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Routing and Bridging
Full Paper
FIRE: Flexible Intra-AS Routing Environment
Craig Partridge (BBN Technologies)
Alex C. Snoeren (BBN Technologies & Massachusetts Institute of Technology)
Tim Strayer (BBN Technologies)
Beverly Schwartz (BBN Technologies)
Matthew Condell (BBN Technologies)
Isidro Castineyra (BBN Technologies)
Current routing protocols are monolithic. They specify the algorithm used to construct forwarding tables, the metric used by the algorithm (generally some form of hop-count), and the protocol used to distribute these metrics (e.g., link-state or distance vector) as an integrated package. The Flexible Intra-AS Routing Environment (FIRE) is a link-state, intra-domain routing protocol that decouples these three components. FIRE supports run-time programmable algorithms and metrics over a secure link-state distribution protocol. By allowing the network operator to dynamically reprogram in Java both the metrics and routing algorithm used to construct forwarding tables, FIRE supports the development and deployment of novel routing algorithms without the need for a new protocol to distribute state. FIRE supports multiple concurrent routing algorithms and metrics, each constructing separate forwarding tables. Through the use of operator-specified packet filters, separate classes of traffic may be routed using completely different routing algorithms, all supported by a single routing protocol. This paper presents an overview of FIRE, focusing particularly on the novel aspects of FIRE with respect to traditional routing protocols. We also briefly describe the Java programming interface and discuss our implementation experience.