label-Switched Paths MPLS 2-15 Multiprotocol: Above and Below IPv4 IPv6 IPX Label Switching Network layer protocols Sort of layer 2.5 ATM Ethernet PPP FDDI Frame Relay Data link layer protocols Label switching is not specific to any particular network layer Label switching can operate over any link layer protocol MPLS = Multiprotocol Label Switching MPLS

9 Label Switching: The Control Component Network layer routing protocols (e.g. OSPF, BGP, PIM) Procedures for creating bindings between FECs and labels Procedures for distributing label binding information FEC-to-next-hop mapping FEC-to-label mapping Label switching forwarding table (label-to-next-hop mapping) The control component is responsible for Distributing routing information among LSRs The procedures for converting this information into a forwarding table Create bindings between labels and FECs Distribute bindings among LSRs MPLS 2-17 Local versus Remote Binding Local binding An LSR creates the binding with a label that is chosen and assigned locally Example: LSR A locally assigns label 100 to FEC * Remote binding An LSR receives a label binding from another LSR A s neighbor LSR B informs A that it has assigned label 105 to FEC * Interesting for A if A is using B as next hop for this FEC, because A can start sending packets with label 105 to B for this FEC If so, A stores this mapping in its forwarding table: 100 (105, outgoing_interface_to_b) Otherwise, A discards it (or store it as a backup entry) Similarly, A will inform its neighbors about its local mapping 100 for FEC *, so that they can send A packets labeled by 100 MPLS

10 Forwarding tables in LSRs Consider forwarding entries for FEC = * Routing: * A Local binding: * 107 MPLS forwarding: 107 (100, A) A B Routing: * C Local binding: * 105 MPLS forwarding: 105 (?, C) Routing: * B Local binding: * 100 MPLS forwarding: 100 (105, B) C Routing: * A Local binding: * 103 MPLS forwarding: 103 (100, A) MPLS 2-19 This is called Downstream Binding Packets with label X Packets with label X Binding Information for label X Binding Information for label X Downstream binding Upstream binding Upstream = on the source side Downstream = on the sink side MPLS

11 LDP: Label Distribution Protocol LDP is a signaling protocol to distribute FEC-to-label bindings among LSRs The routing protocol (e.g. OSPF) is still useful to distribute FEC-to-NextHop bindings That is the network topology information Possibly extended with QoS-related link metrics (link delay, link capacity, etc.) Note: if FECs are just the traditional destination IP prefixes, the MPLS LSPs will simply follow the IP shortest paths Label switching But no clever routing, no traffic engineering! MPLS 2-21 Establishing LSPs using RSVP RSVP = Resource ReserVation Protocol RSVP covered in more details in chap. 5 Source sends PATH message to destination Route taken by PATH is dictated by IP routing! Destination replies using RESV message Following the same route (backward) as the PATH message Here RESV also used to piggyback MPLS labels! Ingress LSR Path Resv Label = 9 Path Resv Label = 5 Egress LSR MPLS

12 But: IP routing is not always a panacea A C D G B E F Fish problem: If the shortest path from C to G is CDG, then all flows from A to G and B to G use the CDG path, which is congested, while CEFG remains unused If traffic load is taken into account, this simply leads to oscillations One needs some load balancing OSPF can keep several routes for a destination when they are equal ECMP: Equal Cost MultiPath This is not enough in the example above MPLS 2-23 Other routing requirements Efficient explicit routing Explicit routing is possible in IP Add a route in the optional part of the IP header But big overhead! And most often not taken into account by ISPs Constraint-based routing Find a route with a given minimal bandwidth Find a route with a given maximal delay OSPF can find shortest paths according to several metrics But this is not equivalent All these requirements are traffic engineering requirements And IP offers little support to traffic engineering MPLS

13 Explicit path RSVP-TE (TE = Traffic Engineering) In the previous example, the PATH message followed the route dictated by the IP forwarding tables in place If the PATH message is extended with an Explicit Route Object (ERO), RSVP-TE can be used to set up an LSP that has been precalculated (source routing) This is useful when routes need minimal QoS that require specific paths (e.g. minimum bandwidth), or for load balancing The ingress LSR has to compute the route It has to know the topology and the QoS state of all links OSPF has to be extended to carry the link QoS state e.g. available bandwidth The ingress LSR computes the Constrained Shortest Path e.g. Dijkstra on a reduced graph In the reduced graph the links that do not satisfy the constraints are removed MPLS 2-25 MPLS and QoS Reminder: IP packet is encapsulated in MPLS frame So: IP TOS byte (or DSCP, see chap. 5) is invisible to MPLS LSRs Would like to apply the right behavior to MPLS frames, but how? Shim header: Label (20 bits) TTL (8 bits) (Bottom of) stack (1 bit) EXP (3 bits) The 3-bit EXP field is used to carry the TOS semantics But limited to 3 bits, while TOS is 8 bits EXP field is used along the path to give QoS e.g. appropriate queuing and scheduling Note that the label itself can also carry (part of) the QoS semantics If FEC (and thus label) is TOS-related Path of the LSP then depends on the TOS as well Part of the TOS semantics can still be carried in the EXP field: e.g. a drop precedence level (see chap.5 - Differentiated services - AF classes) MPLS

14 MPLS and TTL Shim header: Label (20 bits) TTL (8 bits) MPLS TTL Allows to discard MPLS frames trapped in transient loops Allows the MPLS TTL to serve as hop count for the inner IP packet Linking IP and MPLS TTLs: The IP TTL field is copied in the MPLS TTL field at ingress MPLS LSR The MPLS TTL is decremented by LSRs The egress MPLS LSR copies the MPLS TTL back in the IP TTL Note: If MPLS TTL expires, LSR does not know how to send the ICMP packet to the source! (Bottom of) stack (1 bit) EXP (3 bits) MPLS 2-27 Chapter 2: MPLS Overview Virtual Circuits (VC) - Reminder MPLS networks MPLS Virtual Private Networks (VPNs) MPLS

