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Route BGP with FRR

Similar to Bird, FRR is a routing daemon for Linux. It can be used to announce an elastic IP address via BGP from the instance that is currently using it.

Getting Started

If you haven't already requested that BGP be added to your account you'll need to get that sorted before continuing with this guide - see more info about getting started here.

Choose an IP to Broadcast

Navigate over to IPs & Networks in your BGP enabled project and click on Manage Block for the IPv4 block in the data center location that corresponds with your server deployment. Choose an available IP that will act as your broadcast IP. In this guide, we'll be using 10.99.200.138.

manage-ips manage-ips-2

Update Network Interface

Update the network interfaces with a virtual loopback interface.

cat >>/etc/network/interfaces <<EOF
auto lo:0
iface lo:0 inet static
  address 10.99.200.138
  netmask 255.255.255.255
EOF

Bring Up the Interface

ifup lo:0

Configuration

First install system dependencies. On Ubuntu 18.04 this looks like:

apt -y update && apt -y install python3.6 python3-pip git libpcre3-dev apt-transport-https ca-certificates curl wget logrotate libc-ares2 libjson-c3 vim systemd procps libreadline7 gnupg2 lsb-release apt-utils

Add FRR's apt signing key and configure the FRR repo:

curl -s https://deb.frrouting.org/frr/keys.asc | apt-key add - && \
    echo deb https://deb.frrouting.org/frr $(lsb_release -s -c) frr-stable | tee -a /etc/apt/sources.list.d/frr.list

Now install FRR:

apt -y update && apt -y install frr frr-pythontools

Once installed, we need to enable BGP wiithin FRR's configuration:

sed -i "s/^bgpd=no/bgpd=yes/" /etc/frr/daemons

Now we need to clone the network-helpers repo and install python dependencies:

cd /opt
git clone https://github.com/packethost/network-helpers.git
cd network-helpers
pip3 install jmespath
pip3 install -e .

And then apply the FRR configuration using our instance's metadata:

./configure.py -r frr | tee /etc/frr/frr.conf
frr defaults traditional
log syslog informational
ipv6 forwarding
service integrated-vtysh-config
!
!
router bgp 65000
 bgp ebgp-requires-policy
 neighbor V4 peer-group
 neighbor V4 remote-as 65530
 neighbor V4 password somepassword
 neighbor 10.99.182.128 peer-group V4
 neighbor V6 peer-group
 neighbor V6 remote-as 65530
 neighbor V6 password somepassword
 neighbor 2604:1380:1:5f00:: peer-group V6
 !
 address-family ipv4 unicast
  redistribute connected
  neighbor V4 route-map IMPORT in
  neighbor V4 route-map EXPORT out
 exit-address-family
 !
 address-family ipv6 unicast
  redistribute connected
  neighbor V6 activate
  neighbor V6 route-map IMPORT in
  neighbor V6 route-map EXPORT out
 exit-address-family
 !
route-map EXPORT deny 100
!
route-map EXPORT permit 1
 match interface lo
!
route-map IMPORT deny 1
!
line vty
!

Lastly, we'll restart FRR:

systemctl restart frr

And then verify our bgp session is up and our desired prefix is being advertised:

vtysh

Hello, this is FRRouting (version 7.3).
Copyright 1996-2005 Kunihiro Ishiguro, et al.
#
# show bgp summary

IPv4 Unicast Summary:
BGP router identifier 10.99.182.254, local AS number 65000 vrf-id 0
BGP table version 3
RIB entries 5, using 920 bytes of memory
Peers 2, using 41 KiB of memory
Peer groups 2, using 128 bytes of memory

Neighbor           V         AS MsgRcvd MsgSent   TblVer  InQ OutQ  Up/Down State/PfxRcd
10.99.182.128      4      65530       6       7        0    0    0 00:01:17            0
2604:1380:1:5f00:: 4      65530       7       9        0    0    0 00:01:17 NoNeg

Total number of neighbors 2

IPv6 Unicast Summary:
BGP router identifier 10.99.182.254, local AS number 65000 vrf-id 0
BGP table version 1
RIB entries 1, using 184 bytes of memory
Peers 1, using 20 KiB of memory
Peer groups 2, using 128 bytes of memory

Neighbor           V         AS MsgRcvd MsgSent   TblVer  InQ OutQ  Up/Down State/PfxRcd
2604:1380:1:5f00:: 4      65530       7       9        0    0    0 00:01:17            0

Total number of neighbors 1
# show ip bgp neighbors 10.99.182.128 advertised-routes
BGP table version is 3, local router ID is 10.99.182.254, vrf id 0
Default local pref 100, local AS 65000
Status codes:  s suppressed, d damped, h history, * valid, > best, = multipath,
               i internal, r RIB-failure, S Stale, R Removed
Nexthop codes: @NNN nexthop's vrf id, < announce-nh-self
Origin codes:  i - IGP, e - EGP, ? - incomplete

   Network          Next Hop            Metric LocPrf Weight Path
*> 10.99.200.138/32 0.0.0.0                  0         32768 ?

Total number of prefixes 1

In this case we only have a single elastic IP bound to interface lo, and we see the prefix is being exported and accepted so we are done.

To test, you can ping the IP address in a command line - ping 10.99.200.138. Remember, Local BGP is announcing a private IP address, so you'll have to be connected to the private network for the data center you're running Local BGP in. You can do that by SSHing into another server in that data center or by connected to Doorman, Equinix Metal's private VPN.

Congratulations! You've just configured a BGP routing protocol.

Alternative Method

For those interested, FRR can also be automatically deployed via docker. See more here.