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Understanding Backup Selection Policy for OSPF Protocol

Support for OSPF loop-free alternate (LFA) routes essentially adds IP fast-reroute capability for OSPF. Junos OS precomputes multiple loop-free backup routes for all OSPF routes. These backup routes are pre-installed in the Packet Forwarding Engine, which performs a local repair and implements the backup path when the link for a primary next hop for a particular route is no longer available. The selection of LFA is done randomly by selecting any matching LFA to progress to the given destination. This does not ensure best backup coverage available for the network. In order to choose the best LFA, Junos OS allows you to configure network-wide backup selection policies for each destination (IPv4 and IPv6) and a primary next-hop interface. These policies are evaluated based on admin-group, srlg, bandwidth, protection-type, metric, and node information.

During backup shortest-path-first (SPF) computation, each node and link attribute of the backup path is accumulated by IGP and is associated with every node (router) in the topology. The next hop in the best backup path is selected as the backup next hop in the routing table. In general, backup evaluation policy rules are categorized into the following types:

  • Pruning — Rules configured to select the eligible backup path.

  • Ordering — Rules configured to select the best among the eligible backup paths.

The backup selection policies can be configured with both pruning and ordering rules. While evaluating the backup policies, each backup path is assigned a score, an integer value that signifies the total weight of the evaluated criteria. The backup path with the highest score is selected.

To enforce LFA selection, configure various rules for the following attributes:

  • admin-group– Administrative groups, also known as link coloring or resource class, are manually assigned attributes that describe the “color” of links, such that links with the same color conceptually belong to the same class. These configured administrative groups are defined under protocol MPLS. You can use administrative groups to implement a variety of backup selection policies using exclude, include-all, include-any, or preference.

  • srlg— A shared risk link group (SRLG) is a set of links sharing a common resource, which affects all links in the set if the common resource fails. These links share the same risk of failure and are therefore considered to belong to the same SRLG. For example, links sharing a common fiber are said to be in the same SRLG because a fault with the fiber might cause all links in the group to fail. An SRLG is represented by a 32-bit number unique within an IGP (OSPF) domain. A link might belong to multiple SRLGs. You can define the backup selection to either allow or reject the common SRLGs between the primary and the backup path. This rejection of common SRLGs are based on the non-existence of link having common SRLGs in the primary next-hop and the backup SPF.


    Administrative groups and SRLGs can be created only for default topologies.

  • bandwidth—The bandwidth specifies the bandwidth constraints between the primary and the backup path. The backup next-hop link can be used only if the bandwidth of the backup next-hop interface is greater than or equal to the bandwidth of the primary next hop.

  • protection-type— The protection-type protects the destination from node failure of the primary node or link failure of the primary link. You can configure node, link, or node-link to protect the destination. If link-node is configured , then the node-protecting LFA is preferred over link-protection LFA.

  • node- The node is per-node policy information. Here, node can be a directly connected router, remote router like RSVP backup LSP tail-end, or any other router in the backup SPF path. The nodes are identified through the route-id advertised by a node in the LSP. You can list the nodes to either prefer or exclude them in the backup path.

  • metric— Metric decides how the LFAs should be preferred. In backup selection path, root metric and dest-metric are the two types of metrics. root-metric indicates the metric to the one-hop neighbor or a remote router such as an RSVP backup LSP tail-end router. The dest-metric indicates the metric from a one-hop neighbor or remote router such as an RSVP backup LSP tail-end router to the final destination. The metric evaluation is done either in ascending or descending order. By default, the first preference is given to backup paths with lowest destination evaluation and then to backup paths with lowest root metrics.

The evaluation-order allows you to control the order and criteria of evaluating these attributes in the backup path. You can explicitly configure the evaluation order. Only the configured attributes influence the backup path selection. The default order of evaluation of these attributes for the LFA is [ admin-group srlg bandwidth protection-type node metric ] .


TE attributes are not supported in OSPFv3 and cannot be used for backup selection policy evaluation for IPv6 prefixes.