Advanced BGP Design and Implementation

Author: Randy Zhang, Micah Bartell
List Price: $55.00
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ISBN: 1587051095
Publisher: Cisco Press (02 December, 2003)
Edition: Hardcover
Sales Rank: 36,092
Average Customer Rating: 5 out of 5

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Customer Reviews

Rating: 5 out of 5
BGP like you have never seen it.
Advanced BGP Design and Implementation (Zhang, Bartell Cisco Press, 2004, ISBN 1-58705-109-5) is a great book on advanced BGP concepts.

There are a few chapters at the beginning that cover the history and basics of BGP. Then it dives right into the settings and tuning of BGP. This book is not for the faint of heart as it kicks in quick with in depth coverage of all that is BGP. You definitely want to have a good solid understanding of BGP basics before reading this book.

You should consider reading other BGP reference books first such as Sam Halabi's Internet Routing Architectures, William Parkhurst's Cisco BGP 4 Command and Configuration Handbook (Cisco Press, 2001) and various Cisco whitepapers and BGP design documents from their website. It will definitely help you to absorb more of this book and will give you a good basis to then get into the fine-tuning aspects of BGP.

The book covers many of the advanced BGP topics that you would normally have to dig for in RFC's and various other resources and books. This is a great reference book to keep on the shelf and have handy (once you have read it a few times first of course). I personally enjoyed the extensive coverage of BGP policy enforcement in chapter 4, which is critical to getting the most out of BGP. Also there was great coverage of multi protocol BGP and Inter-AS VPN's with MPLS as it relates to BGP. This is a topic of great interest today for those looking at label switching for logical separation and/or for traffic engineering.

Other topics of interest included IPv6, Interdomain Multicast and scaling BGP using confederations and route reflectors, and merging BGP autonomous systems. It was great to learn of the memory requirements implemented on Cisco routers. This was something that has always been a concern for many people with older routers and various memory and flash constraints.

I found the diagrams and examples to be extremely valuable. The authors explained very nicely topics that often are difficult to understand or grasp. Their examples portrayed real world scenarios, which made it even easier to relate to and to understand. Always helpful to have something that you can apply to your particular situation or job function.

I would say due to the granularity of detail covered in this book, it is geared more towards large enterprise backbones and Internet Service Provider backbones.

This is a great resource to have, especially if you want to delve into the inner workings and mysteries of BGP.


Rating: 5 out of 5
Great resource for BGP!
BGP Design and Implementation (Zhang, Bartell Cisco Press, 2004, ISBN 1-58705-109-5) is a valuable addition to the literature on BGP. The book really shines by providing content that is not available in any other volume that I am aware of. This book provides an advanced look at BGP and is not for someone without prior knowledge of BGP. This book is aimed more at an engineer with a Service Provider, a large enterprise with a complex BGP network, or an individual pursuing the CCIE certification.

The first section of the book provides a high level overview of BGP and then immediately delves into a good discussion of IOS Switching (though in my opinion the definitive work on this subject is the great Cisco Press book Inside Cisco IOS Software Architecture by Bollapragada, Murphy and White). A fairly detailed case study of BGP memory usage is then presented as well as some memory optimization techniques using peer groups. The next chapter provides an excellent collection of BGP performance tuning techniques specifically around optimizing the BGP convergence time. While a lot of this information can be gleaned from multiple documents on Cisco's web site, the book presents the information in a logical flow that greatly enhances the reader's overall comprehension. Chapter 4 discusses the various policy control methods available in BGP and provides the first of many case studies that discuss real world BGP scenarios. These case studies, which appear throughout the rest of the book, are especially valuable as they provide excellent guidance on topics such as merging AS's, deploying BGP core networks, deployment/migration of confederations and route reflectors, and Inter-AS VPNs with MPLS. I recommend having a copy of William Parkhurst's Cisco BGP-4 Command and Configuration Handbook (Cisco Press, 2001) around as you go through the case studies as the authors describe the concepts and then proceed to provide an example or case study without a lot of handholding on the IOS configuration, and Parkhurst's book can fill in some gaps.

