Monday, May 25, 2015

BGP Routing for Salesforce Technical Architects

The "Network Best Practices for Salesforce Architects" page mentions optimizing BGP routing as a means to improve network latency and thereby improve Salesforce performance. But, what exactly is BGP routing?

I found a "Networking 101: Understanding BGP Routing" primer which I thought gave a pretty good 10,000-foot overview of BGP, which stands for Border Gateway Protocol. And from the primer I took away two key points:

  • BGP is primarily used to route information among ISPs or among a large enterprise and its multiple ISPs. As the primer says, "If you are the administrator of a small corporate network, or an end user, then you probably don't need to know about BGP."
  • A Salesforce technical architect should know about BGP and its purpose. Any real work to optimize BGP should be left to the professionals. Just like how a Salesforce solution architect should know about Apex without knowing how to write Apex, a Salesforce technical architect should know about BGP without knowing how to configure or optimize BGP.

In short, Salesforce latency issues can be a pain point for large enterprises that spans multiple regions across the globe. If the internal network has already been reviewed and optimized to the best of the organization's capabilities, a Salesforce technical architect should acknowledge the problem and advocate for engaging seasoned networking professionals.