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Recently, Paolo Lucente, a member of the Global IP Network division of NTT Ltd. wrote a blog on better route monitoring with the Border Gateway Protocol (BGP) Monitoring.

Those with technical knowledge of how Internet routing works will already be familiar with the BGP, a fundamental Internet protocol enabling the exchange of reachability information to drive the vast quantities of traffic that cross the web worldwide each day.

While the exchange of BGP information tends to be complex and, at times, error-prone, there has also always been a lack of a streamlined, standardized toolset when it comes to monitoring how routes are being exchanged and why particular paths are chosen or not. This often creates something of an air of mystery around these processes and makes it hard to see how well things are running. And although it is possible to use BGP to monitor itself, this falls short on insight compared with having an independent monitoring plane for the protocol.

The situation is improving, however, as a new protocol — known as the BGP Monitoring Protocol (BMP) — is being defined (RFC 7854) and adopted, promising some key advances and unprecedented opportunities to streamline BGP data collection. Developing solutions relying on this protocol presents a clean, standardized way to run this process that is straightforward and easy to operate, and for which the pathway has opened in the age of big data.