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    Understanding BFD for RIP

    The Bidirectional Forwarding Detection (BFD) Protocol is a simple hello mechanism that detects failures in a network. Hello packets are sent at a specified, regular interval. A neighbor failure is detected when the routing device stops receiving a reply after a specified interval. BFD works with a wide variety of network environments and topologies. BFD failure detection times are shorter than RIP detection times, providing faster reaction times to various kinds of failures in the network. Instead of waiting for the routing protocol neighbor timeout, BFD provides rapid detection of link failures. BFD timers are adaptive and can be adjusted to be more or less aggressive. For example, a timer can adapt to a higher value if the adjacency fails, or a neighbor can negotiate a higher value for a timer than the one configured.

    BFD enables quick failover between a primary and a secondary routed path. The protocol tests the operational status of the interface multiple times per second. BFD provides for configuration timers and thresholds for failure detection. For example, if the minimum interval is set for 50 milliseconds and the threshold uses the default value of three missed messages, a failure is detected on an interface within 200 milliseconds of the failure.

    Intervening devices (for example, an Ethernet LAN switch) hide link-layer failures from routing protocol peers, such as when two routers are connected by way of a LAN switch, where the local interface status remains up even when a physical fault happens on the remote link. Link-layer failure detection times vary, depending on the physical media and the Layer 2 encapsulation. BFD can provide fast failure detection times for all media types, encapsulations, topologies, and routing protocols.

    To enable BFD for RIP, both sides of the connection must receive an update message from the peer. By default, RIP does not export any routes. Therefore, you must enable update messages to be sent by configuring an export policy for routes before a BFD session is triggered.

    Modified: 2016-06-15