Re: [mpls] [spring] Special purpose labels in draft-hegde-spring-traffic-accounting-for-sr-paths

"Zafar Ali (zali)" <> Mon, 20 November 2017 23:36 UTC

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From: "Zafar Ali (zali)" <>
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Thread-Topic: [mpls] [spring] Special purpose labels in draft-hegde-spring-traffic-accounting-for-sr-paths
Date: Mon, 20 Nov 2017 23:36:28 +0000
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Subject: Re: [mpls] [spring] Special purpose labels in draft-hegde-spring-traffic-accounting-for-sr-paths
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Hi Adrian, 

Some comments are provided in-line. 

Please note that, we all want to let this lingering tread die and follow-up on the next steps noted during this email exchange. I will be happy to have a webEx call and discuss it further, offline. 


Regards … Zafar 

On 11/18/17, 9:08 AM, "Adrian Farrel" <> wrote:

    >>> procedure (in draft-hegde-spring-traffic-accounting-for-sr-paths) that breaks SR
    >>> Architecture, highly unscalable and complicated to implement. 
    >> [JD]  Do you have any evidence to justify any of your assertions, above? 
    > Please note that in draft-hegde-spring-traffic-accounting-for-sr-paths: 
    > •    The transit node needs to be able to recognize the special label, read
    >        the SR Path Identification label and update the counter against such
    >        “states”. 
>    Possibly worth noting that existing devices are capable of maintaining many counters and updating them at line speed.
>    Several people have noted that ipfix is a process used for accounting in networks. That approach may have to find the bottom of stack and then match the packet that follows. 
>    Other approaches (e.g., to ECMP) involve finding the bottom of stack and hashing on the header of the payload.
>    Some hardware cannot perform either mechanism. This usually results from a trade between low cost, high performance, and features. Generally you can't have all three.

The question is not about if the hardware is able to perform such operations but regarding breaking the very beauty of SR – no states at the transit/ egress nodes. In the context of label stack size explosion, the draft also talks about needs to break an SR Path into sub-paths – thereby creating yet additional states in the network for accounting reasons (see more detail on this in the following). Furthermore, SR-MPLS is designed for SDN – the architecture calls for simplification of the network not adding complexity in the network fabric. Please also note that a network may have a large number of SR Path, thereby creating another dimension for scaling limitations. 

The proposed procedure also does not work for node protection in the network. The draft essentially calls for ALL nodes to implement procedure proposed in the document; I am quoting from the draft. 

“When using extensions
   described in this document for traffic accounting and with node-
   protection enabled in the network, it is RECOMMENDED to make sure all
   the nodes in the network support the extension.”

    > •    The draft proposes to push (up to) 3 Labels for each segment in the SR
    >        Path. That means that label stack is increased up to 3x times! This is a 
    >        serious a scaling issue.  
>    John asked for evidence and you provided a misunderstanding or misreading of our draft. 
>    The document proposes adding 2 or 3 labels per SR Path (noting as John did, that this is our own term). 
>    That is not what you say, so perhaps you could retract or provide a pointer to the text.
>    Thus, "increased up to 3x times" applies only with the single case where the imposed label stack has exactly one label *and* the three label option is applied. So, while  what you say is true, it is clearly (and wilfully?) exaggerating the severity of impact, and it is doubtful that  4-label stack is actually a problem.
There are many scenarios that will require SR-Path-Stats Labels (up to 3 labels) to be present multiple times in the label stack. These scenarios are not uncommon. The following scenarios as noted in the draft.   
  “The head-end node SHOULD insert the SR-
   Path-Stats Labels at a depth in the label stack such that the nodes
   in the SR path can access the SR-Path-Identifier for accounting.  The
   SR-Path-Stats Labels may be present multiple times in the label stack
   of a packet.”

 “It is possible to partially deploy this feature when not all the
   nodes in the network support the extensions defined in this document.
   In such scenarios, the special labels MUST NOT get exposed on the top
   of the label stack at a node that does not support the extensions
   defined in this document.  This may require multiple blocks of SR-
   Path-Stats Labels to be inserted in the packet header.”

> •    The controller needs to keep track of transit node capability and
    >       push the additional per-path labels, accordingly. I.e., the controller
    >       also needs to maintain such information for the transit nodes. 
>    In most cases, the controller/ingress only needs to care about the capabilities of the egress nodes. That is, if the special purpose label reaches the top of the stack it has to be able to handle it.
>    The only time when the transit node issue arises is when there is a small RLD. That information may need to be known by the controller to enable correct ECMP behavior, and it is distributed in the IGP. 
>    If there is a desire to enable accounting at transit nodes with a small RLD then the Path ID can be inserted higher up the stack and *that* means that the controller has to be sensitive as to where in the network the special purpose label will rise to the top of the stack.
>    It seems to me that:
>    - Controllers are not particularly resource constrained: adding a flag per node
>       (or even per link!) would not break any scaling behavior.
>    - Adding another flag to the IGP alongside the RLD is not significant scaling issue.
The comment here was not so much related to scaling but was for adding complexity to the controller/ ingress node. As you noted above and in the draft, controller/ Ingress node needs to worry about the following cases every time a path needs to be computed (quoting some of the cases from the draft). 
“When the head-end node
   inserts the SR-Path-Stats labels in the label stack, the place in the
   stack is decided based on whether the node where the special label
   gets exposed is capable of popping those labels.”

“While inserting the SR-Path-Stats labels, the head-end router MUST
   ensure that the labels are not exposed to the nodes that do not
   support them. “ 

“Because it is necessary that the SR-Path-Stats labels are removed
   when they are found at the top of the label stack, the node imposing
   the label stack (the ingress) must know which nodes are capable of
   stripping the labels.”

In RLDC limitation cases, “To support traffic
   accounting in such cases it is necessary to insert the SR-Path-Stats
   Labels within the Readable Label Stack Depth Capability (RLDC) of the
   nodes in the SR path.”

“The head-end node SHOULD insert the SR-
   Path-Stats Labels at a depth in the label stack such that the nodes
   in the SR path can access the SR-Path-Identifier for accounting.”

“The special labels MUST NOT get exposed on the top
   of the label stack at a node that does not support the extensions
   defined in this document.”  

“If the egress has not indicated that it is capable of removing the
   SR-Path-Stats Labels, then they MUST NOT be placed at the bottom of
   the label stack.  In this case the SR-Path-Stats Labels SHOULD be
   placed at a point in the label stack such that they will be found at
   the top of stack by the latest node in the SR path that is capable of
   removing them. “

“SR paths may require large label stacks.  Some hardware platforms do
   not support creating such large label stacks (i.e., imposing a large
   number of labels at once).  To overcome this limitation sub-paths are
   created within the network, and Binding-SIDs are allocated to these
   sub-paths.” … which means controller/ ingress software need to also create/ install sub-paths.