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Enabling or Disabling Cisco Express Forwarding or Distributed Cisco Express Forwarding to Customize Switching and Forwarding for Dynamic Networks

Table Of Contents

Enabling or Disabling Cisco Express Forwarding or Distributed Cisco Express Forwarding to Customize Switching and Forwarding for Dynamic Networks

Finding Feature Information

Contents

Prerequisites for Enabling or Disabling Cisco Express Forwarding or Distributed Cisco Express Forwarding

Restrictions for Enabling or Disabling Cisco Express Forwarding or Distributed Cisco Express Forwarding

Information About Enabling or Disabling Cisco Express Forwarding or Distributed Cisco Express Forwarding

Cisco Platform Support for Central Cisco Express Forwarding and Distributed Cisco Express Forwarding

When to Enable or Disable Central Cisco Express Forwarding Operation on a Router

When to Enable Distributed Cisco Express Forwarding Operation on a Line Card

When to Enable or Disable Cisco Express Forwarding Operation on an Interface

How to Enable or Disable Central Cisco Express Forwarding or Distributed Cisco Express Forwarding

Enabling or Disabling Cisco Express Forwarding or Distributed Cisco Express Forwarding Operation on a Router

Enabling or Disabling Cisco Express Forwarding or Distributed Cisco Express Forwarding Operation on an Interface

Configuration Examples for Enabling or Disabling Central Cisco Express Forwarding or Distributed Cisco Express Forwarding

Example: Enabling or Disabling Cisco Express Forwarding or Distributed Cisco Express Forwarding Operation

Example: Enabling or Disabling Central Cisco Express Forwarding or Distributed Cisco Express Forwarding Operation on an Interface

Additional References

Related Documents

Standards

MIBs

RFCs

Technical Assistance

Feature Information for Enabling or Disabling Cisco Express Forwarding or Distributed Cisco Express Forwarding

Glossary


Enabling or Disabling Cisco Express Forwarding or Distributed Cisco Express Forwarding to Customize Switching and Forwarding for Dynamic Networks


First Published: May 2, 2005
Last Updated: July 11, 2008

This module contains information about Cisco Express Forwarding and describes the required and optional tasks for enabling or disabling Cisco Express Forwarding and distributed Cisco Express Forwarding. Cisco Express Forwarding is an advanced Layer 3 IP switching technology. It optimizes network performance and scalability for all kinds of networks: those that carry small amounts of traffic and those that carry large amounts of traffic in complex patterns, such as the Internet and networks characterized by intensive web-based applications or interactive sessions.

Finding Feature Information

Your software release may not support all the features documented in this module. For the latest feature information and caveats, see the release notes for your platform and software release. To find information about the features documented in this module, and to see a list of the releases in which each feature is supported, see the "Feature Information for Enabling or Disabling Cisco Express Forwarding or Distributed Cisco Express Forwarding" section.

Use Cisco Feature Navigator to find information about platform support and Cisco IOS and Catalyst OS software image support. To access Cisco Feature Navigator, go to http://www.cisco.com/go/cfn. An account on Cisco.com is not required.

Contents

Prerequisites for Enabling or Disabling Cisco Express Forwarding or Distributed Cisco Express Forwarding

Restrictions for Enabling or Disabling Cisco Express Forwarding or Distributed Cisco Express Forwarding

Information About Enabling or Disabling Cisco Express Forwarding or Distributed Cisco Express Forwarding

How to Enable or Disable Central Cisco Express Forwarding or Distributed Cisco Express Forwarding

Configuration Examples for Enabling or Disabling Central Cisco Express Forwarding or Distributed Cisco Express Forwarding

Additional References

Feature Information for Enabling or Disabling Cisco Express Forwarding or Distributed Cisco Express Forwarding

Glossary

Prerequisites for Enabling or Disabling Cisco Express Forwarding or Distributed Cisco Express Forwarding

Cisco Express Forwarding requires a software image that includes Cisco Express Forwarding and IP routing enabled on the switch or router.

