- PfR NBAR Based Application Control
The Performance Routing with NBAR/CCE Application Recognition feature introduces the ability to profile an application-based traffic class using Network-Based Application Recognition (NBAR). NBAR is a classification engine that recognizes and classifies a wide variety of protocols and applications, including web-based and other difficult-to-classify applications and protocols that use dynamic TCP/UDP port assignments. PfR uses NBAR to recognize and classify a protocol or application, and the resulting traffic classes are added to the PfR application database to be passively and/or actively monitored.
As a consequence PFR is capable of optimizing applications identified by Network-Based Application Recognition (NBAR). Using the “match traffic-class application nbar nbar-appl-name [nbar-appl-name ...] prefix-list prefix-listname” command or “match pfr learn list <list-name>” , PFR will be able to use NBAR to recognize applications and optimize them based on the policies installed on the Master Controller. Internally, PFR uses classmaps to control and optimize NBAR based applications.
The current version of PfR (PfRv2) only supports the initial version of NBAR and therefore only support a small subset of all applications supported in the new DPI engine NBAR2. While it is possible to use Application Based policies with NBAR1 directly within PfR, it is recommended to mark the packets on ingress with NBAR2 and then use the remarked DSCP to apply PfR policies. For more information, check here
PfR Network Topology Used
The central site has two Border Routers(R4 & R5), connected to two separate Service Providers.
The central site has two Border Routers, connected to two separate Service Providers using eBGP. R2, R4 and R5 are iBGP peers.
- R3 is the Master Controller
- R4 and R5 the Border Routers
- Traffic Simulator tool is used between R1 and R11 to emulates traffic, both TCP and UDP.
- R6 and R7 are delay generators that add delay/loss to the path through SP1 and SP2. By default, 100 ms through SP1 and 50 ms through SP2.
- R1 and R11 are packet generators that send/receive traffic (http, ssh, etc).
R2 is an iBGP peer for both border routers and as such has the BGP route table. PfR being not active, the parent routes are BGP based on R2, R4 and R5 and R5 is the preferred exit point (higher local preference applied on ingress on R5) as seen below:
Route to destination prefixes BRANCH1 (220.127.116.11/16):
R2#sh ip bgp 18.104.22.168/16 BGP routing table entry for 22.214.171.124/16, version 7 Paths: (1 available, best #1, table default) Not advertised to any peer Refresh Epoch 1 200 20 126.96.36.199 (metric 11) from 10.5.5.5 (10.5.5.5) Origin IGP, metric 0, localpref 200, valid, internal, best R2#
Route to destination prefixes BRANCH2 (188.8.131.52/16):
R2#sh ip bgp 184.108.40.206/16 BGP routing table entry for 220.127.116.11/16, version 12 Paths: (1 available, best #1, table default) Not advertised to any peer Refresh Epoch 1 200 30 18.104.22.168 (metric 11) from 10.5.5.5 (10.5.5.5) Origin IGP, metric 0, localpref 200, valid, internal, best R2#
As usual, most of the configuration is done on the Master Controller.
Master Controller Configuration - R3
Basic configuration to establish session between MC and BR
! This is the basic configuration required to establish session between MC and BR. ! With this basic configuration, learning is enabled, route control is in place and ! load-balancing happens on all configured external interfaces. ! ! It includes ! – Key-chain configuration for authentication. ! – Specification of BR’s IP Address and internal/external interface on the BR. ! If there is a tunnel between the BRs, it should be configured as internal ! - Specification of the Carrier name. Not used in the policies described hereafter. ! - Disabling auto-tunnels as BRs are L2 adjacent. ! ! Notes on the new defaults: ! - Automatic learning is enabled ! - mode route control is enabled ! - Maximum transmit utilization is 90% ! - Load-balancing is now used as the last resolver and cannot be disabled. Range is 20%. ! ! key chain pfr key 0 key-string cisco ! pfr master logging ! border 10.4.4.4 key-chain pfr interface Ethernet0/0 internal interface Ethernet0/1 external link-group SP1 ! border 10.5.5.5 key-chain pfr interface Ethernet0/0 internal interface Ethernet0/1 external link-group SP2 ! no mode auto-tunnels !
Enable NetFlow version9 Export (optional)
! Flow Exporter Definition ! Where do I want my data sent? ! flow exporter MYEXPORTER destination 10.151.1.131 source Loopback0 transport udp 9991 option interface-table timeout 300 option sampler-table timeout 300 option application-table timeout 300 ! ! ! Add NetFlow export to PfR ! pfr master exporter MYEXPORTER !
! Following configuration is to enable logging. ! This will print PfR related syslog messages on the console. ! pfr master logging !
