Designing BGP-based outbound traffic engineering techniques for stub ASes

Steve Uhlig and Olivier Bonaventure

Today, most multi-connected autonomous systems (AS) need to control the flow of their interdomain traffic for both performance and economical reasons. This is usually done by manually tweaking the BGP configurations of the routers on an error-prone trial-and-error basis. In this paper, we demonstrate that designing systematic BGP-based traffic engineering techniques for stub ASes are possible. Our approach to solve this traffic engineering problem is to allow the network operator to define objective functions on the interdomain traffic. Those objective functions are used by an optimization box placed inside the AS that controls the interdomain traffic by tuning the iBGP messages distributed inside the AS. We show that the utilization of an efficient evolutionary algorithm allows to both optimize the objective function and limit the number of iBGP messages. By keeping a lifetime on the tweaked routes, we also show that providing stability to the interdomain path followed by the traffic is possible. We evaluate the performance of solution based on traffic traces from two stub ASes of different sizes. Our simulations show that the interdomain traffic can be efficiently engineered by using not more than a few iBGP advertisements per minute.

Our contribution in this paper is to demonstrate that by carefully thinking the design of the interdomain traffic engineering technique, stub ASes can engineer their outbound traffic over relatively short timescales, by exclusively tweaking their BGP routes, and with a minimal burden on BGP. Systematic BGP-based traffic engineering for stub ASes is thus possible at a very limited cost in terms of iBGP messages.
ACM SIGCOMM Computer Communication Review, October 2004.

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