Understanding BGP Path Selection

 

For each prefix in the routing table, the routing protocol process selects a single best path. After the best path is selected, the route is installed in the routing table. The best path becomes the active route if the same prefix is not learned by a protocol with a lower (more preferred) global preference value, also known as the administrative distance. The algorithm for determining the active route is as follows:

  1. Verify that the next hop can be resolved.
  2. Choose the path with the lowest preference value (routing protocol process preference).

    Routes that are not eligible to be used for forwarding (for example, because they were rejected by routing policy or because a next hop is inaccessible) have a preference of –1 and are never chosen.

  3. Prefer the path with higher local preference.

    For non-BGP paths, choose the path with the lowest preference2 value.

  4. If the accumulated interior gateway protocol (AIGP) attribute is enabled, prefer the path with the lower AIGP attribute.
  5. Prefer the path with the shortest autonomous system (AS) path value (skipped if the as-path-ignore statement is configured).

    A confederation segment (sequence or set) has a path length of 0. An AS set has a path length of 1.

  6. Prefer the route with the lower origin code.

    Routes learned from an IGP have a lower origin code than those learned from an exterior gateway protocol (EGP), and both have lower origin codes than incomplete routes (routes whose origin is unknown).

  7. Prefer the path with the lowest multiple exit discriminator (MED) metric.

    Depending on whether nondeterministic routing table path selection behavior is configured, there are two possible cases:

    • If nondeterministic routing table path selection behavior is not configured (that is, if the path-selection cisco-nondeterministic statement is not included in the BGP configuration), for paths with the same neighboring AS numbers at the front of the AS path, prefer the path with the lowest MED metric. To always compare MEDs whether or not the peer ASs of the compared routes are the same, include the path-selection always-compare-med statement.

    • If nondeterministic routing table path selection behavior is configured (that is, the path-selection cisco-nondeterministic statement is included in the BGP configuration), prefer the path with the lowest MED metric.

    Confederations are not considered when determining neighboring ASs. A missing MED metric is treated as if a MED were present but zero.

    Note

    MED comparison works for single path selection within an AS (when the route does not include an AS path), though this usage Is uncommon.

    By default, only the MEDs of routes that have the same peer autonomous systems (ASs) are compared. You can configure routing table path selection options to obtain different behaviors.

  8. Prefer strictly internal paths, which include IGP routes and locally generated routes (static, direct, local, and so forth).
  9. Prefer strictly external BGP (EBGP) paths over external paths learned through internal BGP (IBGP) sessions.
  10. Prefer the path whose next hop is resolved through the IGP route with the lowest metric.Note

    A path is considered a BGP equal-cost path (and will be used for forwarding) if a tie-break is performed after the previous step. All paths with the same neighboring AS, learned by a multipath-enabled BGP neighbor, are considered.

    BGP multipath does not apply to paths that share the same MED-plus-IGP cost yet differ in IGP cost. Multipath path selection is based on the IGP cost metric, even if two paths have the same MED-plus-IGP cost.

    BGP compares the type of IGP metric before comparing the metric value itself in rt_metric2_cmp. For example, BGP routes that are resolved through IGP are preferred over discarded or rejected next-hops that are of type RTM_TYPE_UNREACH. Such routes are declared inactive because of their metric-type.

  11. If both paths are external, prefer the currently active path to minimize route-flapping. This rule is not used if any one of the following conditions is true:
    • path-selection external-router-id is configured.

    • Both peers have the same router ID.

    • Either peer is a confederation peer.

    • Neither path is the current active path.

  12. Prefer a primary route over a secondary route. A primary route is one that belongs to the routing table. A secondary route is one that is added to the routing table through an export policy.
  13. Prefer the path from the peer with the lowest router ID. For any path with an originator ID attribute, substitute the originator ID for the router ID during router ID comparison.
  14. Prefer the path with the shortest cluster list length. The length is 0 for no list.
  15. Prefer the path from the peer with the lowest peer IP address.

Routing Table Path Selection

The shortest AS path step of the algorithm, by default, evaluates the length of the AS path and determines the active path. You can configure an option that enables Junos OS to skip this step of the algorithm by including the as-path-ignore option.

Note

Starting with Junos OS Release 14.1R8, 14.2R7, 15.1R4, 15.1F6, and 16.1R1, the as-path-ignore option is supported for routing instances.

The routing process path selection takes place before BGP hands off the path to the routing table to makes its decision. To configure routing table path selection behavior, include the path-selection statement:

For a list of hierarchy levels at which you can include this statement, see the statement summary section for this statement.

Routing table path selection can be configured in one of the following ways:

  • Emulate the Cisco IOS default behavior (cisco-non-deterministic). This mode evaluates routes in the order that they are received and does not group them according to their neighboring AS. With cisco-non-deterministic mode, the active path is always first. All inactive, but eligible, paths follow the active path and are maintained in the order in which they were received, with the most recent path first. Ineligible paths remain at the end of the list.

    As an example, suppose you have three path advertisements for the 192.168.1.0 /24 route:

    • Path 1—learned through EBGP; AS Path of 65010; MED of 200

    • Path 2—learned through IBGP; AS Path of 65020; MED of 150; IGP cost of 5

    • Path 3—learned through IBGP; AS Path of 65010; MED of 100; IGP cost of 10

    These advertisements are received in quick succession, within a second, in the order listed. Path 3 is received most recently, so the routing device compares it against path 2, the next most recent advertisement. The cost to the IBGP peer is better for path 2, so the routing device eliminates path 3 from contention. When comparing paths 1 and 2, the routing device prefers path 1 because it is received from an EBGP peer. This allows the routing device to install path 1 as the active path for the route.

    Note

    We do not recommend using this configuration option in your network. It is provided solely for interoperability to allow all routing devices in the network to make consistent route selections.

  • Always comparing MEDs whether or not the peer ASs of the compared routes are the same (always-compare-med).

  • Override the rule that If both paths are external, the currently active path is preferred (external-router-id). Continue with the next step (Step 12) in the path-selection process.

  • Adding the IGP cost to the next-hop destination to the MED value before comparing MED values for path selection (med-plus-igp).

    BGP multipath does not apply to paths that share the same MED-plus-IGP cost, yet differ in IGP cost. Multipath path selection is based on the IGP cost metric, even if two paths have the same MED-plus-IGP cost.

BGP Table path selection

The following parameters are followed for BGP's path selection:

  1. Prefer the highest local-preference value.
  2. Prefer the shortest AS-path length.
  3. Prefer the lowest origin value.
  4. Prefer the lowest MED value.
  5. Prefer routes learned from an EBGP peer over an IBGP peer.
  6. Prefer best exit from AS.
  7. For EBGP-received routes, prefer the current active route.
  8. Prefer routes from the peer with the lowest Router ID.
  9. Prefer paths with the shortest cluster length.
  10. Prefer routes from the peer with the lowest peer IP address. Steps 2, 6 and 12 are the RPD criteria.

Effects of Advertising Multiple Paths to a Destination

BGP advertises only the active path, unless you configure BGP to advertise multiple paths to a destination.

Suppose a routing device has in its routing table four paths to a destination and is configured to advertise up to three paths (add-path send path-count 3). The three paths are chosen based on path selection criteria. That is, the three best paths are chosen in path-selection order. The best path is the active path. This path is removed from consideration and a new best path is chosen. This process is repeated until the specified number of paths is reached.

Release History Table
Release
Description
Starting with Junos OS Release 14.1R8, 14.2R7, 15.1R4, 15.1F6, and 16.1R1, the as-path-ignore option is supported for routing instances.