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NSDI '05 — Abstract

Design and Implementation of a Routing Control Platform

Matthew Caesar, University of California, Berkeley; Donald Caldwell, AT&T Labs—Research; Nick Feamster, Massachusetts Institute of Technology; Jennifer Rexford, Princeton University; Aman Shaikh and Jacobus van der Merwe, AT&T Labs—Research


The routers in an Autonomous System (AS) must distribute the information they learn about how to reach external destinations. Unfortunately, today's internal Border Gateway Protocol (iBGP) architectures have serious problems: a "full mesh" iBGP configuration does not scale to large networks and "route reflection" can introduce problems such as protocol oscillations and persistent loops. Instead, we argue that a Routing Control Platform (RCP) should collect information about external destinations and internal topology and select the BGP routes for each router in an AS. RCP is a logically-centralized platform, separate from the IP forwarding plane, that performs route selection on behalf of routers and communicates selected routes to the routers using the unmodified iBGP protocol. RCP provides scalability without sacrificing correctness. In this paper, we present the design and implementation of an RCP prototype on commodity hardware. Using traces of BGP and internal routing data from a Tier-1 backbone, we demonstrate that RCP is fast and reliable enough to drive the BGP routing decisions for a large network. We show that RCP assigns routes correctly, even when the functionality is replicated and distributed, and that networks using RCP can expect comparable convergence delays to those using today's iBGP architectures.
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Last changed: 9 June 2005 rc
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