Wednesday, 27 June 2012

EIGRP RTP Unicast Fallback

Having just started studying for ROUTE to refresh a variety of Cisco exams I had a look at EIGRP and got far too involved in RTP. Probably all you need to know for the ROUTE exam is that it's Reliable Transport Protocol in the context of EIGRP and that it's used to ensure reliable delivery of updates. But to dig a little deeper....

RTP (not the same as real-time-protocol) can use both unicast and multicast. On an ethernet LAN, routing information is transmitted via Multicast (unless the neighbours are defined as unicast ones with neighbour statements). The RTP feature adds it's own reliability with the addition of sequence numbers and a state table on the updating router which keeps track of the acknowledgements from neighbours. If any do not respond then RTP falls back to trying unicast transmission.

To test it I built this flat network with 3 EIGRP neighbours on the same subnet:




The addresses used are:
  • R1 - 192.168.0.1
  • R2 - 192.168.0.2
  • R3 - 192.168.0.3


In this scenario the routing update messages are sent using multicast. For removing a route the "query" type message is used. I'll shut down a loopback interface on R3 which wil generate an EIGRP query. The packet dump below shows the query being multicast (to 224.0.0.10). The two neighbours then acknowledge this via unicast.



On R3 you see the following in the output of "debug eigrp packet", it shows the process:
  1. R3 sending the query messages
  2. Both R1 and R2 responding via unicast.
*Mar 1 00:20:35.567: EIGRP: Enqueueing QUERY on FastEthernet0/0 iidbQ un/rely 0/1 serno 27-27
*Mar 1 00:20:35.571: EIGRP: Enqueueing QUERY on FastEthernet0/0 nbr 192.168.0.1 iidbQ un/rely 0/0 peerQ un/rely 0/0 serno 27-27
*Mar 1 00:20:35.571: EIGRP: Enqueueing QUERY on FastEthernet0/0 nbr 192.168.0.2 iidbQ un/rely 0/0 peerQ un/rely 0/0 serno 27-27

*Mar 1 00:20:35.575: EIGRP: Sending QUERY on FastEthernet0/0
*Mar 1 00:20:35.575: AS 1, Flags 0x0, Seq 34/0 idbQ 0/0 iidbQ un/rely 0/0 serno 27-27

*Mar 1 00:20:35.587: EIGRP: Received ACK on FastEthernet0/0 nbr 192.168.0.1
*Mar 1 00:20:35.591: AS 1, Flags 0x0, Seq 0/34 idbQ 0/0 iidbQ un/rely 0/0 peerQ un/rely 0/1

*Mar 1 00:20:35.603: EIGRP: Received ACK on FastEthernet0/0 nbr 192.168.0.2
*Mar 1 00:20:35.607: AS 1, Flags 0x0, Seq 0/34 idbQ 0/0 iidbQ un/rely 0/0 peerQ un/rely 0/1

[snip]


Now to test the unicast failback by blocking the multicast updates on R1, this is quite tricky as these multicast packets are required to keep the EIGRP neighbour relationships up. My cunning plan is to increase the EIGRP hold timer so that I can drop multicast without disrupting the neighbours.

Because the hold timer is not a local setting but an "advertised value", I actually need to set it on R2 & R3 which will then tell R1 not to worry if it doesn't see any hellos for the next ten minutes.

R3(config)#int f0/0
R3(config-if)#ip hold-time eigrp 1 600

R1(config)#int f0/0
R1(config-if)#ip access-group DENYEIGRP in

R1#show ip access-list DENYEIGRP
Extended IP access list DENYEIGRP
10 deny ip any host 224.0.0.10 log (4 matches)
20 permit ip any any (27 matches)


At this point EIGRP neighbours are all up and R1 is not expecting to hear from R3 for the next ten minutes. Now I'll shut down the interface on R3 again to generate an EIGRP query message. The wireshark output is shown below:



The debug output on R3 shows as below, you can see the phases of the RTP mechanism:
  1. R3 multicasts a query to 224.0.0.10.
  2. R2 responds via unicast (you can see the text peerQ un/rely 0/1 indicating a unicast message).
  3. R1 does not respond as it has not seen the message.
  4. Meanwhile R2 completes the exchange with R3 via unicast.
  5. R3 then realises there is an outstanding response from R1 and retries the query again via unicast showing
    *Mar 1 00:09:13.995: EIGRP: Sending QUERY on FastEthernet0/0 nbr 192.168.0.1, retry 1, RTO 3321
    *Mar 1 00:09:13.995: AS 1, Flags 0x0, Seq 18/18 idbQ 0/0 iidbQ un/rely 0/0 peerQ un/rely 0/1 serno 18-18
  6. R1 now responds via unicast and exchange completes as normal. This is shown in bold.


