BGP beacons

  • Authors:
  • Z. Morley Mao;Randy Bush;Timothy G. Griffin;Matthew Roughan

  • Affiliations:
  • University of California at Berkeley;Internet Initiative Japan;Intel Research;AT&T Labs--Research

  • Venue:
  • Proceedings of the 3rd ACM SIGCOMM conference on Internet measurement
  • Year:
  • 2003

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The desire to better understand global BGP dynamics has motivated several studies using active measurement techniques, which inject announcements and withdrawals of prefixes from the global routing domain. From these one can measure quantities such as the BGP convergence time. Previously, the route injection infrastructure of such experiments has either been temporary in nature, or its use has been restricted to the experimenters. The routing research community would benefit from a permanent and public infrastructure for such active probes. We use the term BGP Beacon to refer to a publicly documented prefix having global visibility and a published schedule for announcements and withdrawals. A BGP Beacon is to be used for the ongoing study of BGP dynamics, and so should be supportedwith a long-term commitment. We describe several BGP Beacons thathave been set up at various points in the Internet. We then describe techniques for processing BGP updates when a BGP Beacon is observed from a BGP monitoring point such as Oregon's Route Views. Finally, we illustrate the use of BGP Beacons in the analysis of convergence delays, route flap damping, and update inter-arrival times.