BGP Optimization

BGP optimization can more than double (2x) your Internet download speeds and improve productivity for your end-users. BGP Acceleration delays future Internet upgrades and save thousands of dollars per year in telecommunication costs.

This is an overview of the advantages of deploying our unique BGP (Border Gateway Protocol) acceleration capabilities for companies looking to fully utilize their existing multi-homed network configurations. XRoads Networks ActiveBGP technology can take advantage of two or more Internet links specifically where BGP has already been implemented. This acceleration occurs via a combination of several capabilities within XRoads Networks UBM platforms.

What is BGP Optimization?

The simplest way to describe BGP optimization is to say that it allows a customer which is currently using BGP for multi-homed link failover to fully utilize each of their Internet links, i.e. to combine the download speeds for each link, without making any changes to their existing BGP configuration. Even if the BGP configuration is designed to perform some limited load balancing of network traffic today, our ActiveBGP technology can still improve performance and take advantage of all of the bandwidth from each Internet connection in order to improve download speeds, something not possible with BGP (i.e. a combination of broadband circuits so a 30Mbps cable plus an 50Mbps Ethernet equals an 80Mbps download).

What this means is that the file being downloaded is obtained across each of the network links at the same time, thus utilizing the bandwidth of each link for the same file at the same time, which increases performance and productivity.

What is ActiveBGP?

A basic way to describe our ActiveBGP technology is to say that it reads and reacts to the how BGP is currently implemented within your network environment. In most situations BGP acts simply to provide failover between two Internet Service Provider connections. The purpose of BGP has typically been to ensure, through automated routing, that when multiple Internet connections are available, that the IP subnet designated for the customers is always available through at least one of those connections. This guarantees that even in the event of a link outage that the IP space for the customer is correctly re-routed through the secondary Internet connection, keeping the customers network up and running.

In some instances BGP is also setup to load balance traffic out each of the Internet connections based on the customer's preferences, i.e. some traffic is routed out one interface while other traffic is routed out another interface, but typically this is a static configuration and requires manual intervention by a senior network engineer in order to make any changes.

With ActiveBGP our customers are able to enjoy both automated and globally optimized routing while also achieving bonded connectivity to the Internet for faster downloads. Additionally, if a customer wishes to make modifications to how the routing is optimized based on their specific needs and/or requirements, the process requires a simple change made via our web-based interface, something easily done by the customers IT and network administrator.

What is Global Route Optimization?

Included with our ActiveBGP module and support plan are routing updates, delivered via XRoads Networks global management system, which are determined by collecting probe data from our many customer deployments and which allow XRoads Networks to recognize outage and latency patterns over time across multiple service providers in order to determine the best path for specific remote destinations.

XRoads Networks determines the best possible path for your mission critical remote applications based on the outage and latency data that it collects and in turn sends the optimized routing information to the ActiveBGP module in order to fine tune each customer's specific network connectivity when two or more connections are available.

Deployment Options

There are typically two ways to deploy the ActiveBGP module via our UBM platform. These include our "proxy" configuration and the "inline" configuration.

In the proxy configuration the UBM appliance acts as an application proxy, where only web traffic is bonded across the available Internet connections, all other traffic is passed on to the gateway device. Optionally, the gateway or other device, perhaps a web content filtering system, forwards only web requests through the UBM appliance, and only that traffic is bonded. See the various configurations below.

When deployed inline the UBM appliance is configured as a transparent bridge and/or as a router, and all Internet-based traffic traverses the system. The ActiveBGP module then determines the best paths to use for each type of traffic. All inbound traffic is still handled by the BGP routing, but outbound traffic is controlled by ActiveBGP and the UBM appliance. See the configuration example below.

ActiveBGP Proxy Configuration

In this deployment web-based traffic is redirected through the UBM appliance. This will accelerate most cloud-based services and access to popular sites like Facebook, YouTube, and other social media sites. This will also speed up most Internet downloads and fully utilize the bandwidth of each ISP connection.

Traffic which is not web-based will continue to traverse through the LAN firewall and out through the appropriate ISP router based on the BGP configuration. Inbound traffic will continue to traverse through the primary ISP A Internet link based your current BGP setup. In the event of an ISP A outage BGP will re-route the inbound traffic via ISP B so that connectivity can continue without interruption.

ActiveBGP Inline Configuration

In this deployment all traffic traverses through the UBM appliance as it leaves the end-users on its way to the firewall/LAN gateway device. ActiveBGP will bond all traffic which can be bonded and then optimize the routing for all other traffic. This is done via both ISP A and ISP B at the same time. Further, the network administrator can make changes on the fly to determine how certain applications and/or specific destinations are routed through the appliance.

Inbound traffic will continue to traverse through the primary ISP A Internet link based your current BGP setup. In the event of an ISP A outage BGP will re-route the inbound traffic via ISP B so that connectivity can continue without interruption. This configuration does not affect inbound traffic in anyway.

Note: In both configurations an additional subnet is required from ISP B. This can be a small routed subnet as small as a /30 and will be assigned between the ISP B gateway and the WAN2 interface of the UBM appliance.