Beating BGP is harder than we thought

Todd Arnold, Matt Calder, Italo Cunha, Arpit Gupta, Harsha V. Madhyastha, Michael Schapira, Ethan Katz-Bassett

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionpeer-review

14 Scopus citations


Online services all seek to provide their customers with the best Quality of Experience (QoE) possible. Milliseconds of delay can cause users to abandon a cat video or move onto a different shopping site, which translates into lost revenue. Thus, minimizing latency between users and content is crucial. To reduce latency, content and cloud providers have built massive, global networks. However, their networks must interact with customer ISPs via BGP, which has no concept of performance. The shortcomings of BGP are many and well documented, but in this paper we ask the community to take a step back and rethink what we know about BGP. We examine three separate studies of performance using large content and cloud provider networks and find that performance-aware routing schemes rarely achieve lower latency than BGP. We lay out a map for research to further study the idea that beating BGP may be more difficult than previously thought.

Original languageAmerican English
Title of host publicationHotNets 2019 - Proceedings of the 18th ACM Workshop on Hot Topics in Networks
PublisherAssociation for Computing Machinery, Inc
Number of pages8
ISBN (Electronic)9781450370202
StatePublished - 13 Nov 2019
Event18th ACM Workshop on Hot Topics in Networks, HotNets 2019 - Princeton, United States
Duration: 14 Nov 201915 Nov 2019

Publication series

NameHotNets 2019 - Proceedings of the 18th ACM Workshop on Hot Topics in Networks


Conference18th ACM Workshop on Hot Topics in Networks, HotNets 2019
Country/TerritoryUnited States

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Acknowledgements. We appreciate the valuable feedback from the HotNets reviewers. We acknowledge the contributions of our collaborators on studies that informed this paper. This work was partly funded by NSF awards CNS-1835253, CNS-1835252, CNS-1413978, and CNS-1563849.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2019 ACM.


  • BGP
  • Content delivery
  • Performance
  • Traffic engineering

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