Bidirectional Forwarding Detection (BFD)

Bidirectional Forwarding Detection (BFD) support for BGP was introduced in Cisco IOS Releases 12.0(31)S, 12.4(4)T, 12.0(32)S, and 12.2(33)SXH, and later releases. BFD is a detection protocol designed to provide fast forwarding path failure detection times for all media types, encapsulations, topologies, and routing protocols. In addition to fast forwarding path failure detection, BFD provides a consistent failure detection method for network administrators. Because the network administrator can use BFD to detect forwarding path failures at a uniform rate, rather than the variable rates for different routing protocol hello mechanisms, network profiling and planning will be easier, and reconvergence time will be consistent and predictable. The main benefit of implementing BFD for BGP is a marked decrease in reconvergence time.
One caveat exists for BFD; BFD and BGP graceful restart capability cannot both be configured on a router running BGP. If an interface goes down, BFD detects the failure and indicates that the interface cannot be used for traffic forwarding and the BGP session goes down, but graceful restart still allows traffic forwarding on platforms that support NSF even though the BGP session is down, allowing traffic forwarding using the interface that is down. Configuring both BFD and BGP graceful restart for NSF on a router running BGP may result in suboptimal routing.


For more details about BFD, see the Bidirectional Forwarding Detection chapter of the Cisco IOS IP Routing Protocols Configuration Guide, Release 12.4(4)T.

Decreasing BGP Convergence Time Using BFD
BFD support for BGP was introduced in Cisco IOS Releases 12.0(31)S, 12.4(4)T, 12.0(32)S, and 12.2(33)SXH, and later releases. You start a BFD process by configuring BFD on the interface. When the BFD process is started, no entries are created in the adjacency database, in other words, no BFD control packets are sent or received. The adjacency creation takes places once you have configured BFD support for the applicable routing protocols. The first two tasks must be configured to implement BFD support for BGP to reduce the BGP convergence time. The third task is an optional task to help monitor or troubleshoot BFD.

interface FastEthernet 0/1
ip address 172.16.10.1 255.255.255.0
bfd interval 50 min_rx 50 multiplier 3
!
router bgp 100
bgp log-neighbor-changes
neighbor 172.16.10.2 remote-as 45000
neighbor 172.16.10.2 fall-over bfd
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