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.

We recently submitted an IETF Internet Draft for EIGRP with the intent of making it an Informational RFC.

While many customers are utilizing EIGRP in their networks, some customers have expressed a desire for multi-vendor support.  Cisco supports this position and feels it would provide customers with the flexibility to deploy EIGRP where it will best suit their needs.

We see EIGRP as a strategic protocol for many of our customers and therefore plan to continue our investment in EIGRP and to work with other vendors on supporting EIGRP.  If you have additional questions on the IETF Internet Draft for EIGRP, there is a FAQ page and a video.

What about support for IPv6? With the advent of customers starting to deploy IPV6 networks and the fact that EIGRP provides seamless integration of IPV6 into their existing IPV4 network, we see expanding interest in EIGRP.

Outside of Cisco submitting EIGRP as an Informational Draft, here are some additional enhancements to EIGRP that were recently introduced.  I welcome your questions, comments and feedback on EIGRP ….