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BGP Attributes: Local Preference Attribute

The local preference attribute is a well-know discretionary attribute. This means local preference must be recognized by all BGP implementations, but will not exist in all BGP update messages; specifically it will not exist in E-BGP update messages. BGP local preference attribute is one of the most used attributes in BGP real world to influence traffic. Local preference attribute is a four octet field of information that is used to inform internal peers about the autonomous system internal preference for an advertised route.

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BGP Attributes: Atomic Aggregate Atribute

Atomic aggregate is a Well-known Discretionary attribute; it must be recognized by all BGP implementations and does not have to exist in all BGP updates. The purpose of the attribute is to alert BGP speakers along the path that some information have been lost due to the route aggregation process and that the aggregate path might not be the best path to the destination. When some routes are aggregated by an aggregator, the aggregator does attache its Router-ID to the aggregated route into the AGGREGATOR_ID attribute and it sets the ATOMIC_AGGREGATE attribute or not; based on whether the AS_PATH information …

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BGP Attribute Types and Flags

BGP attributes is an interesting subject of study.  BGP is a very flexible and extensible protocol and I like that, let’s see how flexible is that protocol when it comes to attributes handling. We all know that BGP has four types of attributes as listed: Well-known mandatory. Well-known discretionary. Optional transitive. Optional non-transitive. I am not going to explain them in this post, they are explained everywhere over the internet. However, in short well-known attributes must be recognized by all BGP implementations, some of them are mandatory and must be included in all update messages, others are discretionary and may …

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How to: use IS-IS overload bit

Overload bit is special bit in the IS-IS LSP used to inform the network that the advertising router is not yet ready to forward transit traffic.  The overload bit was first intended for signaling overload or resource shortage on specific router for the rest of the network. You can use the command set-overload-bit intentionally on specific router to signal other routers not to use it as a transit hop in their SPF calculations. Typically this is done for a temporary situation like an overloaded router due to memory or processing shortage and released when the router recovers from the problematic …

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The endless story of OSPF vs IS-IS – Part 4 “The Inside Out”

In this post we’ll be covering a couple of topics from the Inside Out of the link-state protocols that have always been ambiguous and full of details, we’ll try to make them as crystal clear as we can. MTU: Both link-state routing protocols consider MTU in order to prevent any related problems, mainly loss of routing information due to large routing messages being dropped (consider an OSPF LSU or an IS-IS LSP that is over sized and thus dropped), however each protocol tests the MTU in a different way as we’ll see in the upcoming section. OSPF requires routers to …

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The endless story of OSPF vs IS-IS – Part 3 “Packets and Database”

In this post we are going to cover the protocol packets and database structure for both routing protocols. To start let’s first highlight a couple of facts. OSPF runs on top of IP, that is it uses IP packets to exchange its messages (and thus it is vulnerable to spoofing and DoS attacks, and accordingly the use of authentication is strongly recommended), while on the other hand IS-IS runs directly over layer 2, it creates its own packet (or PDU (Protocol Data Unit) to be more specific) and then encapsulates it directly inside the layer 2 frame, this leverages IS-IS …

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