Design and implementation of a routing control platform

Matthew Caesar, Donald Caldwell, Aman Shaikh, Nick Feamster, Jennifer Rexford, Jacobus van der Merwe

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperpeer-review

301 Scopus citations


The routers in an Autonomous System (AS) must distribute the information they learn about how to reach external destinations. Unfortunately, today's internal Border Gateway Protocol (iBGP) architectures have serious problems: a “full mesh” iBGP configuration does not scale to large networks and “route reflection” can introduce problems such as protocol oscillations and persistent loops. Instead, we argue that a Routing Control Platform (RCP) should collect information about external destinations and internal topology and select the BGP routes for each router in an AS. RCP is a logically-centralized platform, separate from the IP forwarding plane, that performs route selection on behalf of routers and communicates selected routes to the routers using the unmodified iBGP protocol. RCP provides scalability without sacrificing correctness. In this paper, we present the design and implementation of an RCP prototype on commodity hardware. Using traces of BGP and internal routing data from a Tier-1 backbone, we demonstrate that RCP is fast and reliable enough to drive the BGP routing decisions for a large network. We show that RCP assigns routes correctly, even when the functionality is replicated and distributed, and that networks using RCP can expect comparable convergence delays to those using today's iBGP architectures.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Number of pages14
StatePublished - 2005
Event2nd Symposium on Networked Systems Design and Implementation, NSDI 2005 - Boston, United States
Duration: May 2 2005May 4 2005


Conference2nd Symposium on Networked Systems Design and Implementation, NSDI 2005
Country/TerritoryUnited States

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Computer Networks and Communications
  • Control and Systems Engineering


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