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IS-IS Fast Flooding

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Authors Bruno Decraene , Les Ginsberg , Tony Li , Guillaume Solignac , Marek Karasek , Chris Bowers , Gunter Van de Velde , Peter Psenak , Tony Przygienda
Last updated 2023-01-10
Replaces draft-decraeneginsberg-lsr-isis-fast-flooding
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Network Working Group                                        B. Decraene
Internet-Draft                                                    Orange
Intended status: Experimental                                L. Ginsberg
Expires: 14 July 2023                                      Cisco Systems
                                                                   T. Li
                                                  Juniper Networks, Inc.
                                                             G. Solignac
                                                              M. Karasek
                                                           Cisco Systems
                                                               C. Bowers
                                                  Juniper Networks, Inc.
                                                         G. Van de Velde
                                                               P. Psenak
                                                           Cisco Systems
                                                           T. Przygienda
                                                         10 January 2023

                          IS-IS Fast Flooding


   Current Link State Protocol Data Unit (PDU) flooding rates are much
   slower than what modern networks can support.  The use of IS-IS at
   larger scale requires faster flooding rates to achieve desired
   convergence goals.  This document discusses the need for faster
   flooding, the issues around faster flooding, and some example
   approaches to achieve faster flooding.  It also defines protocol
   extensions relevant to faster flooding.

Status of This Memo

   This Internet-Draft is submitted in full conformance with the
   provisions of BCP 78 and BCP 79.

   Internet-Drafts are working documents of the Internet Engineering
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   material or to cite them other than as "work in progress."

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   This Internet-Draft will expire on 14 July 2023.

Copyright Notice

   Copyright (c) 2023 IETF Trust and the persons identified as the
   document authors.  All rights reserved.

   This document is subject to BCP 78 and the IETF Trust's Legal
   Provisions Relating to IETF Documents (
   license-info) in effect on the date of publication of this document.
   Please review these documents carefully, as they describe your rights
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   described in Section 4.e of the Trust Legal Provisions and are
   provided without warranty as described in the Revised BSD License.

Table of Contents

   1.  Introduction  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   3
   2.  Requirements Language . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   3
   3.  Historical Behavior . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   4
   4.  Flooding Parameters TLV . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   5
     4.1.  LSP Burst Window sub-TLV  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   6
     4.2.  LSP Transmission Interval sub-TLV . . . . . . . . . . . .   6
     4.3.  LSPs Per PSNP sub-TLV . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   6
     4.4.  Flags sub-TLV . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   6
     4.5.  Partial SNP Interval sub-TLV  . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   7
     4.6.  Receive Window sub-TLV  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   7
     4.7.  Operation on a LAN interface  . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   8
   5.  Performance improvement on the receiver . . . . . . . . . . .   8
     5.1.  Rate of LSP Acknowledgments . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   8
     5.2.  Packet Prioritization on Receive  . . . . . . . . . . . .   9
   6.  Congestion and Flow Control . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  10
     6.1.  Overview  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  10
     6.2.  Congestion and Flow Control algorithm: Example 1  . . . .  11
     6.3.  Congestion Control algorithm: Example 2 . . . . . . . . .  17
   7.  IANA Considerations . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  19
   8.  Security Considerations . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  20
   9.  Contributors  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  21
   10. Acknowledgments . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  21
   11. References  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  21
     11.1.  Normative References . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  21
     11.2.  Informative References . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  22
   Appendix A.  Changes / Author Notes . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  22
   Appendix B.  Issues for Further Discussion  . . . . . . . . . . .  22
   Authors' Addresses  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  23

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1.  Introduction

   Link state IGPs such as Intermediate-System-to-Intermediate-System
   (IS-IS) depend upon having consistent Link State Databases (LSDB) on
   all Intermediate Systems (ISs) in the network in order to provide
   correct forwarding of data packets.  When topology changes occur,
   new/updated Link State PDUs (LSPs) are propagated network-wide.  The
   speed of propagation is a key contributor to convergence time.

   Historically, flooding rates have been conservative - on the order of
   10s of LSPs/second.  This is the result of guidance in the base
   specification [ISO10589] and early deployments when both CPU speeds
   and interface speeds were much slower and the scale of an area was
   much smaller than they are today.

   As IS-IS is deployed in greater scale both in the number of nodes in
   an area and in the number of neighbors per node, the impact of the
   historic flooding rates becomes more significant.  Consider the
   bringup or failure of a node with 1000 neighbors.  This will result
   in a minimum of 1000 LSP updates.  At typical LSP flooding rates used
   today (33 LSPs/second), it would take 30+ seconds simply to send the
   updated LSPs to a given neighbor.  Depending on the diameter of the
   network, achieving a consistent LSDB on all nodes in the network
   could easily take a minute or more.

   Increasing the LSP flooding rate therefore becomes an essential
   element of supporting greater network scale.

