I don't want to crash the 'net

Hi all,

First, an apology if this is off topic.

A (brief) intro/explanation.

My name is Sheryl Chapin. I am the network administrator for a startup ISP
in Maine. I would say that I am the sr. network admin, except I am the
*only* network admin. I have 18 years expierience in computers, 10 years
with Unix and 3 with Cisco routers. I am not a programmer, I am a system
and network administrator.

My topology:

I have two 7513's in two different cities in Maine: Portland and Winthrop.
They are connected via a T3. I have a T3 connection to UU Net from
Portland and in a week I will have a T3 connection to AGIS from Winthrop.
I have a *very* basic BGP configuration running on the Portland router
right now.

What I need is some practical help/advice on how to configure my routers
once AGIS is also connected. I want to be able to load balance and I would
like to do it without crashing a major portion of the internet. I have
been reading everything I can find on BGP, Avi Freedman's columns and web
pages have been extremely helpfull, but the Cisco documentation just gives
me a headache. I am not a stupid person, but I am willing to admit that I
have never done this level of configuration before. I figure I can either
ask for some help and look stupid or crash the internet, and quite frankly,
I would rather look stupid then do something stupid. (Mr. Freedman's
columns do a really good job of putting the fear of God into someone just
starting out with BGP :slight_smile:

Part of my problem is the documenation does a good job of giving me syntax,
but not of explaining WHY I should or should not do something. For example,
UU Net gave me configuration commands for turning on BGP which included a
"redistribute connected" command. Someone else from another ISP here in
Maine (that we are co-locating with) told me not to use it. Now I know
what the redistribute command does, I just haven't found anything anywhere
to explain what the pros and cons are for using it. How does it affect the
routing? I really work better when I understand how things work.

So if anyone has any advice, caveats, pointers to docs, things I absolutely
should do or things I absolutely shouldn't do, I would be EXTREMELY

If this is just totally off topic, again, my apologies.

Thanks for your time.

Sheryl Chapin
CommTel Internet

A good resource is a book by Bassam Halabi, published by Cisco Press called
Internet Routing Architecture. It explains BGP while using the Cisco
commands and how nad why you should do it. It's ISBN is 1-56205-652-2. It
is hardcover and is a great learning tool and reference.

As an aside, a lot of the same information is contained at:

BGP Technical Tips

o EBGP Sample Configuration to Load Balance over Multiple Serial Links
o Using the Border Gateway Protocol for Interdomain Routing


- paul