Part II of the book is focused on the needs of enterprise BGP networks. Much of this material is in Sam Halabi's Internet Routing Architectures book, though this volume provides a fresh look at enterprise issues such as multihoming, load balancing and inbound/outbound filtering, and the case studies are more complete than the content in Halabi's book. The book also provides some great information on alternative BGP architectures for really large enterprises which may be bumping up against the scalability limitations of their IGP's or have a need for multiple autonomous administrative domains within their networks.

Part III covers Service Provider (SP) networks. I found this section especially valuable as most of the available books are written for enterprise network administrators so it is usually difficult for admins at service providers to get this material except from their peers, at ISPCon or Cisco Networkers. There is very in-depth coverage of Route Reflectors and Confederations, the relative merits of each, and deployment and migration case studies. These case studies should be very helpful for some preparing for the CCIE lab exam that can include some difficult scenarios on these topics. The chapter on SP architecture is a little light, but it does cover the major issues and provide some best practices for the SP network admin, but not really for the network architect.

Part IV has chapters on BGP as it relates to MPLS VPN, Interdomain Multicast, and IPV6. This information is also not widely available without rooting through the RFCs and this book provides a good overview so that you can read (and understand) the RFCs.

Overall, this book is an outstanding follow up book for someone learning BGP (after they first digest Halabi's classic!) and wanting to advance their knowledge, or a more experienced engineer who wants to broaden their understanding or learn one of the topics in Section 4. The authors write clearly, and I would seriously consider reading other books by these authors. Overall, I would give this book a 5 out of 5 score based on its overall quality and the lack of competition.


Rating: 5 out of 5
A great advanced BGP book!
This book provides an excellent BGP resource! I have been working with BGP since 1999 and I haven't seen a book that gives you real world scenarios and examples like this one. This book is definitely a higher level text that will help tie all the components of BGP together. The case studies are great examples of how to migrate from different architectures and designs. Not many books have that included. Also the book has good coverage of mBGP, MPLS VPNs, IPv6 and Interdomain multicast. This book picks up where Internet Routing Architectures leaves off. In my opinion the IRA book should be considered a perquisite to this book, it isn't for the faint of heart. In my experience as a consultant, many network guys are afraid or don't really understand how to properly setup and maintain BGP. Now, the answers can be found in this book. In chapter 1 the book starts off with an introduction to advanced BGP. Chapter 2 gives you the information to size your Internet routers by breaking down the memory utilization of BGP and router functions as well as estimation formulas for determining memory needs. Chapter 3 on performance tuning is very useful if you already have a solid infrastructure and looking to tweak the environment for faster convergence and easy of support. One of the most important details, if not the most important detail, is the routing policy you apply to BGP updates both inbound and outbound. Chapter 4 covers BGP policies in detail including how to filter based on AS path, filtering on routing blocks, and community lists. The chapter also covers aggregation, QoS policy propagation, and filter order of operation, which is very critical when building a policy especially when multiple techniques such as filter lists and route-maps are used. The explanation of regular expressions is easy to understand even if you haven't dealt with them in UNIX or other operating systems. Chapters 5 and 6 discuss enterprise BGP core and Internet connectivity design. Chapters 7 and 8 have a lot of good meat in them on how to scale BGP for large and small environments. The chapters discuss how to effectively use route reflectors, Inter-AS scenarios, and confederations as well as filtering and path selection techniques of each. Chapter 9 discusses how to build a service provider core and customer BGP connectivity. This section is excellent on Service Provider networks, which is something most engineers don't get to see or have hands on experience. The last few chapters dive into very new and advanced BGP topics in an easy and simple manner, which will prepare you for the future. These final sections that discuss mBGP, MPLS VPNs, Interdomain Multicast and IPv6, which includes a lot of the newer technology service providers and large enterprises will be deploying in the near future. The sections focus on the BGP side of things, as it should, not the other technologies. If you haven't had real world BGP experience this book will help get you ready for a lot of routing and filtering issues. If you are experienced with BGP this book is a great refresher and teaches you how to scale and stabilize your routing tables.

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