BGPlay @ Route Views


BGPlay screenshot
(click to enlarge)

BGPlay is a Java application which displays animated graphs of the routing activity of a certain prefix within a specified time interval. Its graphical nature makes it much easier to understand how BGP updates affect the routing of a specific prefix than by analyzing the updates themselves.

The BGPlay database stores the last 10 days of data provided by the Route Views project data archive.

To use BGPlay, you need to have the Java plugin (version 1.4 or later) installed in your browser. If you don't have it, you can download it here.

To start BGPlay, press the button above or click here. If the Java plugin is properly installed, a query window will appear. Enter the prefix you wish to monitor and enter the time interval, then press OK.

Note: the prefix you enter must be an exact match. More or less specific prefixes will not display anything.


BGPlay was designed and written by the Computer Networks Research Group at Roma Tre University. Contributors, in alphabetical order, are Lorenzo Colitti, Giuseppe Di Battista, Ilaria De Marinis, Federico Mariani, Maurizio Pizzonia, and Maurizio Patrignani.
A version of BGPlay intended to be used within an ISP is available and is called iBGPlay.

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The query window

Query window
(click to enlarge)

When you start BGPlay, a query window will appear. Enter the prefix you wish to monitor and the time interval (all times are UTC), then press OK.

The BGPlay server will then query the database for all updates to that prefix which occurred in the time interval you specified. When the query is complete, the animation window will appear.

The animation window

Animation window
(click for explanation)

The animation window displays routing activity.

The left part of the window contains a purple activity graph which plots the number of events over time on a logarithmic scale. The bottom of the graph corresponds to the start of the query interval and the top of the graph to the end; the small blue triangle indicates the current time.

The main part of the window contains the AS graph. Each number represents an AS, and the originating AS is highlighted by a red circle (if there are multiple origin ASes, they are all highlighted). You may move ASes around by dragging them with the mouse. For information about an AS, simply click on it: its name and description will appear at the top of the window.

Each line represents an AS path. Each path starts in the originating AS and stops in the AS of a RIS peer. There is one path for every RIS peer which has an entry for the queried prefix in its routing table.

The dashed lines represent paths that did not change during the query interval, while the solid lines represent paths that did change. The paths are drawn in different colours to ensure that each AS-path from a peer to the source AS can be unambiguously identified; the colour of the path itself has no special meaning.

You can use the < step and step > buttons to move to the previous and next routing events. For each routing event, BGPlay displays an animation and updates the AS graph. Information on the current routing event can be found at the top of the window.

Click on the image for more information on the animation window.