Clemens Mosig: Route Flap Damping in the Wild

BGP connects autonomous systems (ASes) in the Internet by announcing (and withdrawing) routes. To prevent oscillating routes, Route Flap Damping (RFD) was introduced in 1998, which suppresses repeating BGP Updates. Route flaps cause performance problems on routers, but RFD as a mitigation technique might also suppress well-behaved or stable routes [SIGCOMM'02] and, in the worst case, leads to unreachability of networks. Because of these drawbacks, the common belief is that RFD is not widely deployed.

We question this common belief about RFD deployment. We try to answer the research questions (i) if RFD is used in practice and (ii) which ASes are affected. We report about challenges, a measurement methodology, and preliminary results. Our on-going study is based on active, controlled experiments and indicates that RFD is used.