Regarding BGP offloading

Anurag Bhatia me at
Wed Mar 16 23:12:06 UTC 2022

Hello NANOG!

I have seen limited talks about offloading of BGP as a whole into
containers/VMs etc. Take e.g this old Google blog post
from 2017. Quoting from that:

*Second, we separate the logic and control of traffic management from the
> confines of individual router “boxes.” Rather than relying on thousands of
> individual routers to manage and learn from packet streams, we push the
> functionality to a distributed system that extracts the aggregate
> information. We leverage our large-scale computing infrastructure and
> signals from the application itself to learn how individual flows are
> performing, as determined by the end user’s perception of quality.*

If I am reading this correctly, it gives an impression of just BGP
signalling offload (to VMs/containers...). Is that understanding correct?
Speaking from network topology wise anyone here has an idea or could point
to a resource on how it is actually achieved? If the frontend device simply
starts passing TCP 179 requests to some backend server running say bird,
frr etc, how will that information be passed back to the forwarding plane?
Are there more public deployments of this sort of setup where BGP as a
whole (that is sessions, route calculation, policies, filtering etc) is
offloaded to some x86 device in the backend?

Or am I just reading it wrong and it's actually smaller VM/containers will
full router functionality and BGP alone is not being offloaded? So the
logical L3 endpoint here is VMs? What sort of config the device sitting in
frontend would have at the interface level to achieve that?

Appreciate your responses!


Anurag Bhatia
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