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Border Gateway Protocol 3 (BGP-3)
RFC 1267

Document type: RFC - Historic (October 1991; No errata)
Obsoletes RFC 1163
Document stream: IETF
Last updated: 2013-03-02
Other versions: plain text, pdf, html

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IESG State: RFC 1267 (Historic)
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Network Working Group                                        K. Lougheed
Request for Comments: 1267                                 cisco Systems
Obsoletes RFCs: 1105, 1163                                    Y. Rekhter
                                  T.J. Watson Research Center, IBM Corp.
                                                            October 1991

                  A Border Gateway Protocol 3 (BGP-3)

Status of this Memo

   This memo, together with its companion document, "Application of the
   Border Gateway Protocol in the Internet", define an inter-autonomous
   system routing protocol for the Internet.  This RFC specifies an IAB
   standards track protocol for the Internet community, and requests
   discussion and suggestions for improvements.  Please refer to the
   current edition of the "IAB Official Protocol Standards" for the
   standardization state and status of this protocol.  Distribution of
   this memo is unlimited.

1.  Acknowledgements

   We would like to express our thanks to Guy Almes (Rice University),
   Len Bosack (cisco Systems), Jeffrey C. Honig (Cornell Theory Center)
   and all members of the Interconnectivity Working Group of the
   Internet Engineering Task Force, chaired by Guy Almes, for their
   contributions to this document.

   We like to explicitly thank Bob Braden (ISI) for the review of this
   document as well as his constructive and valuable comments.

   We would also like to thank Bob Hinden, Director for Routing of the
   Internet Engineering Steering Group, and the team of reviewers he
   assembled to review earlier versions of this document.  This team,
   consisting of Deborah Estrin, Milo Medin, John Moy, Radia Perlman,
   Martha Steenstrup, Mike St. Johns, and Paul Tsuchiya, acted with a
   strong combination of toughness, professionalism, and courtesy.

2.  Introduction

   The Border Gateway Protocol (BGP) is an inter-Autonomous System
   routing protocol.  It is built on experience gained with EGP as
   defined in RFC 904 [1] and EGP usage in the NSFNET Backbone as
   described in RFC 1092 [2] and RFC 1093 [3].

   The primary function of a BGP speaking system is to exchange network
   reachability information with other BGP systems.  This network
   reachability information includes information on the full path of

Lougheed & Rekhter                                              [Page 1]
RFC 1267                         BGP-3                      October 1991

   Autonomous Systems (ASs) that traffic must transit to reach these
   networks.  This information is sufficient to construct a graph of AS
   connectivity from which routing loops may be pruned and some policy
   decisions at the AS level may be enforced.

   To characterize the set of policy decisions that can be enforced
   using BGP, one must focus on the rule that an AS advertize to its
   neighbor ASs only those routes that it itself uses.  This rule
   reflects the "hop-by-hop" routing paradigm generally used throughout
   the current Internet.  Note that some policies cannot be supported by
   the "hop-by-hop" routing paradigm and thus require techniques such as
   source routing to enforce.  For example, BGP does not enable one AS
   to send traffic to a neighbor AS intending that that traffic take a
   different route from that taken by traffic originating in the
   neighbor AS.  On the other hand, BGP can support any policy
   conforming to the "hop-by-hop" routing paradigm.  Since the current
   Internet uses only the "hop-by-hop" routing paradigm and since BGP
   can support any policy that conforms to that paradigm, BGP is highly
   applicable as an inter-AS routing protocol for the current Internet.

   A more complete discussion of what policies can and cannot be
   enforced with BGP is outside the scope of this document (but refer to
   the companion document discussing BGP usage [5]).

   BGP runs over a reliable transport protocol.  This eliminates the
   need to implement explicit update fragmentation, retransmission,
   acknowledgement, and sequencing.  Any authentication scheme used by
   the transport protocol may be used in addition to BGP's own
   authentication mechanisms.  The error notification mechanism used in
   BGP assumes that the transport protocol supports a "graceful" close,
   i.e., that all outstanding data will be delivered before the
   connection is closed.

   BGP uses TCP [4] as its transport protocol.  TCP meets BGP's
   transport requirements and is present in virtually all commercial
   routers and hosts.  In the following descriptions the phrase
   "transport protocol connection" can be understood to refer to a TCP
   connection.  BGP uses TCP port 179 for establishing its connections.

   This memo uses the term `Autonomous System' (AS) throughout.  The

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