Define learning parameters, disable global learning
! By default now: ! ! - Automatic learning is enabled ! ! - Continuous learn cycle, each 1 minute duration ! periodic-interval = 0 (forever) ! monitor-period = 1 (minutes) ! ! - traffic-class sorting based on ‘throughput’ at the end of ! each learning cycle. ! ! - Anything traffic that doesn’t match the learn list will be ! learned under global learn and will be optimized using default policy. ! ! - In this example we decided to disable global learning ! configure a filter using a named access-list. ! The goal here is to learn only branch traffic using learn list (described in the next section). ! pfr master learn ! Disable Global learn ! traffic-class filter access-list DENY_GLOBAL_LEARN_LIST ! ! ! Access-list for disabling global learn. ! ip access-list extended DENY_GLOBAL_LEARN_LIST deny ip any any !
Define learn-list for an NBAR based application
! Following is a learn list configuration for NBAR based application control. ! Learn-list is defined for a specific remote site BRANCH1. ! In the configuration below, http has been used as an example. ! You can tune the aggregation mask to match your need. ! Here we used the default value of /24 ! Sorting is based on throughput (default) ! pfr master learn list seq 10 refname HTTP traffic-class application nbar http filter BRANCH1_PREFIX aggregation-type prefix-length 24 throughput ! ! ! Define the prefix list of the branch ! ip prefix-list BRANCH1_PREFIX seq 5 permit 22.214.171.124/16 !
Policy configuration for controlling NBAR applications and specific for a branch
! Following is a policy configuration to control NBAR applications ! specific to one branch. ! ! This should be repeated for each branch. It includes ! ! – match command is to specify that this policy should be applied ! to all the traffic-classes learned under list HTTP ! ! - Re-evaluate exit every 90 sec (periodic 90) ! ! – delay threshold is configured as 60 msec. The delay measured by PfR is ! Round-Trip-Time. ! ! – Resolver setting is configured to set delay as the highest priority ! ! - Load-balancing is now used as the last resolver (cannot be disabled for now) ! ! - monitor mode is set to fast. This means probe all external interfaces ! all the time. When Out-of-Policy condition is detected on the current ! exit results on alternate exit is available for quick decision. In other ! modes alternate exits are probed only when current link is determined to ! be OOP. The fast mode helps in switching the path quickly when the ! problem is detected. ! ! – Probe frequency is set to 8 seconds and can be changed to a lesser value ! if the application being controlled is critical. ! !- A forced echo probe has been setup ! ! Default Values (new in 15.2(3)T and 3.6): ! - holddown timer set to 90 to shorten the time needed to move to INPOLICY state ! ! pfr-map MYMAP 10 match pfr learn list HTTP set periodic 90 set mode select-exit good set delay threshold 60 set mode monitor fast set resolve delay priority 1 variance 5 set active-probe echo 126.96.36.199 set probe frequency 8 !
Assign the policy to the PfR Master Controller
! pfr master policy-rules MYMAP !
Note: You can choose to replace the learnt list based NBAR application based learning with the configured application/prefix-list method as well. This would require the user to replace the match statement in the configured pfr-map:
pfr-map MYMAP 10 match pfr learn list HTTP (…)
pfr-map MYMAP 10 match traffic-class application nbar http prefix-list myprefix (…) ! ! where myprefix is a configured ip prefix-list: ! ip prefix-list myprefix seq 5 permit 188.8.131.52/32
Border Routers Configuration – Routers R4 and R5
Following are common PfR configuration commands in the Border Router R4 and R5.
! This is the minimum configuration required on the BR’s. ! It includes ! – Key-chain configuration for authentication. ! – Specification of MC’s IP Address and Local interface. The IP address ! of the local interface will be used as source IP address in communicating ! with MC. ! key chain pfr key 0 key-string cisco ! pfr border local Ethernet0/0 master 10.3.3.3 key-chain pfr !
PfR Configuration Verification
The first step is to check the master controller configuration.
Verify the Border Routers, verify the parameters used (default and configured) and check the learn-list.
