Emergency backup for a small net


We have a small ISP customer that wants to run a circuit to another local
ISP and the ISPs would use that pipe only in the case of primary link
failure. The two ISPs would split the cost, etc.

The obvious solution would be for both ISPs to set up BGP peering with
their upstreams and not announce anything in normal operation. The
upstreams would continue to statically route the smaller ISPs' blocks and
the smaller ISPs would default to their upstreams. The smaller ISPs would
also put in a default pointing at each other with a higher cost. Then in
the case of primary link failure the ISP who still has a path to the net
would begin announcing the other ISP's block(s) to their upstream. The
upstream would in turn see this as a valid announcement and propagate it
to the world. Therefore specificity should draw all the traffic to the
correct place.

The problem is both ISPs are small and have /24s from their providers. The
/24s would be filtered by many, leading to only partial connectivity in
the case of failure. (Partial connectivity is better than no connectivity,
I guess...)

One solution is to Get a /24 in a larger provider's aggregate. The
two ISPs can agree to exchange the /24 but send it no further (if they
peer with each other) and send the traffic across the preferred
customer path. If they share a common upstream, then they can
probably get the upstream provider to carry the more specific route.

Another possible solution I thought of is to use NAT. The small ISPs would
use RFC1918 internally and use a block from their provider to translate
into. When the primary link fails they switch over to using a block from
the other ISP's provider. They would also have to use very low TTLs for
their DNS zones and be prepared to switch the DNS zones to point to the
other block. Does the NIC consider this efficient utilization
to have a block lying around that only gets used when a link fails?

I don't speak for the InterNIC, but I don't see why this wouldn't be
considered legitimate since it is being done to provide better
connectivity to the end user without loading the global routing tables.

Failover using DNS would be neither fast or smooth. You'd need to
failover using the GRE tunnel thing on the provider side of the links.