IDR Working Group                                         R. Raszuk, Ed.
Internet-Draft                                              Bloomberg LP
Intended status: Standards Track                               C. Cassar
Expires: July 11, 2020                                             Tesla
                                                                 E. Aman
                                                           Telia Company
                                                             B. Decraene
                                                                 K. Wang
                                                        Juniper Networks
                                                         January 8, 2020

                 BGP Optimal Route Reflection (BGP-ORR)


   This document proposes a solution for BGP route reflectors to allow
   them to choose the best path for their clients that the clients
   themselves would have chosen under the same conditions, without
   requiring further state or any new features to be placed on the
   clients.  This facilitates, for example, best exit point policy (hot
   potato routing).  This solution is primarily applicable in
   deployments using centralized route reflectors.

   The solution relies upon all route reflectors learning all paths
   which are eligible for consideration.  Best path selection is
   performed in each route reflector based on a configured virtual
   location in the IGP.  The location can be the same for all clients or
   different per peer/update group or per peer.  Best path selection can
   also be performed based on user configured policies in each route

Status of This Memo

   This Internet-Draft is submitted in full conformance with the
   provisions of BCP 78 and BCP 79.

   Internet-Drafts are working documents of the Internet Engineering
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   material or to cite them other than as "work in progress."

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   This Internet-Draft will expire on July 11, 2020.

Copyright Notice

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   document authors.  All rights reserved.

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   ( in effect on the date of
   publication of this document.  Please review these documents
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   described in the Simplified BSD License.

Table of Contents

   1.  Definitions of Terms Used in This Memo  . . . . . . . . . . .   2
   2.  Authors . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   3
   3.  Introduction  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   4
     3.1.  Problem Statement . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   4
     3.2.  Existing/Alternative Solutions  . . . . . . . . . . . . .   5
   4.  Two Proposed Solutions  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   6
     4.1.  Client's Perspective IGP Based Best Path Selection  . . .   7
       4.1.1.  Restriction when BGP next hop is BGP prefix . . . . .   8
     4.2.  Client's Perspective Policy Based Best Path Selection . .   8
     4.3.  Solution Interactions . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   9
       4.3.1.  IGP and policy based optimal route refresh  . . . . .   9
       4.3.2.  Add-paths plus IGP and policy optimal route refresh .   9
       4.3.3.  Likely Deployments and need for backup  . . . . . . .   9
   5.  CPU and Memory Scalability  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  10
   6.  Advantages and Deployment Considerations  . . . . . . . . . .  10
   7.  Security Considerations . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  11
   8.  IANA Considerations . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  12
   9.  Acknowledgments . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  12
   10. References  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  12
     10.1.  Normative References . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  12
     10.2.  Informative References . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  13
   Authors' Addresses  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  14

1.  Definitions of Terms Used in This Memo

   NLRI -   Network Layer Reachability Information.

   RIB -   Routing Information Base.

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   AS -   Autonomous System number.

   VRF -   Virtual Routing and Forwarding instance.

   PE -   Provider Edge router

   RR -   Route Reflector

   POP -   Point Of Presence

   L3VPN -   Layer 3 Virtual Private Networks [RFC4364]

   6PE -   IPv6 Provider Edge Router

   IGP -   Interior Gateway Protocol

   SPT -   Shortest Path Tree

   best path -   the route chosen by the decision process detailed in
      [RFC 4271] section 9.1.2 and its subsections

   best path computation -   the decision process detailed in [RFC 4271]
      section 9.1.2 and its subsections

   best path algorithm -   the decision process detailed in [RFC 4271]
      section 9.1.2 and its subsections

   best path selection -   the decision process detailed in [RFC 4271]
      section 9.1.2 and its subsections

   The key words "MUST", "MUST NOT", "REQUIRED", "SHALL", "SHALL NOT",
   "OPTIONAL" in this document are to be interpreted as described in BCP
   14 [RFC2119] [RFC8174] when, and only when, they appear in all
   capitals, as shown here.

