Border Gateway Protocol

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The Border Gateway Protocol (BGP) is the protocol backing the core routing decisions on the Internet. It maintains a table of IP networks or 'prefixes' which designate network reachability among autonomous systems (AS). It is described as a path vector protocol. BGP does not use traditional Interior Gateway Protocol (IGP) metrics, but makes routing decisions based on path, network policies and/or rulesets. For this reason, it is more appropriately termed a reachability protocol rather than routing protocol.

BGP was created to replace the Exterior Gateway Protocol (EGP) routing protocol to allow fully decentralized routing in order to allow the removal of the NSFNet Internet backbone network. This allowed the Internet to become a truly decentralized system. Since 1994, version four of the BGP has been in use on the Internet. All previous versions are now obsolete. The major enhancement in version 4 was support of Classless Inter-Domain Routing and use of route aggregation to decrease the size of routing tables. Since January 2006, version 4 is codified in RFC 4271, which went through more than 20 drafts based on the earlier RFC 1771 version 4. RFC 4271 version corrected a number of errors, clarified ambiguities and brought the RFC much closer to industry practices.

Most Internet users do not use BGP directly. Since most Internet service providers must use BGP to establish routing between one another (especially if they are multihomed), it is one of the most important protocols of the Internet. Compare this with Signaling System 7 (SS7), which is the inter-provider core call setup protocol on the PSTN. Very large private IP networks use BGP internally. An example would be the joining of a number of large Open Shortest Path First (OSPF) networks where OSPF by itself would not scale to size. Another reason to use BGP is multihoming a network for better redundancy either to multiple access points of a single ISP (RFC 1998) or to multiple ISPs.

BGP · DHCP · DNS · FTP · HTTP · IMAP · IRC · LDAP · MGCP · NNTP · NTP · POP · RIP · RPC · RTP · SIP · SMTP · SNMP · SSH · Telnet · TLS/SSL · XMPP ·

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