IGP LDP Synchronization

I implore all my readers to always remember this topic: IGP LDP synchronization. It is important to use IGP LDP synchronization to avoid blackholing, especially when MPLS networks fails to function effectively.


igp ldp synchronization


In the topology above, IS-IS is running in the network of the service provider. For the transport label distribution or topmost label/tunnel label, LDP is used even though RSVP or segment routing could be used as well.

If any link fails in the MPLS networks, IGP will not converge on the failed link before getting green light from the LDP. Also, if  P3-P4 link fails in the topology shown above, P1-P2-P4 link is used. If the link returns and if IGP converges before LDP comes together, P3 cannot create a label for the prefixes; it sends the regular IP packet to P4. In fact, P4 drops the packets because it cannot recognize the CE (Customer).

If IGP-LDP synchronization feature is enabled, P3 and P4 signals their neighbor not to use P3-P4 link unless LDP converges. BGP signals the IGP exactly in the same way. With OSPF max-metric and IS-IS overload bit, OSPF allows BGP to signal it.

LDP session protection is another way to prevent traffic blackholing if an MPLS enabled link fails to work properly. If you don’t know much about LDP session, don’t worry I will explain it in a E-VPN article very soon. Sometimes, one protocol can be responsible for many actions. For example, with segment routing, IGP prefix distribution and LDP label distribution use the same advertisement. So, you don’t need to use LDP as a separate label distribution protocol. Also, you don’t need to worry about LDP IGP synchronization or LDP session protection with SR.

In sum, the overlay protocols should follow and signal the underlay protocols. It can be LDP over IGP, BGP over IGP, HSRP over Spanning Tree, LISP over IGP, and so on.


ccde bootcamp

ccde study guide


4 Replies to “IGP LDP Synchronization”

  1. Hi Orhan,

    I am reading through the in-depth CCDE book for written prep and i am a bit intrigued by the following sentence regarding this scenario: “If any link fails in the MPLS networks, IGP will not converge on the failed link before getting green light from the LDP.” I can’t figure out how and why LDP gives green light to IS-IS to converge.

    1. Hi Aliou,

      It is essentially IGP-LDP Synchronization requirement. Other than Segment Routing , LDP and RSVP requires synchronization, which means , when there is a failure, traffic is redirected to the alternate links if there is at least one. But when the failed link comes back, on the router , LDP assigned label should be found in the LFIB in order the router swap/pop the label and does its job.

      So, instead of IP Destination based lookup, it needs to do label switching but if there is no label , if just drops the packet.

      How LDP gives green light, basically until the label is installed into the Forwarding table/dataplane, IGP advertises maximum metric to the neighbors.

      It is done with max-metric router LSA in OSPF , so the router advertises maximum metric value in its Type 1 LSA , and done with Overload bit in IS-IS

      If still is not clear or want me to explain some of the parts which I mentioned in detail, let me know

      Cheers 🙂

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.