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    ECMP Load Sharing for IPv6

    Equal-cost multipath (ECMP) sets are formed when the router finds routing table entries for the same destination with equal cost. The router then balances traffic across these sets of equal-cost paths by using hashed mode.

    ECMP Hashed Mode Overview

    Hashed mode uses hashing of source and destination addresses to determine which of the available paths in the ECMP set to use. Hashed mode is the default ECMP mode of operation.

    Defining the Maximum Parallel Routes Supported by the Routing Protocol

    You can add routing table entries manually (as static routes), or they are formed as routers discover their neighbors and exchange routing tables (via OSPF, BGP, and other routing protocols).

    To control the maximum number of parallel routes that the routing protocol (BGP, IS-IS, OSPF, or RIP) can support:

    • Issue the maximum paths command in Router Configuration mode.
      host1(config-router)#maximum-paths 2

      The maximum number of routes can be in the range 1–16 for BGP, IS-IS, OSPF, or RIP. Use the no version to restore the default value, 1 for BGP or 4 for IS-IS, OSPF, or RIP.

    ECMP Fast Reroute Protection Overview

    If a link goes down, ECMP uses fast reroute protection to shift packet forwarding to use operational links, thereby decreasing packet loss. Fast reroute protection updates ECMP sets for the interface without having to wait for the route table update process. When the next route table update occurs, a new ECMP set can be added with fewer links or the route might point to a single next hop.

    Caution: To provide ECMP fast reroute functionality in the event of an interface failure, the members of an equal cost multipath must be resolved to corresponding interfaces. If the member is an indirect next hop, the interface is obtained by using the forwarding equivalence class (FEC) to which the member points. This method of resolving members occurs only if the FEC, pointed to by the indirect next hop, is either an interface or a direct next hop.

    An indirect next hop member is not resolved to an interface if it points to another indirect next hop or to an equal cost multipath. ECMP fast reroute functionality is not available if any interfaces that correspond to unresolved indirect next hop members go down.

    If you modify an indirect next hop member to point to a different FEC (that is, a different interface, direct next hop, indirect next hop, or ECMP), the indirect next hop member is not resolved for the new changes.

    Published: 2014-08-13