Restrictions for Enabling or Disabling Cisco Express Forwarding or Distributed Cisco Express Forwarding

Central Cisco Express Forwarding or distributed Cisco Express Forwarding has the following restrictions:

The Cisco 12000 Series Internet routers operate only in distributed Cisco Express Forwarding mode.

If you enable Cisco Express Forwarding and then create an access list that uses the log keyword, the packets that match the access list are not Cisco Express Forwarding switched. They are process switched. Logging disables Cisco Express Forwarding.

Distributed Cisco Express Forwarding switching cannot be configured on the same Versatile Interface Processor (VIP) card on which distributed fast switching is configured.

Distributed Cisco Express Forwarding is not supported on Cisco 7200 series routers.

Restrictions for Cisco Express Forwarding or Distributed Cisco Express Forwarding Operation on an Interface

On the Cisco 12000 Series Internet Router, you must not disable distributed Cisco Express Forwarding on an interface.

Not all switching methods are available on all platforms.

Information About Enabling or Disabling Cisco Express Forwarding or Distributed Cisco Express Forwarding

Cisco Platform Support for Central Cisco Express Forwarding and Distributed Cisco Express Forwarding

When to Enable or Disable Central Cisco Express Forwarding Operation on a Router

When to Enable Distributed Cisco Express Forwarding Operation on a Line Card

When to Enable or Disable Cisco Express Forwarding Operation on an Interface

For links to information about other Cisco Express Forwarding and distributed Cisco Express Forwarding features you can configure, refer to the following section:

How to Enable or Disable Central Cisco Express Forwarding or Distributed Cisco Express Forwarding

Cisco Platform Support for Central Cisco Express Forwarding and Distributed Cisco Express Forwarding

Cisco Express Forwarding is enabled by default on most Cisco platforms running Cisco IOS software Release12.0 or later. When Cisco Express Forwarding is enabled on a router, the Route Processor (RP) performs the express forwarding.

To find out if Cisco Express Forwarding is enabled on your platform, enter the show ip cef command. If Cisco Express Forwarding is enabled, you receive output that looks like this:

Router# show ip cef 

Prefix              Next Hop            Interface
[...]
10.2.61.8/24        192.168.100.1       FastEthernet1/0/0
                    192.168.101.1       FastEthernet6/1
[...]

If Cisco Express Forwarding is not enabled on your platform, the output for the show ip cef command looks like this:

Router# show ip cef

%CEF not running

Distributed Cisco Express Forwarding is enabled by default on the Catalyst 6500 series switch, the Cisco 7500 series router, and the Cisco 12000 Series Internet Router. When distributed Cisco Express Forwarding is enabled on your platform, the line cards perform the express forwarding.

If Cisco Express Forwarding is not enabled on your platform, use the ip cef command to enable central Cisco Express Forwarding or the ip cef distributed command to enable distributed Cisco Express Forwarding.

When to Enable or Disable Central Cisco Express Forwarding Operation on a Router

Enable central Cisco Express Forwarding operation when line cards are not available for Cisco Express Forwarding switching or when you need to use features not compatible with distributed Cisco Express Forwarding switching. When central Cisco Express Forwarding operation is enabled, the Cisco Express Forwarding Forwarding Information Base (FIB) and adjacency tables reside on the RP, and the RP performs express forwarding.

Disable central Cisco Express Forwarding on a router when you want to turn off central Cisco Express Forwarding on the router and on all interfaces on the router. You might want to do this if your router and router interfaces are configured with a feature that central Cisco Express Forwarding or distributed Cisco Express Forwarding does not support.

To disable central Cisco Express Forwarding on a router and on all interfaces on the router, use the no ip cef command.

When to Enable Distributed Cisco Express Forwarding Operation on a Line Card

Enable distributed Cisco Express Forwarding on a line card when you want the line card to perform express forwarding so that the RP can handle routing protocols or switch packets from legacy interface processors. When distributed Cisco Express Forwarding is enabled, line cards, such as the VIP line cards or the Cisco 12000 Series Internet Router line cards, maintain an identical copy of the FIB and adjacency tables. The line cards perform express forwarding between port adapters, thus relieving the RP of involvement in the switching operation. distributed Cisco Express Forwarding uses an interprocess communication (IPC) mechanism to ensure synchronization of FIB tables and adjacency tables on the RP and line cards.

