Tag: BGP path selection

BGP Route Reflectors (RR) – The iBGP Reflection Mechanism

Light when bounces off an object is called “reflection.” Remember the “Law of Reflection” during High School days? The angle of incidence equals to the angle of reflection. Thinking about this might somehow give you a better grasp on the BGP Route Reflectors. As we progress this topic, you will see how routes are reflected.

Remember the split horizon rule in iBGP? Route Reflector (RFC 4456) is one of the three solutions and often use as an alternative to Full Mesh topology. Route Reflectors allows iBGP speaker to have partial mesh topology while still propagating iBGP routes to another iBGP speaker. It modifies the iBGP split horizon rule by allowing the router to forward incoming iBGP updates to an outgoing iBGP session under. With Route Reflector, it lowers CPU and memory requirements by reducing the number of TCP sessions to be maintained.

Route Reflector has two iBGP peers: Client peers and Non-Client peers. Route-Reflector clients behave like normal iBGP routers. They are not required to form full mesh, can have any number of eBGP sessions and they can have only one iBGP session and that is the connection to Route-Reflector. When Route Reflector fails, they can no longer receive or send updates to the rest of the AS. In this kind of design, Route Reflector represents a single point of failure. In order to solve this, we need redundant Route Reflectors. Each Clients needs to connect to redundant Route Reflectors. Route Reflectors receive the same iBGP update from its Clients and reflect it all other Clients and Route Reflectors send same routes to each Clients.

Route Reflector


BGP Path Attributes: The BGP Path Selection Process

BGP Path Attributes

BGP has many attributes in choosing the best path. It is like an ice cream. It has many flavors. I bought Gianduia flavor from Gelato Messina while I was preparing this topic. I think I need loads of sugar to feed my brain as this BGP topic is robust and every attribute can be well-explained if we are going to lab it.

BGP’s attributes are mainly for path manipulation and these can influence either outbound or inbound traffic. It has a systematic process that it uses to choose the best path in the network.

BGP Path Selection Algorithm

The first thing that BGP checks is whether the WEIGHT is configured or not. WEIGHT is Cisco Proprietary so it is obvious that it prioritizes Cisco devices which has BGP WEIGHT configured. In short, if you are using Cisco devices, WEIGHT is the first thing it checks before it goes on with the series of standard BGP attributes. Keep in mind that WEIGHT is local to the router and doesn’t pass to other routers. The higher the value is more preferred. (more…)