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Technical White Paper for Rapid Ring Protection Protocol (RRPP)

Huawei Technologies Co., Ltd.

Technical White Paper for Rapid Ring Protection Protocol (RRPP)

Table of Contents
1 Overview.......................................................................................................................................... 1 2 Basic Concepts of RRPP................................................................................................................. 1 2.1 RRPP Domain........................................................................................................................ 1 2.2 RRPP Ring............................................................................................................................. 3 2.3 Control VLAN of the RRPP .................................................................................................... 3 2.4 Master Node........................................................................................................................... 4 2.5 Transit Node........................................................................................................................... 5 2.6 Edge Node and Assistant-Edge Node ................................................................................... 5 2.7 Primary Port and Secondary Port .......................................................................................... 6 2.8 Common Port and Edge Port................................................................................................. 7 3 Operating Mechanism of RRPP ...................................................................................................... 7 3.1 RRPP Foundation ................................................................................................................. 7 3.2 Polling Mechanism................................................................................................................ 7 3.3 Link State Change Notification Mechanism.......................................................................... 8 3.4 Subring Protocol Packet Path State Detection Mechanism on the Primary Ring................. 8 3.5 Operating Mechanism of Multiple Intersectant RRPP Rings ................................................ 9 4 Typical Networking of RRPP ........................................................................................................... 9 5 Coordination between RRPP and the Other Functions................................................................. 11 5.1 Hybrid Networking of RRPP and STP ................................................................................ 11

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Technical White Paper for Rapid Ring Protection Protocol (RRPP)

Technical White Paper for Rapid Ring Protection Protocol (RRPP)


1 Overview
RRPP (Rapid Ring Protection Protocol) is a link layer protocol specially used for Ethernet rings. It can prevent broadcast storms caused by data loops when the Ethernet ring is complete, and can rapidly start up the backup link when a link on the Ethernet ring is disconnected so as to recover the communication paths among the nodes in the ring network. Compared with the STP protocol, the RRPP protocol has the following characteristics: Rapid topology convergence (shorter than 50 ms) The convergence time is independent of the number of nodes in the ring network

2 Basic Concepts of RRPP


2.1 RRPP Domain
The RRPP domain is identified by an integer ID. A group of switches that are configured with the same domain ID and control VLAN and are interconnected constitute an RRPP domain. An RRPP domain has the following elements: RRPP ring An RRPP ring physically corresponds to the Ethernet topology of a ring connection. An RRPP domain is composed by multiple interconnected RRPP rings, where one is the primary ring and the rest are subrings. Of course, an RRPP domain can only comprise one RRPP ring. In the case of a single ring, the ring can be configured as a primary ring or a subring, both of which have equivalent effect in application. The role of the RRPP ring is determined by user configuration. Control VLAN of the RRPP Each RRPP domain has two control VLANs called the major control VLAN and the sub control VLAN respectively. The protocol packets of the primary ring are transmitted in the major control VLAN, while those of the subring in the sub control VLAN.
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Technical White Paper for Rapid Ring Protection Protocol (RRPP)

Master node The master node is the primary decision and control node on the RRPP ring. Each RRPP ring must have one and only one master node. Transit node The nodes other than the master node on the ring are all called transit nodes (edge nodes and assistant-edge nodes are in fact special transit nodes). An RRPP ring can have multiple transit nodes or no transit node (in fact, such networking is senseless in practice). Edge node As you know that there must be two intersection points when two rings intersect each other. Similarly, there will be two intersection points between the subring and the primary ring. The switch at one of the intersection points is called edge node and the switch at the other intersection point is called assistant-edge node. There is no special requirement on the configuration of the switch as an edge node or an assistant-edge node, as long as both of the nodes can be differentiated by their configurations. Assistant-edge node See the edge node. As shown in Figure 1, Domain 1 is an RRPP domain, and all the switching from S1 to S6 belongs to Domain1. The major control VLAN and the sub control VLAN of Domain1 are VLAN3 and VLAN4 respectively. The domain comprises two RRPP rings: Ring 1 and Ring 2. The master node of the primary ring is S1 and the master node of the subring is S6. S2, S3 and S4 are transit nodes on the primary ring, while S5 is the transit node on the subring. The edge node and assistant-edge node of the subring are S3 and S2 respectively.

