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Simplifying Multi-Provider WAN Designs

This week, at Cisco Live Orlando, we are introducing a brand new EIGRP feature called Over-the-Top (OTP). EIGRP OTP is focused on simplifying the deployment of branch networks utilizing an EIGRP end-to-end solution over public and private networks. This simplicity is further enhanced with EIGRP use of Over-the-Top (OTP) to support multiple service provider IP networks.

Connecting sites over a WAN cloud can be complex, especially when supporting thousands of branch locations, multiple service providers, and feature requirements like encryption. Aside from the configuration challenges, operationally, customers need to filter routes while avoiding routing loops during redistribution, which makes it harder to troubleshoot the network.

The EIGRP Over-the-Top (OTP) solution simplifies multi-provider IP WAN network designs. It simplifies the interface with the WAN providers and facilitates an end-to-end EIGRP network, which is easier to troubleshoot.

How simple is EIGRP OTP to deploy? Consider the network topology below, EIGRP OTP is configured in the Customer Edge routers. They include CE, CE1 and CE2.  CE1 and CE2 establish an EIGRP neighbor association with CE, which maintains a database of all the Customer Edge routers and their associated prefixes. Essentially, the router CE is supporting a route reflector type functionality for EIGRP. This is accomplished with a single line of configuration on the each router (example shows the configuration for IPv4 and IPv6 highlighted in blue). Once the EIGRP neighbor association is established the customer’s data plane traffic can flow.

EIGRP

Adding an additional branch location to the WAN network only requires the new site to be configured, and no additional changes to the route-reflector.

But that’s not the only benefit of EIGRP OTP. EIGRP OTP simplifies support of the branch network as well. Essentially, EIGRP OTP creates a common overlay across any IP Service Provider’s network. Once established, the overlay provides the customer with end to end visibility of their IP network. To highlight the benefits of the solution, when a customer performs an IP trace route from CE1 (Source IP 10.1.0.11) to CE2 (Destination IP 20.1.0.20), where normally the trace would end at the WAN edge, EIGRP OTP provides end-to-end path visibility from CE1 to CE2, transparent to Provider Edge (PE) routers in the middle.

Want to learn more? …. If you’re planning to attend Cisco Live in Orlando, please stop by the World of Solutions where we will demonstrate EIGRP OTP. Just look for is in the “ONE Intelligent Programmable Network” location. In addition, Donnie Savage, a routing Technical Marketing Engineer at Cisco, will be reviewing the EIGRP OTP solution in more depth at the Cisco Live Breakout session BRKRST-2336.

To learn more about EIGRP Over-the-Top (OTP) and Enhanced Interior Gateway Routing Protocol (EIGRP), visit http://www.cisco.com/go/eigrp. You may also be interested in downloading the EIGRP OTP Demo Topology and Router Configuration demonstrated at Cisco Live Orlando from the link here.

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