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Equinix Metal™ supports Border Gateway Protocol (BGP) for advertising routes to Equinix Metal servers in a local environment (called Local BGP), as well as to the greater Internet (called Global BGP).

BGP's features require you to run a BGP speaking routing client, such as BIRD, Quagga or ExaBGP on your server. This routing client will control route advertisements via a BGP session to Equinix Metal's upstream routers. Equinix Metal will learn the routes that you are advertising and appropriately send traffic to your server(s).

Local BGP versus Global BGP

In a Local BGP deployment, a customer uses an internal ASN (Autonomous System Number to control routes within a single Equinix Metal datacenter. This means that the routes are never advertised to the global Internet and the customer does not need to pay for or maintain a registered ASN with a Regional Internet Registry (RIR) like ARIN, APNIC or RIPE. The top use case for operating local BGP would be to perform failover or IP mobility between a collection of servers in a local datacenter. Global BGP, on the other hand, requires a customer to have a registered ASN and IP space.

Default BGP Route

When utilizing virtual routing software (e.g. VyOS, OpnSense, etc) this would allow you to see all the routes learned instead of creating them statically. This can be set up by utilizing Terraform, or directly through the portal.

Communities Supported

If you are interested in utilizing BGP communities, there is a doc that lists all of the supported communities.

Getting Started

To get started, please create a Project in the Equinix Metal portal or navigate to an existing project that you'd like to enable for BGP support. Click on the IPs & Networks tab and navigate to the BGP request form (as shown below.

On the form, select either Global BGP or Local BGP. For Local BGP we default to using a private ASN of 65000. If you choose Global BGP, please enter your own public ASN. You may then enter an MD5 password for your BGP session. This is optional but highly recommended.

enable BGP at project level 1

Once you submit the request, Equinix Metal will review the details and get back to you shortly (usually in 24-48 hours). We will contact when BGP has been enabled, or if we need more information, and will then see your BGP details show up in the IPs & Networks tab, as follows:

enable BGP at project level 2

Additionally, you will see some extra options to enable or disable IPv4 and IPv6 BGP on the management pages for your server instances in your BGP enabled project.

enable BGP at server level

Note: Do not assign the subnet to any server, as that will create a static route thus causing an issue with the BGP setup.

Server Host Configuration

There are many ways that users can announce their IPs via BGP as it can differ by the use case and OS configuration. If you're looking for an example, there is a doc on Routing BGP with BIRD.