Configure and Verify IP SLA

Exam: Cisco 200-301 - Cisco Certified Network Associate (CCNA)

IP SLA is Cisco IOS software based application which allows the customers to examine the IP service level for the services and IP applications by using active traffic monitoring, which is the generation of traffic monitoring tools for measuring network performance in a reliable, continuous, and predictable manner.

With the help of Cisco IOS based IP SLAs, service providers and customers can measure and provide (SLAs) service level agreements and enterprise customers can verify service levels, verify outsourced service level agreements, and understand the performance of network. IP SLAs can perform network evaluation, verify the quality of service (QoS), assist with network troubleshooting, and simplify the deployment of new services.

Configuration of IP SLA

IP SLA can be configured to act on certain measurednetwork connections. For example, if IP SLA determines a huge jitter on a connection, it can generatea notificationfor the network management application, or itmay triggeranother IP SLA operationso that more data can be gathered.

To configure IP SLAs application on a Cisco Router or a Switch, the most important thing is to verify the type of operationthat is supported on the software image of device by using command show ipsla application.

IP SLAs packets have configurable IP and application layer options such as User datagram protocol (UDP)/TCP port number, URL web address, and source and destination IP address. Because, Cisco IP SLA is an independent layer 2 transport, end to end operations can be configured by users over different networks to best reflect the metrics that an end user is likely to experience.

The IP SLA configurationscanbe done by using following 3 steps:

1. Configuring IP SLA Responder

The availability of IP SLAs responderis only on the device that are based on Cisco IOS software and which includes some layer 2 switches that do not support full IP SLAs functionality, such as the catalyst 2960 or the Cisco ME 2400 series switches.

The IP SLA responder is enabled on the destination Cisco device that allows the system to anticipate and respond to IP SLAs request packets. To configure IP SLAs responders follow the below mentioned steps.

Enable the privilege mode

RouterR1> enable

Enter the global configuration mode

RouterR1# config t

Configure the IP SLA responder on a router for UDP jitter having an IP address Number 123 is the port number.

RouterR1(config)# ipsla responder udp-echo 123

Return to privilege mode

RouterR1(config)# end

In order to disable the IP SLA responders use no ipsla responder command in global configuration mode.

2. Configuring UDP Jitter operation

Jitter is the delay variance between the packets. There is no jitter when multiple packets are sent successively20 ms apart from source to destination andthe destination receive these packets 20 ms apart without any network problems.

However, jitter occurs when delays are introduced in a network. The delay of arrival between packets can beeither more than or less than 20 ms. If packet arrives 24 ms apart, the positive jitter is 4 ms else if packet arrive 16 ms apart, thennegative jitter is 4 ms.

The IP SLA UDP jitter operation can be used as multipurpose data gathering operation, in addition to monitoring jitter. The UDP jitter operations are configured on source devices and the configuration is done by using following steps.

Enable the privilege mode

RouterR1> enable

Enter the global configuration mode

RouterR1# config t

Create the IP SLA operation using ipsla command and enter IP SLAs mode. Number 5 represents the operation number.

RouterR1(config)# ipsla 5

Enter the UDP-jitter configuration sub mode and configure the router with a UDP-jitter operation havingan IP address and port number 123.

RouterR1(config-ip-sla)# udp-jitter 123

Configure the rate which specifies IP SLAs operation repeats using frequency command. Number 40 is the value configured as rate.

RouterR1(config-ip-sla-jitter)# frequency 40

Exit UDP jitter configuration sub mode.


Configure the specific IP SLA operation with scheduling parameter using ipsla schedule command. If you want to start the operation immediately and want to run it for indefinite time then configure start time as now and life as forever. Number 7 represents the operation number in the given code.

RouterR1(config)#ipsla schedule 7 life forever start-time now

Return to privileged mode

RouterR1(config)# end

3. Configuring ICMP Echo

ICMP echo is used for themonitoring of end-to- end response time between router and a device using IP and is useful for troubleshooting of network connectivity issues. The response time is calculated by computing the time taken between forwarding a request message with ICMP echo and receiving ICMP echo reply. ICMP echo operation is configured on source device. To configure a router with ICMP echo operation, use the following steps:

Enable the privilege mode

RouterR1> enable

Enter the global configuration mode

RouterR1# config t

Enter IP SLAs mode and create the IP SLA operation using ipsla command. Number 7 represents the operation number.

RouterR1(config)#ipsla 7

Enter ICMP echo configuration mode and configure the IP SLA operation as an ICMP echo with an IP address and port number 23.

RouterR1(config-ip-sla)#icmp-echo 23

Configure the rate which specifies IP SLAs operation repeat using frequency command. Number 50 is the value configured as rate.

RouterR1(config-ip-sla-echo)# frequency 50

Exit ICMP echoconfiguration sub mode.


Configure the router with scheduling parameter for a particular IP SLA operation using ipsla schedule command having start time now to start the operation immediately and life forever to run the operation for indefinite time. Number 10 represents the operation number.

RouterR1(config)#ipsla schedule 10 life forever start-time now

Return to privileged EXEC mode

RouterR1(config)# end

Verification of IP SLA

Once you configure a network device with IP SLA operation there may possibility that the IP SLA operation is unable to run and could not generate statistics. For that user needs to verify the response for each operation using different verification commands. Some verification commands that help users to verify the IP SLA configuration are mentioned below.

Displays the global information about Cisco IOS based IP SLA

RouterR1# Show ipsla application

Displays IP SLAs authentication information

RouterR1# Show ipsla authentication

Displays the configuration including all defaults values for all IP SLA operations

RouterR1# Show ipsla configuration

Displays IP SLAs group scheduling configuration and details

RouterR1# Shipsla group schedule

Display information about IP SLA responder

RouterR1# Show ipsla responder

Displays the operational status and statistics

RouterR1# Show ipsla statistics

Exam Question

Which Cisco IOS feature permits network end to end response time monitoring.

  1. UDP jitter
  2. IP SLA Responder
  3. ICMP echo
  4. None of these.

Answer: C

Explanation: ICMP echo operation is used for the end to end response time monitoring between the network devices.

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