The Management Plane Protection (MPP) feature in Cisco IOS XR software provides the capability to restrict the interfaces on which network management packets are allowed to enter a device. The MPP feature allows a network operator to designate one or more router interfaces as management interfaces.
Device management traffic may enter a device only through these management interfaces. After MPP is enabled, no interfaces except designated management interfaces accept network management traffic destined to the device. Restricting management packets to designated interfaces provides greater control over management of a device, providing more security for that device.
For information on MPP commands, see the Management Plane Protection Commands on the Cisco IOS XR Software module in the Cisco IOS XR System Security Command Reference for the Cisco XR 12000 Series Router.
Feature History for Implementing Management Plane Protection
This feature was introduced.
The following enhancements were added:
Out-of-band management interface support for applications.
Peer-filtering for specific peers or a range of peers for the specified application.
The following enhancements were added:
The information describing the MPP feature was expanded.
New information was added about how logical and management plane interfaces filter packets based on the ingress physical interface.
Prerequisites for Implementing Management Plane Protection
You must be in a user group associated with a task group that includes the proper task IDs. The command reference guides include the task IDs required for each command. If you suspect user group assignment is preventing you from using a command, contact your AAA administrator for assistance.
Restrictions for Implementing Management Plane Protection
The following restrictions are listed for implementing Management Plane Protection (MPP):
Currently, MPP does not keep track of the denied or dropped protocol requests.
MPP configuration does not enable the protocol services. MPP is responsible only for making the services available on different interfaces. The protocols are enabled explicitly.
Management requests that are received on inband interfaces are not necessarily acknowledged there.
Both Route Processor (RP) and distributed route processor (DRP) Ethernet interfaces are by default out-of-band interfaces and can be configured under MPP.
The changes made for the MPP configuration do not affect the active sessions that are established before the changes.
Currently, MPP controls only the incoming management requests for protocols, such as TFTP, Telnet, Simple Network Management Protocol (SNMP), Secure Shell (SSH), and HTTP.
MPP does not support MIB.
In a Multiprotocol Label Switching (MPLS) Virtual private Network (VPN), the VPN Routing and Forwarding (VRF) is globally configured for the ingress interface of the Provider Edge (PE) router. MPP applies the VRF on the interface filters. When an incoming packet from the core interface has a different VRF, then MPP does not work in MPLS VPN.
Information About Implementing Management Plane Protection
Before you enable the Management Plane Protection feature, you should understand the following concepts:
An inband management interface is a Cisco IOS XR software physical or logical interface that processes management packets, as well as data-forwarding packets. An inband management interface is also called a shared management interface.
Out-of-Band Management Interface
Out-of-band refers to an interface that allows only management protocol traffic to be forwarded or processed. An out-of-band management interface is defined by the network operator to specifically receive network management traffic. The advantage is that forwarding (or customer) traffic cannot interfere with the management of the router, which significantly reduces the possibility of denial-of-service attacks.
Out-of-band interfaces forward traffic only between out-of-band interfaces or terminate management packets that are destined to the router. In addition, the out-of-band interfaces can participate in dynamic routing protocols. The service provider connects to the router’s out-of-band interfaces and builds an independent overlay management network, with all the routing and policy tools that the router can provide.
Peer-Filtering on Interfaces
The peer-filtering option allows management traffic from specific peers, or a range of peers, to be configured.
Control Plane Protection Overview
A control plane is a collection of processes that run at the process level on a route processor and collectively provide high-level control for most Cisco IOS XR software functions. All traffic directly or indirectly destined to a router is handled by the control plane. Management Plane Protection operates within the Control Plane Infrastructure.
The management plane is the logical path of all traffic that is related to the management of a routing platform. One of three planes in a communication architecture that is structured in layers and planes, the management plane performs management functions for a network and coordinates functions among all the planes (management, control, and data). In addition, the management plane is used to manage a device through its connection to the network.
Examples of protocols processed in the management plane are Simple Network Management Protocol (SNMP), Telnet, HTTP, Secure HTTP (HTTPS), and SSH. These management protocols are used for monitoring and for command-line interface (CLI) access. Restricting access to devices to internal sources (trusted networks) is critical.
Management Plane Protection Feature
The MPP protection feature, as well as all the management protocols under MPP, are disabled by default. When you configure an interface as either out-of-band or inband, it automatically enables MPP. Consequently, this enablement extends to all the protocols under MPP.
If MPP is disabled and a protocol is activated, all interfaces can pass traffic.
When MPP is enabled with an activated protocol, the only default management interfaces allowing management traffic are the route processor (RP) and standby route processor (SRP) Ethernet interfaces. You must manually configure any other interface for which you want to enable MPP as a management interface, using the MPP CLI that follows. Afterwards, only the default management interfaces and those you have previously configured as MPP interfaces will accept network management packets destined for the device. All other interfaces drop such packets.
Logical interfaces (or any other interfaces not present on the data plane) filter packets based on the ingress physical interface.
After configuration, you can modify or delete a management interface.
Following are the management protocols that the MPP feature supports. These management protocols are also the only protocols affected when MPP is enabled.
SSH, v1 and v2
SNMP, all versions
Benefits of the Management Plane Protection Feature
Implementing the MPP feature provides the following benefits:
Greater access control for managing a device than allowing management protocols on all interfaces.
Improved performance for data packets on non-management interfaces.
Support for network scalability.
Simplifies the task of using per-interface access control lists (ACLs) to restrict management access to the device.
Fewer ACLs are needed to restrict access to the device.
Prevention of packet floods on switching and routing interfaces from reaching the CPU.
How to Configure a Device for Management Plane Protection
Configuring a Device for Management Plane Protection for an Inband Interface
Perform this task to configure a device that you have just added to your network or a device already operating in your network. This task shows how to configure MPP as an inband interface in which Telnet is allowed to access the router only through a specific interface.
Perform the following additional tasks to configure an inband MPP interface in non-default VRF.
Configure the interface under the non-default inband VRF.
Configure the global inband VRF.
In the case of Telnet, configure the Telnet VRF server for the inband VRF.
No new or modified RFCs are supported by this feature.
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