BGP PIC Limitations

References:
https://www.cisco.com/c/en/us/td/docs/switches/metro/me3600x_3800x/software/release/15-4_2_S/configuration/guide/3800x3600xscg/swiprout.html#64294
https://www.cisco.com/c/en/us/td/docs/switches/metro/me3600x_3800x/software/release/15-4_2_S/configuration/guide/3800x3600xscg/swiprout.html#13390
https://www.cisco.com/c/en/us/td/docs/switches/metro/me3600x_3800x/software/release/15-4_2_S/configuration/guide/3800x3600xscg/swiprout.html#pgfId-1539279
https://www.cisco.com/c/en/us/td/docs/switches/metro/me3600x_3800x/software/release/15-4_2_S/configuration/guide/3800x3600xscg/swiprout.html#28663

General

It is not listed in the limitations section for the BGP PIC documention for IOS or IOS-XE however, under the per-CE and per-VRF label allocation mode documentation for both IOS and IOS-XE, PIC Edge is only support with per-prefix labelling mode. PIC Edge does not support Inter-AS MPLS Option B connections either (for all IOS/IOS-XE devices confirmed by TAC, probably IOS-XR too although unconfirmed).

 

Cisco 7600

More details notes on the limitations with Cisco 7600s can be found here. The short version though is that for L3 VPNs, packet recirculation is required which might be OK for low traffic volumes as it halves the PPS rate of the devices, but even then, it creates a modest increase in memory usage which likely makes it unusable, even in low traffic scenarios.

By default the 7600 prefers memory-optimised CEF tables:

7606S-RSP7203CXL#show cef table
Global information:
 Output chain build favors:
  platform:      memory-utilization
  CLI:           not configured
  operational:   memory-utilization
 Output chain build characteristics:
  Inplace modify
     platform enable:     load-sharing
     platform prohibit:   push-counter
     operational for:     load-sharing
  Collapse
     platform enable:     load-sharing
     operational for:     load-sharing
  Indirection
     operational for:     

Configuring HFIB/PIC Core with “cef table output-chain build favor convergence-speed” produces the following output:

7606S-RSP7203CXL#show cef table
Global information:
 Output chain build favors:
  platform:      memory-utilization
  CLI:           convergence-speed
  operational:   convergence-speed
 Output chain build characteristics:
  Inplace modify
     platform enable:     load-sharing
     platform prohibit:   push-counter
     operational for:     load-sharing
  Collapse
     platform enable:     load-sharing
     operational for:     load-sharing
  Indirection
     operational for:     recursive-prefix
                          IPv4-to-MPLS
                          IPv6-to-MPLS
                          MPLS-end-of-stack
                          MPLS-non-end-of-stack

 

Cisco ASR920

ASR920s support PIC Core and it is enabled by default. This is example output from a device that has it explicitly configured:

ASR-920-24SZ-M#show cef table
Global information:
 Output chain build favors:
  platform:      not configured
  CLI:           convergence-speed
  operational:   convergence-speed
 Output chain build characteristics:
  Inplace modify
     operational for:     load-sharing
                          push-counter
  Collapse
     operational for:     load-sharing
  Indirection
     operational for:     recursive-prefix
                          IPv4-to-MPLS
                          IPv6-to-MPLS
                          MPLS-end-of-stack
                          MPLS-non-end-of-stack

 

Cisco ME3600X/ME3800X

With the ME switches the commands were available prior to 15.4(2)S IOS but they didn’t do anything until that version. Below is the output from an ME3600X showing that “convergence-speed” is configured/operation (which means “cef table output-chain build favor convergence-speed” has been configured) however under “Indrection” all features are shown as prohibited:

ME3600X#show cef table
Global information:
 Output chain build favors:
  platform:      not configured
  CLI:           convergence-speed
  operational:   convergence-speed
 Output chain build characteristics:
  Inplace modify
     platform prohibit:   load-sharing
                          push-counter
     operational for:     
  Collapse
     operational for:     load-sharing
  Indirection
     platform prohibit:   recursive-prefix
                          non-recursive-prefix
                          IPv4-to-MPLS
                          IPv6-to-MPLS
                          MPLS-end-of-stack
                          MPLS-non-end-of-stack
     operational for:     

From 15.4(2)S onwards the following output can be seen:

ME3600X# show cef table
Global information:
 Output chain build favors:
  platform:      not configured
  CLI:           not configured
  operational:   convergence-speed
 Output chain build characteristics:
  Inplace modify
     platform prohibit:   push-counter
     operational for:     load-sharing
  Collapse
     operational for:     load-sharing
  Indirection
     platform prohibit:   IPv6-to-MPLS
     operational for:     recursive-prefix
                          IPv4-to-MPLS
                          MPLS-end-of-stack
                          MPLS-non-end-of-stack

 

PIC BGP Updates

Below is an example PIC topology: AS1-CPE1 advertises 1.0.0.0/24 and the preferred path between AS1 and AS2 is via the AS2-PE1 link (Local Pref 200, MED 0, weight 0). AS3-CPE1 advertises 3.0.0.0/24 and the preferred path between AS3 and AS2 is the AS2-PE3 link (Local Pref 200, MED 0, weight 0). The AS1-CPE1 link to AS2-PE2 is the PIC backup path (Local Pref 50, MED 100, weight 0). The same is true for AS3-CPE1 via AS2-PE1.

