On BGP Communities

Benoit Donnet and Olivier Bonaventure
Appears in: 
CCR April 2008

This paper focuses on BGP communities, a particular BGP attribute that has not yet been extensively studied by the research community. It allows an operator to group destinations in a single entity to which the same routing decisions might be applied. In this paper, we show that the usage of this attribute has increased and that it also contributes to routing table growth. In addition, we propose a taxonomy of BGP community attributes to allow operators to better document their communities. We further manually collect information on BGP communities and tag it according to our taxonomy. We show that a large proportion of the BGP communities are used for traffic engineering purposes.