Frequently Asked Questions
1. What is the product pricing?
Intelligent Routing Platform is licensed based on the network outbound bandwidth usage, measured as monthly 95th percentile. Fill in a quote request and we will prepare a customized quote for you.
2. Which routers can IRP work with?
IRP has been successfully tested with Brocade/Foundry, Cisco, Juniper, and Vyatta. Generally, IRP is designed to work with any standards-compliant BGP router which supports routing policies and standard BGP attributes. Devices which do not support BGP SNMP MIBs are not compatible with IRP.
3. Does IRP optimize inbound traffic?
Currently IRP does only outbound traffic optimization, however a version supporting inbound traffic is developed as we speak. Inbound traffic optimization is estimated to be release by the end of Q4 2014.
4. What are the hardware and software requirements for deploying Noction IRP?
A detailed list of hardware and software requirements can be found in the product documentation.
5. Who configures the product?
The initial configuration is performed by Noction engineers.
6. How is the actual traffic rerouting performed?
The IRP BGP daemon injects routes to the improved prefixes with an updated next-hop, and a higher local-preference value, so that the improved routes take precedence over the original routes received from the providers.
7. Does IRP need a physical server or a virtual machine would work?
Virtual Machine is only suitable for a test deployment. For production purposes IRP has to be installed on a physical server.
8. Can I test the platform in my infrastructure?
Yes. We can deploy a test installation in your infrastructure. The system can run in a non-intrusive (read-only) BGP mode. It will provide reporting on network performance and problems in the middle-mile network segment, without issuing any BGP updates. Fill in a trial request and we will get back to you.
9. Does Noction IRP export Netflow or IPFIX?
IRP analyzes Netflow/sFlow data to find the path that satisfies the performance and cost policies. IRP doesn`t export Netflow or any other kind of flow data.
10. How does IRP connect to my edge routers?
To connect IRP to your edge routers, an iBGP session needs to be established between the IRP appliance and your edge routers.
11. Does it matter what Linux distribution will be installed on the IRP server?
Yes. IRP needs CentOS 6, x86_64.
12. How does IRP select which network to optimize?
The networks to be analyzed and optimized are chosen from the traffic data gathered by the FLOW collector according to configurable volume thresholds. Each collected network is being probed by the system to detect outages, packet loss, latency and other network anomalies. At the same time, the SPAN collector can detect additional network anomalies such as excessive delay and high packet retransmission. Then, depending on the system configuration, the prefixes are improved accordingly.
13. Does IRP support IPv6 ?
Yes, IRP does fully support IPv6.
14. What happens in the case of multiple edge routers? Would we need a separate IRP instance for each HA pair of edge routers?
An IRP instance is required for each geographical location/POP. Therefore, if you have a single location with multiple routers, a single IRP instance is enough. IRP is able to handle multiple BGP sessions with your edge routers.
15. If I choose the monthly subscription (MRC), what are the contract terms?
The minimum contract period is one year. However there is a month-to-month option available as well at a higher price. Please request a quote for exact pricing.
16. What happens if the platform crashes, goes down, or gets disconnected from the network?
In this case the BGP sessions between your edge routers and the IRP appliance are reset and all the announced improvements are withdrawn automatically from the routing tables. The router(s) returns to using the routes received from the providers, thus no downtime occurs and the traffic is being automatically routed through the regular non-optimized paths.
17. Will IRP return the full original BGP table with optimizations in place?
IRP is only announcing the optimized prefixes/routes with the updated next-hop.
18. Are you providing the platform as a physical appliance or as a software package that can be installed on our own hardware?
Both options are available.
19. What Netflow-like protocol does IRP support?
IRP supports NetFlow v1, v5, v9, jFlow, and sFlow.
20. What bandwidth / packet per second overhead does IRP "probing" traffic add in practice?
By default, 70 concurrent probing threads are set up, generating an average outgoing traffic of 1200 Kbps and 230 Kbps of incoming traffic.
21. What is the frequency of the probes?
After an initial probing (and improvement, if required), each improved prefix is being reprobed in configurable intervals (by default - 4 hours).
22. Are there any case studies or success stories with Noction IRP?
23. Who should use Noction IRP?
Noction IRP is designed to help service and content providers with multiple Internet connections to improve BGP routing.
24. How do I install and configure Noction IRP in my network?
Information about installing and configuring IRP can be found in the product documentation. Noction engineers will fully assist you during the deployment process.
25. How does IRP perform remote network probing for gathering network performance metrics?
The system uses one of the following methods for probing a remote network: ICMP, UDP, and TCP_SYN. The probing is self-learning, based on the network replies, updating the algorithms accordingly.
