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ACE inline VS one-armed based

Hello Forum, ;-)

I have 2 basic questions I am having doubts about it and would love to have some clarifications:

1) I configure in one ACE4710 (running 4.2.2) context a bridged interface and in another context the same interface, like here below :

---- Context Microsoft ----

ACE1/Microsoft# sh run


interface vlan 503

   bridge-group 3

   access-group input NONIP

   access-group input ALL

   access-group output ALL

   service-policy input POLICY

   no shutdown

interface vlan 1503

   bridge-group 3

   access-group input ALL

   access-group output ALL

   no shutdown

interface bvi 3

   ip address

   no shutdown

Then I move to the Juniper context and I try to create an interface (either L-2 or L-3) but it doesn’t work:

---- Context Juniper----
ACE1/Juniper(config)# int vlan 503

Error: VLAN creation is not allowed, shared bridged VLAN exists in another context


It gives  ERROR!!

So if I configure an interface as bridged in one Context, I cannot configure it in another context??

2) If I want to migrate in context Microsoft from One-armed to inline (L-2 bridged), can I migrate one service at the time ( I.e. the config i showed above for context Microsoft, would it work also for one-armed based???)

Thanks so much for your explanations!!



ACE inline VS one-armed based

Hello Giulio-

You can only share vlans in one-armed or routed modes.  Think of it this way:

  Interface vlan 10 and 11 are bridged on context C1. (bridged mode)

  Interface vlan 12 and 13 are configured on context C2. (routed mode)

  When you have routed mode, your server's gateway is configured to point to the ACE interface IP (or alias if you are have FT.) If a packet comes into the physical interface on the ACE, the processor has to decide which context it belongs to.  Since the mac address is the interface on context X, it knows instantly where it goes. It will either hit a VIP, or be routed via the routing table.

  If a packet arrived on vlan 12 or 13 and the MAC address did not belong to the ACE, it would drop the packet by basic routing rules. (think a client connected to a hub sees a packet destine to a MAC that is not its own, it drops/ignores the packet.) 

  In bridged mode, the gateway for your server is the router on the other side of the bridged vlan.  I.e., you server is on vlan 10, the gateway is on vlan 11 and ace is bridging them together.  When packets arrive to the physical interface, ACE knows the traffic arrived on vlan 10 or 11 which belongs to context C2. If the MAC address is not a VIP, ACE simply hucks the packet out of the other vlan.  If you send traffic to the interface MAC that does not belong to a VIP, ACE drops it because it would not make sense to send a packet out the other vlan that has a MAC address that belongs to the interface of the ACE itself.

  One-armed mode is simply routed mode with a single vlan and source NAT. Nothing special applies to how ACE handles the traffic versus routed mode with only a single vlan.

Now imagine this:

  Interface vlan 10 and 11 are bridged on context C1.

  Interface vlan 11 and 12 are configured on context C2.

Remember 3 things:

a.) ACE conserves MAC addresses - so the VIPs share MAC addresses with the interface.

b.) ACE will never communicate between 2 contexts directly.

c.) If you are in a routed mode and share vlans between 2 contexts, ACE will make each vlan have a unique MAC address. If you create unique vlans on each context, ACE uses the same single MAC across all vlans for all contexts.

With traffic that is destine to ACE's MAC address and the IP is a VIP,  its not a problem - ACE could figure out which context the traffic  belongs to (especially since vlan 11 would have unique mac addresses on each context.  However, what if ACE recieved a packet to the interface 10 and 12 MAC  address? How would it know if it belonged to the bridged or routed context if it was not a VIP IP? What about traffic that arrives that doesn't have the MAC of any of the interfaces?  2 different entirely behaviors would occur, ACE should drop the packet on the bridged context, and route the packet on the routed context.

  So the bottom line is - you can't determine which context a packet would need to apply to in all circumstances if you tried to share vlans in a bridge mode across multiple contexts.


Chris Higgins

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