On iBGP Routing Policies

Fri, 12/20/2013 - 14:25 by Stefano Vissicchio


Internet Service Providers (ISPs) run the internal Border Gateway Protocol (iBGP) to distribute inter-domain routing information among their BGP routers. Previous research consistently assumed that iBGP is always configured as a mere dispatcher of inter-domain routes. However, router configuration languages offer operators the flexibility of fine-tuning iBGP.
In this paper, we study the impact of deploying routing policies in iBGP. First, we devise a provably correct inference technique to pinpoint iBGP policies from public BGP data. We show that the majority of large transit providers and many small transit providers do apply policies in iBGP. Then, we discuss how iBGP policies can help achieve traffic engineering and routing objectives. We prove that, unfortunately, the presence of iBGP policies exacerbates the iBGP convergence problem and invalidates fundamental assumptions for previous results, affecting their applicability. Hence, we propose provably correct configuration guidelines to achieve traffic engineering goals with iBGP policies, without sacrificing BGP convergence guarantees. Finally, for the cases in which our guidelines are not applicable, we propose a novel technique to verify the correctness of an iBGP configuration with iBGP policies. We implement a prototype tool and show the feasibility of off-line analyses of arbitrary policies on both real-world and in-vitro configurations.

Stefano Vissicchio, Luca Cittadini and Giuseppe Di Battista
IEEE/ACM Transactions on Networking, 23(1):227-240, Feb 2015.
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