17 Aug

BSNL AS9829 – A rotten IP backbone

Today I met a good friend and he has recently moved back into Rohtak (like me!) and was crying over BSNL’s issues. He has issues of unstable DSL due to last mile and I told him that even if last mile works well, BSNL still has got ton of issues with their IP backbone traffic.

 

It’s Sunday late night out here in India and I am having really pathetic connectivity with just everywhere except Google. With Google only key difference I noted is that my TCP session to Google’s services is terminating at Mumbai and not Delhi anymore.

First and formost, I did trace to spectranet.in (which is last company I was working for) to see how is my latency with server hosting it:

mtr -wrc 10 spectranet.in
HOST: Anurags-Macbook-Pro.home             Loss%   Snt   Last   Avg  Best  Wrst StDev
  1.|-- router.home                           0.0%    10    1.2   1.9   1.0   7.0   1.8
  2.|-- bsnl-wan-uplink.home                  0.0%    10    2.4   4.2   1.8  13.3   3.7
  3.|-- 117.220.160.1                         0.0%    10   29.9  30.4  23.3  51.6   8.8
  4.|-- 218.248.169.118                       0.0%    10   75.6  97.7  30.7 217.1  57.6
  5.|-- 218.248.235.130                       0.0%    10   32.5  35.8  32.3  48.2   5.0
  6.|-- 218.100.48.10                         0.0%    10  244.8 248.4 244.4 256.2   4.1
  7.|-- 203.122.61.147.reverse.spectranet.in  0.0%    10  256.9 250.0 246.1 257.3   4.1
  8.|-- 119.82.69.34.reverse.spectranet.in   10.0%    10  251.7 253.0 248.9 262.7   4.2
  9.|-- jane.spectranet.in                   10.0%    10  259.4 252.1 248.0 259.4   4.0

Clearly this seems to be going via NIXI but as soon as I hit NIXI IP (configured at destination network), the latency jumps up. This clearly is a symbol of bad return path. Since I do not have access to AS10029 network anymore and no one from my ex-colleagues would be awake at this time, I cannot see return trace easily.

I tried looking for my IP (coming via DHCP) is 117.220.162.110 from 117.220.160.0/20 orignated by BSNL AS9829. Let’s look for this IP at NIXI:

NIXI Looking Glass - show ip bgp 117.220.162.110

Router: NIXI Delhi (Noida)
Command: show ip bgp 117.220.162.110

% Network not in table
NIXI Looking Glass - show ip bgp 117.220.162.110

Router: NIXI Mumbai
Command: show ip bgp 117.220.162.110

% Network not in table
NIXI Looking Glass - show ip bgp 117.220.162.110

Router: NIXI Chennai
Command: show ip bgp 117.220.162.110

show ip bgp 117.220.162.110
BGP4 : None of the BGP4 routes match the display condition

 

Clearly BSNL isn’t announcing this IP at all at any of NIXI’s. This is bad and becomes “worst” because BSNL doesn’t peers with any of other networks except Google. It just buys transit from Tata, Airtel etc inside India and that’s pretty much it.

Let’s look at who BSNL is announcing this route at Oregon route views:

route-views>sh ip bgp 117.220.160.0/20 long
BGP table version is 40782466, local router ID is 128.223.51.103
Status codes: s suppressed, d damped, h history, * valid, > best, i - internal,
r RIB-failure, S Stale, m multipath, b backup-path, f RT-Filter,
x best-external, a additional-path, c RIB-compressed,
Origin codes: i - IGP, e - EGP, ? - incomplete
RPKI validation codes: V valid, I invalid, N Not found
Network          Next Hop            Metric LocPrf Weight Path
*   117.220.160.0/20 217.192.89.50                          0 3303 6762 9829 i
*                    207.172.6.1              0             0 6079 3356 6762 9829 i
*                    154.11.98.225            0             0 852 6453 9829 i
*                    195.208.112.161                        0 3277 39710 9002 6453 9829 i
*                    194.85.40.15                           0 3267 2603 6762 9829 i
*                    114.31.199.1                           0 4826 2828 6453 9829 i
*                    202.232.0.2                            0 2497 6453 9829 i
*                    208.51.134.254        2523             0 3549 6453 9829 i
*                    203.181.248.168                        0 7660 2516 6762 9829 i
*                    128.223.253.10                         0 3582 3701 3356 6453 9829 i
*                    144.228.241.130                        0 1239 6453 9829 i
*                    203.62.252.83                          0 1221 4637 6453 9829 i
*>                   66.110.0.86                            0 6453 9829 i
*                    162.250.137.254                        0 4901 174 6453 9829 i
*                    208.74.64.40                           0 19214 4436 6453 9829 i
Network          Next Hop            Metric LocPrf Weight Path
*                    66.59.190.221                          0 6539 577 6762 9829 i
*                    4.69.184.193             0             0 3356 6453 9829 i
*                    69.31.111.244            3             0 4436 6762 9829 i
*                    89.149.178.10           10             0 3257 6453 9829 i
*                    129.250.0.11             8             0 2914 6453 9829 i
*                    195.66.232.239                         0 5459 6453 9829 i
*                    207.172.6.20             0             0 6079 3356 6453 9829 i
*                    209.124.176.223                        0 101 101 2914 6453 9829 i
*                    104.192.216.1                          0 46450 174 6453 9829 i
*                    103.247.3.45                           0 58511 174 6453 9829 i
*                    216.218.252.164                        0 6939 6762 9829 i
*                    134.222.87.1           650             0 286 6762 9829 i
*                    12.0.1.63                              0 7018 6453 9829 i
*                    173.205.57.234                         0 53364 3257 6453 9829 i
*                    95.85.0.2                              0 200130 1299 6453 9829 i
*                    206.24.210.80                          0 3561 6453 9829 i
*                    5.101.110.2                            0 202018 1299 6762 9829 i
*                    192.241.164.4                          0 62567 6453 9829 i
*                    162.243.188.2                          0 393406 1299 6453 9829 i
*                    66.185.128.48            7             0 1668 6453 9829 i
*                    193.0.0.56                             0 3333 6762 9829 i
route-views>

