Route Servers

MBIX runs 2 route servers. This document describes their operation, and suggestions for using them to the benefit of your network.

These route servers run BGP, and allow members to exchange routes with each other more easily than peering with each and every member. They are the implementation of a multi-lateral peering. If you peer with the route servers, you’ll be automatically peering with everyone else who peers with the route servers.

Without the route servers, you would have to configure your router with the IP address and parameters of every other member. Each time a new member joined, you’d have to add that configuration to your router. Most people don’t need that kind of hassle, and choose to use the route-servers instead.

All MBIX members have chosen to peer with the route severs.

What are the IP addresses of the route servers?

The route servers are dual-stacked on IPv4 and IPv6.  You should peer with both of them, for redundancy.  The route servers are maintained with up-to-date software, and will go down for maintenance, but only one at a time, with 24 hours of stability between outages.

  • IPv4 RS1: 206.72.208.11
  • IPv4 RS2: 206.72.208.12
  • IPv6 RS1: 2001:504:26::1:6395:11/64
  • IPv6 RS2: 2001:504:26::1:6395:12/64

What AS number do the route servers use?

The route servers use AS16395, which is the MBIX AS. Note that the route servers DO NOT insert their own AS into the path. You will see the routes the same as if you established direct peering to the remote AS. (See configuration examples for tips on configuring your router)

What routes should I send the route servers?

You should send all the routes that originate from your AS, and the routes of your customers. Customers are ASes that you provide transit to as a service. You should not advertise the routes of your private peers, or you will accidentally provide transit to them. This applies equally to IPv4 and IPv6.

What routes will I receive from the route servers?

You will receive all the routes that are shared by the other members of MBIX. This applies equally to IPv4 and IPv6, MBIX is fully dual-stack

Other ISPs send their routes and customer routes to the route server. The route server then echos these routes back to you, preserving the BGP next-hop value.

Do the route servers do any filtering?

Yes, they do filter routes.

The route servers filter on:

  • Prefix match
    • For example: 208.81.0.0/21; or 2605:e200::/32.
    • All your prefixes must be manually entered into the route server.  (Except for HE.net, we trust them, and use a prefix count filter)
  • AS Path
    • List includes you and your customers
  • Prefix length
    • /8 – /24 accepted for IPv4
    • /8 – /64 accepted for IPv6

What about LOCAL_PREF?

We strongly recommend setting the LOCAL_PREF for routes received from MBIX higher than routes received from your transit providers.

Giving MBIX routes a higher LOCAL_PREF will cause your router to prefer sending data via MBIX, rather than your costly transit providers.

Manipulating the LOCAL_PREF is often done with a route-map, see the Cisco config tips, below.

What type of device (hardware/software) are the route servers?

The route servers are 1U x86 servers systems. They run s Ubuntu Linux LTS, and the newest version of the BIRD Internet Routing Daemon.

Got any tips for configuring my Cisco to work well with the route servers?

Sure, here we go:

  • Disable spanning tree on the port/VLAN, your port will be disabled for an hour if the MBIX switch receives a BPDU from your equipment
  • no bgp enforce-first-as – use this option in your ‘router bgp xxxx’ command to allow your cisco to accept a route from the route sever AS16395 without seeing AS16395 in the AS_PATH
  • apply a route-map to increase local preference. If the localpref of the routes you receive from your transit provider is 100, set the localpref to 200 on routes received from MBIX
    • neighbor 206.72.208.11 route-map LOCALPREF-mbix in
    • route-map LOCALPREF-ix permit 10
      set local-preference 200
  • no cdp enable – Disable CDP on the interface facing MBIX