Graceful Router Updates in Link-State Protocols
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Manageability and evolvability are crucial needs for IP networks. Unfortunately, planned topological changes may lead to transient forwarding loops in link-state routing protocols commonly used in IP networks. These lead to service unavailability, reducing the frequency at which operators can adapt the network topology. Prior works proved that the state of a given link can be modified while avoiding forwarding inconsistencies without changing protocol specifications. In this paper, we study the more general problem of gracefully modifying the state of an entire router, while minimizing the induced operational impact. As opposed to a single-link modification, the router update problem is k-dimensional for a node of degree k. Moreover, we show that the interplay between operations applied at the router granularity can lead to loops that do not occur considering a single-link modification. In this paper, we present an efficient algorithm that computes minimal sequences of weights to be configured on the links of the updated node. Based on real IP network topologies, we show that the size of such sequence is limited in practice.