Network OS Administration Guide

Supporting Network OS 6.0.1a

Part Number: 53-1003768-04

Configuring KAP profiles

KAP profile overview

The Keep-Alive Protocol (KAP) profile feature allows users to allocate hardware resources to various keep-alive protocols. As a result, during a failover, those protocols can continue to send keep-alive packets to network neighbors and maintain connectivity, achieving a hitless failover. Users now have the flexibility of defining custom KAP profiles for the following protocols: LACP, XSTP, RPVST, UDLD, BFD-VXLAN, BFD-L3, and FCoE. In addition, default KAP profiles are predefined for the supported platforms.

There are two types of entries for the resources allocated to KAP applications: hardware and software. With hardware entries, the switch continues to send keep-alive packets even during an HA failover; with software entries, the keep-alive packets are resent only after the failover process is completed.

Default KAP profile

By default, the switch comes up with a default KAP profile. With this profile, any protocol that requests a KAP entry gets it first, with requests processed on a first-come, first-served basis. The switch process the hardware entries first. When those are consumed, the switch begins allocating KAP entries from the software entry pool.

Custom KAP profiles

A custom KAP profile is defined globally within a cluster and can be applied to individual switches. Normally, a user would define a global KAP profile for each type of switch, based on physical capability and deployment requirements. The user can define as many custom KAP profiles as needed, each with a unique name and parameter settings.

The custom-profile option is applied in hardware configuration mode, by means of the global hardware command. Then, by means of the kap keyword, the user can create custom named instance and select from among the available protocols. Profiles include the keep-alive interval and the number of keep-alive entries per slot. The following example illustrates this process, with the show running-config hardware custom-profile command used to verify the configuration.

device(config)# hardware
device(config-hardware)# ?
Possible completions:
  connector        	 	Configure a connector
  connector-group    	Configure a connector group
  custom-profile     	Configure customized hardware profiles
  describe          		Display transparent command information
  do                		Run an operational-mode command
  exit              		Exit from current mode
  flexport          		Option to change the Ethernet port to FibreChannel port
  help              		Provide help information
  no                		Negate a command or set its defaults
  port-group         	Configure a port-group
  pwd               		Display current mode path
  top               		Exit to top level and optionally run command
device(config-hardware)# custom-profile kap myprofile 
device(config-kap-myprofile)# ?
Possible completions:
  bfd-l3      	Configure BFD-L3 protocol KAP parameters
  bfd-vxlan   	Configure BFD-VXLAN protocol KAP parameters
  describe    	Display transparent command information
  do          	Run an operational-mode command
  exit        	Exit from current mode
  fcoe        	Configure FCOE protocol KAP parameters
  help        	Provide help information
  lacp        	Configure LACP protocol KAP parameters
  no          	Negate a command or set its defaults
  pwd         	Display current mode path
  rpvst       	Configure RPVST protocol KAP parameters
  top         	Exit to top level and optionally run command
  udld        	Configure UDLD protocol KAP parameters
  xstp        	Configure xSTP protocol KAP parameters
  device(config-kap-myprofile)# udld num-entry 64
  device(config-kap-myprofile)# lacp hello-interval 30000 num-entry 50
  device(config-kap-myprofile)# bfd-vxlan hello-interval 300 num-entry 20
  device(config-kap-myprofile)# xstp num-entry 64
  device(config-kap-myprofile)# bfd-l3 num-entry 100
  device(config-kap-myprofile)# fcoe num-entry 64
  device(config-kap-myprofile)# rpvst num-entry 128
  device# show running-config hardware custom-profile
         custom-profile kap myprofile
            lacp hello-interval 30000 num-entry 50
            xstp num-entry 64
            rpvst num-entry 128
            udld num-entry 64
            bfd-vxlan hello-interval 300 num-entry 20
            bfd-l3 num-entry 100
            fcoe num-entry 64
The "hello-interval" and "num-entry" parameters are optional. If they are not specified, default values are used.

The profile "myprofile" can now be applied to multiple switches in the cluster. The settings are dependent on the platform and the user application. For a custom profile to take effect, it has to be applied to a switch in RBridge ID configuration mode, as illustrated in the following section. When a global custom profile is defined, only a generic validation process is performed, not a platform-specific validation.

Once a custom KAP profiie is activated on one or more switches, the profile cannot be modified or deleted. To change custom profile settings on a switch, the user must first define a new custom KAP profile and apply it to the switch. Only when a custom profile is no longer applied to any switch in the cluster can that profile be modified or deleted, as shown below.

device(config-hardware)# no custom-profile kap myprofile
All of the protocol types listed in the menu above support the no keyword. This allows the user to delete all or part of the settings for the protocol. If a custom setting for a protocol is removed from a custom KAP profile, the default KAP setting for that protocol is applied.

Switch-based KAP profile

This following example illustrates how to apply a custom KAP profile to a specific switch. This is done in RBridge ID configuration mode, by means of the hardware-profile command with the kap keyword. The configuration is verified by means of the show running config rbridge-id command with the hardware-profile keyword.

device(config-rbridge-id-85)# hardware-profile ?
 Possible completions:
  kap           		Select KAP profile type
  route-table   		Select route table profile type
  tcam          		Select TCAM profile type
device(config-rbridge-id-85)# hardware-profile kap ?
Possible completions:
  custom-profile   	Customized profile
  default           Basic support for all applications
device(config-rbridge-id-85)# hardware-profile kap custom-profile myprofile                      
%Warning: To activate the new profile config, please run 'reload system' on the target switch.

device# show running-config rbridge-id 85 hardware-profile
rbridge-id 85
 hardware-profile tcam default
 hardware-profile route-table ipv4-max-arp maximum_paths 32
 hardware-profile kap custom-profile myprofile

When a custom KAP profile is applied, a validation process checks whether the specified custom profile exists. Then a platform-dependent validation of the custom profile is triggered. Both the parameter settings for individual protocols and the total entries are checked against platform capabilities. As with other hardware profiles, the switch must be rebooted for changes to take effect.


The KAP profile feature is supported for both fabric cluster and logical chassis cluster modes in Network OS 6.0.1. However, note the following limitations for each mode.

Limitations in logical chassis cluster mode:

If the user executes the copy default-config startup-config command on a switch in logical chassis cluster mode, the KAP profile settings in the hardware are set to the default following a reboot. This occurs even if there is a mapping of a KAP profile setting to a custom KAP profile that has been removed as a result of the global configuration reverting to the default state. Other hardware profile settings are maintained.

In this case, if the switch is a rejoining secondary node, then the mismatch between the local setting and the configuration saved in the cluster will trigger a RASLOG message that notifies the user to reboot the switch in order to resolve the inconsistency.

Limitations in fabric cluster mode:

If the user sets a switch to boot up from a startup-config file instead of startup-DB, and the startup-config file contains a KAP profile setting that is mapped to a custom profile, then the KAP profile is set to the default in the running-config file and in the database after the switch boots up.

This case can occur when the user executes the copy file startup-config command and reboots, and the file has a KAP profile setting that maps to a custom KAP profile. In this case, the user must reconfigure the KAP profile manually to the desired custom profile after the switch is initially up, and then reboot the switch again.