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Control-Plane Protection & Control-Plane Policing

with 2 comments

It’s not very common to see people jump on the idea of configuring Control-Plane Policing/Protection, a part of me thinks people avoid this subject like the plague because they feel it causes more problems then it is worth. Well, let’s be honest if you have had to troubleshoot a CoPP or CPPr policy you know it is fun process. Especially since checking the control-plane is not usually the first thing everyone looks at and half the time issuing a ‘sh run’ is just not an option at first.

The first thing we should probably clear up is, why should we protect the control-plane what is this going to do for us. Well let’s consider a few things the control-plane does:

  1. Handles packets that are not CEF switched, meaning the CPU has to take some time handle these packets.
    1. This is more important than you think, if the CPU is getting bombarded with a large number of packets the CPU must handle each one individually & it is possible the CPU will get too busy it start dropping other traffic.
  2. Maintains keep-alives for routing adjacencies.
  3. Handle traffic directed at the device itself
    1. SNMP/SSH, management traffic.

The control plane does a bit more then that but the three points above should get the point across.

The next thing I want to mention is how Control-Plane Protection (CPPr) differs from Control-Plane Policing (CoPP). Probably the main difference is the fact with CoPP you control access and limit access to the entire control-plane. This sounds good and simple but the control-plane is slightly more complex then that (go figure right).  CPPr on the other hand allows us to control access to the individual control-plane sub-interfaces, providing us with more direct control. Here is a diagram from Cisco.com that lays out the control-plane:

COPP Arch

As you can see from the above diagram, applying a control-plane policy (CoPP) applies an aggregate policer to all traffic destined for the CPU.  Reaching out of that aggregate you can see three addition sub-interfaces of the control-plane:

  1. Host – The host sub-interface handles traffic destined for the router or one of its own interfaces. IE: Mgmt related traffic and some routing protocol traffic. (EIGRP iBGP)
  2. Transit – This sub-interface handles software switched IP traffic. (I think also ICMP unreachable/redirects but I need hammer away at the ‘transit sub-interface’ a but more in the lab)
  3. CEF-Exception – This sub-interfaces typical handles non-IP related packets such as ARP, LDP, Layer 2 keepalives along with some routing protocol traffic. (OSPF eBGP)

Now, that we have an understanding of what the control-plane does for us, and the differences between CoPP vs CPPr let’s jump into some configurations. Luckily this configuration follows the framework of a typical QoS policy so if you familiar with the structure of the MQC you should be able to follow right along.

First we are going to create a few ACL’s to match our traffic:

CPPr ACL

Let’s put those ACL’s inside a few Class-Maps: (Only ACL’s, match ip DSCP/Precedence, & match protocol ARP  are supported, hence why I did not do match protocol OSPF/BGP, if you do the command will get rejected upon trying to apply the service-policy to the control-plane)

CPPr CM

Now, we reference the Class-Maps within a Policy-Map and define our actions: (I’d like to make note, with a CPPr Policy-Map you can only use the ‘police’ or ‘drop’ actions)

CPPr PM

Finally we apply a service-policy referencing the Policy-Map we just created.

CoPP Service

Now, that applies a CPPr policy to two different control-plane interfaces, if you simply want to perform CoPP you could do the following:

CoPP Agg PM

Combine our two separate policy-maps from before

Apply the Policy-Map to aggregate control-plane

Apply the Policy-Map to aggregate control-plane

Notice the console message, that CoPP has been enabled on the aggregate path. The CoPP policy shown in the above two pictures just about accomplishes the same thing as our CPPr Policy (With a few exceptions I want you to point out).

A few links to CoPP and CPPr from Cisco.com.

Written by Stephen J. Occhiogrosso

March 17, 2014 at 8:58 AM

2 Responses

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  1. precise and very well documented

    shahhan

    May 6, 2015 at 10:36 AM

  2. Very Nice

    William Nellis

    April 3, 2016 at 10:42 PM


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