2.  Authors

   Following authors substantially contributed to the current format of
   the document:

   Stephane Litkowski
   9 rue du chene germain
   Cesson Sevigne, 35512

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   Adam Chappell
   Interoute Communications
   31st Floor
   25 Canada Square
   London, E14 5LQ
   United Kingdom

3.  Introduction

   There are three types of BGP deployments within Autonomous Systems
   today: full mesh, confederations and route reflection.  BGP route
   reflection [RFC4456] is the most popular way to distribute BGP routes
   between BGP speakers belonging to the same Autonomous System.
   However, in some situations, this method suffers from non-optimal
   path selection.

3.1.  Problem Statement

   [RFC4456] asserts that, because the Interior Gateway Protocol (IGP)
   cost to a given point in the network will vary across routers, "the
   route reflection approach may not yield the same route selection
   result as that of the full IBGP mesh approach."  One practical
   implication of this assertion is that the deployment of route
   reflection may thwart the ability to achieve hot potato routing.  Hot
   potato routing attempts to direct traffic to the best AS exit point
   in cases where no higher priority policy dictates otherwise.  As a
   consequence of the route reflection method, the choice of exit point
   for a route reflector and its clients will be the exit point best for
   the route reflector - not necessarily the one best for the route
   reflector clients.

   Section 11 of [RFC4456] describes a deployment approach and a set of
   constraints which, if satisfied, would result in the deployment of
   route reflection yielding the same results as the iBGP full mesh
   approach.  This deployment approach makes route reflection compatible
   with the application of hot potato routing policy.  In accordance
   with these design rules, route reflectors have traditionally often
   been deployed in the forwarding path and carefully placed on the POP
   to core boundaries.

   The evolving model of intra-domain network design has enabled
   deployments of route reflectors outside of the forwarding path.
   Initially this model was only employed for new address families, e.g.
   L3VPNs and L2VPNs, however it has been gradually extended to other
   BGP address families including IPv4 and IPv6 Internet using either

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   native routing or 6PE.  In such environments, hot potato routing
   policy remains desirable.

   Route reflectors outside of the forwarding path can be placed on the
   POP to core boundaries, but they are often placed in arbitrary
   locations in the core of large networks.

   Such deployments suffer from a critical drawback in the context of
   best path selection: A route reflector with knowledge of multiple
   paths for a given prefix will typically pick its best path and only
   advertise that best path to its clients.  If the best path for a
   prefix is selected on the basis of an IGP tie break, the path
   advertised will be the exit point closest to the route reflector.
   However, the clients are in a different place in the network topology
   than the route reflector.  In networks where the route reflectors are
   not in the forwarding path, this difference will be even more acute.

   In addition, there are deployment scenarios where service providers
   want to have more control in choosing the exit points for clients
   based on other factors, such as traffic type, traffic load, etc.
   This further complicates the issue and makes it less likely for the
   route reflector to select the best path from the client's
   perspective.  It follows that the best path chosen by the route
   reflector is not necessarily the same as the path which would have
   been chosen by the client if the client had considered the same set
   of candidate paths as the route reflector.

3.2.  Existing/Alternative Solutions

   One possible valid solution or workaround to the best path selection
   problem requires sending all domain external paths from the route
   reflector to all its clients.  This approach suffers the significant
   drawback of pushing a large amount of BGP state to all edge routers.
   Many networks receive full Internet routing information in a large
   number of locations.  This could easily result in tens of paths for
   each prefix that would need to be distributed to clients.

