Packet Design's Route Explorer gains support for BGP confederations

February 22, 2005

2 Min Read

PALO ALTO, Calif. -- The newest software release for Route Explorer, Packet Design's industry-leading route analytics appliance, offers support for BGP "confederations," a technique used to increase the scalability of large IP networks.

With Release 3.5, Route Explorer supports both of the common methods used by service providers and large enterprises to organize their BGP networks: "route reflectors," which the appliance has supported since 2003, and now confederations.

Route Explorer 3.5 also allows users to set up daily network status reports that will be automatically emailed to them, so they can assess their network's health and stability at a glance.

First Route Analytics System to Support BGP Confederations

BGP confederations, an extension to the Border Gateway Protocol, were conceived as a method for subdividing the largest BGP networks into smaller domains, typically by geographical or functional groups of BGP routers. Creating a confederation of domains reduces the total number of router- to-router connections ("peerings") each router must maintain, in turn reducing the routers' CPU and memory demands. Besides allowing more user control over routing policies, this compartmentalization can confine potential problems triggered by routing instability to a single domain, rather than being propagated throughout the confederation.

Jeff Raice, Packet Design executive vice president of marketing and business development, said, "Network-layer visibility is a critical management requirement for large, meshed networks, and many of the largest of those networks are organized using BGP confederations. With release 3.5, Route Explorer becomes the first route analytics tool to recognize multiple member autonomous systems [AS's] within a BGP confederation, and to provide routing analysis and monitoring on both a holistic, network-wide basis and a per- member AS basis."

Packet Design Inc.

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