The Cisco 12000 Series Internet routers operate only in distributed Cisco Express Forwarding mode. In other routers you can mix various types of line cards in the same router, and all of the line cards you are using need not support Cisco Express Forwarding. When a line card that does not support Cisco Express Forwarding receives a packet, the line card forwards the packet to the next higher switching layer (the RP) or forwards the packet to the next hop for processing. This structure allows legacy interface processors to exist in the router with newer interface processors.


Note When you enable distributed Cisco Express Forwarding globally, all interfaces that support distributed Cisco Express Forwarding are enabled by default.


When to Enable or Disable Cisco Express Forwarding Operation on an Interface

You need to decide whether or not you want Cisco Express Forwarding operation on an interface. In some instances, you might want to disable Cisco Express Forwarding or distributed Cisco Express Forwarding on a particular interface because that interface is configured with a feature that Cisco Express Forwarding or distributed Cisco Express Forwarding does not support. Because all interfaces that support Cisco Express Forwarding or distributed Cisco Express Forwarding are enabled by default when you enable Cisco Express Forwarding operation globally, you must use the no form of the ip route-cache cef command to turn off Cisco Express Forwarding operation on a particular interface. To reenable Cisco Express Forwarding, use the ip route-cache cef command. To reenable distributed Cisco Express Forwarding, use the ip route-cache distributed command.

Disabling Cisco Express Forwarding or distributed Cisco Express Forwarding on an interface disables Cisco Express Forwarding switching for packets forwarded to the interface, but has no effect on packets forwarded out of the interface.

When you disable Cisco Express Forwarding or distributed Cisco Express Forwarding, Cisco IOS software switches packets received on the interface using the next fastest switching path. For Cisco Express Forwarding, the next fastest switching path is fast switching on the RP. For distributed Cisco Express Forwarding, the next fastest switching path is Cisco Express Forwarding on the RP.

The input interface determines the Cisco IOS switching path that a packet takes. Consider the following rules of thumb when enabling or disabling switching methods on a particular interface:

You need Cisco Express Forwarding to be enabled on the incoming interface for packets to be Cisco Express Forwarding switched.

Because Cisco Express Forwarding makes the forwarding decision on input, you need to use the no ip route-cache cef command on the ingress interface if you want to disable Cisco Express Forwarding.

In contrast, because Cisco IOS builds a fast-switching cache entry after switching a packet, a packet coming in on a process-switched interface and going out through a fast-switched interface is fast switched.

If you want to disable fast switching, use the no ip route-cache command on the egress interface.

How to Enable or Disable Central Cisco Express Forwarding or Distributed Cisco Express Forwarding

To enable or disable Cisco Express Forwarding or distributed Cisco Express Forwarding, perform either of the following tasks depending on whether you want to enable or disable Cisco Express Forwarding or distributed Cisco Express Forwarding on the router or to enable or disable Cisco Express Forwarding or distributed Cisco Express Forwarding on an interface:

Enabling or Disabling Cisco Express Forwarding or Distributed Cisco Express Forwarding Operation on a Router (optional)

Enabling or Disabling Cisco Express Forwarding or Distributed Cisco Express Forwarding Operation on an Interface (optional)

Enabling or Disabling Cisco Express Forwarding or Distributed Cisco Express Forwarding Operation on a Router

Perform the following task to enable or disable Cisco Express Forwarding or distributed Cisco Express Forwarding operation on a router. Cisco Express Forwarding can optimize your network performance and scalability.

SUMMARY STEPS

1. enable

2. show ip cef [vrf vrf-name] [unresolved [detail]] | [detail | summary]]

3. configure terminal

4. [no] ip cef
or
[no] ip cef distributed

5. exit

6. show ip cef [vrf vrf-name] [unresolved [detail] | [detail | summary]]

DETAILED STEPS

 
Command or Action
Purpose

Step 1 

enable

Example:

Router> enable

Enables privileged EXEC mode.