R3#sh pfr master OER state: ENABLED and ACTIVE Conn Status: SUCCESS, PORT: 3949 Version: 3.3 Number of Border routers: 2 Number of Exits: 2 Number of monitored prefixes: 4 (max 5000) Max prefixes: total 5000 learn 2500 Prefix count: total 4, learn 2, cfg 0 PBR Requirements met Nbar Status: Active Auto Tunnel Mode: Off Border Status UP/DOWN AuthFail Version DOWN Reason 10.4.4.4 ACTIVE UP 14:01:33 0 3.3 10.5.5.5 ACTIVE UP 14:01:33 0 3.3 Global Settings: max-range-utilization percent 20 recv 0 rsvp post-dial-delay 0 signaling-retries 1 mode route metric bgp local-pref 5000 mode route metric static tag 5000 trace probe delay 1000 logging exit holddown time 60 secs, time remaining 0 Default Policy Settings: backoff 90 900 90 delay relative 50 holddown 90 periodic 0 probe frequency 56 number of jitter probe packets 0 mode route control mode monitor both loss relative 10 jitter threshold 20 mos threshold 3.60 percent 30 unreachable relative 50 trigger-log percentage 30 Learn Settings: current state : STARTED time remaining in current state : 80 seconds throughput no delay no inside bgp traffic-class filter access-list DENY_GLOBAL_LEARN_LIST monitor-period 1 periodic-interval 0 aggregation-type prefix-length 24 prefixes 100 appls 100 expire after time 720 Learn-List seq 10 refname HTTP Configuration: Traffic-Class Application: http Filter: BRANCH1_PREFIX Aggregation-type: prefix-length 24 Learn type: throughput Session count: 1000 Max count: 1000 Policies assigned: 10 Status: ACTIVE Stats: Traffic-Class Count: 2 R3#
What to check:
- Both Border Routers are up and running
- Check to make sure that NBAR Status is Active.
- Check to make sure that PBR Requirements are met
- Number of automatically learned applications – 2 in this case
- All default policy settings are displayed
- Learn is started (current state : STARTED)
- Learn-list status is ACTIVE and learn-type is throughput
- Make sure that all the configured learn lists show up
- For each learn-list, check the Traffic Class access-list (if configured), prefix-list (if configured) and the policy number associated (which is the pfr-map it refers to).
- The Traffic Class count is also displayed which allows you to check whether the learning process worked well (here 2 applications is being learnt under HTTP learn list).
Check if the application is automatically learnt under each learn-list
R3#show pfr master learn list Learn-List seq 10 refname HTTP Configuration: Traffic-Class Application: http Filter: BRANCH1_PREFIX Aggregation-type: prefix-length 24 Learn type: throughput Session count: 1000 Max count: 1000 Policies assigned: 10 Status: ACTIVE Stats: Traffic-Class Count: 2 Traffic-Class Learned: Appl Prefix 184.108.40.206/24 http Appl Prefix 220.127.116.11/24 http R3#
Check the status of NBAR application being controlled on the Master
This command is used to display information about the status of an application identified using NBAR for each PfR border router. The following partial output shows information about the status of applications identified using NBAR at PfR border routers R4 (10.4.4.4) and R5 (10.5.5.5). If the NBAR application is not supported on one or more border routers, then all the traffic classes related to that NBAR application are marked inactive and cannot be optimized using PfR.
R3#show pfr master nbar application OER NBAR Applications Status: NBAR Appl 10.4.4.4 10.5.5.5 --------------------------------------------------- bgp Valid Valid bittorrent Valid Valid bridge Invalid Invalid bstun Invalid Invalid cdp Invalid Invalid citrix Valid Valid clns Invalid Invalid clns_es Invalid Invalid clns_is Invalid Invalid cmns Invalid Invalid compressedtcp Invalid Invalid cuseeme Valid Valid [SNIP] R3#
R3#show pfr master nbar application | inc http http Valid Valid secure-http Valid Valid R3#
Check the policy associated
R3#show pfr master policy 10 * Overrides Default Policy Setting oer-map MYMAP 10 sequence no. 8444249301975040, provider id 1, provider priority 30 host priority 0, policy priority 10, Session id 0 match oer learn list HTTP backoff 90 900 90 *delay threshold 60 holddown 90 *periodic 90 *probe frequency 8 number of jitter probe packets 0 mode route control *mode monitor fast loss relative 10 jitter threshold 20 mos threshold 3.60 percent 30 unreachable relative 50 next-hop not set forwarding interface not set trigger-log percentage 30 *resolve delay priority 1 variance 5 Forced Assigned Target List: active-probe echo 18.104.22.168 target-port 0 R3#
Check the active probes
R3#show pfr master active-probes forced OER Master Controller active-probes Border = Border Router running this Probe Policy = Forced target is configure under this policy Type = Probe Type Target = Target Address TPort = Target Port N - Not applicable The following Forced Probes are running: Border State Policy Type Target TPort Dscp 10.4.4.4 ACTIVE 10 echo 22.214.171.124 N defa 10.5.5.5 ACTIVE 10 echo 126.96.36.199 N defa R3#
Verify Traffic Class Statistics
As soon as you see:
R3# *Sep 20 20:24:43.515: %OER_MC-5-NOTICE: Prefix Learning WRITING DATA *Sep 20 20:24:43.589: %OER_MC-5-NOTICE: Prefix Learning STARTED R3#
You should be able to see the traffic classes on the Master Controller. You will need a few cycles before having all applications in INPOLICY state.