The complete debug output is:
R3(config-if)#shut
R3(config-if)#
*Mar 1 00:09:11.775: EIGRP: Enqueueing QUERY on FastEthernet0/0 iidbQ un/rely 0/1 serno 18-18
*Mar 1 00:09:11.779: EIGRP: Enqueueing QUERY on FastEthernet0/0 nbr 192.168.0.1 iidbQ un/rely 0/0 peerQ un/rely 0/0 serno 18-18
*Mar 1 00:09:11.779: EIGRP: Enqueueing QUERY on FastEthernet0/0 nbr 192.168.0.2 iidbQ un/rely 0/0 peerQ un/rely 0/0 serno 18-18

*Mar 1 00:09:11.783: EIGRP: Sending QUERY on FastEthernet0/0
*Mar 1 00:09:11.783: AS 1, Flags 0x0, Seq 18/0 idbQ 0/0 iidbQ un/rely 0/0 serno 18-18

*Mar 1 00:09:11.799: EIGRP: Received ACK on FastEthernet0/0 nbr 192.168.0.2
*Mar 1 00:09:11.799: AS 1, Flags 0x0, Seq 0/18 idbQ 0/0 iidbQ un/rely 0/0 peerQ un/rely 0/1

*Mar 1 00:09:11.811: EIGRP: Received REPLY on FastEthernet0/0 nbr 192.168.0.2
*Mar 1 00:09:11.811: AS 1, Flags 0x0, Seq 17/18 idbQ 0/0 iidbQ un/rely 0/0 peerQ un/rely 0/0

*Mar 1 00:09:11.815: EIGRP: Enqueueing ACK on FastEthernet0/0 nbr 192.168.0.2
*Mar 1 00:09:11.815: Ack seq 17 iidbQ un/rely 0/0 peerQ un/rely 1/0
*Mar 1 00:09:11.819: EIGRP: Sending ACK on FastEthernet0/0 nbr 192.168.0.2
*Mar 1 00:09:11.819: AS 1, Flags 0x0, Seq 0/17 idbQ 0/0 iidbQ un/rely 0/0 peerQ un/rely 1/0

*Mar 1 00:09:13.995: EIGRP: Sending QUERY on FastEthernet0/0 nbr 192.168.0.1, retry 1, RTO 3321
*Mar 1 00:09:13.995: AS 1, Flags 0x0, Seq 18/18 idbQ 0/0 iidbQ un/rely 0/0 peerQ un/rely 0/1 serno 18-18

*Mar 1 00:09:14.019: EIGRP: Received ACK on FastEthernet0/0 nbr 192.168.0.1
*Mar 1 00:09:14.019: AS 1, Flags 0x0, Seq 0/18 idbQ 0/0 iidbQ un/rely 0/0 peerQ un/rely 0/1

*Mar 1 00:09:14.027: EIGRP: Received REPLY on FastEthernet0/0 nbr 192.168.0.1
*Mar 1 00:09:14.031: AS 1, Flags 0x0, Seq 19/18 idbQ 0/0 iidbQ un/rely 0/0 peerQ un/rely 0/0

*Mar 1 00:09:14.031: EIGRP: Enqueueing ACK on FastEthernet0/0 nbr 192.168.0.1
*Mar 1 00:09:14.031: Ack seq 19 iidbQ un/rely 0/0 peerQ un/rely 1/0

*Mar 1 00:09:14.035: EIGRP: Sending ACK on FastEthernet0/0 nbr 192.168.0.1
*Mar 1 00:09:14.035: AS 1, Flags 0x0, Seq 0/19 idbQ 0/0 iidbQ un/rely 0/0 peerQ un/rely 1/0


2 comments:

  1. Nice one Matt just going back to study for the ie lab to take in Feb next year I know I must be mad!!!!

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    Replies
    1. Still lined up for Feb ? Am considering it myself again :)

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