Internet-Draft BGP Maximum Prefix Limits Inbound January 2022
Aelmans, et al. Expires 23 July 2022 [Page]
Inter-Domain Routing
4271 (if approved)
Intended Status:
Standards Track
M. Aelmans
Juniper Networks
M. Stucchi
J. Snijders

BGP Maximum Prefix Limits Inbound


This document describes mechanisms to limit the negative impact of route leaks [RFC7908] and/or resource exhaustion in BGP [RFC4271] implementations.

Requirements Language

The key words "MUST", "MUST NOT", "REQUIRED", "SHALL", "SHALL NOT", "SHOULD", "SHOULD NOT", "RECOMMENDED", "NOT RECOMMENDED", "MAY", and "OPTIONAL" in this document are to be interpreted as described in BCP 14 [RFC2119] [RFC8174] when, and only when, they appear in all capitals, as shown here.

Status of This Memo

This Internet-Draft is submitted in full conformance with the provisions of BCP 78 and BCP 79.

Internet-Drafts are working documents of the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF). Note that other groups may also distribute working documents as Internet-Drafts. The list of current Internet-Drafts is at

Internet-Drafts are draft documents valid for a maximum of six months and may be updated, replaced, or obsoleted by other documents at any time. It is inappropriate to use Internet-Drafts as reference material or to cite them other than as "work in progress."

This Internet-Draft will expire on 23 July 2022.

Table of Contents

1. Introduction

This document updates [RFC4271] by revising control mechanism which limit the negative impact of route leaks [RFC7908] and/or resource exhaustion in Border Gateway Protocol (BGP) implementations. While [RFC4271] described methods to tear down BGP sessions or discard UPDATES after certain thresholds are exceeded, some nuances in this specification were missing resulting in inconsistencies between BGP implementations.

2. Changes to RFC4271 Section 6

This section updates [RFC4271] to specify what events can result in AutomaticStop (Event 8) in the BGP FSM.

The following paragraph replaces the second paragraph of Section 6.7 (Cease), which starts with "A BGP speaker MAY support" and ends with "The speaker MAY also log this locally.":

Table 1
Subcode Symbolic Name
1 Threshold exceeded: Maximum Number of Prefixes Received

3. Changes to RFC4271 Section 8

This section updates Section 8 [RFC4271], the paragraph that starts with "One reason for an AutomaticStop event is" and ends with "The local system automatically disconnects the peer." is replaced with:

4. Changes to RFC4271 Section 9

This section updates [RFC4271] by adding a subsection after Section 9.4 (Originating BGP routes) to specify various events that can lead up to AutomaticStop (Event 8) in the BGP FSM.

5. Security Considerations

Maximum Prefix Limits are an essential tool for routing operations and SHOULD be used to increase stability for the global routing ecosystem.

6. IANA Considerations

This memo requests that IANA updates the name of subcode "Maximum Number of Prefixes Reached" to "Threshold exceeded: Maximum Number of Prefixes Received" in the "Cease NOTIFICATION message subcodes" registry under the "Border Gateway Protocol (BGP) Parameters" group.

7. Acknowledgments

The authors would like to thank Saku Ytti and John Heasley (NTT Ltd.), Jeff Haas, Colby Barth and John Scudder (Juniper Networks), Martijn Schmidt (, Teun Vink (BIT), Sabri Berisha (eBay), Martin Pels (Quanza), Steven Bakker (AMS-IX), Aftab Siddiqui (ISOC), Yu Tianpeng, Ruediger Volk (Deutsche Telekom), Robert Raszuk (NTT), Jakob Heitz (Cisco), Warren Kumari (Google), Ben Maddison (Workonline), Randy Bush, Brian Dickson, Gyan Mishra (Verizon) and John John Heasley (NTTA) for their support, insightful reviews, and comments.


This section records the status of known implementations of the protocol defined by this specification at the time of posting of this Internet-Draft, and is based on a proposal described in RFC7942. The description of implementations in this section is intended to assist the IETF in its decision processes in progressing drafts to RFCs. Please note that the listing of any individual implementation here does not imply endorsement by the IETF. Furthermore, no effort has been spent to verify the information presented here that was supplied by IETF contributors. This is not intended as, and must not be construed to be, a catalog of available implementations or their features. Readers are advised to note that other implementations may exist.

The below table provides an overview (as of the moment of writing) of which vendors have produced implementation of inbound prefix limits. Each table cell shows the applicable configuration keywords if the vendor implemented the feature.

Table 2: Maximum prefix limits capabilities per implementation
Vendor Type A Pre-Policy Type B Post-Policy
Cisco IOS XR maximum-prefix
Cisco IOS XE maximum-prefix
Juniper Junos OS prefix-limit accepted-prefix-limit, or prefix-limit combined with 'keep none'
Nokia SR OS prefix-limit
NIC.CZ BIRD 'import keep filtered' combined with 'receive limit' 'import limit' or 'receive limit'
OpenBSD OpenBGPD max-prefix
Arista EOS maximum-routes maximum-accepted-routes
Huawei VRPv5 peer route-limit
Huawei VRPv8 peer route-limit peer route-limit accept-prefix

First presented by Snijders at [RIPE77]

9. Appendix: Implementation Guidance


10. References

10.1. Normative References

Bradner, S., "Key words for use in RFCs to Indicate Requirement Levels", BCP 14, RFC 2119, DOI 10.17487/RFC2119, , <>.
Rekhter, Y., Ed., Li, T., Ed., and S. Hares, Ed., "A Border Gateway Protocol 4 (BGP-4)", RFC 4271, DOI 10.17487/RFC4271, , <>.
Leiba, B., "Ambiguity of Uppercase vs Lowercase in RFC 2119 Key Words", BCP 14, RFC 8174, DOI 10.17487/RFC8174, , <>.

10.2. Informative References

Sriram, K., Montgomery, D., McPherson, D., Osterweil, E., and B. Dickson, "Problem Definition and Classification of BGP Route Leaks", RFC 7908, DOI 10.17487/RFC7908, , <>.
Snijders, J., "Robust Routing Policy Architecture", , <>.

Authors' Addresses

Melchior Aelmans
Juniper Networks
Boeing Avenue 240
1119 PZ Schiphol-Rijk
Massimiliano Stucchi
Job Snijders
Theodorus Majofskistraat 100
1065 SZ Amsterdam