Bidirectional Forwarding Detection (BFD) provides a low-overhead, short-duration method of detecting failures in the forwarding path between two adjacent routers, including the interfaces, data links, and forwarding planes. BFD is a detection protocol that you enable at the interface and routing protocol levels. Cisco supports the BFD asynchronous mode, which depends on the sending of BFD control packets between two systems to activate and maintain BFD neighbor sessions between routers. Therefore, in order for a BFD session to be created, you must configure BFD on both systems (or BFD peers). Once BFD has been enabled on the interfaces and at the router level for the appropriate routing protocols, a BFD session is created, BFD timers are negotiated, and the BFD peers will begin to send BFD control packets to each other at the negotiated interval.
BFD provides fast BFD peer failure detection times independently of all media types, encapsulations, topologies, and routing protocols BGP, EIGRP, IS-IS, and OSPF. By sending rapid failure detection notices to the routing protocols in the local router to initiate the routing table recalculation process, BFD contributes to greatly reduced overall network convergence time.