A Redundant Architecture for Routing Protocols

As service providers (SPs) continue to compete for customers, one factor that will become increasingly important is that of High Availability (HA). This is largely due to the migration of applications such as voice and video transfer, from traditional telecommunication networks to IP based networks. In order to help guaranteereliable service to their customers, SPs will ensure that the equipment they purchase has built-in HA support.

Unfortunately, IP networks - and IP routers - were designed with best-effort mindset and are thus not suited for systems that must be highly reliable. To satisfy High Availability, IP routers must be robust to events such as hardware and software failures (or updates) and be available 99.999% of the time.

The most common approach to satisfying HA is to make a system Fault Tolerant (FT) or to ensure there is no single point of failure. This usually requires provisioning backup copies of all hardware and software so that there is a backup component in the event of failure.

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