Internet Engineering Task Force                               Don Fedyk
Internet Draft                                         (Nortel Networks)
Expiration Date: May 2001
                                                          Anoop Ghanwani
                                                           Rajesh Balay
                                                (Cosine Communications)

                                                               Jerry Ash

                                                          Alain Vedrenne
                                                           (SITA Equant)

                                                           November 2000

      Multiple Metrics for Traffic Engineering with IS-IS and OSPF


Status of this Memo

This document is an Internet-Draft and is in full conformance with all
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This draft describes optional sub-TLVs that can be used to extend IGPs
to support multiple metrics for use with traffic engineering. These
optional extensions are an addendum to the existing work on traffic
engineering extensions to OSPF and ISIS.  While the current
specifications allow advertising only one metric, the ability to

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advertise multiple metrics has proven to be very useful in similar
systems.  The encoding for the proposed optional sub-TLVs is also
specified. This draft is intended to complement and extend the existing
work in [OSPF], [ISIS] and [GMPLSR].

1. Introduction

Present-day IP networks do not have many of the features required for
supporting traffic engineering.  To address this issue, several IETF
Working Groups are working together to define the methodologies that
are required for providing traffic engineering features [TEREQ].
Basically, there has been activity in the following areas:

  -  Extensions to IGP routing protocols (OSPF and IS-IS) for carrying
     an additional metric, and bandwidth and resource class information
     about links [OSPF,ISIS]; and

  -  Signaling support for traffic engineering via MPLS [CRLDP, RSVP-

The extensions for traffic engineering currently allow for only one
routing metric.  However, it is advantageous to allow the advertisement
of multiple metrics because they can be used very effectively in a
network running MPLS.  In IP networks in the past, multiple routing
metrics, even if defined, were not widely used.  This is because
traditional IP networks are based on a connectionless routing paradigm.
For such networks, it has proven difficult to provide a scalable
solution that uses multiple metrics.  Since the routes must be computed
in advance before any data arrives at the router, it places a
significant burden on the router if it needs to compute separate
routing tables for each metric.  Furthermore, there is the issue of how
to select which route a particular packet should use.  See [QOSR] for a
comprehensive study of the QoS routing problem and issues with multiple
metrics and how these can be used.

The scalability issue described above is not a concern for networks
running MPLS, because the routes for traffic engineering label switched
paths (LSPs) may be computed on demand, and therefore a different
routing metric may be used for each LSP. Existing connection-oriented
systems that are non-IP based already have multiple metrics. For
example, it may be desirable to minimize the economic cost of the path
for one LSP, while for another LSP the goal may be minimizing the end-
to-end delay.  In other words, we are not recommending that the
multiple advertised metrics be used simultaneously during path
selection; that problem is known to be NP-complete.  Instead, we would
like to be able to use a different metric for path selection depending
on the requirements of the LSP.  Of course, clever approximation
algorithms may be able to make use of more than one metric for path
selection for a given LSP.

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Therefore in this draft, a set of new sub-TLVs is proposed that will
allow OSPF and ISIS to advertise multiple metrics for traffic
engineering.  These sub-TLVs are optional; a particular implementation
may optionally choose to support one or more of them.

The remainder of this draft is organized as follows. Section 2
discusses the extensions to IS-IS and OSPF for advertising multiple
metrics. Section 3 discusses reasons for different routing metrics.

2. Optional traffic engineering metrics for IS-IS and OSPF

As a part of the recent IGP extensions for traffic engineering, a new
routing metric called the Traffic Engineering Default Metric was
introduced.  The introduction of only a single metric is limiting. For
example, it may be desirable to minimize hops, minimize delay or
distance, minimize cost, or minimize resource usage, in the same
network for different LSPs.

Three optional metrics are defined by this document for use in traffic
engineering.  These are in addition to the Default TE Metric [ISIS,
OSPF].  The most pressing need is for a delay-based metric, but
defining additional metrics has added advantages.

