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Border Gateway Protocol (BGP)

Border Gateway Protocol is an exterior gateway protocol, which is different from the interior gateway protocols discussed so far. The distinction is important since the term autonomous system is used somewhat differently with protocols such as EIGRP than it is with BGP. Exterior gateway protocols such as BGP route between autonomous systems, which are assigned a particular AS number. AS numbers can be assigned to an office with one or several BGP routers. The BGP routing table is comprised of destination IP addresses, an associated AS-Path to reach that destination and a next hop router address. The AS-Path is a collection of AS numbers that represent each office involved with routing packets. Contrast that with EIGRP, which uses autonomous systems as well. The difference is their autonomous systems refer to a logical grouping of routers within the same administrative system. An EIGRP network can configure many autonomous systems. They are all managed by the company for defining route summarization, redistribution and filtering. BGP is utilized a lot by Internet Service Providers (ISP) and large enterprise companies that have dual homed internet connections with single or dual routers homed to the same or different Internet Service Providers. BGP will route packets across an ISP network, which is a separate routing domain that is managed by them. The ISP has its own assigned AS number, which is assigned by InterNIC. New customers can either request an AS assignment for their office from the ISP or InterNIC. A unique AS number assignment is required for customers when they connect using BGP. There are 10 defined attributes that have a particular order or sequence, which BGP utilizes as metrics to determine the best path to a destination. Companies with only one circuit connection to an ISP will implement a default route at their router, which forwards any packets that are destined for an external network. BGP routers will redistribute routing information (peering) with all IGP routers on the network (EIGRP, RIP, OSPF etc) which involve exchange of full routing tables. Once that is finished, incremental updates are sent with topology changes. The BGP default keepalive timer is 60 seconds while the holddown timer is 180 seconds. Each BGP router can be configured to filter routing broadcasts with route maps instead of sending/receiving the entire internet routing table. 


Path Vector
Routes IP
Routing Advertisements: Partial When Route Changes Occur
Metrics: Weight, Local Preference, Local Originated, As Path, Origin Type, MED
Hop Count: 255
Variable Length Subnet Masks
Summarization on Network Class Address or Subnet Boundary
Load Balancing Across 6 Equal Cost Paths
Keepalive Timer: 60 seconds
Holddown Timer: 180 seconds
Bidirectional Forwarding Detection (BFD) Support
Designated Router: Route Reflector
BGP Routing Table Components

Destination IP Address / Subnet Mask
Next Hop IP Address 
Copyright © 2013 Shaun L. Hummel All Rights Reserved