As the Internet takes an increasingly central role in our communications infrastructure, the slow convergence of routing protocols after a network failure becomes a growing problem. To assure fast recovery from link and node failures in IP networks, we present a new recovery scheme called Multiple Routing Configurations (MRC). Our proposed scheme guarantees recovery in all single failure scenarios, using a single mechanism to handle both link and node failures, and without knowing the root cause of the failure.
MRC is strictly connectionless, and assumes only destination based hop-by-hop forwarding. MRC is based on keeping additional routing information in the routers, and allows packet forwarding to continue on an alternative output link immediately after the detection of a failure.
It can be implemented with only minor changes to existing solutions. In this paper we present MRC, and analyze its performance with respect to scalability, backup path lengths, and load distribution after a failure. We also show how an estimate of the traffic demands in the network can be used to improve the distribution of the recovered traffic, and thus reduce the chances of congestion when MRC is used.
Multiple Routing Configurations (MRC) is a proactive and local protection mechanism that allows recovery in the range of milliseconds. MRC allows packet forwarding to continue over preconfigured alternative next-hops immediately after the detection of the failure. Using MRC as a first line of defense against network failures, the normal IP convergence process can be put on hold. This process is then initiated only as a consequence of non-transient failures.
Since no global re-routing is performed, fast failure detection mechanisms like fast hellos or hardware alerts can be used to trigger MRC without compromising network stability. MRC guarantees recovery from any single link or node failure, which constitutes a large majority of the failures experienced in a network. MRC makes no assumptions with respect to the root cause of failure , e.g., whether the packet forwarding is disrupted due to a failed link or a failed router.
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