Enter your password if prompted.

Step 2 

show ip cef [vrf vrf-name] [unresolved [detail]] | [detail | [summary]]

Example:

Router# show ip cef

Displays entries in the forwarding information base (FIB).

Use this command to determine if Cisco Express Forwarding is enabled globally and on a particular interface. If Cisco Express Forwarding is not enabled, the output displays:

%CEF not running

Step 3 

configure terminal

Example:

Router# configure terminal

Enters global configuration mode.

Step 4 

[no] ip cef

or

[no] ip cef distributed

Example:

Router(config)# ip cef

or

Example:

Router(config)# ip cef distributed

Enables Cisco Express Forwarding on the route processor card.

or

Enables distributed Cisco Express Forwarding operation. Cisco Express Forwarding information is distributed to line cards. Line cards perform express forwarding.

Step 5 

exit

Example:

Router(config)# end

Exits to privileged EXEC mode.

Step 6 

show ip cef [vrf vrf-name] [unresolved [detail] | [detail | summary]]

Example:

Router# show ip cef

Displays entries in the FIB.

Use this command to verify that Cisco Express Forwarding is enabled. If Cisco Express Forwarding is enabled, the output displays destination prefixes, next-hop IP addresses, and next-hop interfaces.

Enabling or Disabling Cisco Express Forwarding or Distributed Cisco Express Forwarding Operation on an Interface

Perform the following task to enable or disable Cisco Express Forwarding or distributed Cisco Express Forwarding operation on an interface. Cisco Express Forwarding can optimize your network performance and scalability.

SUMMARY STEPS

1. enable

2. show cef interface [type number] [statistics] [detail]

3. configure terminal

4. interface type slot/port or interface type slot/port-adapter/port

5. [no] ip route-cache cef or ip route-cache cef

or

[no] ip route-cache distributed

6. end

7. show cef interface [type number] [statistics] [detail]

DETAILED STEPS

 
Command or Action
Purpose

Step 1 

enable

Example:

Router> enable

Enables privileged EXEC mode.

Enter your password if prompted.

Step 2 

show cef interface [type number] [statistics] 
[detail]
Example:

Router# show cef interface fastethernet 1/0/0

Displays detailed Cisco Express Forwarding information for a specified interface or for all interfaces.

Look for "IP CEF switching enabled" or "IP Distributed CEF switching enabled" in the output.

Step 3 

configure terminal

Example:

Router# configure terminal

Enters global configuration mode.

Step 4 

interface type slot/port

or

interface type slot/port-adapter/port

Example:

Router(config)# interface ethernet 1/1

or

Router(config)# interface fastethernet 1/0/0

Configures an interface type and enters interface configuration mode.

The type argument specifies the type of interface to be configured.

The slot/ argument specifies the slot number. Refer to the appropriate hardware manual for slot and port information.

The port argument specifies the port number. Refer to the appropriate hardware manual for slot and port information.

The port-adapter/ argument specifies the port adapter number. Refer to the appropriate hardware manual for information about port adapter compatibility.

Step 5 

[no] ip route-cache cef

or

[no] ip route-cache distributed

Example:

Router(config-if)# no ip route-cache cef

or

Example:

Router(config-if)# no ip route-cache distributed

Disables Cisco Express Forwarding operation on an interface or enables Cisco Express Forwarding operation on an interface after Cisco Express Forwarding operation was disabled.

or

Disables distributed Cisco Express Forwarding operation on an interface or enables distributed Cisco Express Forwarding operation on an interface after distributed Cisco Express Forwarding operation was disabled.

Step 6 

end

Example:

Router(config)# end

Exits to privileged EXEC mode.

Step 7 

show cef interface [type number] [statistics] [detail]

Example:

Router# show cef interface fastethernet 1/0/0

Displays detailed Cisco Express Forwarding information for a specified interface or for all interfaces.

