Upstream BGP community support

Patrick W. Gilmore patrick at
Mon Nov 2 05:26:57 UTC 2009

On Nov 1, 2009, at 5:11 AM, Karl Auer wrote:
> On Sun, 2009-11-01 at 17:06 +0900, Randy Bush wrote:
>>> The answer is fairly simple.  Does your business benefit by having  
>>> the
>>> ability to modify routing strategy as you see fit?
>> hint: we live in a commons
> Yes. I was about to ask Tony "what if *their* business benefits by NOT
> giving you the ability to modify routing strategy as you see fit?"
> What's the answer then?

To answer your question, obviously each network should do whatever is  
in their best interest.  But isn't it in a transit provider's best  
interest to make their customers happy? :)

However, I'm pretty sure that's not what Randy meant.  Randy  
frequently (and correctly) points out that the Internet is a shared  
resource.  What you do can affect others.

BGP sucks, but it's the only thing we have.  So try not to break it.

OTOH: The Internet is not a science project.  I'm not even going to  
say "any more", since no one should be confused about that today.   
Transit providers are almost always for-profit companies.  These two  
basic facts create an interesting dynamic.  Everyone wants to do what  
is best for themselves to make more money, but what one network does  
affects other networks.  Finding a happy medium is hard, mmmmm-KAY.

I personally believe transit providers should support communities.  I  
don't think the added complexity is too dangers, and I think it will  
help add to the profit of providers.  Others may disagree.  But as  
someone (either Richard or Paul, sometimes I have trouble telling them  
apart) pointed out, it's been happening for a long time.  "Past  
performance is no guarantee of future profit", but it does give one at  
least a little confidence that supporting community tags will not  
collapse the Internet tomorrow.

End of day, I'll just fall back on what I always say: Your Network,  
Your Decision.  But try to remember that Your Network is connected to  
everyone else's network.


More information about the NANOG mailing list