Documentation / networking / nexthop-group-resilient.rst


Based on kernel version 5.14. Page generated on 2021-08-31 10:40 EST.

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.. SPDX-License-Identifier: GPL-2.0

=========================
Resilient Next-hop Groups
=========================

Resilient groups are a type of next-hop group that is aimed at minimizing
disruption in flow routing across changes to the group composition and
weights of constituent next hops.

The idea behind resilient hashing groups is best explained in contrast to
the legacy multipath next-hop group, which uses the hash-threshold
algorithm, described in RFC 2992.

To select a next hop, hash-threshold algorithm first assigns a range of
hashes to each next hop in the group, and then selects the next hop by
comparing the SKB hash with the individual ranges. When a next hop is
removed from the group, the ranges are recomputed, which leads to
reassignment of parts of hash space from one next hop to another. RFC 2992
illustrates it thus::

             +-------+-------+-------+-------+-------+
             |   1   |   2   |   3   |   4   |   5   |
             +-------+-+-----+---+---+-----+-+-------+
             |    1    |    2    |    4    |    5    |
             +---------+---------+---------+---------+

              Before and after deletion of next hop 3
	      under the hash-threshold algorithm.

Note how next hop 2 gave up part of the hash space in favor of next hop 1,
and 4 in favor of 5. While there will usually be some overlap between the
previous and the new distribution, some traffic flows change the next hop
that they resolve to.

If a multipath group is used for load-balancing between multiple servers,
this hash space reassignment causes an issue that packets from a single
flow suddenly end up arriving at a server that does not expect them. This
can result in TCP connections being reset.

If a multipath group is used for load-balancing among available paths to
the same server, the issue is that different latencies and reordering along
the way causes the packets to arrive in the wrong order, resulting in
degraded application performance.

To mitigate the above-mentioned flow redirection, resilient next-hop groups
insert another layer of indirection between the hash space and its
constituent next hops: a hash table. The selection algorithm uses SKB hash
to choose a hash table bucket, then reads the next hop that this bucket
contains, and forwards traffic there.

This indirection brings an important feature. In the hash-threshold
algorithm, the range of hashes associated with a next hop must be
continuous. With a hash table, mapping between the hash table buckets and
the individual next hops is arbitrary. Therefore when a next hop is deleted
the buckets that held it are simply reassigned to other next hops::

	    +-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+
	    |1|1|1|1|2|2|2|2|3|3|3|3|4|4|4|4|5|5|5|5|
	    +-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+
	                     v v v v
	    +-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+
	    |1|1|1|1|2|2|2|2|1|2|4|5|4|4|4|4|5|5|5|5|
	    +-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+

	    Before and after deletion of next hop 3
	    under the resilient hashing algorithm.

When weights of next hops in a group are altered, it may be possible to
choose a subset of buckets that are currently not used for forwarding
traffic, and use those to satisfy the new next-hop distribution demands,
keeping the "busy" buckets intact. This way, established flows are ideally
kept being forwarded to the same endpoints through the same paths as before
the next-hop group change.

Algorithm
---------

In a nutshell, the algorithm works as follows. Each next hop deserves a
certain number of buckets, according to its weight and the number of
buckets in the hash table. In accordance with the source code, we will call
this number a "wants count" of a next hop. In case of an event that might
cause bucket allocation change, the wants counts for individual next hops
are updated.

Next hops that have fewer buckets than their wants count, are called
"underweight". Those that have more are "overweight". If there are no
overweight (and therefore no underweight) next hops in the group, it is
said to be "balanced".

Each bucket maintains a last-used timer. Every time a packet is forwarded
through a bucket, this timer is updated to current jiffies value. One
attribute of a resilient group is then the "idle timer", which is the
amount of time that a bucket must not be hit by traffic in order for it to
be considered "idle". Buckets that are not idle are busy.

After assigning wants counts to next hops, an "upkeep" algorithm runs. For
buckets:

1) that have no assigned next hop, or
2) whose next hop has been removed, or
3) that are idle and their next hop is overweight,

upkeep changes the next hop that the bucket references to one of the
underweight next hops. If, after considering all buckets in this manner,
there are still underweight next hops, another upkeep run is scheduled to a
future time.

There may not be enough "idle" buckets to satisfy the updated wants counts
of all next hops. Another attribute of a resilient group is the "unbalanced
timer". This timer can be set to 0, in which case the table will stay out
of balance until idle buckets do appear, possibly never. If set to a
non-zero value, the value represents the period of time that the table is
permitted to stay out of balance.

With this in mind, we update the above list of conditions with one more
item. Thus buckets:

4) whose next hop is overweight, and the amount of time that the table has
   been out of balance exceeds the unbalanced timer, if that is non-zero,

\... are migrated as well.

Offloading & Driver Feedback
----------------------------

When offloading resilient groups, the algorithm that distributes buckets
among next hops is still the one in SW. Drivers are notified of updates to
next hop groups in the following three ways:

- Full group notification with the type
  ``NH_NOTIFIER_INFO_TYPE_RES_TABLE``. This is used just after the group is
  created and buckets populated for the first time.

- Single-bucket notifications of the type
  ``NH_NOTIFIER_INFO_TYPE_RES_BUCKET``, which is used for notifications of
  individual migrations within an already-established group.

- Pre-replace notification, ``NEXTHOP_EVENT_RES_TABLE_PRE_REPLACE``. This
  is sent before the group is replaced, and is a way for the driver to veto
  the group before committing anything to the HW.

Some single-bucket notifications are forced, as indicated by the "force"
flag in the notification. Those are used for the cases where e.g. the next
hop associated with the bucket was removed, and the bucket really must be
migrated.