26. What is Noction IRP?
Noction Intelligent Routing Platform (IRP) is designed to improve the performance and reduce the costs of running a multi-homed BGP network. The platform operates at the network edge and does non-intrusive traffic analysis in order to detect network congestion and blackouts. The affected network routes are probed for a set of specific metrics through all the available providers in order to detect and reroute the traffic to the best performing path.
27. How long it takes to deploy the system?
It strictly depends on the complexity of the infrastructure and the feedback speed. Usually it takes from 3 to 7 days.
28. Does the system retain the previous improvements after a restart?
Yes. All existing improvements are stored in a persistent database. In case of a long downtime, the improvements status will be checked by re-probing.
29. How can I get technical support?
30. How can I file a bug or request a new feature for future IRP releases?
31. What is the difference between intrusive and non-intrusive mode?
Intrusive BGP mode – means that the improvements are actually announced to your network, running in Non-intrusive mode, the system performs the probing and provides the reports; however, it does not inject the updates into your edge routers.
32. Do I need to make any changes to my routers for IRP to work?
Yes, for proactive probing there are several PBR settings to configure on your edge routers. In specific complex scenarios, traffic from the IRP platform should pass multiple routers before getting to the provider. If a separate probing Vlan cannot be configured across all routers, GRE tunnels from IRP to the Edge routers should be configured (one GRE tunnel per each edge router). Also, for report generation, Commit Control decision-making and prevention of overloading a specific provider with an excessive number of improvements, a SNMP community per each provider needs to be set (a read-only community is enough).
33. What type of payment does Noction accept?
Wire transfer and PayPal. Checks are accepted only for US customers.
34. Does IRP support failover mode? Is there a way to add a second IRP instance as a backup for the main one?
Yes, IRP supports failover mode at the operating system level. As a requirement, one must install two IRP instances on two separate hardware units, having the latest CentOS operating system preinstalled. Using the CentOS High Availability feature, one of the IRP instances runs in an Active mode and the second one runs in a Passive mode. Each server must have two network cards: one used for network communication and the other one used for data synchronization with the partner instance. In case of the Active instance failure, the Passive one will immediately take over.
35. Does Noction deliver an API (Application Programming Interface) for IRP ?
Currently, IRP does not have an API available, however, this feature is specified in our roadmap and it is planned to be released at the end of 2014.
36. Does IRP support LDAP, RADIUS or TACACS ?
IRP is not compatible with such authentication mechanisms yet. Their integration is currently under development.
37. Does IRP operate with MPLS networks?
IRP does not work with MPLS since it has been designed to solve middle-mile issues, thus operating at the network edge using BGP.
38. What is the maximum NetFlow amount that IRP collector can process?
IRP can collect and process up to 400,000 Mbps of NetFlow data, moreover there are IRP instances in production that can handle 600,000 Mbps.
39. Can IRP alter the BGP configurations on the edge routers, like changing a BGP peer-group, altering a BGP policy etc. ?
No, IRP doesn’t affect the BGP configurations running on the edge routers.
40. Can IRP optimize peering traffic?
Yes. IRP is able to intelligently reroute peering traffic across Internet Exchanges, as well as across separate eBGP links with your peers.
41. Is IRP compatible with Route Reflectors?
Yes, IRP is able to announce routing updates to a route reflector, which then propagates them to the edge routers
42. Is IRP able to optimize traffic across upstream providers that deliver a partial routing table?
Yes, IRP is able to optimize traffic across such providers. However, a requirement is that the network must connect to at least one transit provider delivering a full routing table.
43. Could IRP protect my network against DDoS attacks?
Despite the fact IRP is not designed as a DDoS prevention system, it would act like one, rerouting traffic around congestion and outages. In addition, IRP will send you notifications regards to congested links or persistent provider failure. It is to mention though: IRP is not a DDoS prevention system.
44. How does IRP integrate with additional monitoring systems in my network?
IRP 2.3 uses SNMP traps to send alerts towards the customer’s monitoring systems to notify about events that administrators have chosen to monitor. These are fully adjustable and administrators can decide upon which events should trigger notifications and then configure them on the platform. See this post for more details.
45. Can IRP optimize routes across multiple locations?
Considering the inter-datacenter link’s added latency, one IRP instance can optimize networks with multiple physical locations which are in relatively close geographical proximity. If the network’s Points of Presence are located considerably far from each other, multiple IRP instances are required. Please see this post for additional details.