<Keepalives are temporarily in throttle due to closed TCP window>

Richard A Steenbergen ras at e-gerbil.net
Tue Sep 15 20:53:16 UTC 2009

On Tue, Sep 15, 2009 at 05:39:33PM -0300, Brian Dickson wrote:
> And more specifically, possibly an interface MTU (or ip mtu, I forget
> which).
> If there is a mismatch between ends of a link, in one direction,
> MTU-sized packets get sent, and the other end sees those as "giants".

Well if the interface or ip mtu was smaller on one end, this would
result in a lower mss negotiation and you would just have smaller but
working packets. The bad situation is when there is a layer 2 device in
the middle which eats the big packets and doesn't generate an ICMP
needfrag. For example, if there was a 1500-byte only ethernet switch in
the middle of this link, it would drop anything > 1500 bytes and prevent
path mtu discovery from working, resulting in silent blackholing. I was
assuming that wasn't the case here based on the 4474 mtu (was assuming
sonet links or something), but looking at the original message he
doesn't say what media or what might be in the middle, so its possible
4474 is a manually configured mtu causing blackholing.

> I've seen situations where the MTU is calculated incorrectly, when
> using some technology that adds a few bytes (e.g. VLAN tags, MPLS
> tags, etc.).

Even when things are working as intended, different vendors mean 
different things when they talk about MTU. For example, Juniper and 
Cisco disagree as to whether the mtu should include layer 2 or .1q tag 
overhead, resuling in inconsistent MTU numbers which are not only 
different between the vendors, but which can change depending on what 
type of trunk you're running between the devices. Enabling > 1500 byte 
MTUs is a dangerous game if you don't know what you're doing, or if 
you're connected to other people who are sloppy and don't fully verify 
their MTU settings on every link.

> War stories make for great bar BOFs at NANOG meetings. :-)

Never ending supply of those things. :)

Richard A Steenbergen <ras at e-gerbil.net>       http://www.e-gerbil.net/ras
GPG Key ID: 0xF8B12CBC (7535 7F59 8204 ED1F CC1C 53AF 4C41 5ECA F8B1 2CBC)

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