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Technical White Paper for Rapid Ring Protection Protocol (RRPP)

Figure 1 RRPP networking

2.2 RRPP Ring


Each RRPP ring physically corresponds to the Ethernet topology of a ring connection. The RRPP ring is also identified by an integer ID. Each RRPP ring is a part of the RRPP domain where it is located. The RRPP protocol functions in deed on the RRPP ring. The rings in the RRPP domain are divided into primary and subrings that are differentiated by their levels specified during the configuration. The primary ring is configured with level 0, while the subring with level 1. As shown in Figure 1, Domain 1 in the RRPP domain comprises two Ethernet rings: Ring 1 and Ring 2. Ring 1 is the primary ring configured with level 0, while Ring 2 is the subring configured with level 1.

2.3 Control VLAN of the RRPP


Control VLANs are relative to data VLANs. In the RRPP domain, control VLANs are used to transfer RRPP packets only. Each RRPP domain is configured with two control VLANs, i.e. the major control VLAN and the sub control VLAN. During the configuration, it is only necessary to specify the major control VLAN, and use the VLAN whose ID is 1 bigger than the major control
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Technical White Paper for Rapid Ring Protection Protocol (RRPP)

VLAN as the sub control VLAN. The protocol packets of the primary ring are transmitted in the major control VLAN, while those of the subring in the sub control VLAN. It is not allowed to configure IP addresses on the interface of either the major control VLAN or the sub control VLAN. The port on each switch for connecting the Ethernet ring belongs to the control VLAN, and only the ports connected to the Ethernet ring can be added to the control VLAN. As indicated by number 3 or 4 beside each port shown in Figure 1, the RRPP ports of the primary ring should belong to the major control VLAN and the sub control VLAN at the same time, while the RRPP ports of the subring only belong to the sub control VLAN. The primary ring is viewed as a logical node of the subring and the subring packets are transparently transmitted by the primary ring. The primary ring packets are transmitted only within the primary ring and do not enter the subring. Contrary to the control VLAN, the data VLAN is used to transmit data packets. It can comprise both RRPP ports and non-RRPP ports.

2.4 Master Node


Each switch on the Ethernet ring is called a node, and each RRPP ring must have one and only one master node. As shown in Figure 1, S1 is the master node of the primary ring and S6 is the master node of the subring. The master node is the initiator of the Polling mechanism (automatic detection mechanism of the ring network status) and also the decision maker of operation executions after the network topology changes. The master node sends the HELLO (health detection) packet periodically from its primary port. The packet is transmitted on the ring by the transit nodes in turn. If the HELLO packet sent by the master node can be received by the secondary port of the master node, it indicates the ring network link is complete. Otherwise, if the HELLO packet cannot be received within the specified time, the master node will consider that a link failure has occurred to the ring network. The master node has the following two states: Complete state When all the links in the ring network are in the UP state and the master node can receive the HELLO packet it has sent via its secondary port, it indicates the master node is in the Complete state. The master node state reflects the RRPP rings state. Since the RRPP ring is also in the Complete state, the master node will then block the secondary port to prevent broadcast loop of data packets on the ring topology.
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Technical White Paper for Rapid Ring Protection Protocol (RRPP)

Failed state When some links in the ring network are in the Down state, it indicates the master node is in the Failed state. In this case, the master node will unblock the secondary port so as to ensure that the communication among the nodes in the ring network is not interrupted.

2.5 Transit Node


As shown in Figure 1, S2, S3 and S4 are transit nodes on the primary ring, and S5 is a transit node on the subring. The transit nodes are responsible for monitoring the states of the RRPP links they directly connect and notify the master node of the link changes for the master node to decide how to handle the changes. A transit node has the following three states: Link-Up state If both the primary port and the secondary port of a transit node are in the UP state, then the transit node is in the Link-Up state. Link-Down state If the primary port or the secondary port of a transit node is in the Down state, then the transit node is in the Link-Down state. Preforwarding state (temporarily blocked state) If the primary port or the secondary port of a transit node is in the blocked state, then the transit node is in the Preforwarding state.

