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12.1 Description of the Route Server model

First we are going to describe the normal processing that BGP announcements suffer inside a standard BGP speaker, as shown in Figure 12.1, it consists of three steps:

Normal announcement processing

Figure 12.1: Announcement processing inside a “normal” BGP speaker

Of course we want that the routing tables obtained in each of the routers are the same when using the route server than when not. But as a consequence of having a single BGP peering (against the route server), the BGP speakers can no longer distinguish from/to which peer each announce comes/goes. This means that the routers connected to the route server are not able to apply by themselves the same input/output filters as in the full mesh scenario, so they have to delegate those functions to the route server.

Even more, the “best path” selection must be also performed inside the route server on behalf of its clients. The reason is that if, after applying the filters of the announcer and the (potential) receiver, the route server decides to send to some client two or more different announcements referred to the same destination, the client will only retain the last one, considering it as an implicit withdrawal of the previous announcements for the same destination. This is the expected behavior of a BGP speaker as defined in RFC1771, and even though there are some proposals of mechanisms that permit multiple paths for the same destination to be sent through a single BGP peering, none are currently supported by most existing BGP implementations.

As a consequence a route server must maintain additional information and perform additional tasks for a RS-client that those necessary for common BGP peerings. Essentially a route server must:

When we talk about the “appropriate” filter, both the announcer and the receiver of the route must be taken into account. Suppose that the route server receives an announcement from client A, and the route server is considering it for the Loc-RIB of client B. The filters that should be applied are the same that would be used in the full mesh scenario, i.e., first the ‘Out’ filter of router A for announcements going to router B, and then the ‘In’ filter of router B for announcements coming from router A.

We call “Export Policy” of a RS-client to the set of ‘Out’ filters that the client would use if there was no route server. The same applies for the “Import Policy” of a RS-client and the set of ‘In’ filters of the client if there was no route server.

It is also common to demand from a route server that it does not modify some BGP attributes (next-hop, as-path and MED) that are usually modified by standard BGP speakers before announcing a route.

The announcement processing model implemented by Quagga is shown in Figure 12.2. The figure shows a mixture of RS-clients (B, C and D) with normal BGP peers (A). There are some details that worth additional comments:

Route Server Processing Model

Figure 12.2: Announcement processing model implemented by the Route Server

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