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Use the Route Optimizer tool in the Partner Portal to run reports on your BGP route announcements. You can:

  • Compare BGP route announcements from different sources to discover patterns that may result in suboptimal traffic routing
  • Discover routes that Netflix is filtering from its steering algorithms

The Route Optimizer reports include all announcements that Netflix hears from your ASN(s), including at peering and embedded sites.

For general information about BGP best practices, see the routing and steering information in the related article: Network configuration

Running the reports

  1. Open Routes > Route Optimizer from your organizations' home page.

    route-explorer.png

  2. Select the type of report you want to run:
    • Select Compare Routes to compare announcements between different transport types and discover potentially suboptimal announcements. Then, select the comparisons that you are interested in.

      Note:  "Other" routes are routes announced by your organization towards upstream providers, which Netflix is hearing at other peering sites via another ASN that is not owned by your organization.

      Tip: If you want to look at all issues for a single prefix across all sites where it is advertised, select all of the comparisons and then sort the results by prefix. 

    • Select View Filtered Routes to discover routes that Netflix is filtering from its steering algorithms.
  3. Select other options, then click Show to run the report and display the results.
  4. Use the Filter field to limit results, and click CSV to export the full results to a CSV file for further offline analysis.

Interpreting the results and fixing issues

Compare Routes

Each row in the results represents a situation where routes have potentially been announced sub-optimally. Whether these conditions actually cause any issues with traffic patterns will depend on your particular network environment and which prefixes are being used to serve Netflix clients.

To determine whether traffic is actually being served from less-preferred sources, look at the Traffic by AS Path report to view high level traffic patterns. If you see unexpected patterns in the Traffic by AS Path report, the route comparisons in the Route Optimizer tool can help you dig deeper into BGP announcement patterns that could be improved.

In the Results grid, the columns on the left represent a typically less optimal transport type that will be preferred by our steering algorithms as a primary source, all other conditions being equal. On the right, the columns represent what is typically a more optimal transport type, however the routes are being advertised such that traffic is not likely to be steered to it as a primary source.

The results that are returned are in one of two categories:

  • Prefixes that are announced more specifically to a less optimal source
  • Optionally: Prefixes that are announced to the less optimal source, but not announced (labeled as Missing) to the more optimal source. Note: You can filter these out of the results using the report options.

In either case, the results highlight situations that could potentially cause Netflix traffic for each prefix to be routed to a less optimal source.

The values that are currently causing each route to be preferred by the less optimal transport type are circled in the results grid. You could fix the issue by changing either value. The goal is to display a potential fix for each issue. However, again, the ultimate fix will depend on your individual network environment.

For example, consider the following "PNI peering vs Embedded" comparison. Peering is typically a less optimal transport type and we would prefer to serve traffic from more local Embedded sources. You might see a row in the results that looks similar to this:

compare-routes-pni-embedded.png

In this case, the prefix lengths and AS Path lengths are the same, but the advertisement to PNI peering has a lower MED value. Therefore (again, all other conditions being equal,) our BGP best path selection criteria will steer traffic on this prefix to the PNI peering site over the embedded site. In most cases, we want to serve as much traffic as possible from the embedded sites, so we show this result in the report as a potential optimization opportunity.

You could fix this particular situation by either increasing the MED value at the peering site or decreasing the MED value at the embedded site.

As another example, consider the following "Other vs. PNI peering" comparison.

compare-routes-other-pni.png

 In this case, there are some prefixes that are advertised more specifically to "Other" sources vs. at the PNI peering site. In most cases, it is more optimal to serve traffic from the PNI site, so we show these results as another potential optimization opportunity.

Note: In the second row, there are actually 21 similar prefixes that fall into the "Other" category, so the prefix shows a count next to it. Assuming this situation is an actual issue for your particular network, you would want to investigate and correct all instances of the prefix.

View Filtered Routes

There are various situations where Netflix rejects routes and filters them out of our steering algorithms. This report returns prefixes that we are rejecting and the reasons for rejecting them. Although it is not critical to fix these issues because we are already rejecting the routes, as a best practice they should be corrected.

Reasons include:

  • RPKI: Violation of our RPKI validation rules
    •   Route origin ASN does not match any of the authorized origins for the prefix.
  • Tier 1: Unexpected Tier 1 ASN in the AS Path
    • When we peer with a non-Tier-1 transit provider (someone who pays other providers for transit), seeing Tier 1 ASNs on the AS path indicates a route leak.

 

 

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