   Improving the LSP flooding rate is complementary to protocol
   extensions that reduce LSP flooding traffic by reducing the flooding
   topology such as Mesh Groups [RFC2973] or Dynamic Flooding
   [I-D.ietf-lsr-dynamic-flooding] . Reduction of the flooding topology
   does not alter the number of LSPs required to be exchanged between
   two nodes, so increasing the overall flooding speed is still
   beneficial when such extensions are in use.  It is also possible that
   the flooding topology can be reduced in ways that prefer the use of
   neighbors that support improved flooding performance.

2.  Requirements Language

   The key words "MUST", "MUST NOT", "REQUIRED", "SHALL", "SHALL NOT",
   "OPTIONAL" in this document are to be interpreted as described in BCP
   14 [RFC2119] [RFC8174] when, and only when, they appear in all
   capitals, as shown here.

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3.  Historical Behavior

   The base specification for IS-IS [ISO10589] was first published in
   1992 and updated in 2002.  The update made no changes in regards to
   suggested timer values.  Convergence targets at the time were on the
   order of seconds and the specified timer values reflect that.  Here
   are some examples:

   minimumLSPGenerationInterval - This is the minimum time interval
        between generation of Link State PDUs. A source Intermediate
        system shall wait at least this long before re-generating one
        of its own Link State PDUs.

   The recommended value is 30 seconds.

   minimumLSPTransmissionInterval - This is the amount of time an
        Intermediate system shall wait before further propagating
        another Link State PDU from the same source system.

   The recommended value is 5 seconds.

   partialSNPInterval - This is the amount of time between periodic
        action for transmission of Partial Sequence Number PDUs.
        It shall be less than minimumLSPTransmission-Interval.

   The recommended value is 2 seconds.

   Most relevant to a discussion of the LSP flooding rate is the
   recommended interval between the transmission of two different LSPs
   on a given interface.

   For broadcast interfaces, [ISO10589] defined:

     minimumBroadcastLSPTransmissionInterval - the minimum interval
        between PDU arrivals which can be processed by the slowest
        Intermediate System on the LAN.

   The default value was defined as 33 milliseconds.  It is permitted to
   send multiple LSPs "back-to-back" as a burst, but this was limited to
   10 LSPs in a one second period.

   Although this value was specific to LAN interfaces, this has commonly
   been applied by implementations to all interfaces though that was not
   the original intent of the base specification.  In fact
   Section states:

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     On point-to-point links the peak rate of arrival is limited only
     by the speed of the data link and the other traffic flowing on
     that link.

   Although modern implementations have not strictly adhered to the 33
   millisecond interval, it is commonplace for implementations to limit
   the flooding rate to an order of magnitude similar to the 33 ms

   In the past 20 years, significant work on achieving faster
   convergence - more specifically sub-second convergence - has resulted
   in implementations modifying a number of the above timers in order to
   support faster signaling of topology changes.  For example,
   minimumLSPGenerationInterval has been modified to support millisecond
   intervals, often with a backoff algorithm applied to prevent LSP
   generation storms in the event of a series of rapid oscillations.

   However, the flooding rate has not been fundamentally altered.

4.  Flooding Parameters TLV

   This document defines a new Type-Length-Value tuple (TLV) called the
   "Flooding Parameters TLV" that may be included in IS to IS Hellos
   (IIH) or Partial Sequence Number PDUs (PSNPs).  It allows IS-IS
   implementations to advertise flooding related parameters and
   capabilities which may be of use to the peer in support of faster

   Type: 21

   Length: variable, the size in octets of the Value field

   Value: One or more sub-TLVs

   Several sub-TLVs are defined in this document.  The support of any
   sub-TLV is OPTIONAL.

   For a given IS-IS adjacency, the Flooding Parameters TLV does not
   need to be advertised in each IIH or PSNP.  An IS uses the latest
   received value for each parameter until a new value is advertised by
   the peer.  However, as IIHs and PSNPs are not reliably exchanged, and
   may never be received, parameters SHOULD be sent even if there is no
   change in value since the last transmission.  For a parameter which
   has never been advertised, an IS SHOULD use its local default value.
   That value SHOULD be configurable on a per node basis and MAY be
   configurable on a per interface basis.

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4.1.  LSP Burst Window sub-TLV

   The LSP Burst Window sub-TLV advertises the maximum number of LSPs
   that the node can receive with no separation interval between LSPs.

   Type: 1

   Length: 4 octets

   Value: number of LSPs that can be sent back to back

4.2.  LSP Transmission Interval sub-TLV

   The LSP Transmission Interval sub-TLV advertises the minimum
   interval, in micro-seconds, between LSPs arrivals which can be
   received on this interface, after the maximum number of un-
   acknowledged LSPs has been sent.

   Type: 2

   Length: 4 octets

   Value: minimum interval, in micro-seconds, between two consecutive
   LSPs sent after the burst window has been used

   The LSP Transmission Interval is an advertisement of the receiver's
   steady-state LSP reception rate.

4.3.  LSPs Per PSNP sub-TLV

   The LSP per PSNP (LPP) sub-TLV advertises the number of received LSPs
   that triggers the immediate sending of a PSNP to acknowledge them.

