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Understanding BFD for OSPF

 

The Bidirectional Forwarding Detection (BFD) protocol is a simple hello mechanism that detects failures in a network. BFD works with a wide variety of network environments and topologies. A pair of routing devices exchange BFD packets. 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. The BFD failure detection timers have shorter time limits than the OSPF failure detection mechanisms, so they provide faster detection.

The BFD failure detection timers are adaptive and can be adjusted to be faster or slower. The lower the BFD failure detection timer value, the faster the failure detection and vice versa. For example, the timers can adapt to a higher value if the adjacency fails (that is, the timer detects failures more slowly). Or a neighbor can negotiate a higher value for a timer than the configured value. The timers adapt to a higher value when a BFD session flap occurs more than three times in a span of 15 seconds. A back-off algorithm increases the receive (Rx) interval by two if the local BFD instance is the reason for the session flap. The transmission (Tx) interval is increased by two if the remote BFD instance is the reason for the session flap. You can use the clear bfd adaptation command to return BFD interval timers to their configured values. The clear bfd adaptation command is hitless, meaning that the command does not affect traffic flow on the routing device.

Note

QFX5000 Series switches and EX4600 switches do not support minimum interval values of less than 1 second.

Note

BFD is supported for OSPFv3 in Junos OS Release 9.3 and later.

Note

For branch SRX Series devices, we recommend 1000 ms as the minimum keepalive time interval for BFD packets.

You can configure the following BFD protocol settings:

  • detection-time threshold—Threshold for the adaptation of the detection time. When the BFD session detection time adapts to a value equal to or greater than the configured threshold, a single trap and a single system log message are sent.

  • full-neighbors-only—Ability to establish BFD sessions only for OSPF neighbors with full neighbor adjacency. The default behavior is to establish BFD sessions for all OSPF neighbors. This setting is available in Junos OS Release 9.5 and later.

  • minimum-interval—Minimum transmit and receive interval for failure detection. This setting configures both the minimum interval after which the local routing device transmits hello packets and the minimum interval after which the routing device expects to receive a reply from the neighbor with which it has established a BFD session. Both intervals are in milliseconds. You can also specify the minimum transmit and receive intervals separately using the transmit-interval minimum-interval and minimum-receive-interval statements.

    Note

    BFD is an intensive protocol that consumes system resources. Specifying a minimum interval for BFD of less than 100 ms for Routing Engine-based sessions and 10 ms for distributed BFD sessions can cause undesired BFD flapping.

    Depending on your network environment, these additional recommendations might apply:

    • For large-scale network deployments with a large number of BFD sessions, specify a minimum interval of no less than 500 ms. An interval of 1000 ms is recommended to avoid any instability issues.

    • For very large-scale network deployments with a large number of BFD sessions, contact Juniper Networks customer support for more information.

    • For BFD sessions to remain up during a Routing Engine switchover event when nonstop active routing (NSR) is configured, specify a minimum interval of 2500 ms for Routing Engine-based sessions. Without NSR, Routing Engine-based sessions can have a minimum interval of 100 ms. In OSPFv3, BFD is always based in the Routing Engine, meaning that BFD is not distributed. For distributed BFD sessions with NSR configured, the minimum interval recommendations are unchanged and depend only on your network deployment.

    • On a single QFX5100 switch, when you add a QFX-EM-4Q expansion module, specify a minimum interval higher than 1000 ms.

  • minimum-receive-interval—Minimum receive interval for failure detection. This setting configures the minimum receive interval, in milliseconds, after which the routing device expects to receive a hello packet from a neighbor with which it has established a BFD session. You can also specify the minimum receive interval using the minimum-interval statement.

  • multiplier—Multiplier for hello packets. This setting configures the number of hello packets that are not received by a neighbor, which causes the originating interface to be declared down. By default, three missed hello packets cause the originating interface to be declared down.

  • no-adaptation—Disables BFD adaption. This setting disables BFD sessions from adapting to changing network conditions. This setting is available in Junos OS Release 9.0 and later.

    Note

    We recommend that you do not disable BFD adaptation unless it is preferable not to have BFD adaptation in your network.

  • transmit-interval minimum-interval—Minimum transmit interval for failure detection. This setting configures the minimum transmit interval, in milliseconds, at which the local routing device transmits hello packets to the neighbor with which it has established a BFD session. You can also specify the minimum transmit interval using the minimum-interval statement.

  • transmit-interval threshold—Threshold for the adaptation of the BFD session transmit interval. When the transmit interval adapts to a value greater than the threshold, a single trap and a single system log message are sent. The threshold value must be greater than the minimum transmit interval. If you attempt to commit a configuration with a threshold value less than the minimum transmit interval, the routing device displays an error and does not accept the configuration.

  • version—BFD version. This setting configures the BFD version used for detection. You can explicitly configure BFD version 1, or the routing device can automatically detect the BFD version. By default, the routing device automatically detects the BFD version automatically, which is either 0 or 1.

You can also trace BFD operations for troubleshooting purposes.