SSO provides protection for network edge devices with dual RPs that represent a single point of failure in the network design, and where an outage might result in loss of service for customers.
In Cisco networking devices that support dual RPs, SSO takes advantage of RP redundancy to increase network availability. The feature establishes one of the RPs as the active processor while the other RP is designated as the standby processor, and then synchronizing critical state information between them. Following an initial synchronization between the two processors, SSO dynamically maintains RP state information between them.
On Cisco ASR 1000 series routers, SSO can also be used to enable a second Cisco software process on the same RP. This second Cisco IOS process acts as a standby process for the active Cisco software process, and also allows certain subpackages to be upgraded without experiencing any router downtime.
A switchover from the active to the standby processor occurs when the active RP fails, is removed from the networking device, or is manually taken down for maintenance.
SSO is used with the Cisco Nonstop Forwarding (NSF) feature. Cisco NSF allows for the forwarding of data packets to continue along known routes while the routing protocol information is being restored following a switchover. With Cisco NSF, peer networking devices do not experience routing flaps, thereby reducing loss of service outages for customers.
The figure below illustrates how SSO is typically deployed in service provider networks. In this example, Cisco NSF with SSO is primarily at the access layer (edge) of the service provider network. A fault at this point could result in loss of service for enterprise customers requiring access to the service provider network.
||Cisco NSF with SSO Network Deployment: Service Provider Networks
For Cisco NSF protocols that require neighboring devices to participate in Cisco NSF, Cisco NSF-aware software images must be installed on those neighboring distribution layer devices. Additional network availability benefits might be achieved by applying Cisco NSF and SSO features at the core layer of your network; however, consult your network design engineers to evaluate your specific site requirements.
Additional levels of availability may be gained by deploying Cisco NSF with SSO at other points in the network where a single point of failure exists. The figure below illustrates an optional deployment strategy that applies Cisco NSF with SSO at the enterprise network access layer. In this example, each access point in the enterprise network represents another single point of failure in the network design. In the event of a switchover or a planned software upgrade, enterprise customer sessions would continue uninterrupted through the network.
||Cisco NSF with SSO Network Deployment: Enterprise Networks