We have a WAN on MPLS that is using
BGP. We are getting 25 to 35 second convergance but we need to do better. I have the router config's and a drawing of the
network if someone thinks they could help us improve this. Thanks in advance.......
Is it eBGP or iBGP that you're using? You can change timers per neighbor to help with convergence. Something like:
neighbor x.x.x.x timers 5 15
BGP will select the lower timer of the 2 peers (meaning if your peer is 60 180 (default), it will scale down to match yours.)
There is a recommendation for not going lower than 20 seconds because it can increase the chance of bgp flapping.
Gonna take me a little time to look at this. Where are these routers in your diagram? I don't see the AS listed that you have in the configs.
There are a couple of things that you can try that I don't see in your config. There's an option in BGP called fall-over. It helps speed up convergence on the
detection of a loss of the peer. I would apply it to the iBGP peers and see if that helps with your convergence. You can also try to enable graceful-restart to see if that helps as well.
We looked at fall over but it said it needed host routes and not loopbacks....it didn't seem to fit with our design....please take all the time you need.....I get off work between 5 and 5:30 EST....I'll most likely be back on tonight from home.....this amusment never ends.....
I went back in and looked at the timers again.....I reset them and it inproved the convergance greatly....we now see 6-7 seconds until the network convereges....I'm not sure we could do better than that....so today more testing ....thanks for your help...
6-7 seconds is pretty normal. Are these ethernet interfaces and are you seeing the convergence between ibgp peers? If so, you could try to bring the timers down to 1 and 3 for hold down.
No these are the serial MPLS network.....I had adjusted the timers to
1 3 3 and it worked great....we have celluar for our backup which seems to hold the routes for at least a min sometimes longer so I'm not sure the timers are even an issue...since it doesn't "flap" once it's on the cell it stays there for so far at least a min.....I think I get the concept of the timers but do you have a good/easy/layman way to explain them to others...they are asking me to justify why I can have them set so low.....we are using eigrp from router 2 up to the 3g router to speed the convergance and it works really well...do you think I could get the same resault from ospf?
again thanks for your help
The 1 is the keepalive and the 3 is the hold timer. When bgp doesn't receive a keepalive within 3 seconds, it considers the neighbor down and fails over to the backup (less preferred) routes. So BGP sends the keepalive every 1 second, and if it doesn't receive a keepalive within 3 seconds it considers the neighbor down.
You can see this by doing a "sh ip bgp neighbor x.x.x.x | inc Last read"
Last read 00:00:18, last write 00:00:11, hold time is 180, keepalive interval is 60 seconds
The default is 60 and 180 (3 minutes) for BGP, and the argument for changing timers per neighbor is usually that you shouldn't need to change them, but I have them changed in my network as well on iBGP neighbors. My serial side on our MPLS network converges fairly fast. When an interface failure is detected, I believe our provider has the "fast-external-failover" feature enabled. If you have access to both sides (with no provider in the middle) of your MPLS network, you may want to enable that feature on both ends of your serial link to see if that helps with your convergence without jacking around with the timers. Otherwise, you should be okay.
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I'll ask about the "fast-external-failover". That's about as clean as it can get for an explanation..... To test this we are just shutting down the serial interface....is that a good test? Does it simulate a network outage or is there a better way to test this???
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Yes. When you shut the serial side down, the other side of the link will go down. You can also do a hard failover by removing the cable.