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Routing Protocol Process Overview for EX Series Switches

Junos OS is based on the FreeBSD Unix operating system. The open source software is modified and hardened to operate in the device’s specialized environment. For example, some executables have been deleted, while other utilities were de-emphasized. Additionally, certain software processes were added to enhance the routing functionality. The result of this transformation is the kernel, the heart of the Junos OS software.

The kernel is responsible for operating multiple processes that perform the actual functions of the device. Each process operates in its own protected memory space, while the communication among all the processes is still controlled by the kernel. This separation provides isolation between the processes, and resiliency in the event of a process failure. This is important in a core routing platform because a single process failure does not cause the entire device to cease functioning.

Some of the common software processes include the routing protocol process (rpd) that controls the device’s protocols, the device control process (dcd) that controls the device’s interfaces, the management process (mgd) that controls user access to the device, the chassis process (chassisd) that controls the device’s properties itself, and the Packet Forwarding Engine process (pfed) that controls the communication between the device’s Packet Forwarding Engine and the Routing Engine. The kernel also generates specialized processes as needed for additional functionality, such as SNMP, the Virtual Router Redundancy Protocol (VRRP), and Class of Service (CoS).

The routing protocol process is a software process within the Routing Engine software, which controls the routing protocols that run on the device. Its functionality includes all protocol messages, routing table updates, and implementation of routing policies.

The routing protocol process starts all configured routing protocols and handles all routing messages. It maintains one or more routing tables, which consolidate the routing information learned from all routing protocols. From this routing information, the routing protocol process determines the active routes to network destinations and installs these routes into the Routing Engine’s forwarding table. Finally, it implements routing policy, which allows you to control the routing information that is transferred between the routing protocols and the routing table. Using routing policy, you can filter and limit the transfer of information as well as set properties associated with specific routes.