OSPF Forwarding Address YAK: Take 2
In my initial OSPF Forwarding Address blog post I described a common Forwarding Address (FA) use case (at least as preached on the Internet): two ASBRs connected to a single external subnet with route redistributing configured only on one of them.
That design is clearly broken from the reliability perspective, but are there other designs where OSPF FA might make sense?
OSPF Forwarding Address: Yet another Kludge
One of my readers sent me an interesting NSSA question (more in a future blog post) that sent me chasing for the reasons behind the OSPF Forwarding Address (FA) field in type-5 and type-7 LSAs.
This is the typical scenario for OSPF FA I was able to find on the Internet:
Generating OSPF, BGP and MPLS/VPN Configurations from Network Data Model
Over a month ago I decided to create a lab network to figure out how to solve an interesting Inter-AS MPLS/VPN routing challenge. Instead of configuring half a dozen routers I decided to develop a fully-automated deployment because it will make my life easier.
I finally got to a point where OSPF, LDP, BGP (IPv4 and VPNv4) and MPLS/VPN configurations are created, deployed and verified automatically.
Why Would I Use BGP and not OSPF between Servers and the Network?
While we were preparing for the Cumulus Networks’ Routing on Hosts webinar Dinesh Dutt sent me a message along these lines:
You categorically reject the use of OSPF, but we have a couple of customers using it quite happily. I'm sure you have good reasons and the reasons you list [in the presentation] are ones I agree with. OTOH, why not use totally stubby areas with the hosts being in such an area?
OSPF Areas and Summarization: Theory and Reality
While most readers, commenters, and Twitterati agreed with my take on the uselessness of OSPF areas and inter-area summarization in 21st century, a few of them pointed out that in practice, the theory and practice are not the same. Unfortunately, most of those counterexamples failed due to broken implementations or vendor “optimizations”.
Do We Still Need OSPF Areas and Summarization?
One of my ExpertExpress design discussions focused on WAN network design and the need for OSPF areas and summarization (the customer had random addressing and the engineers wondered whether it makes sense to renumber the network to get better summarization).
I was struggling with the question of whether we still need OSPF areas and summarization in 2016 for a long time. Here are my thoughts on the topic; please share yours in the comments.
Don’t Run OSPF with Your Customers
Salman left an interesting comment on my Running BGP on Servers blog post:
My prior counterparts thought running OSPF on Mainframes was a good idea. Then we had a routing blackhole due to misconfiguration on the server. Twice! The main issue was the Mainframe admins lack of networking/OSPF knowledge.
Well, there’s a reason OSPF is called Interior Routing Protocol.
BGP or OSPF? Does Topology Visibility Matter?
One of the comments added to my Using BGP in Data Centers blog post said:
With symmetric fabric… does it make sense for a node to know every bit of fabric info or is reachability information sufficient?
Let’s ignore for the moment that large non-redundant layer-3 fabrics where BGP-in-Data-Center movement started don’t need more than endpoint reachability information, and focus on a bigger issue: is knowledge of network topology (as provided by OSPF and not by BGP) beneficial?
Unnumbered OSPF Interfaces in Quagga (and Cumulus)
Carlos Mendioroz sent me an interesting question about unnumbered interfaces in Cumulus Linux and some of the claims they make in their documentation.
TL&DR: Finally someone got it! Kudos for realizing how to use an ancient trick to make data center fabrics easier to deploy (and, BTW, the claims are exaggerated).
Combining DMVPN with Existing MPLS/VPN Network
One of the Expert Express sessions focused on an MPLS/VPN-based WAN network using OSPF as the routing protocol. The customer wanted to add DMVPN-based backup links and planned to retain OSPF as the routing protocol. Not surprisingly, the initial design had all sorts of unexpectedly complex kludges (see the case study for more details).
Having a really smart engineer on the other end of the WebEx call, I had to ask a single question: “Why don’t you use BGP everywhere” and after a short pause got back the expected reply “wow ... now it all makes sense.”
Routing Protocols on NSX Edge Services Router
VMware gave me early access to NSX hands-on lab a few days prior to VMworld 2013. The lab was meant to demonstrate the basics of NSX, from VXLAN encapsulation to cross-subnet flooding, but I quickly veered off the beaten path and started playing with routing protocols in NSX Edge appliances.
Implementing Control-Plane Protocols with OpenFlow
The true OpenFlow zealots would love you to believe that you can drop whatever you’ve been doing before and replace it with a clean-slate solution using dumbest (and cheapest) possible switches and OpenFlow controllers.
In real world, your shiny new network has to communicate with the outside world … or you could take the approach most controller vendors did, decide to pretend STP is irrelevant, and ask people to configure static LAGs because you’re also not supporting LACP.
Inter-Process OSPF Route Selection Rules
Nicolas Michel left an interesting comment (quoting Cisco’s documentation) on my OSPF Route Selection Rules blog post:
… The OSPF route selection rule is that intra-area routes are preferred over inter-area routes, which are preferred over external routes. However, this rule should apply to routes learned via the same process …
Let’s see what’s going on behind the scenes.
WAN Routing in Data Centers with Layer-2 DCI
A while ago I got an interesting question:
Let's say that due to circumstances outside of your control, you must have stretched data center subnets... What is the best method to get these subnets into OSPF? Should they share a common area at each data center or should each data center utilize a separate area for the same subnet?
Assuming someone hasn’t sprinkled the application willy-nilly across the two data centers, it’s best if the data center edge routers advertise subnets used by the applications as type-2 external routes, ensuring one data center is always the primary entry point for a specific subnet. Getting the same results with BGP routing in Internet is a much tougher challenge.
Change in OSPF Designated Router creates extra network LSAs
When testing the OSPF graceful shutdown feature, I've encountered an interesting OSPF feature: if you force a change in LAN DR router (other than rebooting the current DR), you'll end up with two network LSAs describing the same LAN.
This blog has been sitting in my Draft folder for years, so Cisco IOS behavior might have changed in the meantime, or it might have been a transient and/or race condition. Nonetheless, I still find it interesting.