   Notwithstanding this drawback, there are a number of reasons for
   sending more than just the single best path to the clients.  Improved
   path diversity at the edge is a requirement for fast connectivity
   restoration, and a requirement for effective BGP level load

   In practical terms, add/diverse path deployments [RFC7911] [RFC6774]
   are expected to result in the distribution of 2, 3, or n (where n is
   a small number) good paths rather than all domain external paths.
   When the route reflector chooses one set of n paths and distributes
   them to all its route reflector clients, those n paths may not be the

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   right n paths for all clients.  In the context of the problem
   described above, those n paths will not necessarily include the
   closest exit point out of the network for each route reflector
   client.  The mechanisms proposed in this document are likely to be
   complementary to mechanisms aimed at improving path diversity.

   Another possibility to optimize exit point selection is the
   implementation of distributed route reflector functionality at key
   IGP locations in order to ensure that these locations see their
   viewpoints respected in exit selection.  Typically, however, this
   requires the installation of physical nodes to implement the
   reflection, and if exit policy subsequently changes, the reflector
   placement and position can become inappropriate.

   To counter the burden of physical installation, it is possible to
   build a logical overlay of tunnels with appropriate IGP metrics in
   order to simulate closeness to key locations required to implement
   exit policy.  There is significant complexity overhead in this
   approach, however, enough so to typically make it undesirable.

   Trends in control plane decoupling are causing a shift from
   traditional routers to compute virtualization platforms, or even
   third-party cloud platforms.  As a result, without this proposal,
   operators are left with a difficult choice for the distribution and
   reflection of address families with significant exit diversity:

   o  centralized path selection, and tolerate the associated suboptimal
      paths, or

   o  defer selection to end clients, but lose potential route scale

   The latter can be a viable option, but it is clearly a decision that
   needs to be made on an application and address family basis, with
   strong consideration for the number of available paths per prefix
   (which may even vary per prefix range, depending on peering policy,
   e.g. consider bilateral peerings versus onward transit arrangements)

4.  Two Proposed Solutions

   This document is describes two solution to allow a route reflector to
   choose the best path for its clients that the clients themselves
   would have chosen had they considered the same set of candidate

   For purposes of route selection, the perspective of a client can
   differ from that of a route reflector or another client in two
   distinct ways:

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      it can, and usually will, have a different position in the IGP
      topology, and

      it can have a different routing policy.

   These factors correspond to the issues described earlier.
   Accordingly, this document specifies two distinct modifications to
   the best path algorithm, to address these two distinct factors.  A
   route reflector can implement either or both of the modifications in
   order to allow it to choose the best path for its clients that the
   clients themselves would have chosen given the same set of candidate

   Both modifications rely upon all route reflectors learning all paths
   that are eligible for consideration.  In order to satisfy this
   requirement, path diversity enhancing mechanisms such as add-path/
   diverse paths may need to be deployed between route reflectors.

   A significant advantage of these approaches is that the route
   reflector clients do not need to run new software or hardware.

4.1.  Client's Perspective IGP Based Best Path Selection

   The core of this solution is the ability for an operator to specify
   on a per route reflector basis, or per peer/update group basis, or
   per peer basis the virtual IGP location placement of the route
   reflector.  This core ability enables the route reflector to send to
   a given group of clients routes with shortest distance to the next
   hops from the position of the configured virtual IGP location.  This
   core ability provides for freedom of route reflector location, and
   allows transient or permanent migration of this network control plane
   function to an arbitrary location.

   The choice of specific granularity (route reflector basis, peer/
   update group basis, or peer peer basis) is left as an implementation
   decision.  An implementation is considered compliant with the
   document if it supports at least one listed grouping of virtual IGP

   In this approach, optimal refers to the decision made during best
   path selection at the IGP metric to BGP next hop comparison step.
   This approach does not apply to path selection preference based on
   other policy steps and provisions.

   The computation of the virtual IGP location with any of the above
   described granularity is outside of the scope of this document.  The
   operator may configure it manually, implementation may automate it

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   based on heuristics, or it can be computed centrally and configured
   by an external system.

   This solution does not require any BGP or IGP protocol changes, as
   all required changes are contained within the route reflector

   This solution applies to NLRIs of all address families, that can be
   route reflected.

