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This Week: Deploying BGP Multicast VPNs, 2nd Edition

The networking industry has been looking for the best way to offer Multicast VPN services while leveraging the strength and scalability of the existing BGP/MPLS VPN technology. The result of several years of effort is Multiprotocol BGP Multicast VPN, often referred to as BGP MVPN. This next generation technology has received a warm welcome in the market and is already deployed in many production networks, from Tier-1 service providers to financial and trading companies.

This Week: Deploying BGP Multicast VPNs, 2nd Edition, assumes the reader has at least some experience with IP/MPLS architectures, including Multiprotocol BGP and IGPs. You are not expected to be an expert in multicast as the basic concepts are revisited in the book, but if you are already familiar with BGP/MPLS IP VPNs, you will find this book easier to read.

Whatever you bring to this book will only be amplified by its clear explanations, explicit examples, and attention to detail. The author walks you step-by-step through an advanced technology, thoroughly exploring a design that can be stood up in a week. Roll up your sleeves and let’s get down to work.

“This excellent book is an ideal way to bring you up to speed on BGP Multicast VPN technology. The book is a very practical guide, clearly describing the theory while showing the reader exactly how to configure the network using Junos. It’s highly recommended!”

Julian Lucek, Distinguished Systems Engineer, Juniper Networks

Learn something new about Junos this week:

  • Build a BGP Multicast VPN working solution from scratch.
  • Configure and operate dynamic Point-to-Multipoint MPLS Label Switched Paths, with and without Traffic Engineering features.
  • Describe the integration of Customer PIM instances with VPNs, both in Any-Source Multicast (ASM) and Source-Specific Multicast (SSM) scenarios.
  • Design an optimal distribution of Inclusive and Selective tunnels. Find the right balance between control and forwarding plane efficiency.
  • Use Route Target policies to achieve partial mesh topologies of MVPN sites.

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About the Author(s)

Antonio “Ato” Sanchez Monge (JNCIE-M #222 and CCIE #13098) holds a MS in Physics and a BA in Mathematics from the Universidad Autonoma de Madrid (UAM). He joined HP back in 1999 to specialize in networking support, then moved to Juniper Networks in 2004, where he is currently working at the Professional Services team. During the last decade, Ato has been involved with projects for different ISPs in Europe.

Author Q & A

What got you started on this book?

When the BGP Multicast VPN technology was first released in Junos back in 2007, I needed to explain the solution in depth to one of our customers. At that time BGP MVPN wasn’t nearly as popular and established in the market as it is now. How could I explain something that I was not familiar with? It took me several weeks to read all the IETF specifications, Junos documentation and design tips, as well as intense hands-on practice sessions to get the necessary expertise. I would have loved at the time to have one book that explains it from scratch, guiding me in the learning process with a practical focus. Then in 2009 my colleague Anton Bernal first talked to me about the Day One series and I was delighted to read and practice with a few books by Curtis Call, now integrated into “This Week: Applying Junos Automation”. I like Curtis’ book since it tells you exactly what you need to know in order to understand others’ scripts and to write your own ones. So I thought that I could try the same thing for a completely different topic: BGP Multicast VPN. This initiative was welcomed by Patrick Ames and Juniper Networks Books. And that’s how it all started. A few months after the First Edition was published (and many years after Tier-1 customers started to seriously deploy it) BGP Multicast VPN finally became an IETF standard covered by two complementary RFCs. Also, I got very interesting feedback from readers, including one of the fathers of BGP/MPLS VPN and BGP MVPN: Yakov Rekhter. So I decided to update the book and Patrick helped me to get this Second Edition out.

Who is this book for?

This book is written for anyone willing to learn about BGP Multicast VPN, either from scratch or with some previous knowledge. It contains introductory chapters to refresh IP Multicast and BGP/MPLS VPNs concepts, so you don’t need to be an expert in these technologies to follow successfully. Due to its practical focus, you will need some basic Junos CLI skills (covered by the Day One “Junos Fundamentals Series”) to take full advantage of the book. Although it is highly recommended to have a lab setup to do the hands-on steps, the relevant commands and output are displayed in each section, which makes the book self-contained and readable even without a test scenario.

After reading this book, what’s the take away?

BGP Multicast VPN is a rich technology with a number of deployment options. In order to choose the right design approach for given service requirements, it is key to have a solid understanding of the feature set. In this book I try to explain in detail what the main flavors have in common, as well as their differences, pros and cons. The focus is on “how” the BGP MVPN solution works, “how” to configure it and “how” to verify it is working. If you are planning to design, deploy and operate a BGP MVPN network, or simply need to know what this technology is all about, this book will help you to achieve these goals.

What are you hoping people will learn from this book?

I wrote it to help others to become fluent in the BGP MVPN technology by being able to explain in detail how it works, both on a whiteboard and by following the route exchanges directly in a Junos router. The goal is to lead MVPN beginners into a comprehensive overview of the tecnology, while allowing the more initiated readers to learn details and clarify concepts.

What do you recommend as the next item to read after this book?

Check existing books in the “Day One” website! I also suggest reading the last edition of the “MPLS-Enabled Applications” book from Ina Minei and Julian Lucek, which provides a thorough and modern overview of the MPLS technologies, including BGP MVPN. There is also a recent publication that covers Multicast VPN in depth: “Deploying Next Generation Multicast-enabled Applications”, co-authored by Vinod Joseph.

What’s your inspiration?

I like listening to (or reading about) people who really intend to transfer knowledge, rather than just stating facts. While writing this book I tried to make things easier for the reader than they were for myself. In that sense, I would like to keep the book evolving based on feedack from readers. Several people have already read it and influenced the content, mainly the editor (Patrick Ames), the technical & content reviewers (Julian Lucek, Yakov Rekhter, Miguel Barreiros and Efraín González) and my most thorough reader (Lorenzo Murillo).

What’s your favorite bit/part in the book?

One of the things that I like the most about BGP MVPN is the degree at which control plane is decoupled from the forwarding plane. One example (covered in Chapter 3) is Shortest Path Tree switchover: in a classical IP Multicast this process is mainly data driven, while in BGP MVPN it is mostly dictated by the control plane. In general, it is quite impressive how many BGP MVPN lab tests can be done with no traffic at all.