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Cisco Opens Up EIGRP

What’s new and exciting with EIGRP (Enhanced Interior Gateway Routing Protocol)? Actually, lots…  First a bit a background on EIGRP.

EIGRP is an advanced distance vector routing protocol used extensively by enterprise customers.  It is very popular because it is simple to deploy and support. Some major attributes are:

  • EIGRP does not mandate many network design requirements and is therefore perceived as “forgiving” and “flexible”.  For example, EIGRP does not require support for multiple routing sub-domains or Areas.
  • While route summarization is a recommended best practice to minimize route table size, it is optional with EIGRP.
  • EIGRP can scale to support thousands of routers in a Hub and Spoke configuration.  The Hub and Spoke design is especially popular in WAN networks.

For additional information on EIGRP, please click here.  There is also a great BLOG that compares EIGRP and OSPF that I think you will find informative and is posted here.

While EIGRP has a large customer following, some customers have hesitated because of concerns of EIGRP being “proprietary”, which would prevent them from multi-vendor network support.  In some cases this has caused customers to design their networks to limit usage of EIGRP, even though they would like to deploy it ubiquitously.  One result has been non-optimal network design and traffic flow, resulting from multiple IGP (Interior Gateway Protocol) redistribution points.

That brings me back to what is new and exciting with EIGRP. Read More »

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Working Together to Attain MPLS-TP Interoperability

IP services are dominating overall network traffic growth and service providers are now truly architecting a transition from legacy Time Division Multiplexing (TDM) networks to packet transport networks. It’s no longer a question of if, but when. The Transport Profile for MPLS or MPLS-TP is the packet transport technology of choice, marrying the efficiency and flexibility of packet with the robust characteristics of a traditional transport network.  The telecommunications industry has embraced this emerging standard, mainly because it is subset of and interoperable with widely deployed IP/MPLS technology. To ensure this interoperability, it was collectively decided by both the ITU-T and IETF that the IETF will be responsible to define the protocol and functionality of MPLS-TP. The embeded spreadsheet specifies which RFCs have been completed and which contributions have been accepted and are in progress as Working Group drafts.

This vision is finally coming to fruition. For the first time since its inception, a standards-based interoperability test for MPLS-TP was conducted by Isocore. The results of this interoperability test were announced this week and demonstrate to the market the reality of a true MPLS-TP standard and that the vendor community is following and adopting this standard.  The interoperability focused on showing how systems from multiple vendors can work together while enabling transport-like characteristics such as statically provisioned paths, protection switching, in band OAM and OAM verification. All of the capabilities tested have been defined in RFC 5860, RFC 5654, RFC 5586 and RFC 5921 which are currently published standards from the IETF.

Read More »

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