A company or organization that wishes to operate on the Internet with maximum autonomy and resilience will necessarily use Internet connectivity acquired from different network operators (carriers). Managing a complex network with multiple access links to the Internet requires specific knowledge and extensive operational experience.
It is, in fact, essential:
- know how to manage, control, and streamline interaction with the various Internet connectivity operators
- verify the operation of the network itself
- be able to diagnose and resolve the anomalie
The choice of multiple links is often accompanied by the acquisition of the status of LIR (Local Internet Registry), i.e., becoming a subject accredited by the RIPE NCC, the body responsible for the management and distribution of internet resources (IP addresses and Autonomous System numbers). To become LIR it is necessary to ask the RIPE NCC to assign you a unique identifier to which to associate a series of IP addresses and Autonomous System, that you can manage independently.
The use of your Autonomous System number involves, first of all, knowing how to operate the BGP protocol (Border Gateway Protocol). This routing protocol allows you to work independently from the carriers used to access the network.
INRETE offers a complete package of services to address the operational aspects described, providing:
- the management of the routers
- the monitoring
- the management of relationships with carriers
- the management of relations with network governance bodies (RIPE)
The service called LIR-AS-BGP by INRETE comes from the need to simplify bureaucratic-administrative procedures and solve the problems of technical implementation and management of multiple links to the Internet, offering companies autonomy from the carriers and more reliability.
INRETE's Load Balancing service completes the LIR-AS-BGP service as a complete traffic routing management solution designed to optimize access and ensure the continuity and reliability of Internet services. By efficiently distributing traffic between internet links and servers, keeping a high level of performance, and avoiding slowdowns and congestion during peak loads.
Load Balancing performs a constant diagnosis of the customer's network and servers, providing a complete picture of:
- services usage
- server uptime
- distribution of access between servers
The data collected by INRETE's Load Balancing represents a valuable source of statistics to optimize the flow of information and, in case of malfunctions, allows to shorten the diagnostic and functional restoration times, automatically removing from operation state the servers that present anomalies.
In the presence of multi-homed connectivity, where different network operators (carriers) provide multiple Internet connections, and the organization manages the announcement policies of its Autonomous System (AS), it is crucial to have visibility of how these announcements are received and their effects.
Inrete has created and provides BGPSentinel, a BGP announcement verification tool designed and optimized for multi-homed organizations.
It is expected that frequent routing changes will occur in the global network. Still, for a specific router of a particular connection, the changes should be relatively rare to avoid continuous and dangerous fluctuations in the Internet traffic routes.
The routers that "talk" to each other through the BGP protocol, even with a series of security checks, by definition accept as valid the routes communicated (announced) by the other BGP routers. This mechanism allows for a very high "resilience" of the Internet network as traffic routing decisions occur automatically and in a distributed manner. However, it also exposes you to accidental or malicious network traffic disruptions.
Although several tools exist to examine the behavior of the BGP "routing tables", these were created to solve the problems of transit carriers and Internet exchanges. They do not solve the needs of an organization that uses multiple accesses, which from the point of view of the Internet's architecture, is an "end node", not a "transit" network like a carrier.
BPGSentinel specifically addresses the needs of this type of multi-homed network/Autonomous System (AS), providing information on the current status and allowing inspection of all BGP events that occurred in the past days or months.
BPGSentinel focusing on the organization's AS and IP addresses, verifies precisely how the specific AS/nets are "seen and routed" through the different Internet carriers and checks that the traffic to and from them is correctly handled.
BPGSentinel records 24x7 all anomalies and notify any changes in status in various ways. Twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week, the system records all significant events promptly, highlighting what may require further intervention or investigation.