i am using Hurricane Electric's Tunnel Broker service to get IPv6 connectivity.

TunnelBroker lets you have access to the IPv6 Internet by using a standard IPv6 tunneling protocol. You send IPv6 packets, wrapped inside IPv4 packets, to one of their servers. There the IPv6 packet is dumped onto the Internet.

My IPv4 tunnel end-point is in Chicago; and it goes through Bell Canada (AS577) to get there. Bell is a horrible, horrible, network provider. My ISP peers with Bell Canada, but they also peer with Level 3 Communications (AS3356). Ideally i would ask my ISP to change their routes to bypass Bell:

enter image description here

This new route does involve a third autonomous system (TaliaNet - AS1299) before reaching my tunnel endpoint. That's why i want to know what the route might be like. i'd like to know:

  • the number of hops
  • transit time
  • etc.

Note: There are other available routes between Level 3* and **Hurricane Electric.

Is there any way to "test" this alternate route? Is there any way to "direct" ICMP packets?

Looking Glass

This might answer my own question, as it might be the only way. But using Level 3's Looking Glass, i can run a traceroute from their Detroit server (where my ISP connects to Level 3) to my preferred HE endpoint:

Show Level 3 (Detroit, MI) Traceroute to
  1 ae-8-8.ebr2.Chicago1.Level3.net ( 4 msec 8 msec 4 msec
  2 ae-5-5.ebr2.Chicago2.Level3.net ( 8 msec 12 msec 8 msec
  3 ae-2-52.edge3.Chicago3.Level3.net ( 4 msec 4 msec 8 msec
  4 gblx-level3-10g.Chicago3.Level3.net ( 4 msec
    gblx-level3-10g.Chicago3.Level3.net ( 8 msec 4 msec
  5 HURRICANE-ELECTRIC-LLC-New-York.TenGigabitEthernet1-3.ar5.NYC1.gblx.net ( [AS3549 {GBLX}] 32 msec 24 msec 24 msec
  6 10gigabitethernet8-3.core1.chi1.he.net ( [AS6939 {HURRICANE}] 24 msec 24 msec 28 msec
  7 tserv1.chi1.he.net ( [AS6939 {HURRICANE}] 24 msec 28 msec 24 msec

In which case everything is great until they hand the traffic off to the Hurricane Electric gateway machine.


Edit: Why not Serverfault? Because of their rules:

Server Fault is for Information Technology Professionals needing expert answers related to managing computer systems in a professional capacity.

i'm not an Information Technology Professional managing a computer system in a professional capacity. This is me, at home, on a Friday night, eating Life Cereal, dinner with friends, dinner alone, watching tv alone.

  • Why aren't you using HE's Toronto endpoint? – Michael Hampton Jan 4 '13 at 0:27
  • @MichaelHampton Because at the time i wrote the question the trace to HE's Toronto server was Windsor -> Toronto -> Chicago -> New York -> Toronto. Today i just checked again, and my ISP got their own link up to Toronto, bypassing Bell! – Ian Boyd Jan 4 '13 at 1:05

The short answer is 'no'. The IP feature you are looking for is the Source Route Option. It is used to determine how a packet is routed at the sender instead of in the network. Because of all the problems that using that option can cause (almost?) nobody will accept and/or honour it.

Routing policy decisions are made inside an AS (=Autonomous System). If you only connect to one ISP then that is where you route your traffic. Once you send your traffic to them it's up to them to decide where to send it next. Usually these decisions are based on what the receiving network advertises through BGP (=Border Gateway Protocol).

The AS graph you are looking at is a graph the other way around. It shows what AS7057 advertises, so this influences how traffic flows towards AS7057, not how data from AS7057 reaches other networks. It might be the same, but it certainly doesn't have to be.

  • If you are having problems reaching the HE tunnel broker it might be a good idea to contact them about it. They put a lot of effort into making sure that the tunnel broker platform performs well. – Sander Steffann Dec 15 '12 at 2:11
  • 1
    +1; i've never even heard of source routing. That answer's the question exactly; with the caveat that it doesn't work. As for the data flow; i knew it was "true enough" for the question. In the case of my ISP, they really only have two peers they can send traffic to. Although i never considered the possibility that packets might take the opposite route on the "return" trip. – Ian Boyd Dec 15 '12 at 2:20
  • Well, the solution to your problem might be to contact your ISP and tell them that you are unhappy with their service. In the end it's their responsibility to make sure there is good connectivity. They chose to use Bell Canada, and if that causes problems then it's their responsibility to either make sure Bell fixes its problems or to move to (or add a) better transit provider. – Sander Steffann Dec 15 '12 at 13:05
  • There is nobody else who can offer Internet Service. The fact that my (small) ISP ran their own data line, across international boundaries, to Level 3, to escape as much Bell as possible, is quite impressive. There is no other backbone in the area. – Ian Boyd Dec 15 '12 at 15:12

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