Packet Flow Examples for Verifying MPLS Connectivity

Figure 67 shows a sample IPv4/IPv6 L3VPN topology with LDP or RSVP-TE base tunnels. Two base tunnels (one in each direction) are present between 10.1.1.1 and 10.2.2.2. The packet flow examples that follow refer to this sample topology.

Figure 67: Sample MPLS L3VPN Topology

Sample MPLS L3VPN Topology

Packet Flow Examples for MPLS LSPs to an IP Prefix

Use the ping mpls ip and trace mpls ip commands for MPLS LSPs that are configured to use LDP; labeled BGP; or a combination of LDP, BGP, and RSVP-TE (as for inter-AS and carrier-of-carriers topologies). When you specify a VRF name, the LSP to the specified prefix must originate from the VRF because the ping is generated from the specified VRF.

Packet Flow Example for the ping mpls Command

The following example illustrates the packet flow that results when you issue the ping mpls ip command from router PE 1 (10.1.1.1) to router PE 2 (10.2.2.2) over an LDP base tunnel.

host1:pe1#ping mpls ip 10.2.2.2/32
  1. PE 1 sends an MPLS echo request UDP packet that contains an LDP IPv4 sub-TLV. The packet is sent as a labeled packet over the target LSP. The packet has the following attributes:

    Source address

    10.1.1.1

    Destination address

    127.0.0.0/8

    UDP port

    3503

    TTL

    255

    IPv4 prefix in the TLV

    10.2.2.2/32

    Sender’s handle

    Randomly generated 32-bit number used to match the reply

    Sequence number

    Integer that is incremented for each echo request packet

  2. Router P 1 label-switches the packet to P 2.
  3. Router P 2 label-switches the packet to PE 2 (assuming PHP is not configured).
  4. Router PE 2 pops the label and determines that the destination address is in the 127.0.0.0/8 subnet. PE 2 sends the packet up to the control plane. The MPLS ping application on the control plane then creates an MPLS echo reply to the received echo request. The echo reply packet has a return code of 3, which means that the replying router is an egress for the FEC at stack depth. The echo reply packet includes the Interface and Label Stack TLV to indicate both the interface on which the request packet was received and the incoming label stack. The MPLS echo reply packet is sent back as a (labeled) UDP packet with the following attributes:

    Source address

    10.2.2.2

    Destination address

    10.1.1.1

    UDP port

    3503

  5. When the MPLS echo reply reaches router PE 1, the router matches the sender’s handle and the sequence number to the echo request packet that PE 1 sent out. If the values match, the CLI displays an exclamation point (!).

The following sample output represents what you might see when you issue the ping mpls ip and ping mpls ip detail commands for the topology shown in Figure 67.

host1:pe1#ping mpls ip 10.2.2.2/32
Sending 5 UDP echo requests for LDP IPv4 prefix, timeout = 2 sec
!!!!!     
Success rate = 100% (5/5), round-trip min/avg/max = 4294967295/4/0 ms
host1:pe1#ping mpls ip 10.2.2.2/32 detail
Sending 5 UDP echo requests for LDP IPv4 prefix, timeout = 2 sec
  MplsNextHopIndex 32 handle 8073311
    '!' - success, 'Q' - request not transmitted,
    '.' - timeout, 'U' - unreachable,
    'R' - downstream router but not destination
    'M' - malformed request, 'N' - downstream router has no mapping
Sending MPLS ping echo request, handle 8073311 seq 21241
! 10.2.2.2 Replying router is an egress for the FEC at stack depth/0 seq 21241
Sending MPLS ping echo request, handle 8073311 seq 21242
! 10.2.2.2 Replying router is an egress for the FEC at stack depth/0 seq 21242
Sending MPLS ping echo request, handle 8073311 seq 21243
! 10.2.2.2 Replying router is an egress for the FEC at stack depth/0 seq 21243
Sending MPLS ping echo request, handle 8073311 seq 21244
! 10.2.2.2 Replying router is an egress for the FEC at stack depth/0 seq 21244
Sending MPLS ping echo request, handle 8073311 seq 21245
! 10.2.2.2 Replying router is an egress for the FEC at stack depth/0 seq 21245
Success rate = 100% (5/5), round-trip min/avg/max = 4/4/0 ms

Packet Flow Example for the trace mpls Command

The following example illustrates the packet flow that results when you issue the trace mpls ip command from router PE 1 (10.1.1.1) to router PE 2 (10.2.2.2) over an LDP base tunnel.

host1:pe1#trace mpls ip 10.2.2.2/32
  1. PE 1 sends an MPLS echo request UDP packet that contains an LDP IPv4 sub-TLV and a Downstream Mapping TLV. The packet has the following attributes:

