The Case for Pluginized Routing Protocols

Mon, 05/25/2020 - 11:34 by Thomas Wirtgen


Routing protocols such as BGP and OSPF are key components of Internet Service Provider (ISP) networks. These protocols and the operator's requirements evolve over time, but it often takes many years for network operators to convince their different router vendors and the IETF to extend routing protocols. Some network operators, notably in enterprise and datacenters have adopted Software Defined Networking (SDN) with its centralised control to be more agile. We propose a new approach to implement routing protocols that enables network operators to innovate while still using distributed routing protocols and thus keeping all their benefits compared to centralised routing approaches. We extend a routing protocol with a virtual machine that is capable of executing plugins. These plugins extend the protocol or modify its underlying algorithms through a simple API to meet the specific requirements of operators. We modify the OSPF and BGP implementations provided by FRRouting and demonstrate the applicability of our approach with several use cases.

Thomas Wirtgen, Cyril Dénos, Quentin De Coninck, Mathieu Jadin and Olivier Bonaventure
2019 IEEE 27th International Conference on Network Protocols (ICNP), pages 1-12, October 2019. IEEE.
Full text
pdf   (1.08 MB)
pdf   (573.55 KB)
Cite it
See here

IEEE Copyright Notice: This material is presented to ensure timely dissemination of scholarly and technical work. Copyright and all rights therein are retained by authors or by other copyright holders. All persons copying this information are expected to adhere to the terms and constraints invoked by each author's copyright. In most cases, these works may not be reposted without the explicit permission of the copyright holder.

ACM Copyright Notice: Copyright 1999 by the Association for Computing Machinery, Inc. Permission to make digital or hard copies of part of this work for personal or classroom use is granted without fee provided that copies are not made or distributed for profit or commercial advantage and that copies bear this notice and the full citation on the first page or intial screen of the document. Copyrights for components of this work owned by others than ACM must be honored. Abstracting with credit is permitted. To copy otherwise, to republish, to post on servers, or to redistribute to lists, requires prior specific permission and/or a fee. Request permissions from Publications Dept., ACM Inc., fax +1 (212) 869-0481, or

Springer-Verlag LNCS Copyright Notice: The copyright of these contributions has been transferred to Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg New York. The copyright transfer covers the exclusive right to reproduce and distribute the contribution, including reprints, translations, photographic reproductions, microform, electronic form (offline, online), or any other reproductions of similar nature. Online available from Springer-Verlag LNCS series.