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New Member


I am begining to implement an MPLS network. I have several sites that are using Novell 4.1 servers that are using IPX. At present I am using EIGRP and Frame Relay with some Point to Point connections. When I move all of these sites over to the MPLS network, what am I going to have to do to keep the IPX working between these servers.

Will IPX run on MPLS? Or will MPLS encapsulate the IPX Packet in IP?

Some of these servers cannot be upgraded to the Novell 5.0 or 5.1 using IP.

Cisco Employee

Re: IPX and MPLS

The current Mpls implementation works for ip traffic only. IPX packets can't be switched by Mpls.

However, Mpls and Ipx can work parallely. If you do not alter you ipx config on the interfaces, Ipx traffic works just as before.



New Member

Re: IPX and MPLS

When you suggest that Mpls and IPX can work parallely. What do you mean by parallely? Within the Lan only? What interface are you talking about not altering? Ethernet or serial? How will IPX updates happen without routing IPX across the WAN connection. Will we be able to see all IPX servers on all routers? IE. (sh ipx server). If you could elaborate on your response, I would appreciate it.



New Member

Re: IPX and MPLS

We have such a design in our network running.

Yes you can have IPX configured on a serial line, in parallel to the MPLS configuration. On a frame-relay or PPP encapsulated serial line, just leave

the IPX configuration as it was before, and modify the IP configuration to enable MPLS.

I would suggest to stay away of the suggestion of putting IPX in GRE tunnels.

We tried that also. The configuration is more complex, and some IOS versions had a nasty bugs when EIGRP was used with IPX leading to SAP table not correctly updated.

New Member

Re: IPX and MPLS


Yes today MPLS support is only for IP. You can only carry IPX packets on MPLS network by using Tunnel interface. In this way it is possible for servers & clients to speek over MPLS network.

So if you want to use MPLS , all your design must be on IP. On tunnel interface you can again use IPX EIGRP to route IPX traffic.


New Member

Re: IPX and MPLS

It's kind of funny the "MP" in MPLS still needs some time. I doubt we will see anything for carrying IPX natively inside MPLS, mainly because the demand isn't there in the service provider space.

There are emerging standards for bridging layer 2 inside MPLS - particularly VPLS. That may be an option, but it's not clear what platforms are supporting it right now as the standard is still in draft.

For the short-term, certainly upgrading to nate IP is most desirable. If that's not feasable, then GRE tunnels will work well with a small number of servers.

(Tunnels are point-to-point = n-squared)

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