   Type: 3

   Length: 2 octets

   Value: number of LSPs acknowledged per PSNP

   A node advertising this sub-TLV with a value LPP MUST send a PSNP
   once LPP LSPs have been received and need to be acknowledged.

4.4.  Flags sub-TLV

   The sub-TLV Flags advertises a set of flags.

   Type: 4

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   Length: Indicates the length in octets (1-8) of the Value field.  The
   length SHOULD be the minimum required to send all bits that are set.

   Value: List of flags.

             0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 ...
            |O|              ...

   When the O flag is set, the LSP will be acknowledged in the order
   they are received: a PSNP acknowledging N LSPs is acknowledging the N
   oldest LSPs received.  The order inside the PSNP is meaningless.  If
   the sender keeps track of the order of LSPs sent, this indication
   allows a fast detection of the loss of an LSP.  This MUST NOT be used
   to trigger faster retransmission of LSP.  This MAY be used to trigger
   a congestion signal.

4.5.  Partial SNP Interval sub-TLV

   The Partial SNP Interval sub-TLV advertises the amount of time in
   milliseconds between periodic action for transmission of Partial
   Sequence Number PDUs.  This time will trigger the sending of a PSNP
   even if the number of unacknowledged LSPs received on a given
   interface does not exceed LPP (Section 4.3).  The time is measured
   from the reception of the first unacknowldeged LSP.

   Type: 5

   Length: 2 octets

   Value: partialSNPInterval in milliseconds

   A node advertising this sub-TLV SHOULD send a PSNP at least once per
   Partial SNP Interval if one or more unacknowledged LSPs have been
   received on a given interface.

4.6.  Receive Window sub-TLV

   The Receive Window (RWIN) sub-TLV advertises the maximum number of
   unacknowledged LSPs that the node can receive.

   Type: 6

   Length: 2 octets

   Value: maximum number of unacknowledged LSPs

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4.7.  Operation on a LAN interface

   On a LAN interface, all LSPs are link-level multicasts.  Each LSP
   sent will be received by all ISs on the LAN and each IS will receive
   LSPs from all transmitters.  In this section, we clarify how the
   flooding parameters should be interpreted in the context of a LAN.

   An LSP receiver on a LAN will communicate its desired flooding
   parameters using a single Flooding Parameters TLV, copies of which
   will be received by all transmitters.  The flooding parameters sent
   by the LSP receiver MUST be understood as instructions from the
   receiver to each transmitter about the desired maximum transmit
   characteristics of each transmitter.  The receiver is aware that
   there are multiple transmitters that can send LSPs to the receiver
   LAN interface.  The receiver might want to take that into account by
   advertising more conservative values, e.g. a higher LSP Transmission
   Interval.  When the transmitters receive the LSP Transmission
   Interval value advertised by a LSP receiver, the transmitters should
   rate limit LSPs according to the advertised flooding parameters.
   They should not apply any further interpretation to the flooding
   parameters advertised by the receiver.

   A given LSP transmitter will receive multiple flooding parameter
   advertisements from different receivers that may carry different
   flooding parameter values.  A given transmitter SHOULD use the most
   convervative value on a per parameter basis.  For example, if the
   transmitter receives multiple LSP Burst Window values, it should use
   the smallest value.

5.  Performance improvement on the receiver

   This section defines two behaviors that SHOULD be implemented on the

5.1.  Rate of LSP Acknowledgments

   On point-to-point networks, PSNP PDUs provide acknowledgments for
   received LSPs.  [ISO10589] suggests that some delay be used when
   sending PSNPs.  This provides some optimization as multiple LSPs can
   be acknowledged in a single PSNP.

   Faster LSP flooding benefits from a faster feedback loop.  This
   requires a reduction in the delay in sending PSNPs.

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   The receiver SHOULD reduce its partialSNPInterval.  The choice of
   this lower value is a local choice.  It may depend on the available
   processing power of the node, the number of adjacencies, and the
   requirement to synchronize the LSDB more quickly. 200 ms seems to be
   a reasonable value.

   In addition to the timer based partialSNPInterval, the receiver
   SHOULD keep track of the number of unacknowledged LSPs per circuit
   and level.  When this number exceeds a preset threshold of LSPs Per
   PSNP (LPP), the receiver SHOULD immediately send a PSNP without
   waiting for the PSNP timer to expire.  In case of a burst of LSPs,
   this allows for more frequent PSNPs, giving faster feedback to the
   sender.  Outside of the burst case, the usual time-based PSNP
   approach comes into effect.  The LPP SHOULD also be less than or
   equal to 90 as this is the maximum number of LSPs that can be
   acknowledged in a PSNP at common MTU sizes, hence waiting longer
   would not reduce the number of PSNPs sent but would delay the
   acknowledgements.  Based on experimental evidence, 15 unacknowledged
   LSPs is a good value assuming that the Receive Window is at least 30
   and reasonably fast CPUs for both the transmitter and receiver.  More
   frequent PSNPs gives the transmitter more feedback on receiver
   progress, allowing the transmitter to continue transmitting while not
   burdening the receiver with undue overhead.