2.6 Edge Node and Assistant-Edge Node


As shown in Figure 1, S3 is the edge node of the subring and S2 is the assistant-edge node. There is no special requirement on the configuration of the switch as an edge node or an assistant-edge node, as long as both of the nodes can be differentiated by their configurations. The edge node or assistant-edge node is the role of the switch on the subring. The role of the switch on the primary ring is the transit node. Both the edge node and the assistant-edge node are special transit nodes. Therefore, they have three states similar to transit nodes. However, the definitions of the three states are different as follows: Link-Up state

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Technical White Paper for Rapid Ring Protection Protocol (RRPP)

If the edge port is in the UP state, then the edge node (assistant-edge node) is in the Link-Up state. Link-Down state If the edge port is in the Down state, then the edge node (assistant-edge node) is in the Link-Down state. Preforwarding state (temporarily blocked state) If the edge port is in the blocked state, then the edge node (assistant-edge node) is in the Preforwarding state.

2.7 Primary Port and Secondary Port


Of the two ports via which the master node and a transit node access the Ethernet ring, one is the primary port and the other is the secondary port. The port roles are determined by the user configuration. The primary and secondary ports of the master node are different in functions. The master node sends the loop state detection packet via its primary port. If the packet can be received at the secondary port, it indicates the RRPP ring network where the node is located is complete and hence it is necessary to block the secondary port so as to prevent data loop. On the contrary, if the detection packet is not received within the specified time, it indicates the ring network is faulty and it is necessary to unblock the secondary port so as to ensure the normal communication of all nodes on the ring. The primary and secondary ports of a transit node have the same functions. The port roles are also determined by user configuration. In particular, when the secondary port of the master node of the primary ring is blocked, it is necessary to prohibit both the data packets and the subring protocol packets from passing through the port. When the port is unblocked, both the data packets and the subring protocol packets are unblocked. That is, the subring protocol packets are processed in the primary ring as data packets. Similar to the secondary port of the master node on the primary ring, when the RRPP ports (including the primary and secondary ports) on a transit node of the primary ring are blocked, it is necessary to block both the data packets and the subring protocol packets. When the ports are unblocked, both the data packets and the subring protocol packets are unblocked.

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Technical White Paper for Rapid Ring Protection Protocol (RRPP)

2.8 Common Port and Edge Port


Of the two ports via which the edge node (assistant-edge node) accesses the subring, one is a common port and the other is an edge port. The common port is the port for the edge node (assistant-edge node) to access the primary ring and the subring, while the edge port is the port for the edge node to access the subring only. Conceptually, the common port is viewed not as a port on the subring but as a part of the primary ring. That is, the common link is the link not on the subring but on the primary ring. The state change of the common link is only reported to the master node on the primary ring. It is unnecessary for the master node of the subring to know that change. The roles of the common port and the edge port are determined by user configuration.

3 Operating Mechanism of RRPP


3.1 RRPP Foundation
All the nodes on each domain are configured with the same RRPP domain ID and control VLANs. Each domain has two control VLANs, that is, the major control VLAN and the sub control VLAN. The protocol packets of the primary ring are transmitted in the major control VLAN, while those of the subring in the sub control VLAN. The RRPP port on the primary ring node is added to both the major control VLAN and the sub control VLAN, while the RRPP port on the subring is added to the sub control VLAN only. The subring protocol packets are processed in the primary ring as data packets and are blocked/unblocked together with the data packets.

3.2 Polling Mechanism


The Polling mechanism is the mechanism for the master node of the RRPP ring to actively detect the ring network health state. The master node sends the HELLO packet periodically from its primary port. The packet is transmitted on the ring by the transit nodes in turn. If the HELLO packet sent by the master node can be received by the secondary port of the master node, it indicates the ring network link is complete. Otherwise, if the HELLO packet cannot be

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Technical White Paper for Rapid Ring Protection Protocol (RRPP)

received within the specified time, the master node will consider that a link failure has occurred to the ring network. After the master node in the Failed state receives the HELLO packet it sends via its secondary port, it will immediately transit to the Complete state, unblock the secondary port, refresh the FDB, and send the COMPLETE_FLUSH_FDB packet via its primary port to tell all the transit nodes to unblock the ports in the Preforwarding state and refresh the FDB.

