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Ams ix web news icon bgp rs collaboration

Leading global internet exchange operators collaborate to strengthen open source bgp implementations




March 16, 2021

The world’s largest Internet Exchanges (IXs) AMS-IX, DE-CIX, LINX, and Netnod have joined forces with the newly founded Route Server Support Foundation (RSSF) to tackle the lack of open source software suitable for high-end mission critical Route Server deployments. The ultimate goal of the cooperation is the improvement of the BGP software diversity and the strengthening of open source BGP implementations.

IXs are central to Internet operations and help move data traffic between thousands of network operators (carriers), Internet service providers (ISPs), content providers and billions of people. Route Servers act as “relays” which redistribute BGP routing information between ISPs connected to an Internet Exchange. Route Servers allow newcomers to instantly start exchanging traffic with the majority of existing participants, negating the need for time-consuming manual coordination between all individual participants.

The newly founded Route Server Support Foundation contributes to the diversity in Route Server implementations by using the Internet Engineering Task Forces (IETF) open Internet standards. Open Standards make it possible to create multiple different implementations for the same functionality - each implementation with its own strengths. Leveraging a diverse set of Route Server implementations reduces the chances of a single software defect causing Internet-scale problems.

The world’s largest Internet Exchanges selected the Dutch RSSF non-profit organisation to deliver a secure and high performance Route Server based on OpenBSD’s OpenBGPD. Key players in a competitive market vertical collaborating at this scale for mutual benefit is unique.

Job Snijders, technical lead and director at RSSF, says:

"In OpenBGPD we have a strong and secure foundation to develop a robust Route Server. We are proud to have received the financial commitments which allow us to hire talented developers to work on open source software for public benefit!”

Niels Raijer, chairman of RSSF, adds:

"Under today's circumstances, Internet Exchanges have become critical infrastructure. With RSSF, we offer not just a technical, but also a financial and management structure. That makes it possible for our developers to focus on what they love, which is improving Open Source software, while we make sure the software becomes delivered according to the requirements and on schedule."

Steven Bakker, platform and solutions architect at AMS-IX says:

“Open standards and software diversity are essential for the robustness of the Internet, so we fully endorse an initiative that aims to develop a viable alternative to the existing route server. Moreover, this initiative once again shows that the large Internet exchanges can work together to achieve goals that are beneficial to the whole industry.”

Dr. Thomas King, CTO at DE-CIX says:

“Route Servers are invaluable for Internet Exchange customers, as they allow you to get all IP routes from other peers at the IXP with only one peering session. Today, almost all Route Servers are based on a single recognized open source software. Our goal with the RSSF is to create a second, comparable powerful Route Server implementation based on OpenBGPD here. This allows more redundancy and thus stability for Route Server installations worldwide. DE-CIX would like to make a significant contribution to the community and is therefore one of the founding sponsors of the RSSF.”

Moyaze Shivji, Senior Network Engineer for LINX says:

“LINX is committed to having another open source based Route Server available for deployment on all our exchange platforms. We are committed to working with RSSF and other IXPs to deliver a stable and scalable Route Server infrastructure. This is an exciting time for Route Servers in this industry.”

Mattias Karlsson, Head of Engineering at Netnod says:

“Ensuring the stability and diversity of route servers is of great value to IX operators and the peering community. This is why Netnod has been supporting OpenBGPD developers for some years now. We look forward to the continued development under the guidance of the Route Server Support Foundation.”

About RSSF

The Netherlands based Stichting Route Server Support (translated: Route Server Support Foundation) was founded to support the development of route server software and to further the quality and safety of the Internet routing system. For more information about RSSF, please visit their lank" rel="noreferrer noopener">website.

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