   By deploying both the time-based and the threshold-based PSNP
   approaches, the receiver can be adaptive to both LSP bursts and
   infrequent LSP updates.

   As PSNPs also consume link bandwidth, packet queue space, and
   protocol processing time on receipt, the increased sending of PSNPs
   should be taken into account when considering the rate at which LSPs
   can be sent on an interface.

5.2.  Packet Prioritization on Receive

   There are three classes of PDUs sent by IS-IS:

   *  Hellos

   *  LSPs

   *  Complete Sequence Number PDUs (CSNPs) and PSNPs

   Implementations today may prioritize the reception of Hellos over
   LSPs and SNPs in order to prevent a burst of LSP updates from
   triggering an adjacency timeout which in turn would require
   additional LSPs to be updated.

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   CSNPs and PSNPs serve to trigger or acknowledge the transmission of
   specified LSPs.  On a point-to-point link, PSNPs acknowledge the
   receipt of one or more LSPs.  For this reason, [ISO10589] specifies a
   delay (partialSNPInterval) before sending a PSNP so that the number
   of PSNPs required to be sent is reduced.  On receipt of a PSNP, the
   set of LSPs acknowledged by that PSNP can be marked so that they do
   not need to be retransmitted.

   If a PSNP is dropped on reception, the set of LSPs advertised in the
   PSNP cannot be marked as acknowledged and this results in needless
   retransmissions that will further delay transmission of other LSPs
   that have yet to be transmitted.  It may also make it more likely
   that a receiver becomes overwhelmed by LSP transmissions.

   It is therefore RECOMMENDED that implementations prioritize the
   receipt of Hellos and then SNPs over LSPs.  Implementations MAY also
   prioritize IS-IS packets over other less critical protocols.

6.  Congestion and Flow Control

6.1.  Overview

   Ensuring the goodput between two entities is a layer 4 responsibility
   as per the OSI model and a typical example is the TCP protocol
   defined in RFC 9293 [RFC9293] and relies on the flow control,
   congestion control, and reliability mechanisms of the protocol.

   Flow control creates a control loop between a transmiter and a
   receiver so that the transmitter does not overwhelm the receiver.
   TCP provides a mean for the receiver to govern the amount of data
   sent by the sender through the use of a sliding window.

   Congestion control creates multiple interacting control loops between
   multiple transmitters and multiple receivers to prevent the
   transmitters from overwhelming the overall network.  For an IS-IS
   adjacency, the network between two IS-IS neighbors is relatively
   limited in scope and consist of a link that is typically over-sized
   compared to the capability of the IS-IS speakers, but may also
   includes components inside both routers such as a switching fabric,
   line card CPU, and forwarding plane buffers that may experience
   congestion.  These resources may be shared across multiple IS-IS
   adjacencies for the system and it is the responsibility of congestion
   control to ensure that these are shared reasonably.

   Reliability provides loss detection and recovery.  IS-IS already has
   mechanisms to ensure the reliable transmission of LSPs.  This is not
   changed by this document.

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   The following two sections provides examples of Flow and/or
   Congestion control algorithms as examples that may be implemented by
   taking advantage of the extensions defined in this document.  They
   are non-normative.  An implementation may implement any congestion
   control algorithm.

6.2.  Congestion and Flow Control algorithm: Example 1

6.2.1.  Flow control

   A flow control mechanism creates a control loop between a single
   instance of a transmitter and a single receiver.  This example uses a
   mechanism similar to the TCP receive window to allow the receiver to
   govern the amount of data sent by the sender.  This receive window
   ('rwin') indicates an allowed number of LSPs that the sender may
   transmit before waiting for an acknowledgment.  The size of the
   receive window, in units of LSPs, is initialized with the value
   advertised by the receiver in the Receive Window sub-TLV.  If no
   value is advertised, the transmitter should initialize rwin with its
   own local value.

   When the transmitter sends a set of LSPs to the receiver, it
   subtracts the number of LSPs sent from rwin.  If the transmitter
   receives a PSNP, then rwin is incremented for each acknowledged LSP.
   The transmitter must ensure that the value of rwin never goes
   negative.  Operation on a point to point interface

   By sending the LSP Burst Window sub-TLV, a node advertises to its
   neighbor its ability to receive that many un-acknowledged LSPs from
   the neighbor, with no separation interval.  This is akin to a receive
   window or sliding window in flow control.  In some implementations,
   this value should reflect the IS-IS socket buffer size.  Special care
   must be taken to leave space for CSNP and PSNP (SNP) PDUs and IIHs if
   they share the same input queue.  In this case, this document
   suggests advertising an LSP Burst Window corresponding to half the
   size of the IS-IS input queue.

   By advertising an LSP Transmission Interval sub-TLV, a node
   advertises its ability to receive LSPs separated by at least the
   advertised value, outside of LSP bursts.

   The LSP transmitter MUST NOT exceed these parameters.  After having
   sent a full burst of un-acknowledged LSPs, it MUST send the following
   LSPs with an LSP Transmission Interval between LSP arrivals.  For CPU
   scheduling reasons, this rate may be averaged over a small period
   e.g. 10 to 30ms.

