In most scenarios, an MSDP peer is also a BGP peer. If an autonomous system is a stub or nontransit autonomous system, and particularly if the autonomous system is not multihomed, there is little or no reason to run BGP to its transit autonomous system. A static default route at the stub autonomous system, and a static route pointing to the stub prefixes at the transit autonomous system, is generally sufficient. But if the stub autonomous system is also a multicast domain and its RP must peer with an RP in the neighboring domain, MSDP depends on the BGP next-hop database for its peer-RPF checks. You can disable this dependency on BGP by defining a default peer from which to accept all SA messages without performing the peer-RPF check, using the ip msdp default-peer command. A default MSDP peer must be a previously configured MSDP peer.
A stub autonomous system also might want to have MSDP peerings with more than one RP for the sake of redundancy. For example, SA messages cannot just be accepted from multiple default peers, because there is no RPF check mechanism. Instead, SA messages are accepted from only one peer. If that peer fails, SA messages are then accepted from the other peer. The underlying assumption here, of course, is that both default peers are sending the same SA messages.
The figure illustrates a scenario where default MSDP peers might be used. In the figure, a customer that owns Router B is connected to the Internet through two Internet service providers (ISPs), one that owns Router A and the other that owns Router C. They are not running BGP or MBGP between them. In order for the customer to learn about sources in the ISP domain or in other domains, Router B identifies Router A as its default MSDP peer. Router B advertises SA messages to both Router A and Router C, but accepts SA messages either from Router A only or Router C only. If Router A is the first default peer in the configuration, it will be used if it is up and running. Only if Router A is not running will Router B accept SA messages from Router C.
The ISP will also likely use a prefix list to define which prefixes it will accept from the customer router. The customer will define multiple default peers, each having one or more prefixes associated with it.
The customer has two ISPs to use. The customer defines both ISPs as default peers. As long as the first default peer identified in the configuration is up and running, it will be the default peer and the customer will accept all SA messages it receives from that peer.
Figure 2. Default MSDP Peer Scenario
Router B advertises SAs to Router A and Router C, but uses only Router A or Router C to accept SA messages. If Router A is first in the configuration, it will be used if it is up and running. Only when Router A is not running will Router B accept SAs from Router C. This is the behavior without a prefix list.
If you specify a prefix list, the peer will be a default peer only for the prefixes in the list. You can have multiple active default peers when you have a prefix list associated with each. When you do not have any prefix lists, you can configure multiple default peers, but only the first one is the active default peer as long as the router has connectivity to this peer and the peer is alive. If the first configured peer goes down or the connectivity to this peer goes down, the second configured peer becomes the active default, and so on.