The Border Gateway Protocol is what network operators use to exchange the various routes forming the Internet. It's a pretty critical piece of infrastructure. Most providers are probably using proprietary solutions using dedicated hardware, but free software on comodity hardware can also be an option for some networks. In Debian, we already have Quagga and Bird that both implement BGP on top of Linux for quite a while.

Back in time, FOSDEM feb. 2006, Ging is being demonstrated. Immediately my mind races with something like: waow, we could port OpenBGPD on that!

OpenBGPD is another BGP routing daemon. This new effort was started in 2003 by Henning Brauer for OpenBSD. To sum up its goal, it was meant to be secure, reliable, lean, easy to configure, fast and memory efficient.

This is quite the opposite of Quagga codebase, which is inherited from an older project, Zebra which was mostly documented in Japanese. Another issue I have seen hapenning with Quagga on Linux is that its blocking implementation and the time that the kernel needs to insert/remove routes made the daemon unresponsive enough to created cascading failures. The IPv4 Internet is nowdays made of more than 350 000 prefixes, so when a network peer fails, the router needs to process those changes while continuing to answer other peers. Otherwise, they will kill the session… meaning yet another 350 000 prefixes to process… on both sides. And again when the session is restored. Leading to more downtime, flaps, and failures.

OpenBGPD was ported to FreeBSD. The port is maintained by Hiroki Sato. Starting with this port and using libbsd made the creation of a package for Debian GNU/kFreeBSD pretty doable while at DebCamp11.

It probably still has some pretty rough edges and the manpage needs to be reviewed (and some unsupported features trimmed, maybe), but the package should be usable.

So OpenBGPD is now in Debian, and it could be one of the killer features of a port that some describe as a toy OS.

Unfortunately I did not yet have access to proper network equipment to test the package on real production scenario (with 2 or 3 full BGP views). If you have a lab (or feel adventurous) and have access to such gears, please have a try!

Posted Fri 12 Aug 2011 04:35:10 PM CEST Tags:

DebConf11 ended nearly two weeks ago… After all the discussions that happened there, I really feel that some of those topics could benefit from more coverage. Planet Debian looks like a good candidate, so we'll see how it goes.

To sum it up: Hi there!

Posted Thu 11 Aug 2011 01:15:07 PM CEST

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