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   If either the LSP transmitter or receiver does not adhere to these
   parameters, for example because of transient conditions, this causes
   no fatal condition to the operation of IS-IS.  In the worst case, an
   LSP is lost at the receiver and this situation is already remedied by
   mechanisms in [ISO10589] . After a few seconds, neighbors will
   exchange PSNPs (for point to point interfaces) or CSNPs (for
   broadcast interfaces) and recover from the lost LSPs.  This worst
   case should be avoided as those additional seconds impact convergence
   time as the LSDB is not fully synchronized.  Hence it is better to
   err on the conservative side and to under-run the receiver rather
   than over-run it.  Operation on a broadcast LAN interface

   In order for the LSP Burst Window to be a useful parameter, an LSP
   transmitter needs to be able to keep track of the number of un-
   acknowledged LSPs it has sent to a given LSP receiver.  On a LAN
   there is no explicit acknowledgment of the receipt of LSPs between a
   given LSP transmitter and a given LSP receiver.  However, an LSP
   transmitter on a LAN can infer whether any LSP receiver on the LAN
   has requested retransmission of LSPs from the DIS by monitoring PSNPs
   generated on the LAN.  If no PSNPs have been generated on the LAN for
   a suitable period of time, then an LSP transmitter can safely set the
   number of un-acknowledged LSPs to zero.  Since this suitable period
   of time is much higher than the fast acknowledgment of LSPs defined
   in Section 5.1, the sustainable transmission rate of LSPs will be
   much slower on a LAN interface than on a point to point interface.
   The LSP Burst Window is still very useful for the first burst of LSPs
   sent, especially in the case of a single node failure that requires
   the flooding of a relatively small number of LSPs.

6.2.2.  Congestion control

   Whereas flow control prevents the sender from overwhelming the
   receiver, congestion control prevents senders from overwhelming the
   network.  For an IS-IS adjacency, the network between two IS-IS
   neighbors is relatively limited in scope and includes a single link
   which is typically over-sized compared to the capability of the IS-IS

   This section describes one congestion control algorithm largely
   inspired by the TCP congestion control algorithm RFC 5681 [RFC5681].

   The proposed algorithm uses a variable congestion window 'cwin'.  It
   plays a role similar to the receive window described above.  The main
   difference is that cwin is dynamically changed according to various
   events described below.

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   In its simplest form, the congestion control algorithm looks like the

      |               |
      |               v
      |   +----------------------+
      |   | Congestion avoidance |
      |   + ---------------------+
      |               |
      |               | Congestion signal

                                  Figure 1

   The algorithm starts with cwin := LPP + 1.  In the congestion
   avoidance phase, cwin increases as LSPs are acked: for every acked
   LSP, cwin += 1 / cwin.  Thus, the sending rate roughly increases
   linearly with the RTT.  Since the RTT is low in many IS-IS
   deployments, the sending rate can reach fast rates in short periods
   of time.

   When updating cwin, it must not become higher than the number of LSPs
   waiting to be sent, otherwise the sending will not be paced by the
   receiving of acks.  Said differently, tx pressure is needed to
   maintain and increase cwin.

   When the congestion signal is triggered, cwin is set back to its
   initial value and the congestion avoidance phase starts again.  Congestion signals

   The congestion signal can take various forms.  The more reactive the
   congestion signals, the less LSPs will be lost due to congestion.
   However, congestion signals too aggressive will cause a sender to
   keep a very low sending rate even without actual congestion on the

   Two practical signals are given hereafter.

   Timers: when receiving acknowledgements, a sender estimates the
   acknowledgement time of the receiver.  Based on this estimation, it
   can infer that a packet was lost, and infer congestion on the path.

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   There can be a timer per LSP, but this can become costly for
   implementations.  It is possible to use only a single timer t1 for
   every LSPs: during t1, sent LSPs are recorded in a list list_1.  Once
   the RTT is over, list_1 is kept and another list list_2 is used to
   store the next LSPs.  LSPs are removed from the lists when acked.  At
   the end of the second t1 period, every LSP in list_1 should have been
   acked, so list_1 is checked to be empty. list_1 can then be reused
   for the next RTT.

   There are multiple strategies to set the timeout value t1.  It should
   be based on measures of the maximum acknowledgement time (MAT) of
   each PSNPs.  The simplest one is to use a exponential moving average
   of the MATs, like RFC 6298 [RFC6298].  A more elaborate one is to
   take a running maximum of the MATs over a period of time of a few
   seconds.  This value should include a margin of error to avoid false
   positives (e.g. estimated MAT measure variance) which would have a
   significant impact on performance.

   Reordering: a sender can record its sending order and check that
   acknowledgements arrive on the same order than LSPs.  This makes an
   additional assumption and should ideally be backed up by a
   confirmation by the receiver that this assumption stands.  The O flag
   defined in Section 4.4 serves this purpose.  Refinement 1

   With the algorithm presented above, if congestion is detected, cwin
   goes back to its initial value, and does not use the information
   gathered in previous congestion avoidance phases.

