why would each ping be classified as a different flow when the source and destination IP address is still the same?
(I might have forgotten to say this clearly in my original question.)
I just found in the Ciscopress CEF book:
"...sending an ICMP echo with the record option forces all routers along the path to use the process-switching method of forwarding a frame. If an ICMP echo with the record option is successful and a standard ICMP echo is not, you can assume with some certainity that CEF is indeed a cause of your IP connectivity issue somewhere along the path."
And process-switching is using per-packet load balancing, isn't it?
I do agree that CEF,is not used, because the packet needs deep inspection in order to add local node next-hop IP address as requested by the ping record option.
So the packet is punted to main CPU to use CEF terminology.
The fact that it is process switched, also on devices on the path, ìis really interesting, and you see the effects of per packet load balancing that is the load balancing method used by process switching.
The note that using ICMP with record route option allows to find out a CEF "black hole" is useful: I usually use an ACL with an entry with log option to get the same result (to bypass a CEF entry that might be corrupted).
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