For example, having multiple metrics allows easy migration from one
metric to another.  A network operator may start out by using the first
metric for delay expressed as milliseconds, and then later migrate to
using delays expressed as hundreds of microseconds by using one of the
_free_ metrics in the network.  Also, it makes the introduction of new
metrics easier eliminating the need for vendor proprietary extensions,
even if the metric is only for experimental use.

The actual metric type that is being advertised is specific to a
service provider and does not need to be standardized.  Consistency of
the metric type is only required within the domain on which the path
selection algorithm is being run.

2.2 New sub-TLVs for IS-IS

The optional metrics are sub-TLVs carried within the Extended IS
Reachability TLV, whose TLV type is 22.  The new sub-TLVs are:

      - Traffic Engineering Optional Metric 1 (sub-TLV type TBD, length
        3 octets);
      - Traffic Engineering Optional Metric 2 (sub-TLV type TBD, length
        3 octets);
      - Traffic Engineering Optional Metric 3 (sub-TLV type TBD, length
        3 octets).

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2.3 New sub-TLVs for OSPF

The optional metrics are sub-TLVs carried within the Link TLV, whose
TLV type is 2.  The new sub-TLVs are:

      - Traffic Engineering Optional Metric 1 (sub-TLV type TBD, length
        4 octets);
      - Traffic Engineering Optional Metric 2 (sub-TLV type TBD, length
        4 octets);
      - Traffic Engineering Optional Metric 3 (sub-TLV type TBD, length
        4 octets).

3.   Routing metrics background

This section is provided for background only.  It is not intended to be
an exhaustive list of routing metrics.   Some attributes may be more
appropriately represented as Resource Class constraints or colors. This
is are highlighted out where applicable.

A metric is a weight that is assigned to links in the network to
indicate the relative preference of a link during path computation.
Usually, metrics are selected so that they allow the computation of
paths that meet or minimize or maximize (e.g., available link bandwidth
on a per hop basis) certain constraints.  Metrics for path selection
can be classified using the following two criteria:

      - Additive/non-additive: This refers to whether or not the path
        metric is obtaining by adding the metric value for all links in
        the path.  Examples of additive constraints include delay and
        hop count.

      - Static/dynamic: A static metric doesn't change with time.  This
        includes metrics such as hop count and propagation delay of a
        link.  A dynamic metric changes with traffic conditions in the
        network.  An example is the available bandwidth and queuing
        delays on a link.

Parameters such as bandwidth, delay, delay-jitter, and loss or error
probability are used for driving path selection when setting up
connections with QoS guarantees.  Other metrics that can be considered
include hop count, administrative cost, and economic cost.

A brief description of each of these metric types follows.

3.1 Bandwidth

For a connection-oriented networks the unreserved bandwidth or
bandwidth available allows path selection to be constrained to links
that can support a request. The bandwidth available at each of the
eight holding priorities is now advertised as a part of the IGP

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extensions for traffic engineering [OSPF, ISIS, GMPLSR].  LSPs that
specify traffic parameters with bandwidth allocations can use this
usage-based metric instead of the bandwidth metric to ensure sufficient
bandwidth allocation.

3.2 Delay

Static delay-based metrics may be used for representing the propagation
and the transmission delay of a link.  This metric is used to minimize
the end-to-end delay experienced by a packet.  The propagation delay is
a fixed quantity that is related to the transmission medium and the
physical distance over which the signal travels.  The transmission
delay is the time that it takes to transmit a packet of a given size at
a given link speed, and is thus a function of the bandwidth of the
link.  The combination of transmission delay for a given packet size
and the propagation delay yields a value that represents the minimum
delay that a packet would experience when transmitted over a given

The delay metric may represent the real value of the delay in
milliseconds or microseconds.  It may or may not include the
transmission delay, especially since with higher link speeds, the
transmission delay becomes negligible and propagation delay dominates.

