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Border Gateway Protocol
Exodus Communications should implement Border Gateway Protocol (BGP) into its new network architecture at the Westmoor Building in Westminster, Colorado. BGP is a well-known exterior routing protocol in the computing industry, highly reliable in routing data, and provides circuit load balancing with redundancy. This exterior gateway protocol is highly recommended by networking professionals, and it is commonly utilized within the Internet today. Originally defined in RFC 1625, BGP provides reliable loop-free inter-domain routing between autonomous systems (AS). The protocol also provides circuit load balancing in multi-vendor and multi-homed environments with automatic fail-over in case one circuit should become inoperable. If BGP is incorporated into the networking scheme, Exodus will be pleased with its network?s overall performance.
BGP is the exterior gateway protocol that is swarming the Internet today. Currently in its fourth revision, as specified in RFC 1771, BGP has evolved along with the Internet to provide the global scalabity necessary for efficient routing, and route management between large networking environments. Added functions enable BGP-4 to better deal with the tremendous growth of the Internet by more effectively managing the size of the routing table. The latest BGP enhancements include support for Classless Interdomain Routing (CIDR), as well as route and path aggregation. What really makes BGP stand apart from other routing protocols is its ability to provide robust policy-routing capabilities. As BGP enhancements continue to grow with the complex demands of large networks, it is becoming the exterior gateway protocol that is driving the Internet today.
Equally important, reliability in data transmission is the most demanded attribute of any high-scale network. Mission critical data must get from the source to the intended destination without interruptions. BGP offers reliability in several aspects. The protocol works with transmission control protocol (TCP), a highly utilized connection-oriented protocol, on port 179 to provide reliable transportation for update traffic. Once the BGP session is established, routing updates are incremental; only information regarding differences or errors in routes are propagated throughout the BGP Domain, which is in contrast to other Distance Vector protocols that propagate their entire routing table every 30 to 90 seconds. The incremental updating minimizes the router?s processing power, and reduces the bandwidth usage on the circuit. BGP also keeps a full consistent view of the entire network, which ensures network reachability with other BGP speakers in remote autonomous systems, and prevents routing loops between them. With a trustworthy network being a primary concern, BGP is an optimal choice.
Finally, because Exodus? new network will consist of two 6M DS3 circuits by two different providers, otherwise known as multihomed, incorporating load balancing and redundancy into the networking scheme is imperative. The inbound and outbound traffic should be effectively balanced between the two circuits of equal bandwidth to ensure that one circuit does not get saturated at any one time. A BGP speaker learns two Exterior BGP paths for an Internet Protocol (IP) prefix from a neighboring AS to ensure that one circuit is not getting saturated. When one of the physical links between external BGP neighbors goes down, the BGP session is not affected. BGP-4 will quickly discover any unavailable routes, and immediately notify all BGP peers. The bad circuit will be discarded from the routing tables until it is stable again. BGP?s ability to add redundancy to critical network connections and load balance traffic is yet another reason for Exodus to seriously consider implementing the protocol.
With the Internet growing in importance daily, from both and individual and business perspective, proper operation of networks and network services is becoming very critical. BGP-4 is so common and it makes it possible to ensure reliable routing with its support for route aggregation, mulithoming, and policy routing. The exterior protocol also offers means to cost-effectively increase the bandwidth available to an organization. BGP has the flexibility and power to provide the necessary solutions to increase the reliability of the companies network services, so they are always available to their customers. With all the attributes BGP has to offer, it should, without a doubt, be the only exterior routing protocol that Exodus should consider.