BGPlay – What is this?

As a Network Engineer, you are not supposed to only be able to configure network things but also to monitor and troubleshoot when there is a problem. To get things up and running is easy but fixing them is pain when you dont know where to get started. There are many how-to documents out there on the Internet so that you can quickly get things run. In this article, I actually want to share about my own experience of using BGPlay to monitor BGP network infrastructure. Before getting deeper into it, let begin from easy part.

  1. What is BGPlay?

It is an application tool that was written in Java by a group of people called Computer Networks Research Group from Roma Tre University. It has ability to displays animated graphs of the routing activity of a certain prefix within a specified time interval. So it is easy for you to understand based on its graphical nature. Without you, the network administrator to login and analyze the routing, BGPlay will do it for you and provide a graphical output like below example screenshot.

Screen Shot 2016-06-30 at 23.40.58

2. How to play with BGPlay?

BGPlay is an online tool which do not require you to install on your server or laptop. It is of course a web browser tool based. You must have java plugin version 1.4 or later installed in your web browser before you can play with it. If you dont have one yet, you can download from HERE.

Now you can click below bottom to get started.

[button color=”blue” size=”medium” link=”http://bgplay.routeviews.org/bgplay/applet.html” icon=”” target=”true”]Start BGPlay[/button]

If things going well with your Java plugin installation, a query window would appear, otherwise you need to fix it or change browser. Below is the screenshot of the query window.

Screen Shot 2016-07-01 at 00.00.27

Now you can:

  1. Enter prefix that you want to monitor.
  2. Enter time interval (all times are UTC).
  3. Press OK

[box type=”info” align=”alignleft” class=”” width=””]Prefix that you enter, must be an exact match. More or less specific prefixes will not display anything.[/box]

After you click OK, the BGPlay server will then query its database for all updates to that prefix for time interval you input. An animation window will appear after the query is complete. This windows displays routing activities. The animation windows will be similar to our first screenshot above. Or you can click HERE for more explanation about each features.

The bottom of the graph is about Control Panel. You can go to previous or next BGP updates or even start a new query. The left part is about Time Panel while the small blue triangle indicates the current time. A purple horizontal spike represents a burst of BGP updates. The top of the windows is about Status Bar. And in the middle of the windows is AS Graph which you can find information about flow of chosen prefix. The red circle at the center of the area indicates the AS that originates the chosen prefix.

3. Need more info?

[button color=”gray” size=”medium” link=”http://bgplay.routeviews.org/” icon=”” target=”true”]More Info About BGPlay[/button]

Now try yourself and feel it 🙂 or drop us a comment if you have one.

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