North American Network Operators Group

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Controlling the impact of BGP policy changes on IP traffic

  • From: Nick Feamster
  • Date: Tue Feb 19 15:20:45 2002

Hello NANOG,

Jennifer Rexford, Jay Borkenhagen and I have been working on developing
useful traffic engineering techniques for network operators (like
yourselves).  Specifically, we've been trying to show how network
operators can tune traffic on outbound links using BGP import policies
while minimizing network instability.

Since the paper we've been working on really is about how to
make your lives easier, we would very much appreciate your comments on the
work.  We'd also enjoy learning about other types of tricks that network
operators play to tune traffic flows.{ps,pdf}


Nick Feamster, Jay Borkenhagen, and Jennifer Rexford, "Controlling the
impact of BGP policy changes on IP traffic," AT&T Research Technical
Report 011106-02, November 2001.

The Internet consists of nearly 12,000 autonomous systems (AS's) that
exchange routing information using the Border Gateway Protocol (BGP).
The operators of each network need to have control over the flow of
traffic through the AS.  However, BGP does not facilitate common
traffic engineering tasks, such as balancing load across multiple
links to a neighboring AS or directing traffic to a different
neighbor.  Solving these problems is difficult because the number of
possible changes to routing policies is too large to exhaustively test
all possibilities, some changes in routing policy can have an
unpredictable effect on the flow of traffic, and the BGP decision
process implemented by router vendors limits an operator's control
over path selection.