Posts Tagged ‘helper-map’

May
06

Hi Brian,

I have a problem with the multicast helper topic, the case when a broadcast network is separated by a multicast network, and then again it continues. Can you discuss this topic?

Thanks,

Nizami

Hi Nizami,

The multicast helper-map command is similar in theory to how the unicast “ip helper-map” works. With the IP helper map feature, IP broadcast packets, such as UDP based DHCP requests, have their destination addresses translated to a unicast address, such as the DHCP server. With the IP multicast helper map feature, IP broadcast packets have their destination addresses translated to a multicast address.

The common design application of this feature is in financial trading networks where a legacy stock ticker application sends packets out as broadcast UDP. The router on the attached segment can then convert the broadcast destination to multicast, send the packet into the multicast transit network, and then on the last hop router attached to the receiver translate the multicast packet back to a broadcast. This allows the network to scale above a flat layer 2 design where all application senders and receivers are in the same IP subnet, to a hierarchical layer 3 routed multicast network, without the application itself being modified.

Configuration-wise the feature is implemented on two devices, the first hop router attached to the broadcast sender, and the last hop router attached to the broadcast receiver. The first hop router listens for broadcast packets to be received on the incoming interface attached to the sender. Based on an access-list match (usually the UDP port of the application), the router translates the destination address to a user defined multicast address, and forwards the packet out interfaces running PIM according to the multicast routing table. This design therefore assumes that the underlying PIM topology is built end-to-end. Once the last hop router receives the traffic on the incoming interface facing the multicast network, the traffic is again categorized by an access-list, and additionally by the multicast group used on the first hop. Based on the directed broadcast address defined on the last hop router the traffic is then dropped off on the LAN segment facing the receiver.

In our particular design the network looks like this:

SW1 — R4 -– R3 — R2 — R1 — SW2

SW1 is the broadcast sender (i.e. the source application), SW2 is the receiver (i.e. the destination application), R4 is the first hop router, and R1 is the last hop router. IGP and PIM adjacencies exist between R4 – R3, R3 – R2, and R2 – R1.

R4’s configuration, the first hop router, looks as follows:

R4#
interface FastEthernet0/0
 description TO SENDER APPLICATION – SW1
 ip address 173.20.47.4 255.255.255.0
 ip multicast helper-map broadcast 224.1.2.3 100
!
ip forward-protocol udp 31337
access-list 100 permit udp any any eq 31337

This configuration means that if R4 receives a UDP broadcast going to port 31337 inbound on Fa0/0 it will be translated to the multicast address 224.1.2.3. Note that the use of the “ip forward-protocol” command is necessary in order to process switch UDP traffic going to the port in question. Without process switching the helper-map feature can not correctly categorize and translate the traffic.

R1’s configuration, the last hop router, looks as follows:

R1#
interface Serial0/0.102 point-to-point
 description TO R2
 ip address 173.20.12.1 255.255.255.0
 ip pim dense-mode
 ip multicast helper-map 224.1.2.3 173.20.18.255 100
 frame-relay interface-dlci 102
!
interface FastEthernet0/0
 description TO RECEIVER – SW2
 ip address 173.20.18.1 255.255.255.0
 ip directed-broadcast
!
ip forward-protocol udp 31337
access-list 100 permit udp any any eq 31337

This configuration means that if R1 receives a UDP multicast going to the group address 224.1.2.3 at port 31337 inbound on S0/0.102 it will be translated to the directed broadcast address 173.20.18.255. Since the link 173.20.18.0/24 is directly connected and has the directed broadcast address of 173.20.18.255 by default, the configuration implies that traffic matching the helper map on S0/0.102 will be sent as a broadcast out Fa0/0.

Note the use of the “ip forward-protocol” command as before in order to process switch the UDP traffic. Additionally the “ip directed-broadcast” command is enabled on the last hop outgoing interface since in current IOS versions this is disabled by default for security purposes.

