October 20, 2003
PALO ALTO, Calif. -- An IP route-analysis tool that brings full routing-path visibility to networks running the Border Gateway Protocol (BGP) – enabling network engineers to better diagnose, troubleshoot and maintain those networks – has been introduced by Packet Design, Inc.
Packet Design has added BGP routing analysis capability to its Route Explorer platform, bringing route analytics for the first time to the tens of thousands of networks – those in many large enterprises and virtually all service providers – that use BGP to exchange routing information between interconnected "autonomous systems." Route Explorer had previously supported two interior gateway protocols: OSPF (Open Shortest Path First) and IS-IS (Intermediate System-Intermediate System), which exchange routing information within an autonomous system.
In conjunction with the new BGP support, Route Explorer now lets network engineers view an entire multi-domain routing structure as a single, seamless topology map, providing the unprecedented ability to display and highlight complete end-to-end routing paths across network domains and protocol types. This means that, in a network running any combination of BGP, OSPF and IS-IS, problems that cross protocol boundaries, within or between autonomous systems, can be pinpointed at a glance. Previously, topology maps were isolated by routing protocol, viewable only separately.
In addition, Packet Design has expanded its Route Explorer family to include three modular versions of the appliance, allowing organizations ranging from small campus-like settings to the largest multi-domain enterprises and service providers to choose the platform specific to their network size and mix of routing protocols.
Jeff Raice, Packet Design vice president of marketing and sales, said, "Many large, highly meshed enterprise networks look very much like small-scale Internets, with BGP serving as the 'glue' between multiple independently administered intranets using one or more IGP. In these 'private enterprise Internets,' often the result of acquisitions or consolidations, the enterprises own and manage both sides of the BGP connection. Like their ISP counterparts they face issues of scalability (growing beyond inherent IGP limits), availability, control and problem resolution. Route Explorer is the first tool available to give network engineers full visibility into these complex 'networks of networks.'
"But seeing the BGP routes is only half the answer," Raice said. "Network services typically span multiple routing-protocol areas, and the various protocols have complex interactions and dependencies. Looking at individual areas in sequence does little to help network engineers deal with problems that affect service across the network. Route Explorer for the first time combines information from the different protocol areas into a single, seamless view, so that problems do not have to be diagnosed in pieces that must then be fitted together like a jig-saw puzzle. And Route Explorer offers the flexibility to display the network in the manner most appropriate to a given situation: as a whole, by organizational or administrative grouping, or by autonomous system."
Other new Route Explorer features geared to supporting large, complex enterprise and ISP networks include concurrent multi-user login and operation; hierarchical network topology views by desired network subset (e.g., network backbone, BGP links only); the ability to save user-customized topology layouts for later reference; and advanced event filtering for rapid root-cause isolation. In addition, native X Windows support is now provided for improved integration of Route Explorer data with the rest of the user's desktop.
Packet Design Inc.
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