3750 as MPLS PE !!!

Unanswered Question
Apr 23rd, 2008


I came across this link "http://www.cisco.com/en/US/prod/collateral/switches/ps5718/ps5532/product_data_sheet0900aecd806e27b9.html"

It says that 3750 can be used as an L2/L3 PE... for me it sounds too good to be true.

Am I missing something... is anyone here using these to provide MPLS based L2/L3 services.

Please suggest.




I have this problem too.
0 votes
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
Overall Rating: 2.2 (5 ratings)
mlund Wed, 04/23/2008 - 06:33


I thought the same thing first time I saw it. There is a hatsh, It's 3750M, M for Metro, it's not regular 3750, and regular 3750 can't be upgraded, it differs in hardware. You can't even stack 3750M together with 3750. At least it was like that when I looked at it 1 year ago.


svermill Wed, 04/23/2008 - 12:01

That stupid Metro thing has gotten me in the past too! Think it had something to do with BFD support and I got all excited, only later to learn it was on the roadmap for the Metro but not the non-metro 3700 series. DOH!

sultan-shaikh Wed, 04/23/2008 - 19:24

Thanks to Mikael, Scott and Saxon,

So I understand that I can use 3750 Metro as a L2/L3 PE.

My query is has anyone deployed them in their Production network?

I don't want to please my Finance guys by deploying a low cost box and in turn mess the network efficiency.

Please suggest.




shivlu jain Tue, 04/29/2008 - 09:46

no dear you cannot deploy 3750 as LSR/LER. ONly you can use it for the multi vrf.



sultan-shaikh Tue, 04/29/2008 - 19:29

Hi Shivlu,

Thanks for your response.

Actually I had missed the "M" in 3750 and I had meant 3750M, which does support these functionalities, hence my query.




Patrick Laidlaw Tue, 04/29/2008 - 14:58

We were looking at purchasing about 50 of these but after spending a lot of time looking into them and talking to our Cisco SE they hinted (steered us away) to hold of on them. They wouldn't say why but my guess is there are still some undocumented problems that aren't for plubic consumption yet.

sultan-shaikh Tue, 04/29/2008 - 19:25

Hi Patrick,

Thanks for your response, I also went through the details a bit more and found out that it does have some limitations, major one for me being that it cannot support FRR and MPLS-TE hence I had to stop considering this for my network. [My Cisco guys were not kind enough to steer me away from this :)].

Now I am vetting [on paper] another alternative to this, ME 6524, this one is a bit more expensive than 3750M, but supports a whole lot of functionalities including FRR and TE.




rucus Thu, 05/15/2008 - 12:31

One of my customers deployed about 25 of the 3750 Metro series using them as both P, and PE switches. They used them to do layer 3 VPN and Atom. The switches will certanly work in this manner but only in very limited functionalty. There is a limited number of VRF's supported, and the number of routes that can be contained within hardware is limited as well. In most cases the 6500 metro series is a better fit.

hackbac.com Tue, 07/08/2008 - 22:06

I was wondering if it's possible to design a MPLS core based entirely on 3750M switches. Forgetting best-practices, is it possible to deploy a small MPLS network using 3750M switches as Provider routers?

ksolie Thu, 05/01/2008 - 19:55


We are deploying them in our MPLS network, but we are using them as Multi-VRF CEs. I don't think you can MP-BGP on it, so it's role is pretty much a mvrf-CE only, but the Multi-VRF capability when attached to a PE router is pretty powerful. For instance we route multiple VRF's in OSPF on the 3750s and then run them into multiple VRFs on the PE routers, and it works great so far.

Keep in mind that it is a Metro E 3750 and 'normal' 3750.

As mentioned we use these as Multi-VRF CE, and now this capability is being supported on non-metro E switches, so in some cases they may not be the ideal switch for you if you just need m-VRF capability.

Hope that helps..

Karl Solie

sultan-shaikh Thu, 05/01/2008 - 20:37

Hi Karl,

Thanks for your reply, so it seems that I can safely conclude that 3750 Metro is not and should not be used as a L3 PE.

I would again thank everyone who replied to this query.




mathieu.ploton Tue, 05/06/2008 - 09:41

It's weird because I browse the 3750 Metro configuration guide and it seems that you can run bgp process on it (with vpnv4 address so MP-BGP)


It's confirmed in this picture too : http://www.cisco.com/en/US/prod/collateral/switches/ps5718/ps5532/images/product_data_sheet0900aecd806e27b9-3.jpg

So it should be possible to use 3750M as a PE, i'm very interested by this solution for our metropolitan network !

ksolie Tue, 05/06/2008 - 17:08

Ya know it sure looks like it.

I'm actually teaching the MPLS class this week. From what I see in the document, it sure looks like it would support everything you need for MPLS L3 VPNS. The ME3400 is really a different animal. You have to use some extra commands in routing context and even on the interfaces(they are all UNI/NNI types) to really get it all to work the way you would think.

So I would say yes it can do MPLS L3 VPNs. I'm curious about this as well, as we are deploying them.

If you would like to discuss I'd be happy to talk with you..

[email protected]

-Karl Solie

mathieu.ploton Tue, 05/06/2008 - 22:56

I'm willing to deploy it for some small sites. Do you think it could be relevant to use it as a CE-PE-Agregator switch. In the other hand, i can use a cisco 2811 as a CE-PE and a 3560 as an agregator switch.

What is the best solution?

sultan-shaikh Tue, 05/06/2008 - 19:27

Hi Mathieu,

Weird, it sure is... infact I am also still puzzled that when cisco site has documents that say that we can use this as L3PE the account managers I spoke to said that it should not be.

This was the reason I came here for second opinion and for some insights from folks who have this in their production deployments...

I for one have given up on this and went for ME6524 :-) it promises much, let's see if it delivers the same :-P



mathieu.ploton Wed, 05/07/2008 - 00:26

As for me, i'm gonna borrow a 3750Metro to run some lab tests as a PE router, I let you know if I have some new informations about it.

mathieu.ploton Tue, 07/01/2008 - 00:06

I've borrowed a 3750Metro and i'm running it as a PE, it works fine !! But there is a big problem... The ES ports (the only ports that can be use for MPLS) are gigabitethernet interfaces. You can't change the speed ! So I don't know how we can deploy it... I see the 3750M as the perfect solution for our small agencies but I surely don't have a gbit connection on those...

ccotaolin Sat, 08/30/2008 - 17:50

there is only ES port can run MPLS at 3750M, and be careful of MTU, you can refer to document about 3750M.

good luck!

mathieu.ploton Wed, 05/07/2008 - 00:35

sultan-shaikh, I want to add that maybe your account manager try to prevent you from using that kind of devices because it will save you lot of money because in some case, you must be able to create an entire remote agency with one equipment (let's imagine you have 10 computers, you can run a 3750M as a PE-CE and access switch !)

colinc_unisys Fri, 08/29/2008 - 01:43

Hi Mathieu

Did you find a solution to the ES port speed issue, We are considering using 3750ME's as PE's but we would like to connect them to 100M circuits

mathieu.ploton Fri, 08/29/2008 - 02:09


There is no solution except using a 10/100/1000 switch between your 100mbit circuit and the 3750M... It's a stupid solution but no other way. I give up the 3750M solution and come back to a classical ISR solution (28xx with hwic card).


This Discussion