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NSDI '04 — Abstract

Pp. 57–70 of the Proceedings

OSPF Monitoring: Architecture, Design, and Deployment Experience

Aman Shaikh and Albert Greenberg, AT&T Labs—Research


Improving IP control plane (routing) robustness is critical to the creation of reliable and stable IP services. Yet very few tools exist for effective IP route monitoring and management. We describe the architecture, design and deployment of a monitoring system for OSPF, an IP intra-domain routing protocol in wide use. The architecture has three components, separating the capture of raw LSAs (Link State Advertisements—OSPF updates), the real-time analysis of the LSA stream for problem detection, and the off-line analysis of OSPF behavior. By speaking "just enough" OSPF, the monitor gains full visibility of LSAs, while remaining totally passive and visible only at the point of attachment. We describe a methodology that allows efficient real-time detection of changes to the OSPF network topology, flapping network elements, LSA storms and anomalous behavior. The real-time analysis capabilities facilitate generation of alerts that operators can use to identify and troubleshoot problems. A flexible and efficient toolkit provides capabilities for off-line analysis of LSA archives. The toolkit enables post-mortem analysis of problems, what-if analysis that can aid in maintenance, planning, and deployment of new services, and overall understanding of OSPF behavior in large networks. We describe our experiences in deploying the OSPF monitor in a large operational ISP backbone and in a large enterprise network, as well as several examples that illustrate the effectiveness of the monitor in tracking changes to the network topology, equipment problems and routing anomalies.
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Last changed: 17 March 2004 ch
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