Incredibly stupid ? - VRF

VRF - virtual routing and forwarding is *the same thing as* VPN routing and forwarding, correct?  Someone just decided the acronym should stand for something that sounds cooler?  I fully realize how stupid this question is, but I haven't been sleeping enough, and want to make sure I'm not making bad assumptions, and we've really got something like RTP (reliable transport protocol and real-time transport protocol).

Comments

  • Yes, your assumption is correct. Unfortunately acronym overloading has become popular =)

     

     

     

  • peetypeety ✭✭✭

    I started to work up a nit-pick to say that I wouldn't necessarily consider them 100% equivalent, but decided to drop it because, well, because I was nit-picking.

    On the broader theme, we also have Redundant Packet Ring and Route Processor Redundancy, gotta love it.

  • VRF - virtual routing and forwarding is *the same thing as* VPN routing and forwarding, correct?

    You are correct!

    The combination of the VPN IP routing table and associated VPN IP forwarding table is called VPN routing and forwarding (VRF).

     

    Good Luck with your studies!

  • Hi there,

    you are correct but bear in mind that VPN routing and forwarding is not correct for VRF. In fact, VPN assumes at least a label imposition while you can have a VRF without even running MPLS on a single interface. I would keep using only "virtual routing and forwarding" rather than both of them.

     

    ;)

  • peetypeety ✭✭✭

    you are correct but bear in mind that VPN routing and forwarding is not correct for VRF. In fact, VPN assumes at least a label imposition while you can have a VRF without even running MPLS on a single interface. I would keep using only "virtual routing and forwarding" rather than both of them.

    Folks, we are way down in nit-pick land.  A single-router VRF can easily be considered a virtual private network, because it's been virtualized as a separate router inside a physical router, it's private, and it's a network.

    If you trunk together two Cat3560s, put a VRF on each, run a routed VLAN between the two switches on vlan 7, and a routed VLAN between the two VRFs on vlan 8, is that not a VPN just because it's not MPLS and because the packets aren't virtualized?  What if you tied the VRF together between switches using a GRE tunnel - is that "virtualized" enough to be a VPN?

  • Hi there,

    you are correct. If you implement a VRF on each CAT3560 and run vlan 8 and 7 between the two switches ( routed or not) it is technically not a VPN. A single-router VRF.... , well that is not a VPN unless admitting that any routing table is a VPN. at last you are correct on GRE defining it as a VPN even if no MPLS is involved. However i don't get why you focus so much on "virtualise" in order to define a VPN. Anold Frame Relay or ATM circuit are example of VPNs with not even the idea of virtualisation. 

    As per academic definition, a VPN is a network phisically separated from another one, not virtualised.

    Thanks for yoru point by the way. [:)]

     

    Alessio

  • I suppose that at this point in the game I'd probably say that VRF =
    VRF, but that possibly "VPN" suggests BGP where "virtual" simply
    suggests seperate routing tables.  There's no way I would have been able
    to understand the subtle difference when I initially asked this question, though, and the distinction may not truly exist.  In either case, it would have been better to come up with yet another acronym than overload one with an already defined meaning.

  • Yeah,

    you are right i suppose, a bit more fantasy in choosing the acronyms did not hurt anybody [:)] , however,keep in mind that the term VPN generally suggests BGP only for a subset of them, L3VPN. A more general acception for VPN should be suggested by tagging rather than anything else. to think that Cisco was using the tag-switching command at the beginning... [:D]

    Back to study

    Alessio

  • Don't forget bgp signalled l2vpn :)

  • You are right, as usual [:(] 

    however not in all the cases BGP will signal and it is possible to build up a L2VPN without a single BGP instance .

     

    thanks for reminding me that anyway. Tom orrow i will lab it !

     

    good night

    Alessio

  • Unless you're in a juniper house I doubt you will ever see it that way

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