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Q&A: What is BGP Flapping?

Question

  • What is BGP Flapping?
  • When is BGP Flapping a problem? When should I alert the SOC?

Environment

  • Silverline DDoS
  • BGP Routing
  • GRE Tunnels

Answer

  • "BGP Flapping" is a normal part of the internet, and is the result of carriers working to prevent instability in BGP networking. 
    • Up to 3 minutes (180 seconds) flap is considered normal / standard.
  • Carriers implement BGP Timeouts to keep the network stable. 
    • When this is happening, the BGP route disappears and reappears in the routing table.
    • This is one of the reasons that the SOC requires 2 GRE tunnels or 2 IP-IP tunnels per router, in order to ensure redundancy to each of our scrubbing centers.
  • Continual flaps are problematic, as well as BGP that goes down and stays down.

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