Home / Blogs

How a Routing Prefix Travels Through the Internet

Daniel Karrenberg

What happens when an IP address prefix gets announced or withdrawn. How does this information propagate through the Internet? And how does it affect the amount of Border Gateway Protocol (BGP) traffic across the Internet when a single prefix is freshly announced or withdrawn from the global routing table? The following short analysis shows the detailed effects of these two events.

In the graph below, we can see that all BGP traffic generated after an announcement, occurs in just over one minute after the prefix has been announced. 90% of the volume already occurs in the first 30 seconds. After just a few seconds, the route is already visible to 40% of the Internet. And only after 38 seconds, it has reached 100% visibility.

In the graphs we differentiate between (1) the first update ever sent by a peer regarding this event and (2) further updates from a peer that has already seen the event. This allows us to distinguish between updates that represent the first time they are seen by a peer, and updates that most likely represent route selection (AS path convergence, etc).

We further observed that BGP route updates tend to converge globally in just a few minutes. The propagation of newly announced prefixes happens almost instantaneously, reaching 50% visibility within 10 seconds, revealing a highly responsive global system. Prefix withdrawals take longer to converge and generate nearly 4 times more BGP traffic, with the visibility dropping below 10% only after approximately 2 minutes.

For more background information, including some more graphs and the methodology, please refer to "The Shape of a BGP Update”. There we also show how a prefix withdrawal behaves compared to an announcement when propagating through the Internet.

By Daniel Karrenberg, Chief Scientist at the RIPE NCC

Related topics: Internet Protocol, IP Addressing

WEEKLY WRAP — Get CircleID's Weekly Summary Report by Email:

Comments

To post comments, please login or create an account.

Related Blogs

Related News

Topics

Industry Updates – Sponsored Posts

Afilias Partners With Internet Society to Sponsor Deploy360 ION Conference Series Through 2016

How Does Dyn Deliver on Powering the Internet? By Investing in Standards Organizations Like the IETF

IP Geolocation: Four Reasons It Beats the Alternatives

Nominum Releases New Security Intelligence Application

New Nixu NameSurfer 7.3 Series Powers the Software-Defined Data Centre

New Nixu Solution Slashes Cloud Application Delivery Times from Weeks to Milliseconds

Automate IPAM Set-up with Nixu NEE 1.3 Series

Nominum selected as 2012 AlwaysOn Global 250 Top Private Company

Streamline Application Delivery Processes with Nixu NameSurfer 7.2.2

Nominum Releases New Version of Carrier-Grade DHCP Software for Telecom Providers

Nominum Survey of World's Leading ISPs Shows Nearly 60% of ISPs Plan to Roll-Out IPv6 by End of 2012

Frontline and Nominum Deliver Integrated DNS-Based Platform to Enhance Enterprise Security

Implementing a Cyber-Security Code of Conduct: Real-Life Lessons From Australia (Webinar)

Nominum and Nixu Software to Deliver Centralized DNS and DHCP Management Solution

Nixu NameSurfer 7.2 Strikes Rich at Dojo

Is IPv6 the New Y2K? (Primer)

Nixu NEE Powers Location-Aware IPAM

Nixu DDI Awarded Gold Medal for Its IPv6 Support

UK Cabinet Office Looks to BlueCat Networks' Expertise and Best Practices for Securing PSN

BlueCat Networks Helps Organizations Transition to IPv6 with HP

Sponsored Topics

Minds + Machines

Top-Level Domains

Sponsored by
Minds + Machines
Verisign

Security

Sponsored by
Verisign
dotMobi

Mobile

Sponsored by
dotMobi
Afilias

DNSSEC

Sponsored by
Afilias