FIRE: Flexible Intra-AS Routing Environment

Craig Partridge, Alex C. Snoeren, W. Timothy Strayer, Beverly Schwartz, Matthew Condell, and Isidro Castineyra.
Proc. of the ACM SIGCOMM 2000 Conference on Applications, Technologies, Architectures, and Protocols for Computer Communication, August 2000.

Current routing protocols are monolithic, specifying the algorithm used to construct forwarding tables, the metric used by the algorithm (generally some form of hop-count), and the protocol used to distributed these metrics as an integrated package. The Flexible Intra-AS Routing Environment (FIRE) is a link-state, intra-domain routing protocol that decouples these components. FIRE supports run-time-programmable algorithms and metrics for a secure link-state distribution protocol. By allowing the network operator to dynamically reprogram both the information begin advertised and the routing algorithm used to construct forwarding tables in Java, FIRE enables 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. By using operator-specified packet filters, separate classes of traffic are routed using completely different routing algorithms, all supported by a single routing protocol.

This paper presents an overview of FIRE, focusing particularly on FIRE's novel aspects with respect to traditional routing protocols. We also briefly describe our implementation experience.

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(A substantially revised version appeared in IEEE Journal on Selected Areas in Communications (J-SAC))