Information About InterAS
An autonomous system (AS) is a single network or group of networks that is controlled by a common system administration group and using a single, clearly defined protocol. In many cases, virtual private networks (VPNs) extend to different ASes in different geographical areas. Some VPNs must extend across multiple service providers; these VPNs are called overlapping VPNs. The connection between ASes must be seamless to the customer, regardless of the complexity or location of the VPNs.
InterAS and ASBR
Separate ASes from different service providers can communicate by exchanging information in the form of VPN IP addresses. The ASBRs use EBGP to exchange that information. The IBGP distributes the network layer information for IP prefixes throughout each VPN and each AS. The following protocols are used for sharing routing information:
Within an AS, routing information is shared using IBGP.
Between ASes, routing information is shared using EBGP. EBGP allows service providers to set up an interdomain routing system that guarantees loop-free exchange of routing information between separate ASes.
The primary function of EBGP is to exchange network reachability information between ASes, including information about the list of AS routes. The ASes use EBGP border edge routers to distribute the routes, which includes label-switching information. Each border edge router rewrites the next-hop and MPLS labels.
InterAS configuration supported in this MPLS VPN can include an interprovider VPN, which is MPLS VPNs that include two or more ASes, connected by separate border edge routers. The ASes exchange routes use EBGP, and no IBGP or routing information is exchanged between the ASes.
Exchanging VPN Routing Information
ASes exchange VPN routing information (routes and labels) to establish connections. To control connections between ASes, the PE routers and EBGP border edge routers maintain a label forwarding information base (LFIB). The LFIB manages the labels and routes that the PE routers and EBGP border edge routers receive during the exchange of VPN information.
The ASes use the following guidelines to exchange VPN routing information:
Routing information includes:
The destination network.
- The next-hop field associated with the distributing router.
A local MPLS label
A route distinguisher (RD1) is part of a destination network address. It makes the VPN IP route globally unique in the VPN service provider environment.
The ASBRs are configured to change the next-hop when sending VPN NLRIs to the IBGP neighbors. Therefore, the ASBRs must allocate a new label when they forward the NLRI to the IBGP neighbors.