Verify that "IP CEF switching enabled" or "IP Distributed CEF switching enabled" is displayed in the output.

Configuration Examples for Enabling or Disabling Central Cisco Express Forwarding or Distributed Cisco Express Forwarding

Example: Enabling or Disabling Cisco Express Forwarding or Distributed Cisco Express Forwarding Operation

Example: Enabling or Disabling Central Cisco Express Forwarding or Distributed Cisco Express Forwarding Operation on an Interface

Example: Enabling or Disabling Cisco Express Forwarding or Distributed Cisco Express Forwarding Operation

Cisco Express Forwarding is enabled by default on the Cisco 7100, 7200, and 7500 series routers. You might want to disable Cisco Express Forwarding if your router and router interfaces are configured with a feature that Cisco Express Forwarding does not support. The following example shows how to disable Cisco Express Forwarding on a router and on all interfaces on the router:

configure terminal
!
no ip cef
end

Distributed Cisco Express Forwarding is enabled by default on the Cisco 6500 and 12000 series routers. The following example shows how to enable distributed Cisco Express Forwarding on the line cards of a router, such as the Cisco 7500 series router, that supports distributed Cisco Express Forwarding:

configure terminal
!
ip cef distributed
end

You might want to disable distributed Cisco Express Forwarding if your router and router interfaces are configured with a feature that distributed Cisco Express Forwarding does not support. The following example shows how to disable distributed Cisco Express Forwarding on a router:

configure terminal
!

no ip cef distributed

end

Example: Enabling or Disabling Central Cisco Express Forwarding or Distributed Cisco Express Forwarding Operation on an Interface

All interfaces that support Cisco Express Forwarding operation (central Cisco Express Forwarding or distributed Cisco Express Forwarding) are enabled by default when you enable Cisco Express Forwarding operation globally. You might want to disable central Cisco Express Forwarding or distributed Cisco Express Forwarding on a particular interface if that interface is configured with a feature that central Cisco Express Forwarding or distributed Cisco Express Forwarding does not support.

The following example shows how to disable central Cisco Express Forwarding on a particular interface:

configure terminal
!
interface ethernet 1/1
 no ip route-cache cef
 end

The following example shows how to reenable central Cisco Express Forwarding operation on an interface:

configure terminal
!
interface ethernet 1/1
 ip route-cache cef
 end


The following example shows how to disable distributed Cisco Express Forwarding on Ethernet interface 0:

configure terminal
!
interface e0
 no ip route-cache distributed
 end

The following example shows how to reenable distributed Cisco Express Forwarding operation on Ethernet interface 0:

configure terminal
!
ip cef distributed 
!
interface e0
# ip route-cache distributed
 end

The following example shows how to enable Cisco Express Forwarding operation on the router (globally) and turn off Cisco Express Forwarding operation on Ethernet interface 0:

configure terminal
!

ip cef 
!
interface e0
 no ip route-cache cef
 end

The following example shows how to enable distributed Cisco Express Forwarding operation on the router (globally) and turn off Cisco Express Forwarding operation on Ethernet interface 0:

configure terminal
!
ip cef distributed 

interface e0
 no ip route-cache cef
 end

The following example shows how to reenable distributed Cisco Express Forwarding operation on Ethernet interface 0:

configure terminal
!
ip cef distributed 
!
interface e0
 ip route-cache distributed
 end

Additional References

Related Documents

Related Topic
Document Title

Cisco IOS commands

Cisco IOS Master Commands List, All Releases

IP switching commands: complete command syntax, command modes, command history, defaults, usage guidelines, and examples.

