MPLS on 7600: the devil is in the details

I've got a simple question recently: “Can I run MPLS on a VLAN interface on 7600?” My initial response was “Sure, why not.”, as I knew we've deployed MPLS in 7600-based networks and there should be no significant difference between a routed port and a VLAN interface on a 7600 (this box treats everything as a VLAN internally).

It turned out the problem was "a small detail" that's not advertised in any 7600-related MPLS marketing material on Cisco web site: you need Advanced IP Services software to run MPLS. To make matters worse, the only mention of 7600-series devices in the Cisco IOS Packaging Product Bulletin I've finally found within the 7600 routers product literature is in the first marketing slide.

This article is part of You've asked for it series.

7 comments:

  1. Small offtopic - I've found this when searching for something other.

    Sup720 load balancing

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  2. Hi Ivan,
    thanks for this interesting facts, espacially that the 7600's treats internally everything as a VLAN interface. I guess this is because the 7600 series is nearly identic to the Catalyst 6500 series?
    I've asking me several times what the differences between these two series are (except of that they are routers / layer 3 switches)... - Cisco seems not to provides many informations about this, seems like some modules are compatible with both series (Sup2, Sup32, Sup720, SIP-400, ...) and some are not (RSP720). The gerneal question is, what can you do with a 7600 which you can't do with a 6500 and vice versa...
    Maybe you could go a bit deeper into these details in a following article...

    Regards
    Christoph

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  3. @said
    Thanks for this link, that answers lots of my questions, haven't seen you comment as I created mine.

    Regards
    Christoph

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  4. Yeah, you need Adv. IP for MPLS. Heck, you even need Adv. IP for IPv6.

    Both ought to be considered standard features in this day and age.

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  5. Some platforms like ISR 87x has only two feature sets:
    1. advanced security
    2. advanced ip services
    No "base" feature set. :)

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  6. MPLS is available in SP Services, check IOS Packaging:
    http://www.cisco.com/en/US/products/sw/iosswrel/ps5460/index.html

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  7. There are many things that are not supported on vlan interfaces. Specifically you cannot "xconnect" a vlan interface over mpls. This only works for physical interfaces.

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Ivan Pepelnjak, CCIE#1354, is the chief technology advisor for NIL Data Communications. He has been designing and implementing large-scale data communications networks as well as teaching and writing books about advanced technologies since 1990. See his full profile, contact him or follow @ioshints on Twitter.