27 and 28 January 2011

Download the video file - don-deb.mp4

Developing the Fringe Routing Protocol

Don Stokes - Knossos Networks 
Deb Shepherd
- Masters Student, Victoria University / Developer, Catch22


The purpose of an ISP's network is to connect internal clients with a high speed external link. Most traffic on the network moves between an internal client and the external world via the backbone. But what about traffic between two clients of the ISP? Ideally, from the ISP point of view, this traffic will go up to the backbone and down again but it is possible that it may find another route along a redundant backup path. The Fringe Routing Protocol sits on the client fringes of this ISP style of network. It manipulates the route cost calculation so that paths towards backbone gateways become more attractive than paths away from the gateway, sending traffic in the preferred direction unless the 'shortcut' is very attractive or the backbone link has disappeared.

This presentation follows the development of the Fringe Routing Protocol from initial concept through to the realities and problems of creating a FRP daemon for the Quagga open source software routing suite.


Don Stokes specialises in network infrastructure, DNS and network services provision, Internet traffic accounting systems and other related fields. Don has been working in information technology since 1985. He founded and ran a major ISP from 1992 to 1997, and has been involved in provision of the NZ TLD DNS servers since 1992.

Deb Shepherd moved to an IT career in the early 90's. She works predominantly as a freelance contractor, apart from occasional forays in to academia from which she has gained a BSc (Computer Science) and a PGDipSc (Computer Science) from Victoria University of Wellington. Deb is about to submit her ME (Network Engineering) thesis based on her work on FRP.

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