4.1.1.  Restriction when BGP next hop is BGP prefix

   In situations where the BGP next hop is a BGP prefix itself the IGP
   metric of a route used for its resolution SHOULD be the final IGP
   cost to reach such next hop.  Implementations which can not inform
   BGP of the final IGP metric to a recursive next hop SHOULD treat such
   paths as least preferred during next hop metric comparison.  However
   such paths SHOULD still be considered valid for best path selection.

4.2.  Client's Perspective Policy Based Best Path Selection

   Optimal route reflection based on virtual IGP location could reflect
   the best path to the client from IGP cost perspective.  However,
   there are also cases where the client might want the best path based
   on factors beyond IGP cost.  Examples include, but not limited to:

   o  Selecting the best path for the clients from a traffic engineering

   o  Dedicating certain exit points for certain ingress points.

   The user MAY specify and apply a general policy on the route
   reflector to select a subset of exit points as the candidate exit
   points for its clients.  For a given client, the policy SHOULD also
   allow the operator to select different candidate exit points for
   different address families.  Regular path selection, including
   client's perspective IGP based best path selection stated above, will
   be applied to the candidate paths to select the final paths to
   advertise to the clients.

   Since the policy is applied on the route reflector on behalf of its
   clients, the route reflector will be able to reflect only the optimal
   paths to its clients.  An additional advantage of this approach is
   that configuration need only be done on a small number of route
   reflectors, rather than on a significantly larger number of clients.

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4.3.  Solution Interactions

4.3.1.  IGP and policy based optimal route refresh

   Depending on the actual deployment scenarios, service providers may
   configure IGP based optimal route reflection or policy based optimal
   route reflection.  It is also possible to configure both approaches
   together.  In cases where both are configured together, policy based
   optimal route reflection MUST be applied first to select the
   candidate paths, then IGP based optimal route reflection can be
   applied on top of the candidate paths to select the final path to
   advertise to the client.

   The expected use case for optimal route reflection is to avoid
   reflecting all paths to the client because the client either: does
   not support add-paths or does not have the capacity to process all of
   the paths.  Typically the route reflector would just reflect a single
   optimal route to the client.  However, the solutions MUST NOT prevent
   reflecting more than one optimal path to the client as path diversity
   may be desirable for load balancing or fast restoration.  In cases
   where add-path and optimal route reflection are configured together,
   the route reflector MUST reflect n optimal paths to a client, where n
   is the add-path count.

4.3.2.  Add-paths plus IGP and policy optimal route refresh

   The most complicated scenario is where add-path is configured
   together with both IGP based and policy based optimal route
   reflection.  In this scenario, the policy based optimal route
   reflection MUST be applied first to select the candidate paths (from
   add-path).  Subsequently, IGP based optimal route reflection will be
   applied on top of the candidate paths to select the best n paths to
   advertise to the client.

4.3.3.  Likely Deployments and need for backup

   With IGP based optimal route reflection, even though the virtual IGP
   location could be specified on a per route reflector basis or per
   peer/update group basis or per peer basis, in reality, it's most
   likely to be specified per peer/update group basis.  All clients with
   the same or similar IGP location can be grouped into the same peer/
   update group.  A virtual IGP location is then specified for the peer/
   update group.  The virtual location is usually specified as the
   location of one of the clients from the peer group or an ABR to the
   area where clients are located.  Also, one or more backup virtual
   locations SHOULD be allowed to be specified for redundancy.
   Implementations may wish to take advantage of peer group mechanisms

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   in order to provide for better scalability of optimal route reflector
   client groups with similar properties.

