Unnecessary Updates in BGP
It is well known that BGP, as a distance-vector protocol, suffers from path exploration: For every withdrawn route (AS path or any other mandatory attribute change), the next best, supposedly valid route is selected and announced, until there are no more candidates left in the router’s RIB.
BGP routers can generate multiple identical announcements with empty community attributes if stripped at egress. This is an undesired behavior. Why do we need to send an UPDATE if this is not an actual change?
Imagine a topology below:
Assume a converged network. In order to induce updates for prefix p, we disable the link between Y1 and Y2 and wait for arriving updates at collector C1.
I have FRRouting configuration at X1:
router bgp 65002 no bgp ebgp-requires-policy neighbor 10.0.1.1 remote-as external neighbor 10.0.1.1 timers 3 10 neighbor 10.0.2.2 remote-as external neighbor 10.0.2.2 timers 3 10 address-family ipv4 unicast redistribute connected neighbor 10.0.1.1 route-map c1 out exit-address-family ! bgp community-list standard c1 seq 1 permit 65004:2 bgp community-list standard c1 seq 2 permit 65004:3 ! route-map c1 permit 10 set comm-list c1 delete !
X1 receives paths with communities 65004:2 and 65004:3 from Y1 because those paths are tagged at Y2 and Y3 appropriately.
When X1 sends the best path to C1 it generates duplicate updates because of attribute change (community, 65004:2 -> 65004:3). But since we strip all communities at egress, it’s absolutely not necessary sending duplicates towards C1 because the Adj-Rib-Out wasn’t changed.
I developed a patch for FRRouting, which prevents sending duplicate updates if the path actually not changed. This is valid for all attributes.
For more detailed information and experiments, please read at https://www.cmand.org/communityexploration/. You will find more configuration examples for other routers (Cisco, Juniper, Nokia) and other software routing daemons (Bird, OpenBGPD, Quagga).