Verify learnt Traffic Classes
On the Master Controller, you have all the Traffic Classes (learnt as well as statistics): Use show pfr master traffic-class to see the state of the application:
Traffic Classes are in HOLDDOWN state first:
R3#sh pfr master traffic-class OER Prefix Statistics: Pas - Passive, Act - Active, S - Short term, L - Long term, Dly - Delay (ms), P - Percentage below threshold, Jit - Jitter (ms), MOS - Mean Opinion Score Los - Packet Loss (packets-per-million), Un - Unreachable (flows-per-million), E - Egress, I - Ingress, Bw - Bandwidth (kbps), N - Not applicable U - unknown, * - uncontrolled, + - control more specific, @ - active probe all # - Prefix monitor mode is Special, & - Blackholed Prefix % - Force Next-Hop, ^ - Prefix is denied DstPrefix Appl_ID Dscp Prot SrcPort DstPort SrcPrefix Flags State Time CurrBR CurrI/F Protocol PasSDly PasLDly PasSUn PasLUn PasSLos PasLLos EBw IBw ActSDly ActLDly ActSUn ActLUn ActSJit ActPMOS ActSLos ActLLos -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- 188.8.131.52/24 http N N N N 0.0.0.0/0 HOLDDOWN @47 10.4.4.4 Et0/1 CCE U U 0 0 0 0 59 4 51 51 0 0 N N N N 184.108.40.206/24 http N N N N 0.0.0.0/0 HOLDDOWN @45 10.4.4.4 Et0/1 CCE U U 0 0 0 0 59 4 51 51 0 0 N N N N R3#
Then moved into INPOLICY state:
R3#sh pfr master traffic-class OER Prefix Statistics: Pas - Passive, Act - Active, S - Short term, L - Long term, Dly - Delay (ms), P - Percentage below threshold, Jit - Jitter (ms), MOS - Mean Opinion Score Los - Packet Loss (packets-per-million), Un - Unreachable (flows-per-million), E - Egress, I - Ingress, Bw - Bandwidth (kbps), N - Not applicable U - unknown, * - uncontrolled, + - control more specific, @ - active probe all # - Prefix monitor mode is Special, & - Blackholed Prefix % - Force Next-Hop, ^ - Prefix is denied DstPrefix Appl_ID Dscp Prot SrcPort DstPort SrcPrefix Flags State Time CurrBR CurrI/F Protocol PasSDly PasLDly PasSUn PasLUn PasSLos PasLLos EBw IBw ActSDly ActLDly ActSUn ActLUn ActSJit ActPMOS ActSLos ActLLos -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- 220.127.116.11/24 http N N N N 0.0.0.0/0 INPOLICY @72 10.4.4.4 Et0/1 CCE U U 0 0 0 0 55 4 49 50 0 0 N N N N 18.104.22.168/24 http N N N N 0.0.0.0/0 INPOLICY @70 10.4.4.4 Et0/1 CCE U U 0 0 0 0 54 4 49 50 0 0 N N N N R3#
What to check:
- Traffic Classes Appl_ID is http (NBAR)
- state is INPOLICY (could be HOLDOWN and then INPOLICY after 90 sec)
- Time column: remaining time in the current state
- CurrBR: Current Border Router and its external interface used
- 2 lines of results: 1st line is passive results and 2nd line is active results
- Protocol: enforcement method used. Here CCE, means classmaps with a set next-hop (NBAR within PBR is not supported yet).