5.  CPU and Memory Scalability

   For IGP based optimal route reflection, determining the shortest path
   and associated cost between any two arbitrary points in a network
   based on the IGP topology learned by a router is expected to add some
   extra cost in terms of CPU resources.  However, current SPF tree
   generation code is implemented efficiently in a number of
   implementations, and therefore this is not expected to be a major
   drawback.  The number of SPTs computed is expected to be of the order
   of the number of clients of a route reflector whenever a topology
   change is detected.  Advanced optimizations like partial and
   incremental SPF may also be exploited.  The number of SPTs computed
   is expected to be higher but comparable to some existing deployed
   features such as (Remote) Loop Free Alternate which computes a (r)SPT
   per IGP neighbor.

   For policy based optimal route reflection, there will be some
   overhead to apply the policy to select the candidate paths.  This
   overhead is comparable to existing BGP export policies and therefore
   should be manageable.

   By the nature of route reflection, the number of clients can be split
   arbitrarily by the deployment of more route reflectors for a given
   number of clients.  While this is not expected to be necessary in
   existing networks with best in class route reflectors available
   today, this avenue to scaling up the route reflection infrastructure
   is available.

   If we consider the overall network wide cost/benefit factor, the only
   alternative to achieve the same level of optimality would require
   significantly increasing state on the edges of the network.  This
   will consume CPU and memory resources on all BGP speakers in the
   network.  Building this client perspective into the route reflectors
   seems appropriate.

6.  Advantages and Deployment Considerations

   The solutions described provide a model for integrating the client
   perspective into the best path computation for route reflectors.
   More specifically, the choice of BGP path factors in either the IGP
   cost between the client and the nexthop (rather than the IGP cost
   from the route reflector to the nexthop) or other user configured

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   Implementations considered compliant with this document allow the
   configuration of a logical location from which the best path will be
   computed, on the basis of either a peer, a peer group, or an entire
   routing instance.

   These solutions can be deployed in traditional hop-by-hop forwarding
   networks as well as in end-to-end tunneled environments.  In networks
   where there are multiple route reflectors and hop-by-hop forwarding
   without encapsulation, such optimizations SHOULD be enabled in a
   consistent way on all route reflectors.  Otherwise, clients may
   receive an inconsistent view of the network, in turn leading to
   intra-domain forwarding loops.

   With this approach, an ISP can effect a hot potato routing policy
   even if route reflection has been moved out of the forwarding plane,
   and hop-by-hop switching has been replaced by end-to-end MPLS or IP

   As per above, these approaches reduce the amount of state which needs
   to be pushed to the edge of the network in order to perform hot
   potato routing.  The memory and CPU resources required at the edge of
   the network to provide hot potato routing using these approaches is
   lower than what would be required to achieve the same level of
   optimality by pushing and retaining all available paths (potentially
   10s) per each prefix at the edge.

   The solutions above allow for a fast and safe transition to a BGP
   control plane using centralized route reflection, without
   compromising an operator's closest exit operational principle.  This
   enables edge-to-edge LSP/IP encapsulation for traffic to IPv4 and
   IPv6 prefixes.

   Regarding the client's IGP best-path selection, it should be self
   evident that this solution does not interfere with policies enforced
   above IGP tie breaking in the BGP best path algorithm.

7.  Security Considerations

   This document does not introduce any new BGP functionality therefor
   it does not change the underlying security issues inherent in the
   existing IBGP path propagation when BGP Route Reflection [RFC4456] is

   It however enables the deployment of base BGP Route Reflection as
   described in [RFC4456] to be possible using virtual compute
   environments without any negative consequence on the BGP routing path

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   This document does not introduce requirements for any new protection
   measures, but it also does not relax best operational practices for
   keeping the IGP network stable or to pace rate of policy based IGP
   cost to next hops such that it does not have any substantial effect
   on BGP path changes and their propagation to route reflection

8.  IANA Considerations

   This document does not request any IANA allocations.

9.  Acknowledgments

   Authors would like to thank Keyur Patel, Eric Rosen, Clarence
   Filsfils, Uli Bornhauser, Russ White, Jakob Heitz, Mike Shand, Jon
   Mitchell, John Scudder, Jeff Haas, Martin Djernaes, Daniele
   Ceccarelli, Kieran Milne, Job Snijders and Randy Bush for their
   valuable input.

