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Introduction to OAM Connectivity Fault Management (CFM)

 

Use this topic to understand more about the connectivity fault management (CFM).

Ethernet OAM Connectivity Fault Management

The most complete connectivity fault management (CFM) is defined in IEEE 802.1ag. This topic emphasizes the use of CFM in a Metro Ethernet environment.

The major features of CFM are:

  • Fault monitoring using the continuity check protocol. This is a neighbor discovery and health check protocol that discovers and maintains adjacencies at the VLAN or link level.

  • Path discovery and fault verification using the linktrace protocol. Similar to IP traceroute, this protocol maps the path taken to a destination MAC address through one or more bridged networks between the source and destination.

  • Fault isolation using the loopback protocol. Similar to IP ping, this protocol works with the continuity check protocol during troubleshooting.

CFM partitions the service network into various administrative domains. For example, operators, providers, and customers might be part of different administrative domains.

Each administrative domain is mapped into one maintenance domain providing enough information to perform its own management, thus avoiding security breaches and making end-to-end monitoring possible. Each maintenance domain is associated with a maintenance domain level from 0 through 7. Level allocation is based on the network hierarchy, where outermost domains are assigned a higher level than the innermost domains.

Customer end points have the highest maintenance domain level. In a CFM maintenance domain, each service instance is called a maintenance association. A maintenance association can be thought as a full mesh of maintenance endpoints (MEPs) having similar characteristics. MEPs are active CFM entities generating and responding to CFM protocol messages.

There is also a maintenance intermediate point (MIP), which is a CFM entity similar to the MEP, but more passive (MIPs only respond to CFM messages).

MEPs can be up MEPs or down MEPs. A link can connect a MEP at level 5 to a MEP at level 7. The interface at level 5 is an up MEP (because the other end of the link is at MEP level 7), and the interface at level 7 is a down MEP (because the other end of the link is at MEP level 5).

In a Metro Ethernet network, CFM is commonly used at two levels:

  • By the service provider to check the connectivity among its provider edge (PE) routers

  • By the customer to check the connectivity among its customer edge (CE) routers

    Note

    The configured customer CFM level must be greater than service provider CFM level.

In many Metro Ethernet networks, CFM is used to monitor connectivity over a VPLS and bridge network.

Note

In ACX Series routers, OAM for VPLS is supported only on ACX5048, ACX5096, and ACX5448 routers.

IEEE 802.1ag OAM Connectivity Fault Management Overview

Ethernet interfaces on M7i and M10i routers with the Enhanced CFEB (CFEB-E) and on M120, M320, MX Series, T Series, and PTX Series routers support the IEEE 802.1ag standard for Operation, Administration, and Management (OAM). The IEEE 802.1ag specification provides for Ethernet connectivity fault management (CFM). The goal of CFM is to monitor an Ethernet network that may comprise one or more service instances. Junos OS supports IEEE 802.1ag connectivity fault management.

Note

MX Series Virtual Chassis does not support distributed inline connectivity fault management.

ACX Series routers support CFM on aggregated Ethernet interfaces with continuity check interval of 100 milliseconds or higher.

OAM Connectivity Fault Management Overview

In Junos OS Release 9.3 and later, CFM also supports aggregated Ethernet interfaces. Connectivity fault management (CFM) sessions operate in distributed mode and are processed on the Flexible PIC Concentrator (FPC) on aggregated Ethernet interfaces. As a result, graceful Routing Engine switchover (GRES) is supported on aggregated Ethernet interfaces. In releases before Junos OS Release 13.3, CFM sessions operate in centralized mode and are processed on the Routing Engine. However, CFM sessions are not supported on aggregated Ethernet interfaces if the interfaces that form the aggregated Ethernet bundle are in mixed mode. CFM sessions with a continuity check message (CCM) interval of 10 milliseconds are not supported over aggregated Ethernet interfaces.

CFM sessions are distributed by default. All CFM sessions must operate in either only distributed or only centralized mode. A mixed operation of distributed and centralized modes for CFM sessions is not supported. To disable the distribution of CFM sessions on aggregated Ethernet interfaces and make the sessions operate in centralized mode, include the no-aggregate-delegate-processing statement at the [edit protocols oam ethernet connectivity-fault-management] hierarchy level.

Note

As a requirement for Ethernet OAM 802.1ag to work, distributed periodic packet management (PPM) runs on the Routing Engine and Packet Forwarding Engine. You can only disable PPM on the Packet Forwarding Engine. To disable PPM on the PFE, include the ppm no-delegate-processing statement at the [edit routing-options ppm] hierarchy level.

Note
  • CFM sessions are supported on aggregated Ethernet interfaces if the interfaces that form the aggregated Ethernet bundle are in mixed mode when the no-aggregate-delegate-processing command is enabled.

  • Starting in Junos OS Release 14.2, for CFM sessions in centralized mode, we recommend that you configure a maximum of 40 CFM sessions with continuity check message (CCM) interval of 100 milliseconds (100 ms) or a maximum of 400 CFM sessions with CCM interval of 1 second (1 s). If CFM sessions are configured beyond this limit, CFM might not work as expected. You might observe issues when the state of multiple links change or when the line cards are restarted.

    Note that these limits have been derived by considering a protocol data unit (PDU) load of 400 packets per second (pps) on the Routing Engine. This limit varies depending on the Routing Engine load. If the Routing Engine experiences heavy load, expect some variations to this limit.

