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Delayed Internet routing convergence

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4 Author(s)
Labovitz, C. ; Microsoft Res., Redmond, WA, USA ; Ahuja, A. ; Bose, A. ; Jahanian, F.

This paper examines the latency in Internet path failure, failover, and repair due to the convergence properties of interdomain routing. Unlike circuit-switched paths which exhibit failover on the order of milliseconds, our experimental measurements show that interdomain routers in the packet-switched Internet may take tens of minutes to reach a consistent view of the network topology after a fault. These delays stem from temporary routing table fluctuations formed during the operation of the border gateway protocol (BGP) path selection process on the Internet backbone routers. During these periods of delayed convergence, we show that end-to-end Internet paths will experience intermittent loss of connectivity, as well as increased packet loss and latency. We present a two-year study of Internet routing convergence through the experimental instrumentation of key portions of the Internet infrastructure, including both passive data collection and fault-injection machines at major Internet exchange points. Based on data from the injection and measurement of several hundred thousand interdomain routing faults, we describe several unexpected properties of convergence and show that the measured upper bound on Internet interdomain routing convergence delay is an order of magnitude slower than previously thought. Our analysis also shows that the upper theoretic computational bound on the number of router states and control messages exchanged during the process of BGP convergence is factorial with respect to the number of autonomous systems in the Internet. Finally, we demonstrate that much of the observed convergence delay stems from specific router vendor implementation decisions and ambiguity in the BGP specification

Published in:

Networking, IEEE/ACM Transactions on  (Volume:9 ,  Issue: 3 )