What is VRF-Lite

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Oct 11th, 2007

Can anyone explain what is the difference between VRF and VRF Lite. What is the main purpose/application of VRF Lite?

Thanks in advance

AK

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swaroop.potdar Thu, 10/11/2007 - 06:54

Vrf-lite is a leaner cut down version of MPLS-VRF.

Where in MPLS-VRF you need labels for VPN traffic switching, you dont need labels in VRF-lite.

VRF-lite mainly relies on routing using multiple virtual routing instances created for each vrf for switching traffic. There is no label switching for VRF-lite.

Since there is no label switching, you need to populate VRF's on every hop on your network. For example |Lan--PE1---PE2---PE3--Lan|

PE1 has 2 vrf's connected to a local lan, to route these VRF's to the other end(PE3), you will need to have dedicated interfaces(or subinterfaces on each hop and enable routing instances for each VRF on each hop.

But with MPLS-VRF you need to just enable the VRF's on PE1 and PE3 with MPBGP and Label Switching enabled.

So the advantage of VRF-Lite is to have virtualization of your sub-networks a smaller scale. If you have a big network, you may very well consider implementing MPLS (even though you may be an enterprise).

HTH-Cheers,

Swaroop

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