10.  References

10.1.  Normative References

   [RFC2119]  Bradner, S., "Key words for use in RFCs to Indicate
              Requirement Levels", BCP 14, RFC 2119,
              DOI 10.17487/RFC2119, March 1997,

   [RFC4271]  Rekhter, Y., Ed., Li, T., Ed., and S. Hares, Ed., "A
              Border Gateway Protocol 4 (BGP-4)", RFC 4271,
              DOI 10.17487/RFC4271, January 2006,

   [RFC4360]  Sangli, S., Tappan, D., and Y. Rekhter, "BGP Extended
              Communities Attribute", RFC 4360, DOI 10.17487/RFC4360,
              February 2006, <>.

   [RFC5492]  Scudder, J. and R. Chandra, "Capabilities Advertisement
              with BGP-4", RFC 5492, DOI 10.17487/RFC5492, February
              2009, <>.

   [RFC8174]  Leiba, B., "Ambiguity of Uppercase vs Lowercase in RFC
              2119 Key Words", BCP 14, RFC 8174, DOI 10.17487/RFC8174,
              May 2017, <>.

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10.2.  Informative References

   [RFC1997]  Chandra, R., Traina, P., and T. Li, "BGP Communities
              Attribute", RFC 1997, DOI 10.17487/RFC1997, August 1996,

   [RFC1998]  Chen, E. and T. Bates, "An Application of the BGP
              Community Attribute in Multi-home Routing", RFC 1998,
              DOI 10.17487/RFC1998, August 1996,

   [RFC4384]  Meyer, D., "BGP Communities for Data Collection", BCP 114,
              RFC 4384, DOI 10.17487/RFC4384, February 2006,

   [RFC4456]  Bates, T., Chen, E., and R. Chandra, "BGP Route
              Reflection: An Alternative to Full Mesh Internal BGP
              (IBGP)", RFC 4456, DOI 10.17487/RFC4456, April 2006,

   [RFC4893]  Vohra, Q. and E. Chen, "BGP Support for Four-octet AS
              Number Space", RFC 4893, DOI 10.17487/RFC4893, May 2007,

   [RFC5283]  Decraene, B., Le Roux, JL., and I. Minei, "LDP Extension
              for Inter-Area Label Switched Paths (LSPs)", RFC 5283,
              DOI 10.17487/RFC5283, July 2008,

   [RFC5668]  Rekhter, Y., Sangli, S., and D. Tappan, "4-Octet AS
              Specific BGP Extended Community", RFC 5668,
              DOI 10.17487/RFC5668, October 2009,

   [RFC5714]  Shand, M. and S. Bryant, "IP Fast Reroute Framework",
              RFC 5714, DOI 10.17487/RFC5714, January 2010,

   [RFC6774]  Raszuk, R., Ed., Fernando, R., Patel, K., McPherson, D.,
              and K. Kumaki, "Distribution of Diverse BGP Paths",
              RFC 6774, DOI 10.17487/RFC6774, November 2012,

   [RFC7911]  Walton, D., Retana, A., Chen, E., and J. Scudder,
              "Advertisement of Multiple Paths in BGP", RFC 7911,
              DOI 10.17487/RFC7911, July 2016,

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Authors' Addresses

   Robert Raszuk (editor)
   Bloomberg LP
   731 Lexington Ave
   New York City, NY  10022


   Christian Cassar
   43 Avro Way
   Weybridge  KT13 0XY


   Erik Aman
   Telia Company
   Solna SE-169 94


   Bruno Decraene
   38-40 rue du General Leclerc
   Issy les Moulineaux cedex 9  92794


   Kevin Wang
   Juniper Networks
   10 Technology Park Drive
   Westford, MA  01886


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