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BGP Fundamentals

Chapter Description

In This sample chapter from Troubleshooting BGP: A Practical Guide to Understanding and Troubleshooting BGP, the authors cover BGP Messages and Inter-Router Communication, Basic BGP Configuration for IOS, IOS XR, and NX-OS, IBGP Rules, EBGP Rules, and BGP Route Aggregation

Route Filtering and Manipulation

Route filtering is a method for selectively identifying routes that are advertised or received from neighbor routers. Route filtering may be used to manipulate traffic flows, reduce memory utilization, or to improve security. For example, it is common for ISPs to deploy route filters on BGP peerings to customers. Ensuring that only the customer routes are allowed over the peering link prevents the customer from accidentally becoming a transit AS on the Internet.

Filtering of routes within BGP is accomplished with filter-lists, prefix-lists, or route-maps on IOS and NX-OS devices. IOS XR uses route policies for filtering of routes. Route-filtering is explained in more detail in Chapter 4, “Troubleshooting Route Advertisement and BGP Policies.”

Depending on the change to the BGP route manipulation technique, the BGP session may need to be refreshed to take effect. BGP supports two methods of clearing a BGP session: The first method is a hard reset, which tears down the BGP session, removes BGP routes from the peer, and is the most disruptive. The second method is a soft reset, which invalidates the BGP cache and requests a full advertisement from its BGP peer.

IOS and NX-OS devices initiate a hard reset with the command clear ip bgp ip-address [soft], and the command clear bgp ip-address [graceful] is used on IOS XR nodes. Soft reset on IOS and NX-OS devices use the optional soft keyword, whereas IOS XR nodes use the optional graceful keyword. Sessions can be cleared with all BGP neighbors by using an asterisk * in lieu of the peer’s IP address.

When a BGP policy changes, the BGP table must be processed again so that the neighbors can be notified accordingly. Routes received by a BGP peer must be processed again. If the BGP session supports route refresh capability, then the peer readvertises (refreshes) the prefixes to the requesting router, allowing for the inbound policy to process using the new policy changes. The route refresh capability is negotiated for each address-family when the session is established.

Performing a soft reset on sessions that support route refresh capability actually initiates a route refresh. Soft resets can be performed for a specific address-family with the command clear bgp address-family address-family modifier ip-address soft [in | out]. Soft resets reduce the amount of routes that must be exchanged if multiple address families are configured with a single BGP peer. Changes to the outbound routing policies use the optional out keyword, and changes to inbound routing policies use the optional in keyword.

Older IOS versions that do not support route refresh capability require the usage of inbound soft reconfiguration so that updates to inbound route policies can be applied without performing a hard reset. Inbound soft reconfiguration does not purge the Adj-RIB-In table after routes process into the Loc-RIB table. The Adj-RIB-In maintains only the raw unedited routes (NLRIs) that were received from the neighbors and thereby allows the inbound route policies to be processed again.

Enabling this feature can consume a significant amount of memory because the Adj-RIB-In table stays in memory. Inbound soft reconfiguration uses the address-family command neighbor ip-address soft-reconfiguration inbound for IOS nodes. IOS XR and NX-OS devices use the neighbor specific address-family command soft-reconfiguration inbound.

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