We can see AS6453 which is Tata Comm’s International ASN and AS6762 which is AS6762 (Telecom Italia).

Some interesting facts:
  1. BSNL isn’t peering with any networks in India except Google (as far as I can see). This includes no large content networks or even large telcos. Yes, it does has local Akamai nodes but that’s pretty much it.
  2. BSNL is currently announcing very limited prefixes at all NIXI’s and my IP coming from 117.220.160.0/20 doesn’t seem to be announced at any of NIXI’s at all.
  3. BSNL is announcing 117.220.160.0/20 just to AS6453 Tata and AS6762 – Telecom Itlaia.
  4. Tata Communications usually does not sell any Indian capacity / Indian routing table via AS6453 and so AS6453 is used for buying transit outside India while AS4755 (VSNL) is used for domestic transit.
  5. Telecom Italia transit also is one BSNL buying outside and transporting over to India.

 

There’s nothing wrong in #4th and #5th but IP backbone design with a combination of all above is quite bad and leads to very degraded experience. As of now all non-Google traffic is getting routed to BSNL from outside India ! 

This includes traffic from India as well. So yes, India to India traffic is getting routed from outside India. Here are some traces to show that:

Trace from my friend’s ISP in Gujarat taking upstream from Tata:

BSNL

 

So clearly packets are getting routed from Gujarat to Haryana via New York!

 

Let’s look at trace from Airtel’s PoP in New Delhi and Mumbai via their looking glass:

Mon Aug 17 02:53:51 GMT+05:30 2015
traceroute 117.220.162.110
Mon Aug 17 02:54:05.849 IST
Type escape sequence to abort.
Tracing the route to 117.220.162.110
1   * 
203.101.95.146 240 msec  266 msec 
2  182.79.224.70 [MPLS: Label 339794 Exp 0] 281 msec  272 msec  202 msec 
3  182.79.224.177 [MPLS: Label 591824 Exp 0] 114 msec 
182.79.247.50 66 msec 
182.79.224.185 150 msec 
4  182.79.222.81 131 msec 
182.79.245.161 134 msec 
182.79.245.225 145 msec 
5  213.242.116.157 153 msec 
213.242.116.165 184 msec  141 msec 
6  ae-7-3101.bar1.Marseille1.Level3.net (4.69.141.190) 165 msec  * 
ae-8-3201.bar1.Marseille1.Level3.net (4.69.141.198) 143 msec 
7  ae-7-3101.bar1.Marseille1.Level3.net (4.69.141.190) 229 msec 
ae-8-3201.bar1.Marseille1.Level3.net (4.69.141.198) 230 msec  * 
8  ix-5-1-2-0.tcore1.WYN-Marseille.as6453.net (80.231.217.81) 223 msec  222 msec  196 msec 
9  if-8-1600.tcore1.PYE-Paris.as6453.net (80.231.217.6) [MPLS: Label 388018 Exp 0] 279 msec  263 msec  278 msec 
10 if-3-6.tcore1.L78-London.as6453.net (80.231.130.85) [MPLS: Label 552881 Exp 0] 245 msec  265 msec  284 msec 
11 if-2-2.tcore2.L78-London.as6453.net (80.231.131.1) [MPLS: Label 300080 Exp 0] 267 msec  228 msec  227 msec 
12 if-20-2.tcore2.NYY-New-York.as6453.net (216.6.99.13) [MPLS: Label 713905 Exp 0] 231 msec  230 msec  228 msec 
13 if-9-0-0-19.mcore4.NYY-New-York.as6453.net (209.58.60.149) 223 msec  222 msec  225 msec 
14 ix-0-0-0.mcore4.NYY-New-York.as6453.net (209.58.60.6) 268 msec  269 msec  265 msec 
15 218.248.235.129 267 msec  302 msec  301 msec 
16 218.248.169.117 279 msec  251 msec  248 msec 
17 218.248.169.117 251 msec  251 msec  250 msec 
18 117.220.162.110 276 msec  275 msec  276 msec 
19 117.220.162.110 273 msec  271 msec  273 msec 
RP/0/8/CPU0:DEL-ISP-MPL-ACC-RTR-9#