15 Virtual Private Networks (VPNs) Institutions often want private networks for security Costly! Need separate (private) routers, links, DNS infrastructure, VPN: institution s inter-office traffic is sent over public Internet instead As if dedicated physical connections would exist to interconnect the remote customer equipments But here only virtual links, also called pseudowires So, traffic is logically separate from other customers traffic Ideally traffic is also encrypted before entering public Internet But we won t cover security in this chapter MPLS 2-29 L3VPNs (Layer 3 VPNs) We will focus on the most popular L3VPNs (Layer 3 VPNs) Def.: a L3VPN transports layer 3 packets, namely IP packets So, a L3VPN is like establishing tunnels between remote customer IP routers Most L3VPNs are based on MPLS Other types of VPNs: L2VPNs carry layer 2 frames (e.g. Ethernet frames) Interconnected customer sites would form a single LAN Single broadcast domain L1VPNs carry layer 1 symbols For example, establishing light paths in an optical network MPLS

16 An MPLS VPN with 2 customers MPLS-capable Provider Edge (PE) router, Label Edge Router (LER) IP-only Customer Edge (CE) router Two IP ranges allocated to customer 2 (some can be private) MPLS network with Label Switched Routers (LSRs) in the core IP range allocated to this site of customer 1 (can overlap with IP addresses of another customer) MPLS 2-31 Looking inside the provider s network It is both an MPLS and an IP network All internal interfaces also have IP addresses (here in the /8 range) There are 2 VPNs Packets destined for a given CE router along a given path with a given QoS will belong to the same MPLS FEC The network has AS number 100 (for BGP) /8 is not announced outside of AS 100 LSR 1 and 2 are P routers LER 1, 2 and 3 are PE routers MPLS

17 Three ingredients of an MPLS VPN Note first that: Customers may have overlapping addresses Thus a tunneling mechanism is needed Don t want to manage manually O(n 2 ) tunnels per VPN, when a customer has n sites Don t want to update all the forwarding tables of the n PEs of a VPN when one customer adds a new subnet to one of its sites Would like (un)encapsulations to take place at the PEs, not the CEs. Easier for customers Three ingredients: 1. Achieve any-to-any IP connectivity among PEs 2. Define signaling mechanism to distribute customer prefixes between PEs 3. Define an encapsulation mechanism to transport packets from one PE to another PE across the network MPLS Any-to-any connectivity between PEs Assign a loopback address (/32) to each PE, i.e., an address associated with a virtual interface, independent of the availability of specific network interfaces Let the IGP (e.g., OSPF) announce them to all P and PE routers Loopback address MPLS

18 Showing the resulting routing table of routers Can also set IGP link weights to engineer traffic MPLS Use MP-BGP to distribute customer prefixes Customer prefixes are learned by PE on an ebgp session between PE and CE For the ibgp part, MPLS relies on Multi-Protocol BGP (MP-BGP) It supports multiple address families (IPv4 and IPv6) and additional information to identify VPN: the L3VPN identifier (i.e., the customer) CE CE PE PE CE See Route Distinguisher (RD) 8-byte field in MP-BGP messages PE MPLS

19 3. Use MPLS encapsulation between PEs In its simplest form (i.e., each PE is a FEC) all P and PE routers run LDP to distribute label-to-pe mappings First attempt: At ingress PE, an IP packet coming from a CE router is encapsulated in the suitable MPLS tunnel by pushing the MPLS label associated with the (loopback address of the) egress PE Finding the egress PE? Ingress PE knows the incoming CE and therefore the L3VPN id Combined with the IP destination address, this L3VPN id gives the egress PE (thanks to MP-BPG) Egress PE pops the MPLS label and should forward the IP packet to the right CE Any problem here? MPLS 2-37 MPLS double encapsulation Problem is: If several CEs (from distinct customers) are connected to the same PE, and if these CEs announce overlapping IP addresses, then the PE cannot determine the right CE, because the L3VPN id is not known! Solution: 1. Ingress PE first pushes an inner label identifying the L3VPN (of ingress CE) 2. Ingress PE then pushes an outer label identifying the egress PE. This is the only label used (and swapped) by P routers to forward the MPLS frame 3. Egress PE pops outer label and reads inner label to determine the L3VPN 4. Egress PE pops inner label and forwards the IP packet to the right CE using the specific forwarding table of that VPN MPLS

20 Optimizations Penultimate hop popping: The last P router can already remove the outer label before forwarding the MPLS frame to the egress PE The Extranet case: i.e., interconnecting two VPNs (e.g., of different customers) that have nonoverlapping IP address ranges Can avoid the creation of several VPN-specific forwarding tables Consumes less router memory and CPU time MPLS 2-39 Chapter 2: Summary MPLS Adding virtual circuits to (or under ) IP Label switching Associates a label with a FEC (flexible mapping) Need additional signaling protocols to distribute label bindings e.g., LDP, RSVP IP routing protocols (e.g. OSPF, BGP) still used to distribute topology info and prefixes Routing functionality extended with RSVP-TE MPLS-VPN 3 ingredients: PE connectivity MP-BGP distribution, MPLS tunnelling Customers unaware of MPLSspecific details Can keep their IP addressing plan Traffic from different customers share same MPLS tunnels but correctly demultiplexed at egress PE Scalable: configuration of P routers only dependent on # of PEs, but independent from # of VPNs, # of CEs, # of IP prefixes MPLS

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