Routing Policy Overview
By default, all routing protocols place their routes into the routing table. When advertising routes, the routing protocols by default advertise only a limited set of routes from the routing table. Specifically, each routing protocol exports only the active routes that were learned by that protocol. In addition, the interior gateway protocols (IS-IS, OSPF, and RIP) export the direct (interface) routes for the interfaces on which they are explicitly configured.
You can control the routes that a protocol places into each table and the routes from that table that the protocol advertises. You do this by defining one or more routing policies and then applying them to the specific routing protocol.
Routing policies applied when the routing protocol places routes into the routing table are referred to as import policies because the routes are being imported into the routing table. Policies applied when the routing protocol is advertising routes that are in the routing table are referred to as export policies because the routes are being exported from the routing table. In other words, the terms import and export are used with respect to the routing table.
A routing policy enables you to control (filter) which routes a routing protocol imports into the routing table and which routes a routing protocol exports from the routing table. A routing policy also enables you to set the information associated with a route as it is being imported into or exported from the routing table. Filtering imported routes enables you to control the routes used to determine active routes. Filtering routes being exported from the routing table enables you to control the routes that a protocol advertises to its neighbors.
A defined routing policy specifies the conditions to use to match a route and the action to perform on the route when a match occurs. For example, when a routing table imports routing information from a routing protocol, a routing policy might modify the route’s preference, mark the route with a color to identify it and allow it to be manipulated later, or prevent the route from even being installed in a routing table. When a routing table exports routes into a routing protocol, a policy might assign metric values, modify the BGP community information, tag the route with additional information, or prevent the route from being exported altogether. You also can define policies for redistributing the routes learned from one protocol into another protocol.