More specifics driving traffic to transit?

Interesting talk at RIPE 63 in Vienna today from Fredy Kuenzler of the Swiss network Init7 – How more specifics increase your transit bill (video transcript).

It proposes that although you may peer with directly with a network, any more specific prefixes or deaggregated routes which they announce to their upstream transit provider will eventually reach you, and circumvent the direct peering. If this forces traffic to your transit provider, it costs you money per meg, rather than it being covered in your (usually flat) cost of peering.

Of course, if it’s the one transit provider in the middle, they are getting to double-dip – being paid twice (once on each side) for the same traffic! Nice if you can get it!

So, the question is, how to find these more specific routes mark them as unattractive and not install them in your Forwarding Table, preferring the peered route, and saving you money.

Geoff Huston suggests he could provide a feed or a list of the duplicate more specific routes, crunching this sort of thing is something he’s been doing for ages with BGP routing data, such as the CIDR Report.

But the question remains how to take these routes and either a) keep them in the table, but deprefer the more specific which breaks a fundamental piece of decision making in BGP processing, or b) filter them out entirely, without affecting redundancy if the direct peering fails for any reason.

I started out being too simplistic, but hmm… having a think about this one…