   It is possible to use a fast recovery phase once congestion is
   detected, to avoid going through this linear rate of growth from
   scratch.  When congestion is detected, a fast recovery threshold
   frthresh is set to frthresh := cwin / 2 In this fast recovery phase,
   for every acked LSP, cwin += 1.  Once cwin reaches frthresh, the
   algorithm goes back to the congestion avoidance phase.

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      |               |
      |               v
      |   +----------------------+
      |   | Congestion avoidance |
      |   + ---------------------+
      |               |
      |               | Congestion signal
      |               |
      |   +----------------------+
      |   |     Fast recovery    |
      |   +----------------------+
      |               |
      |               | frthresh reached

                                  Figure 2  Refinement 2

   The rates of increase were inspired from TCP RFC 5681 [RFC5681], but
   it is possible that a different rate of increase for cwin in the
   congestion avoidance phase actually yields better results due to the
   low RTT values in most IS-IS deployments.  Remarks

   This algorithm's performance is dependent on the LPP value.  Indeed,
   the smaller LPP is, the more information is available for the
   congestion control algorithm to perform well.  However, it also
   increases the resources spent on sending PSNPs, so a tradeoff must be
   made.  This document recommends to use an LPP of 15 or less.  If an
   LSP Burst Window is advertised, LPP SHOULD be lower and the best
   performance is achieved when LPP is an integer fraction of the LSP
   Burst Window.

   Note that this congestion control algorithm benefits from the
   extensions proposed in this document.  The advertisement of a receive
   window from the receiver (Section 6.2.1) avoids the use of an
   arbitrary maximum value by the sender.  The faster acknowledgment of
   LSPs (Section 5.1) allows for a faster control loop and hence a
   faster increase of the congestion window in the absence of

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6.2.3.  Determining values to be advertised in the Flooding Parameters

   The values that a receiver advertises do not need to be perfect.  If
   the values are too low then the transmitter will not use the full
   bandwidth or available CPU resources.  If the values are too high
   then the receiver may drop some LSPs during the first RTT and this
   loss will reduce the usable receive window and the protocol
   mechanisms will allow the adjacency to recover.  Flooding several
   orders of magnitude slower than both nodes can achieve will hurt
   performance, as will consistently overloading the receiver.

   The values advertised need not be dynamic as feedback is provided by
   the acknowledgment of LSPs in SNP messages.  Acknowledgments provide
   a feedback loop on how fast the LSPs are processed by the receiver.
   They also signal that the LSPs can be removed from receive window,
   explicitly signaling to the sender that more LSPs may be sent.  By
   advertising relatively static parameters, we expect to produce
   overall flooding behavior similar to what might be achieved by
   manually configuring per-interface LSP rate limiting on all
   interfaces in the network.  The advertised values may be based, for
   example, on an offline tests of the overall LSP processing speed for
   a particular set of hardware and the number of interfaces configured
   for IS-IS.  With such a formula, the values advertised in the
   Flooding Parameters TLV would only change when additional IS-IS
   interfaces are configured.

   The values may be updated dynamically, to reflect the relative change
   of load of the receiver, by improving the values when the receiver
   load is getting lower and degrading the values when the receiver load
   is getting higher.  For example, if LSPs are regularly dropped, or if
   the queue regularly comes close to being filled, then the values may
   be too high.  On the other hand, if the queue is barely used (by IS-
   IS), then values may be too low.

   The values may also be absolute value reflecting relevant average
   hardware resources that are been monitored, typically the amount of
   buffer space used by incoming LSPs.  In this case, care must be taken
   when choosing the parameters influencing the values in order to avoid
   undesirable or instable feedback loops.  It would be undesirable to
   use a formula that depends, for example, on an active measurement of
   the instantaneous CPU load to modify the values advertised in the
   Flooding Parameters TLV.  This could introduce feedback into the IGP
   flooding process that could produce unexpected behavior.

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6.2.4.  Operation considerations

   As discussed in Section 4.7, the solution is more effective on point
   to point adjacencies.  Hence a broadcast interface (e.g.  Ethernet)
   only shared by two IS-IS neighbhors should be configured as point to
   point in order to have a more effective flooding.

6.3.  Congestion Control algorithm: Example 2

   This section describes a congestion control algorithm based on
   performance measured by the transmitter without dependance on
   signaling from the receiver.

6.3.1.  Router Architecture Discussion

   (The following description is an abstraction - implementation details

   Existing router architectures may utilize multiple input queues.  On
   a given line card, IS-IS PDUs from multiple interfaces may be placed
   in a rate limited input queue.  This queue may be dedicated to IS-IS
   PDUs or may be shared with other routing related packets.

   The input queue may then pass IS-IS PDUs to a "punt queue" which is
   used to pass PDUs from the data plane to the control plane.  The punt
   queue typically also has controls on its size and the rate at which
   packets will be punted.

