One of my friends sent me this question:
Do you remember if VLANs came first or was it VRFs?
I remember VLANs using ISL (pre-802.1q encapsulation) on early Cisco Ethernet switches (mid 90s), the earliest reference I could track down on Wikipedia is from 1988.
The first time I've seen multiple independent routing tables on the same device (VRFs) was in IOS 12.0T (the initial MPLS/VPN release) released sometimes in 2000 (at least according to when my MPLS/VPN book was published).
There might have been other products out there using VRF-like constructs before MPLS/VPN (Shasta comes to mind, but it started in 1998), so it looks like VLANs predate VRFs by a decade or so.
Have I missed something? Were there networking devices with multiple routing and forwarding tables before 1998… apart from IBM mainframes running two partitions ;) Please write a comment if you remember them.