3.3 Link State Change Notification Mechanism


Compared with the Polling mechanism, the link state change notification mechanism provides a faster mechanism for handling ring network topology changes. The initiator of the mechanism is a transit node. A transit node always monitors its port link state. Once the state changes, it will notify the master node of the change by sending a notification packet for the master node to decide how to handle the change. When detecting the port is UP, the transit node will send the LINK-UP packet from the corresponding RRPP port to the ring; when detecting the port is Down, it will send the LINK-DOWN packet.

3.4 Subring Protocol Packet Path State Detection Mechanism on the Primary Ring
This mechanism is applied in the networking where multiple subrings intersect the primary ring. The subring protocol packets are transmitted between the edge ports of the edge node and the assistant-edge node via the path provided by the primary ring. It seems that the whole primary ring is a node of the subring. When a fault occurs to the primary ring link and the subring protocol packet path between the edge node and the assistant-edge node is disconnected (the common link between the primary ring and the subring is faulty and more than one non-common link is faulty), the master node of the subring will be unable to receive the Hello packet sent by itself. Then the Fail timer expires, the master node of the subring transits to the Failed state and the secondary port is unblocked. For common networking, this is enough since it not only prevents broadcast loops but also brings the backup link into due play. However, in the dual homing networking shown in Figure 2 that is common in practice, the dual homing subrings (Ring2 and Ring3) form a ring by way of the interconnection among the edge nodes. When Ring1, the primary ring is faulty, the secondary ports of the master node of every subring is unblocked, and broadcast loop is inevitable among the subrings (as indicated by the arrows in the figure).

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Technical White Paper for Rapid Ring Protection Protocol (RRPP)

Figure 2 Data loops among subrings in the single-domain multi-ring networking without the subring packet path detection mechanism

To remove such defect, the subring protocol packet path state detection mechanism is introduced to the primary ring. It needs to be completed by the edge node and the assistant-edge node together. The purpose is to block the edge port of the edge node before the secondary port of the master node on the subring is unblocked, so as to avoid data loops among the subrings. The edge node is the initiator and decision maker of the mechanism and the monitor of the assistant-edge node path state. It is responsible for timely notifying the edge node of the path state change.

3.5 Operating Mechanism of Multiple Intersectant RRPP Rings


The multiple ring case is similar to the single ring case. Their difference is that the subring protocol packet path state detection mechanism on the primary ring is added to the multiple ring case. Before the secondary port of the master node of the subring is unblocked due to path interruption, the edge port of the edge node is blocked so as to prevent any data broadcast loop among the subrings.

4 Typical Networking of RRPP


1 Single ring
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Technical White Paper for Rapid Ring Protection Protocol (RRPP)

Figure 3 Typical single ring networking

There is only one ring in the network topology. In this case, it is only necessary to define an RRPP domain and an RRPP ring. Such networking features quick response to topology changes and short convergence time. It applies when there is only one ring in the network. 2 Tangent ring

Figure 4 Typical tangent ring networking

There are two or more rings in the network topology but only one common node among the rings. In this case, it is required that each ring belong to a different RRPP domain. Such networking is applicable when the network scale is big and the network of the same level needs to be managed by areas. 3 Intersectant ring

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Technical White Paper for Rapid Ring Protection Protocol (RRPP)

Figure 5 Typical intersectant ring networking

There are two or more rings in the network topology and two common nodes among the rings. In this case, it is only necessary to define an RRPP domain and set one ring as the primary ring and the others as the subrings. The typical application of such networking is that dual homing uplink of the master node of the subring can be implemented via two edge nodes to provide uplink backup.

5 Coordination between RRPP and the Other Functions


5.1 Hybrid Networking of RRPP and STP
It is mutually exclusive to enable the RRPP and the STP on the same port. Such design is to avoid conflicts between the RRPP and the STP during the calculation of the port blocked/unblocked state. When the RRPP ring and the STP ring are adjacent to each other, only the networking in which both ring are tangent to each other is supported. The network in which both rings are intersectant is not supported. That is, the two protocols cannot have a common port.

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Technical White Paper for Rapid Ring Protection Protocol (RRPP)

(A) Correct hybrid networking of RRPP and STP

(B) Unsupported hybrid networking of RRPP and STP

Figure 6 Integrated networking of RRPP and STP

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