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Collapsed PE/CE/Edge switch


I am thinking of a capmus MPLS solution where I need to collapse the functions of PE/CE and Edge switch into a 6509 switch. Wondering if this has been done by somene previously! The csutomer does not want to run Layer 2 between the access switch and the core/distribution.

Any pointers are welcome.

Thanks in advance,


Cisco Employee

Re: Collapsed PE/CE/Edge switch

Hi Shine,

Technically, it's possible for sure but it will make your maintenance windows much more difficult. For example:

- You need a specific feature for the CE side for one customer which is not in your current release. You have to upgrade which will impact all the other customers as it's the PE as well (not talking about all the regression testing of the PE features as well,..). Usually CE requires man fancy features you will not have in the PE code

- Each time you are working on the CE side of the box, you take a risk to impact the box globally.

So I would not recommand this approach. If it's for a unique customer which wants use VRF for its own needs then you can share with him this kind of drawback but if it's a true shared box among several customers, I will definately not take this path.



Community Member

Re: Collapsed PE/CE/Edge switch

Hi Laurent,

This approach I am thinking is for a customer who wants segregation of various departments/traffic such as voice, data, video, IP TV etc end to end. One of the solutions we are looking into is VRF lite end-to-end and VRF lite with mGRE/DMVPN. Because of the inability of 6500s to ceate multiple mGREs sourced from same interface in hardware (when tunnel key is entered to differentiate the mGREs, the hardware tunnels are change dto software) we are lookng for other options.

I can make high speed core between 3 or 4 sites. Most of the edge switches will be 6509 and 3750, and looking at the option of making the 6509 to carry multiple VRFs from the core to fulfill the requiremenets of network sepeartion.

Do you recommend collapsing PE, CE and Edge switch into a single device for the above scenario? Please have a look at the  conceptual diagram that is attached.



Re: Collapsed PE/CE/Edge switch


Can you explain a bit more the drawback of having a collapsed CE-PE in a campus network. I'm looking at MPLS for my core because the VRF with 802.1Q tag are becoming hard to manage. Network core is 4X6500, 30 buildings with 2 6504 each for routing(+datacenters and edge blocs). Each time I add a VRF, have to create over 150 new interface(IPv4 and IPv6).

The building router have L2 connection to the 4500 access switchs. 1 Vlan for each VRF on each switch.


Re: Collapsed PE/CE/Edge switch

We had the exact same issue and we migraed to MPLS within the campus i.e between the CE's and the Core...

Works very well ... the only problem was with sites where 6500 was not used at the core so had to continue with vrf lites and dot1q tags


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