Experience with the BGP Protocol
RFC 1266

Document Type RFC - Informational (October 1991; No errata)
Last updated 2013-03-02
Stream IETF
Formats plain text pdf html bibtex
Stream WG state (None)
Document shepherd No shepherd assigned
IESG IESG state RFC 1266 (Informational)
Consensus Boilerplate Unknown
Telechat date
Responsible AD (None)
Send notices to (None)
Network Working Group                                 Y. Rekhter, Editor
Request for Comments: 1266        T.J. Watson Research Center, IBM Corp.
                                                            October 1991

                    Experience with the BGP Protocol

1. Status of this Memo.

   This memo provides information for the Internet community.  It does
   not specify an Internet standard. Distribution of this memo is

2. Introduction.

   The purpose of this memo is to document how the requirements for
   advancing a routing protocol to Draft Standard have been satisfied by
   Border Gateway Protocol (BGP). This report documents experience with
   BGP.  This is the second of two reports on the BGP protocol.  As
   required by the Internet Activities Board (IAB) and the Internet
   Engineering Steering Group (IESG), the first report will present a
   performance analysis of the BGP protocol.

   The remaining sections of this memo document how BGP satisfies
   General Requirements specified in Section 3.0, as well as
   Requirements for Draft Standard specified in Section 5.0 of the
   "Internet Routing Protocol Standardization Criteria" document [1].

   This report is based on the work of Dennis Ferguson (University of
   Toronto), Susan Hares (MERIT/NSFNET), and Jessica Yu (MERIT/NSFNET).
   Details of their work were presented at the Twentieth IETF meeting
   (March 11-15, 1991, St. Louis) and are available from the IETF

   Please send comments to iwg@rice.edu.

3. Acknowledgements.

   The BGP protocol has been developed by the IWG/BGP Working Group of
   the Internet Engineering Task Force. We would like to express our
   deepest thanks to Guy Almes (Rice University) who was the previous
   chairman of the IWG Working Group.  We also like to explicitly thank
   Bob Hinden (BBN) for the review of this document as well as his
   constructive and valuable comments.

BGP Working Group                                               [Page 1]
RFC 1266            Experience with the BGP Protocol        October 1991

4. Documentation.

   BGP is an inter-autonomous system routing protocol designed for the
   TCP/IP internets.  Version 1 of the BGP protocol was published in RFC
   1105. Since then BGP Versions 2 and 3 have been developed. Version 2
   was documented in RFC 1163. Version 3 is documented in [3]. The
   changes between versions 1, 2 and 3 are explained in Appendix 3 of
   [3].  Most of the functionality that was present in the Version 1 is
   present in the Version 2 and 3.  Changes between Version 1 and
   Version 2 affect mostly the format of the BGP messages.  Changes
   between Version 2 and Version 3 are quite minor.

   BGP Version 2 removed from the protocol the concept of "up", "down",
   and "horizontal" relations between autonomous systems that were
   present in the Version 1.  BGP Version 2 introduced the concept of
   path attributes.  In addition, BGP Version 2 clarified parts of the
   protocol that were "underspecified".  BGP Version 3 lifted some of
   the restrictions on the use of the NEXT_HOP path attribute, and added
   the BGP Identifier field to the BGP OPEN message. It also clarifies
   the procedure for distributing BGP routes between the BGP speakers
   within an autonomous system.  Possible applications of BGP in the
   Internet are documented in [2].

   The BGP protocol was developed by the IWG/BGP Working Group of the
   Internet Engineering Task Force. This Working Group has a mailing
   list, iwg@rice.edu, where discussions of protocol features and
   operation are held. The IWG/BGP Working Group meets regularly during
   the quarterly Internet Engineering Task Force conferences. Reports of
   these meetings are published in the IETF's Proceedings.

5. MIB

   A BGP Management Information Base has been published [4].  The MIB
   was written by Steve Willis (swillis@wellfleet.com) and John Burruss

   Apart from a few system variables, the BGP MIB is broken into two
   tables: the BGP Peer Table and the BGP Received Path Attribute Table.
   The Peer Table reflects information about BGP peer connections, such
   as their state and current activity. The Received Path Attribute
   Table contains all attributes received from all peers before local
   routing policy has been applied. The actual attributes used in
   determining a route are a subset of the received attribute table.

   The BGP MIB is quite small. It contains total of 27 objects.

BGP Working Group                                               [Page 2]
RFC 1266            Experience with the BGP Protocol        October 1991

6. Security architecture.

   BGP provides flexible and extendible mechanism for authentication and
   security. The mechanism allows to support schemes with various degree
   of complexity. All BGP sessions are authenticated based on the BGP
   Identifier of a peer. In addition, all BGP sessions are authenticated
Show full document text