   An input queue in the control plane may then be used to assemble PDUs
   from multiple linecards, separate the IS-ISs PDU from other types of
   packets, and place the IS-IS PDUs in an input queue dedicated to the
   IS-IS protocol.

   The IS-IS input queue then separates the IS-IS PDUs and directs them
   to an instance specific processing queue.  The instance specififc
   processing queue may then further separate the IS-IS PDUs by type
   (IIHs, SNPs, and LSPs) so that separate processing threads with
   varying priorities may be employed to process the incoming PDUs.

   In such an architecture, it may be difficult for IS-IS in the control
   plane to accurately track the state of the various input queues and
   determine what value should be advertised as a current receive

   The following section describes a congestion control algorithm based
   on performance measured by the transmitter without dependance on
   signaling from the receiver.

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6.3.2.  Transmitter Based Flow Control

   The congestion control algorithm described in this section does not
   depend upon direct signaling from the receiver.  Instead it adapts
   the tranmsmission rate based on measurement of the actual rate of
   acknowledgments received.

   When flow control is necessary, it can be implemented in a
   straightforward manner based on knowledge of the current flooding
   rate and the current acknowledgement rate.  Such an algorithm is a
   local matter and there is no requirement or intent to standardize an
   algorithm.  There are a number of aspects which serve as guidelines
   which can be described.

   A maximum target LSP transmission rate (LSPTxMax) SHOULD be
   configurable.  This represents the fastest LSP transmission rate
   which will be attempted.  This value SHOULD be applicable to all
   interfaces and SHOULD be consistent network wide.

   When the current rate of LSP transmission (LSPTxRate) exceeds the
   capabilities of the receiver, the flow control algorithm needs to
   aggressively reduce the LSPTxRate within a few seconds.  Slower
   responsiveness is likely to result in a large number of
   retransmissions which can introduce much larger delays in

   NOTE: Even with modest increases in flooding speed (for example, a
   target LSPTxMax of 300 LSPs/second (10 times the typical rate
   supported today)), a topology change triggering 2100 new LSPs would
   only take 7 seconds to complete.

   Dynamic adjustment of the rate of LSP transmission (LSPTxRate)
   upwards (i.e., faster) SHOULD be done less aggressively and only be
   done when the neighbor has demonstrated its ability to sustain the
   current LSPTxRate.

   The flow control algorithm MUST NOT assume the receive capabilities
   of a neighbor are static, i.e., it MUST handle transient conditions
   which result in a slower or faster receive rate on the part of a

   The flow control algorithm needs to consider the expected delay time
   in receiving an acknowledgment.  It therefore incorporates the
   neighbor partialSNPInterval(Section 4.5) to help determine whether
   acknowlegments are keeping pace with the rate of LSPs transmitted.
   In the absence of an advertisement of partialSNPInterval a locally
   configured value can be used.

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7.  IANA Considerations

   IANA has made the following temporary allocation from the IS-IS TLV
   codepoint registry.

        Type    Description                    IIH   LSP   SNP   Purge
        ----    ---------------------------    ---   ---   ---   ---
         21    Flooding Parameters TLV         y     n     y     n

                                  Figure 3

   This document creates the following sub-TLV Registry:

   Name: Sub-TLVs for TLV 21 (Flooding Parameters TLV).

   Registration Procedure(s): Expert Review

   Expert(s): TBD

   Reference: TBD

                   |  Type | Description               |
                   |   0   | Reserved                  |
                   |   1   | LSP Burst Window          |
                   |   2   | LSP Transmission Interval |
                   |   3   | LSPs Per PSNP             |
                   |   4   | Flags                     |
                   |   5   | Partial SNP Interval      |
                   |   6   | Receive Window            |
                   | 7-255 | Unassigned                |

                        Table 1: Initial allocations

   This document also requests IANA to create a new registry for
   assigning Flag bits advertised in the Flags sub-TLV.

   Name: Flooding Parameters Flags Bits.

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   Registration Procedure:

   Expert Review Expert(s): TBD

   | Bit #  |  Description           |
   |  0     |  O Flag                |

8.  Security Considerations

   Security concerns for IS-IS are addressed in [ISO10589] , [RFC5304] ,
   and [RFC5310] .  These documents describe mechanisms that provide the
   authentication and integrity of IS-IS PDUs, including SNPs and IIHs.
   These authentication mechanisms are not altered by this document.

   With the cryptographic mechanisms described in [RFC5304] and
   [RFC5310] , an attacker wanting to advertise an incorrect Flooding
   Parameters TLV would have to first defeat these mechanisms.

   In the absence of cryptographic authentication, as IS-IS does not run
   over IP but directly over the link layer, it's considered difficult
   to inject false SNP/IHH without having access to the link layer.

   If a false SNP/IIH is sent with a Flooding Parameters TLV set to
   conservative values, the attacker can reduce the flooding speed
   between the two adjacent neighbors which can result in LSDB
   inconsistencies and transient forwarding loops.  However, it is not
   significantly different than filtering or altering LSPs which would
   also be possible with access to the link layer.  In addition, if the
   downstream flooding neighbor has multiple IGP neighbors, which is
   typically the case for reliability or topological reasons, it would
   receive LSPs at a regular speed from its other neighbors and hence
   would maintain LSDB consistency.

