MREN has its primary connectivity site at the StarLight International/National
Communications Facility, which
has been designed and developed as the next generation Science, Technology and
Research Transit Access Point (STAR TAP).
The following information focuses on connectivity at
MREN has impleneted
routers and multiple interconnections at the StarLight facility (http://www.startap.net/starlight) facility,
which is on the Chicago, Illinois campus of Northwestern University.
MREN's Autonomous System 22335 acts as an Internet2 and National Lambda Rail
In summary, MREN's
AS 22335 aggregates the BGP sessions of all MREN participants and
presenting them as a unified set of advertisements to the Internet2 network. This model is
the standard one for GigaPOps followed by other regional Internet2 connections.
National Lambda Rail connections are implemented selectively by
special arrangements with individual organizations.
In addition, MREN's AS 22335 is tightly coupled to the StarLight (http://www.startap.net/starlight) international exchange service,
with which it peers.
Appropriate StarLight routes are advertised by MREN, and vice versa. Multiple
other national, state-wide, and regional peerings, including with
federal agency networks are vailable through this facility.
How to Establish a New Peering with
MREN's AS 22335
Here is information on how to establish a new peering with MREN's AS 22335:
1) Allocate a /30 address block from your existing address space. The low
address will be used on your router, and the high address will be used on the
MREN router. For example, if you allocate 220.127.116.11/30. The first usable
address in that block is 18.104.22.168, and that address will be used on your router. The second usable address in
that block is 22.214.171.124, and that address will be used on the MREN router.
2) Configure your border router with an subinterface for use with MREN. That subinterface should run PIM
Sparse Mode and have an MTU of 9180 bytes.
3) Compose an email note and send it to to
The Subject: line should be "MREN Peering with <Institution> (AS
<AS Number>)" [Example: "MREN Peering with Argonne (AS
683)"]. That email should include:
- your contact information
the appropriate circuit information,
the IP prefixes you expect to advertise to MREN,
the /30 address space you allocated in step 1 above,
the IP address of your PIM Rendezvous Point for MSDP peering,
any changes/updates to http://www.mren.org/mrentech.htm
and a statement that you've set up your router.
- Any other useful information.
4) Within 2 business days we will respond to your email reporting whether we can ping your side of the path. That email will have information added to the subject line so
directly to the trouble ticket tracking system. If necessary we will work with
you to debug this part of the configuration.
5) Set up MSDP and BGP peerings with the MREN router. The MREN router's
MSDP address is 126.96.36.199. The MREN router's BGP Autonomous System number
is 22335. You should prefer the MREN routes over any commercial ISP service, probably using BGP Local Preference settings.
6) Email firstname.lastname@example.org and request that I2 pads the AS PATH for routes
advertised to you on the direct peering. This will cause your router to
prefer MREN rather than the direct path, but to fall back to the direct I2 peering if there
is a problem with the MREN path.
7) Wait a couple of weeks to make sure everything works as expected.
8) Send email to email@example.com telling I2 that you're finished
with the direct peering. I2 will then turn off their side of the
peering and you can remove that configuration from your border router (and ATM switch(es) if necessary).
For problems and changes with the MREN connection, the contact email
address is firstname.lastname@example.org
-- including problems that appear to be in I2 or StarLight. General discussion
should continue to be sent to email@example.com.
An engineering overview of the MREN / StarLight equipment, routing policy,
router proxy (looking glass), and other useful information is available at:
All of the MREN and StarLight traffic graphs are now available