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Larry J. Blunk, Merit Network IETF 61 Washington, DC November 9, 2004. Standardizing the MRT format. Overview. MRT Background Why Standardize Basic Format Existing Type Definitions Implementations Issues. MRT Background.

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Larry J. Blunk, Merit NetworkIETF 61

Washington, DC

November 9, 2004

Standardizing the MRT format

overview
Overview
  • MRT Background
  • Why Standardize
  • Basic Format
  • Existing Type Definitions
  • Implementations
  • Issues
mrt background
MRT Background
  • MRT format developed as part of the Multi-threaded Routing Toolkit at Merit in mid-90\'s
  • Simple format to record routing information with timestamps
      • Routing messages/packets (e.g. BGP UPDATEs)
      • RIB table dumps
  • Primarily used for BGP information
      • Also can support other routing protocols (e.g. RIP, RIPng, OSPF, ISIS)
why standardize
Why standardize?
  • The MRT format is widely used by researchers studying BGP and Inter-domain routing
  • Employed by RIPE RIS and Routeviews BGP routing data collectors
  • Existing documentation of MRT format is limited
  • There are a now 9+ implementations
    • Some implementations have compatibility issues
    • Researchers and vendors have duplicated efforts in some cases to extend the format
    • Currently no method to avoid conflicts when extending
  • Standardizing routing information export format would seem to complement work in IPFIX for IP flows
basic mrt format

0 1 2 3

0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 0 1

+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+

| Timestamp |

+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+

| Type | Subtype |

+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+

| Length |

+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+

| Message... (variable)

+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+

Basic MRT Format

Initial draft - http://www.mrtd.net/doc/mrt-draft-00.html

existing type definitions
Existing Type Definitions
  • Control Types
    • NULL, START, DIE, I_AM_DEAD, PEER_DOWN
    • Provides indication/timestamps when a MRT data collection begins and ends, and loss of connectivity to a peer
    • No known implementation support
  • Routing Information Types
    • BGP, RIP, IDRP, RIPNG, BGP4PLUS, BGP4PLUS_01, OSPF, TABLE_DUMP
    • Zebra created new BGP4MP type which combines capabilities for BGP, BGP4PLUS, BGP4PLUS_01, and TABLE_DUMP types under a single type
    • Sprint Labs has created a type for ISIS information
    • Some undocumented vendor types – Arbor, Packet Design
implementations
Implementations
  • Routing daemons
    • MRTd
    • Zebra/Quagga
    • OpenBSD BGPD
  • Tools
    • MRT routebtoa/routeatob – ascii dumper/undumper
    • libbgpdump – library package and bgpdump utility
    • zebra-dump-parser – perl based dumper
    • C-BGP – BGP decision process simulator
    • pyrt - Sprint Labs Python Routing Toolkit
  • Internal product implementations by vendors
    • Arbor Networks
    • Packet Design
issues
Issues
  • Existing MRT implementations rely on local storage of data
    • Transport mechanisms for devices without storage, like routers, have not been throughly addressed
  • The specification includes support for RIP, RIPng, and OSPF, but these formats have not been fully documented nor implemented – e.g., need should format include source/dest IP addresses
  • Some conflicts exist between implementations
    • Need mechanisms to extend format and avoid conflicts
issues cont d
Issues (cont\'d)
  • Existing format uses timing resolution of one second
    • Sprint and Packet Design have added support for sub-second resolution – may wish to standardize support
  • Possible new formats to aggregate or refine information
    • Summarization by prefix or AS may be useful
  • Should there be a requirements document?
  • Is the current basic format sufficient to meet future needs?
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