A closer look at the results
Let’s have a look at the show pfr master traffic-class output in more detail. We will use the show pfr master traffic-class performance command to do this. Note: This command is only available from 15.2(1)T
R3#show pfr master traffic-class performance ip any 22.214.171.124/24 ============================================================================================== Traffic-class: Destination Prefix : 126.96.36.199/24 Source Prefix : 0.0.0.0/0 Destination Port : N/A Source Port : N/A DSCP : N Protocol : N/A Application Name: : http General: Control State : Controlled using CCE Traffic-class status : INPOLICY Current Exit : BR 10.4.4.4 interface Et0/1, Tie breaker was Delay Time on current exit : 0d 0:2:2 Time remaining in current state : @52 seconds Traffic-class type : Learned Improper config : None Last Out of Policy event: Exit : BR 10.4.4.4 interface Et0/1 Reason : Delay Time since Out of Policy event : 0d 0:2:2 Active Delay Performance : 49 msecs Active Delay Threshold : 60 msecs Average Passive Performance Current Exit: (Average for last 5 minutes) Unreachable : 0% -- Threshold: 50% Delay : 0 msecs -- Threshold: 60 msecs Loss : 0% -- Threshold: 10% Egress BW : 55 kbps Ingress BW : 4 kbps Time since last update : 0d 0:1:35 Average Active Performance Current Exit: (Average for last 5 minutes) Unreachable : 0% -- Threshold: 50% Delay : 49 msec -- Threshold: 60 msec Last Resolver Decision: BR Interface Status Reason Performance Threshold --------------- ------------ ------------ ------------ ----------- --------- 10.5.5.5 Et0/1 Eliminated Delay 105 msecs 60 msecs 10.4.4.4 Et0/1 Best Exit Delay 51 msecs 60 msecs ============================================================================================== R3#
The sections under:
- Traffic-class: -- displays the application-prefix that is being learnt or monitored.
- General: -- will display whether the application is being controlled, the controlling protocol, and the state. In the above output the application is INPOLICY and is being controlled using CCE, which is the class-map based control that is used along with a set next hop, to enforce the path.
- The Active and Passive Performance measurements are also displayed in the sections that follow.
- Lastly, you will see the Resolver decision that was used to select the best exit. In the example above, we have a delay threshold of 60 ms configured in the policy MYMAP. The delay being calculated on BR(R5)- 10.5.5.5, exit Et0/1 is 105 msec and therefore it is being eliminated. The delay calculated on BR(R4)- 10.4.4.4, exit Et0/1 is 51 msec, which is within the configured delay threshold and therefore it is chosen as the best exit.
Check the netflow cache on the Border Routers
On Border Router that is supposed to learn the flow, issue “show ip cache flow” and verify that the flow is being learnt.
Note: There is no need to explicitly configured NetFlow, the Master Controller tells the BRs to enable NetFlow.
How does PfR modify Paths on the Border Routers
PfR will create classmaps (CCE) on the non-forwarding Borders to forward any flows matching the application over the PFR configured internal interfaces to the forwarding Border. Finally on the forwarding Border, there will be another classmap directing traffic for that application out of the border’s external exit, that is chosen as the best exit.
In-order for the CCE based route control to be successful, the BRs have to be adjacent either through a direct connection or one hop away.
The primary next-hop from BGP is R5. Without PfR, traffic is flowing through R5 and SP2. Let's check on the Border Router - R5, where we clearly see that packets are being sent out to R4.
R5#show pfr border routes cce Class-map oer-class-acl-oer_cce#2-stile-http, permit, sequence 0, mask 24 Match clauses: ip address (access-list): oer_cce#2 stile: http Set clauses: ip next-hop 10.4.5.4 interface Ethernet0/0 Statistic: Packet-matched: 18491 R5# R5#show ip access-lists dynamic oer_cce#2 Extended IP access list oer_cce#2 10 permit ip any 188.8.131.52 0.0.0.255 (9579 matches) 20 permit ip any 184.108.40.206 0.0.0.255 (9801 matches) R5#
The packets are being finally sent out of R4’s external exit since that was chosen as the best exit.
R4#show pfr border routes cce Class-map oer-class-acl-oer_cce#2-stile-http, permit, sequence 0, mask 24 Match clauses: ip address (access-list): oer_cce#2 stile: http Set clauses: ip next-hop 220.127.116.11 interface Ethernet0/1 Statistic: Packet-matched: 76 R4# R4#show ip access-lists dynamic oer_cce#2 Extended IP access list oer_cce#2 10 permit ip any 18.104.22.168 0.0.0.255 (54 matches) 20 permit ip any 22.214.171.124 0.0.0.255 (22 matches) R4#
Further Debugging Tips
The following set of debugs might help narrow down any issues seen while troubleshooting NBAR CCE control within PFR:
- On the Border
debug pfr border cce [detail] debug pfr border nbar [detail]
- On the Master Controller
debug pfr master prefix [appl] [detail]
- Further, if you have PFR Master logging configured, you should be able to see Notice messages for indications of other actions being taken by PFR.
- The following debugs can be turned on the Master Controller to see if netflow or active probing updates are being received from the borders for ingress/egress flows.
MC#debug pfr master collector ? active-probes Display PfR active probe debugs netflow Display PfR NetFlow debugs
The configuration examples provided above explain how applications can be learnt and optimized using learn lists. The same configuration can be extended to even consider configured NBAR based application control – with prefix-lists associated with them. The number of applications being optimized can be fine tuned based on the specific requirement.