To verify the functionality of this feature we can use the IP SLA feature in the IOS to generate broadcast UDP traffic on the sender. This configuration on SW1 is as follows:

rtr 1
 type udpEcho dest-ipaddr 255.255.255.255 dest-port 31337 source-ipaddr 173.20.47.7 source-port 12345 control disable
 timeout 0
 frequency 5
rtr schedule 1 life forever start-time now

This config means that SW1 will generate a UDP packet sourced from the address 173.20.47.7 at port 12345 going to the address 255.255.255.255 at port 31337 every 5 seconds, and will not wait for a response back. The following debug on R4, the first hop router, verifies that the packet is received and is translated into multicast.

Rack20R4#debug ip packet detail
IP packet debugging is on (detailed)
IP: s=173.20.47.7 (FastEthernet0/0), d=255.255.255.255, len 44, rcvd 2
    UDP src=12345, dst=31337
Rack20R4#undebug all
All possible debugging has been turned off

Rack20R4#debug ip mpacket
IP multicast packets debugging is on
IP(0): s=173.20.47.7 (FastEthernet0/0) d=224.1.2.3 (Serial0/0) id=0, ttl=254, prot=17, len=44(44), mforward
Rack20R4#undebug all
All possible debugging has been turned off

From the unicast “debug ip packet detail” we can see the packet is received in Fa0/0 from SW2 with the proper destination and port information. Next the multicast “debug ip mpacket” shows us that the packet has been translated to multicast address 224.1.2.3 and is forwarded out Serial0/0 towards R3.

As R4, R3, R2, and R1 receive the multicast packet the multicast routing table is populated as follows.

Rack20R4#show ip mroute 224.1.2.3
IP Multicast Routing Table
Flags: D - Dense, S - Sparse, B - Bidir Group, s - SSM Group, C - Connected,
       L - Local, P - Pruned, R - RP-bit set, F - Register flag,
       T - SPT-bit set, J - Join SPT, M - MSDP created entry,
       X - Proxy Join Timer Running, A - Candidate for MSDP Advertisement,
       U - URD, I - Received Source Specific Host Report,
       Z - Multicast Tunnel, z - MDT-data group sender,
       Y - Joined MDT-data group, y - Sending to MDT-data group
Outgoing interface flags: H - Hardware switched, A - Assert winner
 Timers: Uptime/Expires
 Interface state: Interface, Next-Hop or VCD, State/Mode

(*, 224.1.2.3), 01:24:42/stopped, RP 0.0.0.0, flags: D
  Incoming interface: Null, RPF nbr 0.0.0.0
  Outgoing interface list:
    Serial0/0, Forward/Dense, 01:24:42/00:00:00

(173.20.47.7, 224.1.2.3), 00:01:27/00:02:58, flags: T
  Incoming interface: FastEthernet0/0, RPF nbr 0.0.0.0
  Outgoing interface list:
    Serial0/0, Forward/Dense, 00:01:27/00:00:00

Rack20R3#show ip mroute 224.1.2.3
IP Multicast Routing Table
Flags: D - Dense, S - Sparse, B - Bidir Group, s - SSM Group, C - Connected,
       L - Local, P - Pruned, R - RP-bit set, F - Register flag,
       T - SPT-bit set, J - Join SPT, M - MSDP created entry,
       X - Proxy Join Timer Running, A - Candidate for MSDP Advertisement,
       U - URD, I - Received Source Specific Host Report,
       Z - Multicast Tunnel, z - MDT-data group sender,
       Y - Joined MDT-data group, y - Sending to MDT-data group
Outgoing interface flags: H - Hardware switched, A - Assert winner
 Timers: Uptime/Expires
 Interface state: Interface, Next-Hop or VCD, State/Mode

(*, 224.1.2.3), 01:25:36/stopped, RP 0.0.0.0, flags: D
  Incoming interface: Null, RPF nbr 0.0.0.0
  Outgoing interface list:
    Serial1/1.312, Forward/Dense, 01:25:36/00:00:00
    Serial1/0, Forward/Dense, 01:25:36/00:00:00

(173.20.47.7, 224.1.2.3), 00:02:22/00:02:54, flags: T
  Incoming interface: Serial1/0, RPF nbr 173.20.0.4
  Outgoing interface list:
    Serial1/1.312, Forward/Dense, 00:02:23/00:00:00