! Before removing BGP PIC Edge, the path to 3.0.0.0/24 is preferred on AS2-PE2 via its local link to AS3-CPE1 but the path to 1.0.0.0/24 is preferred via AS2-PE1 and not it's local link to AS1-CPE2:

AS2-PE2#show bgp vpnv4 unicast vrf 1
BGP table version is 52, local router ID is 2.0.0.2
Status codes: s suppressed, d damped, h history, * valid, > best, i - internal,
              r RIB-failure, S Stale, m multipath, b backup-path, f RT-Filter,
              x best-external, a additional-path, c RIB-compressed,
Origin codes: i - IGP, e - EGP, ? - incomplete
RPKI validation codes: V valid, I invalid, N Not found

     Network          Next Hop            Metric LocPrf Weight Path
Route Distinguisher: 2.0.0.2:1 (default for vrf 1)
 *>i 1.0.0.0/24       2.0.0.1                  0    200      0 1 ?
 *b x                 10.0.1.18                0     50      0 1 ?


AS2-PE2#show bgp vpnv4 unicast vrf 2
BGP table version is 52, local router ID is 2.0.0.2
Status codes: s suppressed, d damped, h history, * valid, > best, i - internal,
              r RIB-failure, S Stale, m multipath, b backup-path, f RT-Filter,
              x best-external, a additional-path, c RIB-compressed,
Origin codes: i - IGP, e - EGP, ? - incomplete
RPKI validation codes: V valid, I invalid, N Not found

     Network          Next Hop            Metric LocPrf Weight Path
Route Distinguisher: 2.0.0.2:2 (default for vrf 2)
 *bi 3.0.0.0/24       2.0.0.1                  0     50      0 3 ?
 *>                   10.0.1.26                0    200      0 3 ?

When removing BGP PIC Edge "no bgp advertise-best-external" AS2-PE2 will send out a BGP unreachable NLRI (MP_UNREACH_NLRI) for any paths that are backup paths via this PE. In the below example 1.0.0.0/24 is a backup path via AS2-PE2 and AS2-PE1 is the primary path to that prefix. An MP_REACH_NLRI is sent for the path for which AS2-PE2 is already the primary path (3.0.0.0/24) however it was not first explicitly withdrawn with an MP_UNREACH_NLRI and then sent again, the existing route was re-sent unmodified with the same label value (a new label was not allocated):

! After removing "bgp advertise-best-external":

AS2-PE2#show bgp vpnv4 unicast vrf 1
BGP table version is 56, local router ID is 2.0.0.2
Status codes: s suppressed, d damped, h history, * valid, > best, i - internal,
              r RIB-failure, S Stale, m multipath, b backup-path, f RT-Filter,
              x best-external, a additional-path, c RIB-compressed,
Origin codes: i - IGP, e - EGP, ? - incomplete
RPKI validation codes: V valid, I invalid, N Not found

     Network          Next Hop            Metric LocPrf Weight Path
Route Distinguisher: 2.0.0.2:1 (default for vrf 1)
 *>i 1.0.0.0/24       2.0.0.1                  0    200      0 1 ?
 *                    10.0.1.18                0     50      0 1 ?

AS2-PE2#show bgp vpnv4 unicast vrf 2
BGP table version is 56, local router ID is 2.0.0.2
Status codes: s suppressed, d damped, h history, * valid, > best, i - internal,
              r RIB-failure, S Stale, m multipath, b backup-path, f RT-Filter,
              x best-external, a additional-path, c RIB-compressed,
Origin codes: i - IGP, e - EGP, ? - incomplete
RPKI validation codes: V valid, I invalid, N Not found

     Network          Next Hop            Metric LocPrf Weight Path
Route Distinguisher: 2.0.0.2:2 (default for vrf 2)
 * i 3.0.0.0/24       2.0.0.1                  0     50      0 3 ?
 *>                   10.0.1.26                0    200      0 3 ?

When enabling the BGP Advertise Best External (BGP PIC Edge) feature again on AS2-PE2, the prefix for which AS2-PE2 is the primary next-hop (3.0.0.0/24) is again re-sent, unmodified without an explicit BGP WITHDRAW using the same MPLS label. The prefix for which AS2-PE2 is the backup next-hop router (1.0.0.0/24) is also sent in the MP_REACH_NLRI and this requires a label to be allocated, the same label was allocated as it was the next free label value but it could have changed:


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