    Source address

    10.1.1.1

    Destination address

    127.0.0.0/8

    UDP port

    3503

    TTL

    1

    IPv4 prefix in the TLV

    10.2.2.2/32

    Sender’s handle

    Randomly generated 32-bit number used to match the reply

    Sequence number

    Integer that is incremented for each echo request packet

  2. The TTL expires on router P 1. P 1 exceptions the packet up to the control plane. Router P 1 then creates an MPLS echo reply packet in reply to the received MPLS echo request. The MPLS echo reply packet has a return code of 8, which means that the packet would have been label-switched at the outermost label (label-stack depth 1). The Downstream Mapping TLV is set to indicate the path that the packet would have taken from the router. The Interface and Label Stack TLV is included in the echo reply packet. The MPLS echo reply packet is sent back as a labeled UDP packet with the following attributes:

    Source address

    10.3.3.3

    Destination address

    10.1.1.1

    UDP port

    3503

  3. When the MPLS echo reply reaches router PE 1, the router matches the sender’s handle and the sequence number to the echo request packet that PE 1 sent. The CLI displays the router ID of the router that sent the echo reply. The detail version of the command displays the downstream mapping TLV contained in the MPLS echo reply.
  4. Steps 1–3 are repeated with a TTL of 2 and the destination address set to router P 2’s router ID, 10.4.4.4.
  5. Router PE 1 next sends an MPLS echo request with a TTL of 3. This packet’s TTL expires on router PE 2. PE 2 exceptions the packet up to the control plane. The MPLS trace application on the control plane then creates an MPLS echo reply to the received echo request. The echo reply packet has a return code of 3, which means that the replying router is an egress for the FEC at stack depth. The echo reply packet includes the Interface and Label Stack TLV to indicate both the interface on which the request packet was received and the incoming label stack. The Downstream Mapping TLV is not included in the echo reply packet.
  6. When PE 2’s echo reply packet reaches router PE 1, the router matches PE 2’s handle and the sequence number to the echo request packet that PE 1 sent. The CLI displays the router ID for PE 2, indicating that PE 2 is the target router.

The following sample output represents what you might see when you issue the trace mpls ip command for the topology shown in Figure 67.

host1:pe2#trace mpls ip 10.1.1.1/32
Tracing LDP IPv4 prefix, timeout = 2 sec, Max TTL 32
  MplsNextHopIndex 60, handle 8073312
1 2ms 10.44.44.44 Label switched at stack-depth/1
2 1ms 10.33.33.33 Label switched at stack-depth/1
3 2ms 10.1.1.1 Replying router is an egress for the FEC at stack depth/0

Packet Flows for ping and trace to L3VPN IPv4 Prefixes

This example describes packet flow for an MPLS ping is sent from VRF PE 11 on router PE 1 to the IPv4 prefix 10.99.99.21/32. For validation at the remote end, the source address of the echo request packet must be the same as the update-source address of BGP peer.

host1:pe1#ping mpls l3vpn vrf pe11 10.99.99.21/32
  1. An MPLS echo request packet containing a single VPN IPv4 sub-TLV is sent from PE 1 with the following attributes:

    Source address

    10.1.1.1

    Destination address

    127.0.0.0/8

    UDP port

    3503

    TTL

    255

    Sender’s handle

    Randomly generated 32-bit number used to match the reply

    Sequence number

    Integer that is incremented for each echo request packet

    The VPN IPv4 sub-TLV has the route distinguisher set to that of the VRF and the IPv4 prefix set to 10.99.99.21/32. The packet exits PE 1 with two labels.

  2. Router P 1 switches labels based on the outer label of the packet and forwards the packet to P 2.
  3. Router P 2 switches labels based on the outer label of the packet and forwards the packet to PE 2.
  4. Router PE 2 pops both labels and determines that the destination address is in the 127.0.0.0/8 subnet. PE 2 sends the packet up to the control plane. The MPLS ping application on the control plane then creates an MPLS echo reply to the received echo request. The echo reply packet has a return code of 3, which means that the replying router is an egress for the FEC at stack depth. The echo reply packet includes the Interface and Label Stack TLV to indicate both the interface on which the request packet was received and the incoming label stack. The MPLS echo reply packet is sent back as a (labeled) UDP packet with the following attributes:

    Source address

    10.2.2.2

    Destination address

    10.1.1.1

    UDP port

    3503

  5. When the MPLS echo reply reaches router PE 1, the router matches the sender’s handle and the sequence number to the echo request packet that PE 1 sent. The CLI displays an exclamation point (!).