   If a false SNP/IIH is sent with a Flooding Parameters TLV set to
   aggressive values, the attacker can increase the flooding speed which
   can either overload a node or more likely generate loss of LSPs.
   However, it is not significantly different than sending many LSPs
   which would also be possible with access to the link layer, even with
   cryptographic authentication enabled.  In addition, IS-IS has
   procedures to detect the loss of LSPs and recover.

   This TLV advertisement is not flooded across the network but only
   sent between adjacent IS-IS neighbors.  This would limit the
   consequences in case of forged messages, and also limits the
   dissemination of such information.

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9.  Contributors

   The following people gave a substantial contribution to the content
   of this document and should be considered as coauthors:

   Acee Lindem, Cisco Systems,

   Jayesh J, Juniper Networks,

10.  Acknowledgments

   The authors would like to thank Henk Smit, Sarah Chen, Xuesong Geng,
   Pierre Francois and Hannes Gredler for their reviews, comments and

   The authors would like to thank David Jacquet, Sarah Chen, and
   Qiangzhou Gao for the tests performed on commercial implementations
   and their identification of some limiting factors.

11.  References

11.1.  Normative References

   [ISO10589] ISO, "Intermediate system to Intermediate system intra-
              domain routeing information exchange protocol for use in
              conjunction with the protocol for providing the
              connectionless-mode Network Service (ISO 8473)", ISO/
              IEC 10589:2002, Second Edition, November 2002.

   [RFC2119]  Bradner, S. and RFC Publisher, "Key words for use in RFCs
              to Indicate Requirement Levels", BCP 14, RFC 2119,
              DOI 10.17487/RFC2119, March 1997,

   [RFC5304]  Li, T., Atkinson, R., and RFC Publisher, "IS-IS
              Cryptographic Authentication", RFC 5304,
              DOI 10.17487/RFC5304, October 2008,

   [RFC5310]  Bhatia, M., Manral, V., Li, T., Atkinson, R., White, R.,
              and M. Fanto, "IS-IS Generic Cryptographic
              Authentication", RFC 5310, DOI 10.17487/RFC5310, February
              2009, <>.

   [RFC6298]  Paxson, V., Allman, M., Chu, J., and M. Sargent,
              "Computing TCP's Retransmission Timer", RFC 6298,
              DOI 10.17487/RFC6298, June 2011,

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   [RFC8174]  Leiba, B. and RFC Publisher, "Ambiguity of Uppercase vs
              Lowercase in RFC 2119 Key Words", BCP 14, RFC 8174,
              DOI 10.17487/RFC8174, May 2017,

11.2.  Informative References

              Li, T., Przygienda, T., Psenak, P., Ginsberg, L., Chen,
              H., Cooper, D., Jalil, L., Dontula, S., and G. S. Mishra,
              "Dynamic Flooding on Dense Graphs", Work in Progress,
              Internet-Draft, draft-ietf-lsr-dynamic-flooding-11, 7 June
              2022, <

   [RFC2973]  Balay, R., Katz, D., and J. Parker, "IS-IS Mesh Groups",
              RFC 2973, DOI 10.17487/RFC2973, October 2000,

   [RFC5681]  Allman, M., Paxson, V., and E. Blanton, "TCP Congestion
              Control", RFC 5681, DOI 10.17487/RFC5681, September 2009,

   [RFC9293]  Eddy, W., Ed., "Transmission Control Protocol (TCP)",
              STD 7, RFC 9293, DOI 10.17487/RFC9293, August 2022,

Appendix A.  Changes / Author Notes

   [RFC Editor: Please remove this section before publication]

   IND 00: Initial version.

   WG 00: No change.

   WG 01: IANA allocated code point.

   WG 02: No change.

Appendix B.  Issues for Further Discussion

   [RFC Editor: Please remove this section before publication]

   This section captures issues which the authors either have not yet
   had time to address or on which the authors have not yet reached
   consensus.  Future revisions of this document may include new/altered
   text relevant to these issues.

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   There are no open issues at this time.

Authors' Addresses

   Bruno Decraene

   Les Ginsberg
   Cisco Systems
   821 Alder Drive
   Milpitas, CA 95035
   United States of America

   Tony Li
   Juniper Networks, Inc.

   Guillaume Solignac

   Marek Karasek
   Cisco Systems
   Pujmanove 1753/10a, Prague 4 - Nusle
   10 14000 Prague
   Czech Republic

   Chris Bowers
   Juniper Networks, Inc.
   1194 N. Mathilda Avenue
   Sunnyvale, CA 94089
   United States of America

   Gunter Van de Velde
   Copernicuslaan 50
   2018 Antwerp

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   Peter Psenak
   Cisco Systems
   Apollo Business Center Mlynske nivy 43
   821 09 Bratislava

   Tony Przygienda
   1137 Innovation Way
   Sunnyvale, Ca
   United States of America

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