Re: [irs-discuss] About ALTO Vs. BGP-LS

Hannes Gredler <> Mon, 06 August 2012 18:39 UTC

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Date: Mon, 6 Aug 2012 20:39:11 +0200
From: Hannes Gredler <>
To: "Y. Richard Yang" <>
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Subject: Re: [irs-discuss] About ALTO Vs. BGP-LS
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[ ... ]
| > Now, we can take a look at more specifics of BGP-LS.
| >
| > A first perspective is the semantics of the content. If the objective is
| > to solve the aforementioned deployment issue, then an alternative
| > solution is to introduce a simple LS update tunneling protocol, where a
| > link-state proxy forwards LS messages to a collector. The current design
| > of BGP-LS starts with such a feeling (i.e., an NLRI starts with the
| > Protocol ID, which indicates it is from IS-IS level 1 IS-IS level 2,
| > OSPF, etc).  However, the protocol appears to (try to) go beyond simple
| > tunneling and introduces a common LS schema, by converting/filtering
| > individual IGP LS messages to some common format. I feel that it can be
| > helpful to first specify the schema (LS data model) instead of the
| > specific encoding. For example, OSPF specifies LS Age, and this is
| > filtered. (Please correct me if I missed it). On the other hand, one can
| > think that some Age info can be helpful for one to understand the
| > "freshness" of the LS. A problem studied in database is heterogeneous
| > databases, to merge multiple data sources (IS-IS, OSPF, etc) to a single
| > schema, and there can be many problems. If there is such a study, please
| > do share a pointer.

one of the base ideas of BGP-LS has been to present a topology in a protocol
neutral form. As such it nicely solves the case where more than one
IGP (OSPF at the edge, IS-IS in the core) has been deployed.
It per does not flood IGP LSAs (including age), but rather the
normalized content of those LSAs - i find age information for the
topology less interesting as age it is purely for garbage collection.

| > A second perspective is using BGP as the transport. What key features
| > from BGP do we really need (yes, weak-typed TLV encoding offers a lot of
| > flexibility)? What features of BGP do we not need (e.g., BGP is a
| > routing protocol and hence builds in features to handle convergence such
| > as dampening)? What may be missing (e.g., a capability of pull or
| > filtering of push). I feel that these issues should be discussed.

wether BGP is a "routing-protocol" per se or not is mildly ;-) controversial
debate which we certainly cannot get full agreement by all list participants -
so let me present my view on that:

the way i see BGP is more as a multipoint (reflectors !) IPC facility where i can publish
state for the "universe". to my knowledge there are is no alternative protocol
that allows me to distribute state over a generic p2mp distribution graph.
so the reason BGP is so attractive as a generic state distribution mechanism
is because "its there" and it "works" and it has been abused exacatly
because of that by others in the past :-)