Cisco IOS IP Switching Command Reference

List of the features documented in the Cisco Express Forwarding modules

Cisco Express Forwarding Features Roadmap

Overview of the Cisco Express Forwarding feature

Cisco Express Forwarding Overview

Tasks for verifying Cisco Express Forwarding information on your router

Configuring Basic Cisco Express Forwarding for Improved Performance, Scalability, and Resiliency in Dynamic Networks

Tasks for configuring a load-balancing scheme for Cisco Express Forwarding

Configuring a Load-Balancing Scheme for Cisco Express Forwarding Traffic

Tasks for configuring Cisco Express Forwarding consistency checkers

Configuring Cisco Express Forwarding Consistency Checkers for Route Processors and Line Cards

Tasks for configuring epochs for Cisco Express Forwarding tables

Configuring Epochs to Clear and Rebuild Cisco Express Forwarding and Adjacency Tables

Tasks for configuring and verifying Cisco Express Forwarding network accounting

Configuring Cisco Express Forwarding Network Accounting

Tasks for customizing the display of recorded Cisco Express Forwarding events

Customizing the Display of Recorded Cisco Express Forwarding Events

Troubleshooting tips for incomplete adjacencies

Troubleshooting Incomplete Adjacencies with CEF

Description and use of the Cisco Express Forwarding consistency checkers available for the Cisco 7500 and 12000 series routers

Troubleshooting Prefix Inconsistencies with Cisco Express Forwarding

Information about troubleshooting Cisco Express Forwarding routing loops and suboptimal routing

Troubleshooting Cisco Express Forwarding Routing Loops

Causes of common Cisco Express Forwarding-related error messages on platforms running distributed Cisco Express Forwarding switching (Cisco 7500 series routers and Cisco 12000 Series Internet routers) and how to troubleshoot them

Troubleshooting Cisco Express Forwarding-Related Error Messages

Explanation of and troubleshooting information for the Cisco IOS software implementation of Layer 3 load balancing across multiple parallel links when Cisco Express Forwarding is used

Troubleshooting Load Balancing Over Parallel Links Using Cisco Express Forwarding

QoS features that require Cisco Express Forwarding

When Is CEF Required for Quality of Service

Cisco Express Forwarding command changes for MPLS HA application and the MFI infrastructure in Cisco IOS 12.2S releases

Cisco Express Forwarding: Command Changes


Standards

Standard
Title

No new or modified standards are supported by this feature, and support for existing standards has not been modified by this feature.


MIBs

MIB
MIBs Link

No new or modified MIBs are supported by this feature, and support for existing MIBs has not been modified by this feature.

To locate and download MIBs for selected platforms, Cisco IOS releases, and feature sets, use Cisco MIB Locator found at the following URL:

http://www.cisco.com/go/mibs


RFCs

RFC
Title

No new or modified RFCs are supported by this feature, and support for existing RFCs has not been modified by this feature.


Technical Assistance

Description
Link

The Cisco Support and Documentation website provides online resources to download documentation, software, and tools. Use these resources to install and configure the software and to troubleshoot and resolve technical issues with Cisco products and technologies. Access to most tools on the Cisco Support and Documentation website requires a Cisco.com user ID and password.

http://www.cisco.com/cisco/web/support/index.html


Feature Information for Enabling or Disabling Cisco Express Forwarding or Distributed Cisco Express Forwarding

Table 1 lists the release history for this feature.

Use Cisco Feature Navigator to find information about platform support and software image support. Cisco Feature Navigator enables you to determine which software images support a specific software release, feature set, or platform. To access Cisco Feature Navigator, go to http://www.cisco.com/go/cfn. An account on Cisco.com is not required.


Note Table 1 lists only the software release that introduced support for a given feature in a given software release train. Unless noted otherwise, subsequent releases of that software release train also support that feature.


Table 1 Feature Information for Enabling or Disabling Cisco Express Forwarding or Distributed Cisco Express Forwarding 

Feature Name
Releases
Feature Configuration Information

This table is intentionally left blank because no features were introduced or modified in Cisco IOS Release 12.2(1) or later. This table will be updated when feature information is added to this module.


Glossary

adjacency—A relationship formed between selected neighboring routers and end nodes for the purpose of exchanging routing information. Adjacency is based upon the use of a common media segment by the routers and nodes involved.