Rack20R2#show ip mroute 224.1.2.3
IP Multicast Routing Table
Flags: D - Dense, S - Sparse, B - Bidir Group, s - SSM Group, C - Connected,
       L - Local, P - Pruned, R - RP-bit set, F - Register flag,
       T - SPT-bit set, J - Join SPT, M - MSDP created entry,
       X - Proxy Join Timer Running, A - Candidate for MSDP Advertisement,
       U - URD, I - Received Source Specific Host Report,
       Z - Multicast Tunnel, z - MDT-data group sender,
       Y - Joined MDT-data group, y - Sending to MDT-data group
Outgoing interface flags: H - Hardware switched, A - Assert winner
 Timers: Uptime/Expires
 Interface state: Interface, Next-Hop or VCD, State/Mode

(*, 224.1.2.3), 01:25:27/stopped, RP 0.0.0.0, flags: D
  Incoming interface: Null, RPF nbr 0.0.0.0
  Outgoing interface list:
    Serial0/0.213, Forward/Dense, 01:25:27/00:00:00
    Serial0/0.201, Forward/Dense, 01:25:27/00:00:00

(173.20.47.7, 224.1.2.3), 00:02:12/00:02:54, flags: T
  Incoming interface: Serial0/0.213, RPF nbr 173.20.23.3
  Outgoing interface list:
    Serial0/0.201, Forward/Dense, 00:02:13/00:00:00

Rack20R1#show ip mroute 224.1.2.3
IP Multicast Routing Table
Flags: D - Dense, S - Sparse, B - Bidir Group, s - SSM Group, C - Connected,
       L - Local, P - Pruned, R - RP-bit set, F - Register flag,
       T - SPT-bit set, J - Join SPT, M - MSDP created entry,
       X - Proxy Join Timer Running, A - Candidate for MSDP Advertisement,
       U - URD, I - Received Source Specific Host Report,
       Z - Multicast Tunnel, z - MDT-data group sender,
       Y - Joined MDT-data group, y - Sending to MDT-data group
Outgoing interface flags: H - Hardware switched, A - Assert winner
 Timers: Uptime/Expires
 Interface state: Interface, Next-Hop or VCD, State/Mode

(*, 224.1.2.3), 01:25:42/stopped, RP 0.0.0.0, flags: DCL
  Incoming interface: Null, RPF nbr 0.0.0.0
  Outgoing interface list:
    Serial0/0.102, Forward/Dense, 01:25:42/00:00:00

(173.20.47.7, 224.1.2.3), 00:02:27/00:02:57, flags: PLTX
  Incoming interface: Serial0/0.102, RPF nbr 173.20.12.2
  Outgoing interface list: Null

Once the packet is received on R1, the last hop router, the “debug ip mpacket” shows the packet coming in as multicast, while the “debug ip packet detail” shows that the packet being converted back into a broadcast. This is also verified by the “debug ip packet” output on SW2, the receiver of the packet.

Rack20R1#debug ip mpacket
IP multicast packets debugging is on
IP(0): s=173.20.47.7 (Serial0/0.102) d=224.1.2.3 id=0, ttl=251, prot=17, len=48(44), mroute olist null
Rack20R1#undebug all
All possible debugging has been turned off

Rack20R1#debug ip packet detail
IP packet debugging is on (detailed)
IP: tableid=0, s=173.20.47.7 (Serial0/0.102), d=173.20.18.255 (FastEthernet0/0), routed via RIB
Rack20R1#undebug all
All possible debugging has been turned off

Rack20SW2#debug ip packet
IP packet debugging is on
IP: s=173.20.47.7 (Vlan18), d=255.255.255.255, len 44, rcvd 2
IP: s=173.20.47.7 (Vlan18), d=255.255.255.255, len 44, stop process pak for forus packet
Rack20SW2#undebug all
All possible debugging has been turned off

This feature can also be used in the opposite manner, where a multicast packet is received, converted to broadcast, and then converted back to multicast. In either case the configuration depends on the design and functionality of the source and destination application.

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