Why to Consider BGP Peering

Internet, Cloud, multi-homing, BGP peering, autonomous system, route advertisements: what does it all mean? Manitoba Hydro Telecom (MHT) has put together a guide to help you understand the basics; keep reading to learn why BGP Peering may be an important option for your organization.

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Service providers sell an interconnection to the cloud, and are responsible for that portion only. Service providers/carriers then interconnect their own networks, known as autonomous systems, between each other. However, not all interconnections are the same, and service providers often make routing decisions based on their own criteria, which may not necessarily benefit the end customer.Service providers make their decisions based on factors such as connection speed, link price, equipment capabilities, and inter-carrier relations.The routing changes that service providers make may possibly affect the end customer, however the end customer has no say in these decisions, and must consume what they are given.

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To reduce risk for your organization, you may consider connecting to multiple service providers; this is called multi-homing. Creating redundancy through multi-homing reduces risk by offering an alternate route if one Internet connection goes down. One option for multi-homing is Border Gateway Protocol (BGP Peering) which allows your organization to: 

  • Be part of the cloud — be the Internet;
  • Be in control of your route advertisements;
  • Be able to control outbound traffic path;
  • Be able to influence inbound traffic path;
  • Be able to multi-home.

Ultimately, BGP Peering will improve the user experience for those using your network, be it employees or customers.

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The figure above illustrates an example of a multi-homed customer. They are advertising a more exact path to their preferred ISP to influence inbound traffic while maintaining redundancy. Note: Letter of Authorization (LOA) allowing to advertise a network that belongs to another ISP and a contiguous /23 Public IP Address block are required.

To learn more about BGP Peering options through MHT, please contact info@mht.mb.ca.