Information transmission within any computer system happens through what is called routing engines and these fall under a wide-ranging field in information technology called Routing.  This article therefore aims at cultivating a clear understanding of the operational structure and system of routing engines.

Definition of Routing Engines

Routing engines are better understood as a system rather than a compact aspect. This is a process whereby two routing engines are organised on the same platform with one acting as the master routing engine and the other one steps in as the backup system. This use of a dual system allows for the process of network re-convergence to happen faster and in a less complicated manner and this will also allow for the backup system to step in swiftly in the case of a system failure. This is more viable that using a mono-system that is the use one routing engine acting as the source as well as transmitter within a network and prone to continuous breakdowns and systems failure.

The use of a dual system in routing therefore divides roles within the setup, that is:

The Master routing engine

The primary roles of the master routing engine is that of receiving and transmitting information. It is also responsible for the building and systematic maintenance of routing tables to be used within the process. 

The master routing engine is also responsible for conducting communication patterns with interfaces as well as the direct control of the system chassis.

The above stated roles remain the sole responsibility of the master routing engine.

The backup routing engine

This engine mostly focuses on providing complimentary services to the master system hence it is always on hold and ready to step up in the event of a system failure on the maser engine. If the backup system fails to carry out its duties fully it leads to malfunctions and system delays on the master routing engine causing what is referred to as Routing Engine Redundancy.

Routing Engine redundancy is usually caused by a number of underlying factors as to be outlined below.

Double configuration

This is when both engines in the routing system are mistakenly configured to play the same role and this automatically causes redundancy within the system leading to subsequent failure of the whole system

Hardware failure

System redundancy in route engine operation is sometimes also caused by technical failures within the hardware in use hence there would be need to periodical system check-ups to attend to any issues that may lead in failure by the system’s hardware to breakdown

Non Configuration of the engine switch over

If both the routing engines are not configured or set up to allow for a switch over of roles at a given time the system risks subsequent failure and complete background. In this case, the systems analyst or anyone responsible for the general maintenance of the system has to put particular focus on fully configuring the system well enough to avoid breakdowns and delays in processing.