How BGP Works (Why not all of your traffic goes over CN2)

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Sharktech’s Los Angeles network has six highly sought after direct upstream carriers:

  • CN2 (China Telecom Next Generation Carrier Network, AS4809)
  • China Telcom (AS4134)
  • China Unicom (AS4837)
  • Comcast (AS7922)
  • GTT (AS4436 and AS3257)
  • NTT (AS2914)

BGP (Border Gateway Protocol) will analyze and select the best route.  The route may vary over time, as Internet traffic patterns change over time. We use additional software to improve on traditional BGP, called Noction Intelligent Routing Platform. Traditional BGP usually takes the route with the fewest AS hops.  This is a fairly rudimentary way to make traffic decisions, as any of those hops could be congested.  Noction analyzes downstream congestion and overrides poor routing decisions that would have been made by BGP by taking alternate routes.  You can read more about Noction on our blog and in the case study they did on Sharktech.

All six bandwidth carriers are available to ALL Sharktech services in our Los Angeles location.  Your traffic will route over the best route in the blend, which may or may not be CN2 at any given moment.

Need proof that Sharktech has CN2?

Generally speaking, if both the destination and the origination points are on the same network, the traffic is unlikely to leave that network.  So to see evidence that CN2 is in our blend, one can perform a traceroute originating on CN2 and see it take CN2 the whole way.

Here is China Telecom’s looking glass, where you can choose to send the traffic over CN2.  If you run a traceroute to our network, for example to, you should generally see it ride CN2 the entire length of the traceroute.  Select “Traceroute” in the first column, CN2 and Hong Kong in the second column, and our IP in the third column.  Here’s an example from January 29th, 2018 at approximately 9:30am PST:

Query Results:
Query Results:
Performing: traceroute
IP Version: IPv4

traceroute 45.58.18 < ~]# traceroute 45.58.187 .2
traceroute to (, 30 hops max, 60 byte packets
1 ( 0.304 ms 0.287 ms 0.282 ms
2 ( 68.242 ms ( 0.264 ms 0.270 ms
3 * * *
4 ( 166.598 ms ( 166.614 ms ( 166.645 ms
5 ( 157.669 ms 157.476 ms 157.517 ms 

Problematic Traceroute? Still Contact Us.

Just because traffic isn’t going over CN2 does not mean it is not in our blend and does not mean that the network is unhealthy.  That said, please do contact us if you have a traceroute from Asia which is showing over 250ms, routing through Europe, or seems otherwise strange. Please open a ticket and our network engineers will happily take a look.