Border Gateway Protocol

Border Gateway Protocol (BGP) is the protocol of the Internet today. It is a path vector protocol, which selects the route based on some static metrics (ie. as path length, local preference). The problem is that none of these metrics reflect the actual performance or cost of the path. Whether a route is short or long distance, BGP is not able to make any difference. Whether a path is properly forwarding packets or dropping some of them, again this protocol fails in detecting such quality problems. This paradigm results into the inability to detect failures and poor performance:

  • Long paths Large delays cause frustration to web users. On business-to-consumer applications this directly affects the actual sales rates. It severely impacts the perceived quality of voice communication and leads users to shorten voice calls. Finally it results in very noticeable performance problems with gaming applications.
  • Packet loss Low packet loss rates usually produce same perception as high delays. However packet loss turns into a bigger issue with video applications such as streaming and videoconferencing.
  • Broken links Routing equipments sometimes undergo inconsistencies of the routing and control planes. In this situation, the BGP mechanism sees the network as properly functioning while the interfaces and routing process are actually not forwarding packets. In this case, the users cannot access their applications anymore until a manual action is executed on the equipments to restore the function of the network. Similar situations are also noticed when operators implement wrong access-lists or flood protection mechanisms actually block legitimate user traffic.

Detecting failures and measuring Internet performance require application traffic to flow back and forth to remote peers and from remote users. Our software executes thousands of tests per minutes. It creates a full description of the customer network connectivity and notices all changes almost instantaneously. Once properly configured via Graphical User Interface, these automated probings do not require any manual intervention. Get detailed information regarding our technology and it’s features by exploring the « Technology » section of this website.