3.3 Delay-jitter

Delay-jitter is caused due to queuing delays at various points in a
network (usually the links).  The exact value depends on the
instantaneous traffic load.  One option for advertising delay-jitter
could be to advertise a static value that represents the average delay-
jitter for a given link.  With the advent of multi-queue schedulers
such as static priority and fair queuing, delay-jitter can vary for
different traffic types on the same link. A resource class bit could be
used to indicate links that support such a queuing discipline, negating
the need for a delay-jitter metric.

3.4 Loss Probability

The loss probability depends on the type of link used (optical fiber,
satellite, etc.).  Another way to express this would be bit error rate.
This can be advertised as a static value.  Alternatively, some bits in
the resource class vector can be used to indicate the loss
characteristics of the link again removing the requirement for a loss
probability metric.

3.5 Hop Count

A Hop count metric is used to minimize the number of intermediate
switches traversed, thereby minimizing the resources used in the
network. Typically, minimizing the hop count does not require an
explicit advertisement since it can be deduced while doing path

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computation.  In some cases however, advertising the hop count may be
desirable.  For instance, when tunnels are advertised by the IGP, it
may be useful to know the number of hops that the tunnel traverses.

3.6 Administrative weight

This metric is assigned based on a combination of factors.  Sometimes,
the administrative weight attempts to meld together several of the
other metric attributes into a single metric.  It is important to
realize that doing this is a significant compromise for traffic
engineering since melding the various metrics together reduces the
flexibility for path selection.

3.7 Economic cost or expense-based metric types

Cost-based metrics are assigned based on the economic cost for using a
given link.  These may be different from the administrative cost or
weight of a link.  With the advent of usage-based billing for services
such as Frame Relay and ATM, and the use of tunnels over these
technologies, the true cost of sending a certain amount and type of
traffic can be calculated.

4. Security Considerations

This document raises no new security issues for IS-IS or OSPF.

5. Acknowledgements

The authors would like to thank Bilel Jamoussi, Peter Ashwood-Smith and
Darek Skalecki for their helpful comments on the document.

6. References

[TEREQ] D. Awduche et al., "Requirements for Traffic Engineering Over
MPLS,_ RFC 2702, September 1999

[ISIS] H. Smit, T. Li, "IS-IS extensions for Traffic Engineering,"
Internet Draft, draft-ietf-isis-traffic-02.txt, September 2000.

[OSPF] D. Katz, D. Yeung, "Traffic Engineering Extensions to OSPF,_
Internet Draft, draft-katz-yeung-ospf-traffic-03.txt, September 2000.

[CRLDP] B. Jamoussi et al., "Constraint-Based LSP Setup using LDP,_
Internet Draft, draft-ietf-mpls-cr-ldp-04.txt, July 2000.

[RSVP-TE] D. Awduche et al., "Extensions to RSVP for LSP Tunnels,_
Internet Draft, draft-ietf-mpls-rsvp-lsp-tunnel-07.txt, August 2000.

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[QOSR] E. Crawley et al., "A Framework for QoS-based routing in the
Internet," Request for Comments 2386, August 1998.

[GMPLSR] K. Kompella et al., "IS-IS Extensions in Support of
Generalized MPLS," Internet Draft, draft-ietf-isis-gmpls-extensions-
00.txt, September 2000.

7. Authors' Addresses

Don Fedyk                         Anoop Ghanwani
Nortel Networks Corp.             Cosine Communications
600 Technology Park Drive         1200 Bridge Parkway
Billerica, MA 01821               Redwood City, CA 94065
USA                               USA
Phone: +1-978-288-4506            Phone: +1-650-628-4225
Email: Email:

Rajesh Balay                      Gerald R. (Jerry) Ash
Cosine Communications             AT&T Labs
1200 Bridge Parkway               Room MT E3-3C37
Redwood City, CA 94065            200 Laurel Avenue
Phone: +1-650-628-4893            Middletown, NJ 07748
Email:       USA

Alain Vedrenne
Strategic Technology Planning
400 Galleria Parkway,
Atlanta, Georgia 30339
Phone: +1 (678) 346-3466

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