Posts Tagged ‘bgp med’


The BGP MED attribute, commonly referred to as the BGP metric, provides a means to convey to a neighboring Autonomous System (AS) a preferred entry point into the local AS.  BGP MED is a non-transitive optional attribute and thus the receiving AS cannot propagate it across its AS borders.  However, the receiving AS may reset the metric value upon receipt, if it so desires.

Previous versions of BGP (v2 and v3) defined this attribute as the inter-AS metric (INTER_AS_METRIC) but in BGPv4 it is defined as the multi-exit discriminator (MULTI_EXIT_DISC). The MED is an unsigned 32bit integer.  The MED value can be any from 0 to 4,294,967,295 (2^32-1) with a lower value being preferred.  Certain implementations of BGP will treat a path with a MED value of 4,294,967,295 as infinite and hence the path would be deemed unusable so the MED value will be reset to 4,294,967,294.  This rewriting of the MED value could lead to inconsistencies, unintended path selections or even churn. I’ll do a follow up article on how BGP MED can possibly cause an endless convergence loop in certain topologies.
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