Networking Investigate

A Comparison of Overlay Routing and Multihoming Route Control

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Executive Summary

The limitations of BGP routing in the Internet are often blamed for poor end-to-end performance and prolonged connectivity interruptions. Recent work advocates using overlays to effectively bypass BGP's path selection in order to improve performance and fault tolerance. In this paper, the authors explore the possibility that intelligent control of BGP routes, coupled with ISP multihoming, can provide competitive end-to-end performance and reliability. Using extensive measurements of paths between nodes in a large content distribution network, they compare the relative benefits of overlay routing and multihoming route control in terms of round-trip latency, TCP connection throughput, and path availability.

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