Non-forced notifications can be overridden by the driver by returning an
error code. The use case for this is that the driver notifies the HW that a
bucket should be migrated, but the HW discovers that the bucket has in fact
been hit by traffic.

A second way for the HW to report that a bucket is busy is through the
``nexthop_res_grp_activity_update()`` API. The buckets identified this way
as busy are treated as if traffic hit them.

Offloaded buckets should be flagged as either "offload" or "trap". This is
done through the ``nexthop_bucket_set_hw_flags()`` API.

Netlink UAPI
------------

Resilient Group Replacement
^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^

Resilient groups are configured using the ``RTM_NEWNEXTHOP`` message in the
same manner as other multipath groups. The following changes apply to the
attributes passed in the netlink message:

  =================== =========================================================
  ``NHA_GROUP_TYPE``  Should be ``NEXTHOP_GRP_TYPE_RES`` for resilient group.
  ``NHA_RES_GROUP``   A nest that contains attributes specific to resilient
                      groups.
  =================== =========================================================

``NHA_RES_GROUP`` payload:

  =================================== =========================================
  ``NHA_RES_GROUP_BUCKETS``           Number of buckets in the hash table.
  ``NHA_RES_GROUP_IDLE_TIMER``        Idle timer in units of clock_t.
  ``NHA_RES_GROUP_UNBALANCED_TIMER``  Unbalanced timer in units of clock_t.
  =================================== =========================================

Next Hop Get
^^^^^^^^^^^^

Requests to get resilient next-hop groups use the ``RTM_GETNEXTHOP``
message in exactly the same way as other next hop get requests. The
response attributes match the replacement attributes cited above, except
``NHA_RES_GROUP`` payload will include the following attribute:

  =================================== =========================================
  ``NHA_RES_GROUP_UNBALANCED_TIME``   How long has the resilient group been out
                                      of balance, in units of clock_t.
  =================================== =========================================

Bucket Get
^^^^^^^^^^

The message ``RTM_GETNEXTHOPBUCKET`` without the ``NLM_F_DUMP`` flag is
used to request a single bucket. The attributes recognized at get requests
are:

  =================== =========================================================
  ``NHA_ID``          ID of the next-hop group that the bucket belongs to.
  ``NHA_RES_BUCKET``  A nest that contains attributes specific to bucket.
  =================== =========================================================

``NHA_RES_BUCKET`` payload:

  ======================== ====================================================
  ``NHA_RES_BUCKET_INDEX`` Index of bucket in the resilient table.
  ======================== ====================================================

Bucket Dumps
^^^^^^^^^^^^

The message ``RTM_GETNEXTHOPBUCKET`` with the ``NLM_F_DUMP`` flag is used
to request a dump of matching buckets. The attributes recognized at dump
requests are:

  =================== =========================================================
  ``NHA_ID``          If specified, limits the dump to just the next-hop group
                      with this ID.
  ``NHA_OIF``         If specified, limits the dump to buckets that contain
                      next hops that use the device with this ifindex.
  ``NHA_MASTER``      If specified, limits the dump to buckets that contain
                      next hops that use a device in the VRF with this ifindex.
  ``NHA_RES_BUCKET``  A nest that contains attributes specific to bucket.
  =================== =========================================================

``NHA_RES_BUCKET`` payload:

  ======================== ====================================================
  ``NHA_RES_BUCKET_NH_ID`` If specified, limits the dump to just the buckets
                           that contain the next hop with this ID.
  ======================== ====================================================

Usage
-----

To illustrate the usage, consider the following commands::

	# ip nexthop add id 1 via 192.0.2.2 dev eth0
	# ip nexthop add id 2 via 192.0.2.3 dev eth0
	# ip nexthop add id 10 group 1/2 type resilient \
		buckets 8 idle_timer 60 unbalanced_timer 300

The last command creates a resilient next-hop group. It will have 8 buckets
(which is unusually low number, and used here for demonstration purposes
only), each bucket will be considered idle when no traffic hits it for at
least 60 seconds, and if the table remains out of balance for 300 seconds,
it will be forcefully brought into balance.

Changing next-hop weights leads to change in bucket allocation::

	# ip nexthop replace id 10 group 1,3/2 type resilient

This can be confirmed by looking at individual buckets::

	# ip nexthop bucket show id 10
	id 10 index 0 idle_time 5.59 nhid 1
	id 10 index 1 idle_time 5.59 nhid 1
	id 10 index 2 idle_time 8.74 nhid 2
	id 10 index 3 idle_time 8.74 nhid 2
	id 10 index 4 idle_time 8.74 nhid 1
	id 10 index 5 idle_time 8.74 nhid 1
	id 10 index 6 idle_time 8.74 nhid 1
	id 10 index 7 idle_time 8.74 nhid 1

Note the two buckets that have a shorter idle time. Those are the ones that
were migrated after the next-hop replace command to satisfy the new demand
that next hop 1 be given 6 buckets instead of 4.

Netdevsim
---------

The netdevsim driver implements a mock offload of resilient groups, and
exposes debugfs interface that allows marking individual buckets as busy.
For example, the following will mark bucket 23 in next-hop group 10 as
active::

	# echo 10 23 > /sys/kernel/debug/netdevsim/netdevsim10/fib/nexthop_bucket_activity

In addition, another debugfs interface can be used to configure that the
next attempt to migrate a bucket should fail::

	# echo 1 > /sys/kernel/debug/netdevsim/netdevsim10/fib/fail_nexthop_bucket_replace

Besides serving as an example, the interfaces that netdevsim exposes are
useful in automated testing, and
``tools/testing/selftests/drivers/net/netdevsim/nexthop.sh`` makes use of
them to test the algorithm.