Packet flow for an MPLS trace to an L3VPN IPv4 prefix is the same as for an IPv4 prefix except that the echo request packets and echo reply packets contain the VPN IPv4 sub-TLV instead of the LDP IPv4 sub-TLV. The following sample output represents what you might see when you issue the trace mpls l3vpn and trace mpls l3vpn vrf commands for the topology shown in Figure 67.

host1:pe1:pe11#ip8:pe1#trace mpls l3vpn 10.99.99.21/32 detail
Tracing VPN IPv4 prefix, timeout = 2 sec, Max TTL 32
  MplsNextHopIndex 73 handle 8073322
1 0ms 10.33.33.33 Label switched at stack-depth/2
  TLV Interface and Label stack 20 bytes
    Router 10.33.33.33 Intf 10.10.10.2
    [L34 EXP 0 TTL 1] [L68 EXP 0 S TTL 1] 
  TLV Downstream mapping 24 bytes
    Router 10.31.31.2 Intf 10.31.31.1 mtu 9180
    [L56 EXP 0 LDP] [L68 EXP 0 S Unknown] 
  TLV Downstream mapping 24 bytes
    Router 10.34.34.2 Intf 10.34.34.1 mtu 1500
    [L79 EXP 0 LDP] [L68 EXP 0 S Unknown] 
2 2ms 10.55.55.55 Label switched at stack-depth/2
  TLV Interface and Label stack 20 bytes
    Router 10.55.55.55 Intf 10.34.34.2
    [L79 EXP 0 TTL 1] [L68 EXP 0 S TTL 2] 
  TLV Downstream mapping 24 bytes
    Router 10.120.120.2 Intf 10.120.120.1 mtu 1500
    [L43 EXP 0 LDP] [L68 EXP 0 S Unknown] 
3 3ms 10.2.2.2 Replying router is an egress for the FEC at stack depth
  TLV Pad 20 bytes
  TLV Interface and Label stack 20 bytes
    Router 10.2.2.2 Intf 10.120.120.2
    [L43 EXP 0 TTL 1] [L68 EXP 0 S TTL 3]
host1:pe1#trace mpls l3vpn vrf pe11 10.99.98.21/32 reply pad-tlv exp-bits 5 
detail
Tracing VPN IPv4 prefix, timeout = 2 sec, Max TTL 32
  Handle 1921136  MplsNextHopIndex 78 [L68,L34]
1 0ms 10.33.33.33 Label switched at stack-depth/2
  TLV Pad 20 bytes
  TLV Interface and Label stack 20 bytes
    Router 10.33.33.33 Intf 10.10.10.2
    [L34 EXP 5 TTL 1] [L68 EXP 0 S TTL 1] 
  TLV Downstream mapping 24 bytes
    Router 10.31.31.2 Intf 10.31.31.1 mtu 9180
    [L56 EXP 5 LDP] [L68 EXP 0 S Unknown] 
  TLV Downstream mapping 24 bytes
    Router 10.34.34.2 Intf 10.34.34.1 mtu 1500
    [L79 EXP 5 LDP] [L68 EXP 0 S Unknown] 
2 2ms 10.55.55.55 Label switched at stack-depth/2
  TLV Pad 20 bytes
  TLV Interface and Label stack 20 bytes
    Router 10.55.55.55 Intf 10.34.34.2
    [L79 EXP 5 TTL 1] [L68 EXP 0 S TTL 2] 
  TLV Downstream mapping 24 bytes
    Router 10.120.120.2 Intf 10.120.120.1 mtu 1500
    [L43 EXP 5 LDP] [L68 EXP 0 S Unknown] 
3 3ms 10.2.2.2 Replying router is an egress for the FEC at stack depth
  TLV Pad 20 bytes
  TLV Interface and Label stack 20 bytes
    Router 10.2.2.2 Intf 10.120.120.2
    [L43 EXP 5 TTL 1] [L68 EXP 0 S TTL 3] 

Inter-AS Topology

When an L3VPN ping or trace is transmitted, the TTL value on the inner (VPN) label is set to 1 by default. This value causes the TTL to expire on the egress PE of the L3VPN LSP and an echo reply can be sent back to the source. However, in an inter-AS topology, this behavior might result in premature termination of the ping or trace. You can use the bottom-label-ttl keyword to avoid this problem.

Packet Flows to L3VPN IPv6 Prefixes

Packet flow for an MPLS ping and trace to an L3VPN IPv6 prefix is the same as for an IPv4 prefix except that the echo request packets and echo reply packets contain the VPN IPv6 sub-TLV instead of the VPN IPv4 sub-TLV.

Related Documentation