 

 

trace from Airtel Mumbai to BSNL Haryana

Mon Aug 17 02:56:09 GMT+05:30 2015
traceroute 117.220.162.110 
traceroute to 117.220.162.110 (117.220.162.110), 30 hops max, 40 byte packets
1  182.79.245.134 (182.79.245.134)  105.600 ms 182.79.245.161 (182.79.245.161)  95.984 ms 182.79.222.74 (182.79.222.74)  95.944 ms
2  213.242.116.161 (213.242.116.161)  121.413 ms  121.727 ms  122.907 ms
3  ae-8-3201.bar1.Marseille1.Level3.net (4.69.141.198)  114.783 ms  120.834 ms  113.081 ms
4  ae-8-3201.bar1.Marseille1.Level3.net (4.69.141.198)  113.883 ms  120.905 ms  152.539 ms
5  ix-5-1-2-0.tcore1.WYN-Marseille.as6453.net (80.231.217.81)  122.523 ms  120.899 ms  120.186 ms
6  if-8-1600.tcore1.PYE-Paris.as6453.net (80.231.217.6)  223.372 ms  193.584 ms  203.268 ms
MPLS Label=388018 CoS=0 TTL=1 S=1
7  if-3-6.tcore1.L78-London.as6453.net (80.231.130.85)  183.382 ms  197.114 ms  184.079 ms
MPLS Label=552881 CoS=0 TTL=1 S=1
8  if-2-2.tcore2.L78-London.as6453.net (80.231.131.1)  194.520 ms  193.295 ms  193.164 ms
MPLS Label=300080 CoS=0 TTL=1 S=1
9  if-20-2.tcore2.NYY-New-York.as6453.net (216.6.99.13)  200.612 ms  185.092 ms  192.285 ms
MPLS Label=713905 CoS=0 TTL=1 S=1
10  if-9-0-0-19.mcore4.NYY-New-York.as6453.net (209.58.60.149)  192.508 ms if-15-0-0-20.mcore4.NYY-New-York.as6453.net (209.58.60.133)  195.585 ms  192.936 ms
11  ix-0-0-0.mcore4.NYY-New-York.as6453.net (209.58.60.6)  243.632 ms  244.137 ms  242.869 ms
12  218.248.235.129 (218.248.235.129)  244.654 ms  245.075 ms  244.035 ms
13  218.248.169.121 (218.248.169.121)  221.043 ms  219.843 ms  220.626 ms
14  218.248.169.121 (218.248.169.121)  221.508 ms  222.072 ms  223.851 ms
15  117.220.162.110 (117.220.162.110)  244.912 ms  244.448 ms  243.947 ms
16  117.220.162.110 (117.220.162.110)  246.776 ms  245.829 ms  243.037 ms
{master}
lookingglass@MUM-SC-ISP-IGW-RTR-116>

Clearly traffic coming from outside.

 

 

Some of fixes for this issue:
  1. BSNL keeps announcing routes at NIXI.
  2. BSNL keeps announcing routes to domestic transit and not just an International one.
  3. A better and open IXP model in India which removes the burden of “x-y” pricing as followed by NIXI on a inbound heavy network like that of BSNL.
  4. Likely BSNL is having capacity issues at NIXI Noida since NIXI just moved off to new location and BSNL is still working to build out transport to that. Even if that works, the trouble would be still with Western India / Southern India etc.

 

I have pretty much lost all hopes with BSNL that it will ever work. With hope that my new leased line circuit would be ready in upcoming days, time for me to get some sleep and get prepared for another day of high latency internet!

 

Disclaimer: This blog post (and blog as whole) is in my personal capacity and has nothing to do with my employer. It does not necessarily reflect views of my employer. And to be true this blog post is mine post as a frustrated customer of BSNL!

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