Explicit Route Path LSPs

An explicit route is a specified path through a routed network topology.

The path can be strictly or loosely specified. If strictly specified, each node or group of nodes along the path must be configured. Thus, no deviation from the specified path is allowed.

Loosely specified paths allow for local flexibility in fulfilling the requested path to the destination. This feature allows for significant leeway by the LSR in choosing the next hop when incomplete information about the details of the path is generated by the LER. Each node along the path may use other metrics to pick the next hop along the path, such as bandwidth available, class of service, or link cost. The command configure mpls rsvp-te path path_name add ero is used to add an Explicit Route Object to a path container.

An explicit routed path is encoded using the explicit route object (ERO) and is transmitted in the path message. The ERO consists of a list of subobjects, each of which describes an abstract node. By definition, an abstract node can be an IP prefix or an autonomous system (AS) number. The ExtremeXOS RSVP-TE implementation supports only IPv4 abstract nodes. The ExtremeXOS RSVP-TE implementation supports both strict and loose IPv4 abstract nodes. Received path messages with EROs that contain any other subobject type result in the transmittal of an Unknown object class error message. All LSRs along the specified path must support the inclusion of the ERO in the path message for an explicitly routed path to be successfully set up.

An LSR receiving a path message containing an ERO must determine the next hop for this path.

The steps for selection of the next hop are as follows:

  1. The receiving LSR evaluates the first subobject. If the subobject type is not supported or there is no subobject, a Bad ERO error is returned. The abstract node is evaluated to ensure that this LSR was the valid next hop for the path message. If the subobject is a strict abstract node, the abstract node definition must match the local interface address. If it does, then this LSR is considered to be a member of the abstract node. Additionally, if the /32 address matches a local interface address, the path message must have been received on the direct interface corresponding to the /32 address. If the abstract node is an IP prefix, the subnet configured for the interface from which the path message was received must match the abstract node definition. In the event that this LSR is not part of the strict abstract node definition, a Bad initial subobject error is returned. If the subobject is a loose abstract node, the LSR determines if the abstract node definition corresponds to this LSR. If it doesn't, the path message is transmitted along the best-routed or constrained optimized path to the endpoint and the ERO is not modified. If it is, then processing of the ERO continues.
  2. If there is no second subobject, the ERO is removed from the path message. If this LSR is not the end of the path, the next hop is determined by the constrained optimized path (through Constrained Shortest Path First—CSPF) to the path message endpoint.
  3. If there is a second subobject, a check is made to determine if this LSR is a member of the abstract node. If it is, the first subobject is deleted and the second subobject becomes the first subobject. This process is repeated until either there is only one subobject or this LSR is not a member of the abstract node as defined by the second subobject. Processing of the ERO is then repeated with step 2. By repeating steps 2 and 3, any redundant subobjects that are part of this LSRs abstract node can be removed from the ERO. If this operation were not performed, the next hop LSR might reject the path message.
  4. The LSR uses its CSPF to determine the next hop to the second subobject. If the first object is a /32 address, the first subobject is removed, since it would not be part of the next hop's abstract node. The path message is then sent along the explicit path to the path message endpoint. No determination is made to verify that the abstract node defined in the subobject is topologically adjacent to this LSR. The next hop should verify this as part of its processing as defined in step 1.

If CSPF determines that a specific path needs to be taken through the network, additional EROs are inserted into the path message.