In this clip we will discuss where a national research and education network will need to use BGP. There are two basic models of service for NRENs that we've seen around the world. A peering network that provides a limited set of routes and doesn't provide complete access to the Internet. The peering NREN provides routes that will exchange traffic between connected members, and to the rest of the global research and education network community. It might also provide routes to a local internet exchange that will move traffic to the customers of local Internet service providers and possibly other providers such as Google. The most common model we see is where the NREN provides complete internet access including optimized routes to the global research and education network community. When the NREN is a peering network, you can see that the NREN must have provider independent addresses configured on all external router interfaces. Including those connected to the internet exchange, other research and education networks, as well as connected members. When the NREN acts as an ISP, you can see that the NREN not only connects to the research and education network ecosystem, but will also purchase Internet service from an Internet service provider and provide that downstream to the connected members. In this case, the NREN must again, have provider independent addresses configured on all external router interfaces connecting to the upstream providers, including ISPs, internet exchange, and other research and education networks. In our experience most NRENs around the world provide full Internet access. A few we have seen do peering only. They have found that building a peering only network is the easiest to implement from a political perspective. Often Internet service providers are threatened by NRENs, they will lobby against the formation of the NREN and do whatever they can to subvert the formation of the NREN. However when the NREN is a peering network, it makes it much more difficult for the individual members that connect to the NREN. When the NREN is a peering network it means that the NREN provides only connectivity to a portion of the Internet. So the connected members must have a second connection to an Internet service provider to have full access to the Internet. Using these two connections is not simple. It is not like having two ISP connections that can be used as a redundant backup or load-balanced connection, it requires BGP at the campus level to make it work right. We will explore the campus use of BGP in a separate video clip.
© Produced by Philip Smith and the Network Startup Resource Center, through the University of Oregon.
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