On the correctness of IBGP configuration

  • Griffin T
  • Wilfong G
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The Border Gateway Protocol (BGP) has two distinct modes of operation. External BGP (EBGP) exchanges reachability information between autonomous systems, while Internal BGP (IBGP) exchanges external reachability information within an autonomous system. We study several routing anomalies that are unique to IBGP because, unlike EBGP, forwarding paths and signaling paths are not always symmetric. In particular, we focus on anomalies that can cause the protocol to diverge, and those that can cause a router's chosen forwarding path to an egress point to be deflected by another router on that path. Deflections can greatly complicate the debugging of routing problems, and in the worst case multiple deflections can combine to form persistent forwarding loops. We define a correct IBGP configuration to be one that is anomaly free for every possible set of routes sent by neighboring autonomous systems. We show that determination of IBGP configuration correctness is NP-hard. However, we give simple sufficient conditions on network configurations that guarantee correctness.

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  • Timothy G. Griffin

  • Gordon Wilfong

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