ODAPs enable pools of IP addresses to be dynamically increased or reduced in size depending on the address utilization level. Once configured, the ODAP is populated with one or more subnets leased from a source server and is ready to serve address requests from DHCP clients or from PPP sessions. The source server can be a remote DHCP server or a RADIUS server (via AAA). Currently, only the Cisco Access Registrar RADIUS server supports ODAPs. Subnets can be added to the pool when a certain utilization level (high utilization mark) is achieved. When the utilization level falls below a certain level (low utilization mark), a subnet can be returned to the server from which it was originally leased. Summarized routes for each leased subnet must be inserted or removed from the related VRF with each addition or removal of subnets into the ODAP.
ODAPs support address assignment using DHCP for customers using private addresses such as in MPLS VPNs. VPNs allow the possibility that two pools in separate networks can have the same address space, with private network addresses, served by the same DHCP server. These IP addresses can be distinguished by a VPN identifier to help select the VPN to which the client belongs.
Each ODAP is configured and associated with a particular MPLS VPN. Cisco IOS XE software also supports non-MPLS VPN address pools by adding pool name support to the
For MPLS VPNs, each VPN is associated with one or more VRFs. The VRF is a key element in the VPN technology because it maintains the routing information that defines a customer VPN site. This customer site is attached to a provider edge (PE) router. A VRF consists of an IP routing table, a derived Cisco Express Forwarding (CEF) table, a set of interfaces that use the forwarding table, and a set of rules and routing protocol parameters that control the information that is included in the routing table.
A PPP session belonging to a specific VPN is only allocated an address from the ODAP associated with that VPN. These PPP sessions are terminated on a Virtual Home Gateway (VHG)/PE router where the ODAP is configured. The VHG/PE router maps the remote user to the corresponding MPLS VPNs.
For PPP sessions, individual address allocation from an ODAP follows a First Leased subnet First (FLF) policy. FLF searches for a free address beginning on the first leased subnet, followed by a search on the second leased subnet if no free address is available in the first subnet, and so on. This policy provides the benefit of grouping the leased addresses over time to a set of subnets, which allows an efficient subnet release and route summarization.
However, the FLF policy differs from the normal DHCP address selection policy. Normal DHCP address selection takes into account the IP address of the receiving interface or the gateway address if it is nonzero. To support both policies, the DHCP server needs to be able to distinguish between a normal DHCP address request and an address request for a PPP client. The ODAP manager uses an IP address pooling mechanism for PPP that allows the DHCP server to distinguish between a normal DHCP address request and a request from a PPP client.
Subnet release from an ODAP follows a Last Leased subnet First (LLF) policy, which prefers the last leased subnet to be released first. This LLF policy searches for a releasable subnet (a subnet with no addresses currently being leased) starting with the last leased subnet. If a releasable subnet is found (candidate subnet), it is released, and the summarized route for that subnet is removed. If more than one releasable subnet exists at that time, only the most recently allocated is released. If there are no releasable subnets, no action is taken. If by releasing the candidate subnet, the high utilization mark is reached, the subnet is not released. The first leased subnet is never released (regardless of the instantaneous utilization level) until the ODAP is disabled.
When a DHCP pool receives multiple subnets from an upstream DHCP server, an address from each subnet is automatically configured on the client connected interface so that the addresses within the subnets can be requested by DHCP clients.
The first address in the first subnet is automatically assigned to the primary address on the interface. The first address of each subsequent subnet is assigned to secondary addresses on the interface. In addition, as client addresses are reclaimed, the count of lease addresses for that subnet is decremented. Once a lease counter for a subnet reaches zero (that is, lease expiry), the subnet is returned to the pool. The previous address on the interface is removed and the first secondary address on the interface is promoted as the primary address of the interface.
The figure below shows an ODAP manager configured on the Cisco IOS XE DHCP server. The ODAP requests an initial pool from the AAA server. Clients make DHCP requests and the DHCP server fulfills requests from the pool. When the utilization rate meets 90 percent, the ODAP manager requests an expansion and the AAA server allocates another subnet from which the ODAP manager can allocate addresses.
Figure 1. ODAP Address Pool Management for MPLS VPNs