Cisco Express Forwarding—A Layer 3 switching technology. Cisco Express Forwarding can also refer to central Cisco Express Forwarding mode, one of two modes of Cisco Express Forwarding operation. Cisco Express Forwarding enables a Route Processor to perform express forwarding. Distributed Cisco Express Forwarding is the other mode of Cisco Express Forwarding operation.

distributed Cisco Express Forwarding—A mode of Cisco Express Forwarding operation in which line cards (such as Versatile Interface Processor (VIP) line cards) maintain identical copies of the forwarding information base (FIB) and adjacency tables. The line cards perform the express forwarding between port adapters; this relieves the Route Switch Processor of involvement in the switching operation.

FIB—forwarding information base. A component of Cisco Express Forwarding that is conceptually similar to a routing table or information base. The router uses the FIB lookup table to make destination-based switching decisions during Cisco Express Forwarding operation. The router maintains a mirror image of the forwarding information in an IP routing table.

GRE—generic routing encapsulation. A tunneling protocol developed by Cisco that enables encapsulation of a wide variety of protocol packet types inside IP tunnels. GRE creates a virtual point-to-point link to Cisco routers at remote points over an IP internetwork. By connecting multiprotocol subnetworks in a single-protocol backbone environment, IP tunneling using GRE allows the expansion of a network across a single-protocol backbone environment.

IPC—interprocess communication. The mechanism that enables the distribution of Cisco Express Forwarding tables from the Route Switch Processor (RSP) to the line card when the router is operating in distributed Cisco Express Forwarding mode.

label disposition—The removal of Multiprotocol Label Switching (MPLS) headers at the edge of a network. In MPLS label disposition, packets arrive on a router as MPLS packets and, with the header removed, are transmitted as IP packets.

label imposition—The action of putting a label on a packet.

LER—label edge router. A router that performs label imposition.

LFIB—Label Forwarding Information Base. The data structure used by switching functions to switch labeled packets.

LIB—Label information base. A database used by a label switch router (LSR) to store labels learned from other LSRs, as well as labels assigned by the local LSR.

line card—A general term for an interface processor that can be used in various Cisco products. For example, a Versatile Interface Processor (VIP) is a line card for the Cisco 7500 series router.

LSP—label switched path. A sequence of hops (Router 0...Router n). A packet travels from R0 to Rn by means of label switching mechanisms. An LSP can be chosen dynamically, based on normal routing mechanisms, or you can configure the LSP manually.

LSR—label switch router. A Layer 3 router that forwards a packet based on the value of a label encapsulated in the packet.

MPLS—Multiprotocol Label Switching. An emerging industry standard for the forwarding of packets along the normal routing paths (sometimes called MPLS hop-by-hop forwarding).

prefix—The network address portion of an IP address. A prefix is specified by a network and mask and is generally represented in the format network/mask. The mask indicates which bits are the network bits. For example, 1.0.0.0/16 means that the first 16 bits of the IP address are masked, making them the network bits. The remaining bits are the host bits. In this example, the network number is 10.0.

RIB—Routing Information Base. A central repository of routes that contains Layer 3 reachability information and destination IP addresses or prefixes. The RIB is also known as the routing table.

RP—Route Processor. The processor module in the Cisco 7000 series routers that contains the CPU, system software, and most of the memory components that are used in the router. It is sometimes called a supervisory processor.

RSP—Route Switch Processor. The processor module used in the Cisco 7500 series routers that integrates the functions of the Route Processor (RP) and the Switch Processor (SP).

SP—Switch Processor. Cisco 7000-series processor module that acts as the administrator for all CxBus activities. It is also sometimes called a CiscoBus controller.

VIP—Versatile Interface Processor. An interface card used in Cisco 7000 and Cisco 7500 series routers. The VIP provides multilayer switching and runs Cisco IOS software.

VPN—Virtual Private Network. The result of a router configuration that enables IP traffic to use tunneling to travel securely over a public TCP/IP network.

VRF—A Virtual Private Network (VPN) routing/forwarding instance. A VRF consists of an IP routing table, a derived forwarding table, a set of interfaces that use the forwarding table, and a set of rules and routing protocols that determine what goes into the forwarding table. In general, a VRF includes the routing information that defines a customer VPN site that is attached to a PE router.