Starting in Junos OS Release 10.3, on interfaces configured on Modular Port Concentrators (MPCs) and Modular Interface Cards (MICs) on MX Series routers, CFM is not supported on untagged aggregated Ethernet member links. MPCs and MICs do support CFM on untagged and tagged aggregated Ethernet logical interfaces.Starting in Junos OS Release 12.3, CFM does not support Multichassis Link Aggregation (MC-LAG). Do not configure the mc-ae statement when you configure CFM.

Starting in Junos OS Release 11.3, on T Series and M320 routers, CFM is not supported on interfaces configured with CCC encapsulation. If you configure CFM, the system displays the following message: “MEPs cannot be configured on ccc interface on this platform”.

Network entities such as operators, providers, and customers may be part of different administrative domains. Each administrative domain is mapped into one maintenance domain. Maintenance domains are configured with different level values to keep them separate. Each domain provides enough information for the entities to perform their own management, perform end-to-end monitoring, and still avoid security breaches.

Starting in Junos OS Release 17.4, you can enable support for IEEE 802.1ag CFM on pseudowire service interfaces by configuring maintenance intermediate points (MIPs) on the pseudowire service interfaces. Pseudowire service interfaces support configuring of subscriber interfaces over MPLS pseudowire termination. Termination of subscriber interfaces over PW enables network operators to extend their MPLS domain from the Access/Aggregation network to the service edge and use uniform MPLS label provisioning for a larger portion of their network. ​

Note

The CFM MIP session is supported only on the pseudowire services interface and not on the pseudowire services tunnel interface.

IEEE 802.1ag OAM supports graceful Routing Engine switchover (GRES). IEEE 802.1ag OAM is supported on untagged, single tagged, and stacked VLAN interfaces.

Connectivity Fault Management Key Elements

Figure 1 shows the relationships among the customer, provider, and operator Ethernet bridges, maintenance domains, maintenance association end points (MEPs), and maintenance intermediate points (MIPs).

Figure 1: Relationship Among MEPs, MIPs, and Maintenance Domain Levels
Relationship Among MEPs, MIPs,
and Maintenance Domain Levels
Note

On ACX Series routers, the maintenance intermediate points (MIP) are supported only on the ACX5048 and ACX5096 routers.

A maintenance association is a set of MEPs configured with the same maintenance association identifier and maintenance domain level. Figure 2 shows the hierarchical relationships between the Ethernet bridge, maintenance domains, maintenance associations, and MEPs.

Figure 2: Relationship Among Bridges, Maintenance Domains, Maintenance Associations, and MEPs
Relationship Among Bridges,
Maintenance Domains, Maintenance Associations, and MEPs

Best Practices for Configuring 802.1ag Ethernet OAM for VPLS

Best Practice

The logical interfaces in a VPLS routing instance may have the same or different VLAN configurations. VLAN normalization is required to switch packets correctly among these interfaces. VLAN normalization is effectively VLAN translation wherein the VLAN tags of the received packet need to be translated if they are different than the normalized VLAN tags.

For MX Series routers, the normalized VLAN is specified using one of the following configuration statements in the VPLS routing instance:

  • vlan-id vlan-number

  • vlan-id none

  • vlan-tags outer outer-vlan-number inner inner-vlan-number

You must configure vlan-maps explicitly on all interfaces belonging to the routing instance.

The following forwarding path considerations must be observed:

  • Packet receive path:

    • This is the forwarding path for packets received on the interfaces.

    • 802.1ag Ethernet OAM for VPLS uses implicit interface filters and forwarding table filters to flood, accept, and drop the CFM packets.

  • Packet transmit path:

    • The JUNOS Software uses the router’s hardware-based forwarding for CPU-generated packets.

    • For Down MEPs, the packets are transmitted on the interface on which the MEP is configured.

    • In MX series routers, for Up MEPs, the packet must be flooded to other interfaces in the VPLS routing instance. The router creates a flood route tied to a flood next hop (with all interfaces to flood) and then sources the packet to be forwarded with this flood route.

    • The router also uses implicit-based forwarding for CPU generated packets. The result is for the flood next hop tied to the flood route to be tied to the filter term. The filter term uses match criteria to correctly identify the host- generated packets.

Release History Table
Release
Description
Starting in Junos OS Release 17.4, you can enable support for IEEE 802.1ag CFM on pseudowire service interfaces by configuring maintenance intermediate points (MIPs) on the pseudowire service interfaces.
Starting in Junos OS Release 14.2, for CFM sessions in centralized mode, we recommend that you configure a maximum of 40 CFM sessions with continuity check message (CCM) interval of 100 milliseconds (100 ms) or a maximum of 400 CFM sessions with CCM interval of 1 second (1 s).
Starting in Junos OS Release 12.3, CFM does not support Multichassis Link Aggregation (MC-LAG). Do not configure the mc-ae statement when you configure CFM.
Starting in Junos OS Release 11.3, on T Series and M320 routers, CFM is not supported on interfaces configured with CCC encapsulation.
Starting in Junos OS Release 10.3, on interfaces configured on Modular Port Concentrators (MPCs) and Modular Interface Cards (MICs) on MX Series routers, CFM is not supported on untagged aggregated Ethernet member links. MPCs and MICs do support CFM on untagged and tagged aggregated Ethernet logical interfaces.
In Junos OS Release 9.3 and later, CFM also supports aggregated Ethernet interfaces.