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Re: Enterprise Multihoming

  • From: John Neiberger
  • Date: Thu Mar 11 11:29:47 2004

>>> Daniel Roesen <> 3/11/04 9:13:04 AM >>>
>On Thu, Mar 11, 2004 at 09:04:57AM -0700, John Neiberger wrote:
>> For the past few years it has been fairly common for non-ISPs to
>> multihome to different providers for additional redundancy in case
>> single provider has problems. I know this is frowned upon now,
>> especially since it helped increase the number of autonomous systems
>> routing table prefixes beyond what was really necessary.
>Who defines what is "really necessary"? What is your understanding
>of "really necessary" when it comes to the desire to be commercially
>and technically independent of your suppliers?
>It's this discussion again.

That goes off in entirely the wrong direction but I guess I'll clarify
that statement. :-) My point was that most companies could have met
their connectivity requirements by simply getting multiple connections
to the same provider from the beginning. However, among the
less-technical managers it seemed to be popular to demand connectivity
to multiple ISPs. It seems that me that this was not really necessary
from a technical perspective in many cases, it just made people feel

I don't really want to focus on that, though; I'm more interested in
the situation as it stands today. If a company were going to add brand
new Internet connectivity where it didn't exist before, what factors
would you use to determine if multiple ISPs should even be considered?

Given the stability of the larger ISPs and the general lack of true BGP
expertise at many companies, is the potential benefit of multihoming to
different ISPs worth the added risk and responsbility that comes with
using BGP? 

Our BGP configuration isn't very difficult to understand but we do have
a lack of BGP knowledge in the department and some additional training
is in order. However, might it not be better to just simplify our
connectivity and remove BGP altogether? Sure, I like BGP as much as the
next guy but there's no sense in running it just because we can. :-)


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