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Publications by Type: PhD Theses

Handling the complexity of BGP – via characterization, testing and configuration management
Citation key M-HCBCTCM-05
Author Maennel, Olaf
Year 2005
School Technische Universität München, Munich, Germany
Abstract Even today, given the widespread usage and critical importance of the Internet, its basic routing protocols such as the Border Gateway Protocol (BGP) are poorly understood. This is in part an artifact of the complex interactions that arise from a distributed system that is administered locally to achieve a global task: reachability. In another part it has its origin in the fact that inter-domain routing policies of autonomous systems (ASes) often undergo constant adjustments for reasons of traffic engineering and/or to address specific customer wishes, an error prone approach. In this thesis we address these problems in multiple ways:<br> The problem of policy configurations by developing a system that allows us to manage the overall routing architecture rather than each individual router. With this we raise the abstraction level from individual BGP configuration statements to an AS-wide routing policy. The richness of policy expressions leads to complex interactions and dynamics that can be observed throughout the Internet. We present a methodology that helps operators to detect problematic routing conditions, and we discuss how to identify that AS which is responsible for an instability. While we find that some of todays routing issues are stemming from protocol interactions, others are coming from router software/hardware problems that should have been detected in a test-lab before deployment in the operational network. We describe a BGP workload generator that can help in a wide variety of equipment testing. We illustrate the capabilities of the tool by showing how complex tests can be instantiated, without of losing the test engineer in the intricacies of the test setup.
Bibtex Type of Publication Doktorarbeit
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