EIGRP in MPLS VPN networks

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By Ivan Pepelnjak

Support for EIGRP as a PE-CE routing protocol in MPLS VPN environment has been introduced in Cisco IOS releases 12.2(15)T, 12.3, 12.0(22)S and 12.2(18)S. The basic configuration for simple VPNs having sites with a single PE-CE link is very simple:

  • EIGRP routing process is configured for the desired VRF.
  • Two-way redistribution between PE-CE EIGRP and core BGP is configured within the VRF address family.

EIGRP routes redistributed from VRF address family into VPNv4 BGP carry EIGRP-specific extended communities that transport EIGRP route attributes (metric vector, route type and AS number) across core BGP. Routes sourced by EIGRP in one site are thus redistributed as internal EIGRP routes with proper vector and composite metric into EIGRP running on other sites.



The VRF and EIGRP configuration on the PE-R1 router in the sample network shown in the following figure is included below.

Network diagram
ip vrf Cust
 rd 65000:1
 route-target export 65001:1
 route-target import 65001:1
interface Serial1/4
 description Link to S2
 ip vrf forwarding Cust
 ip address
router eigrp 11
 address-family ipv4 vrf Cust
  autonomous-system 234
  no auto-summary
  redistribute bgp 65000 metric 2000 1000 255 1 1500
router bgp 65000
 address-family ipv4 vrf Cust
  no synchronization
  redistribute eigrp 234

When configuring EIGRP on the PE-router, follow these rules:

  • A single global EIGRP process can be used for multiple VRFs regardless of the EIGRP AS number used in the global and VRF EIGRP processes.
  • The AS number used by the VRF EIGRP process must be configured with the autonomous-system router configuration command, otherwise the per-VRF EIGRP configuration will not be saved into NVRAM.
  • The EIGRP process number used within the ipv4 vrf address family is the number configured with the autonomous-system command, not the global process number configured with the router eigrp command. In the sample configuration, you have to use redistribute eigrp 234 when redistributing from EIGRP to BGP within the Cust VRF.
  • EIGRP auto-summary should be disabled.
  • Default redistribution metric has to be specified on BGP-to-EIGRP redistribution, either with the default-metric or redistribute bgp metric router configuration command. The default metric is ignored for VPN EIGRP routes redistributed from BGP into EIGRP, but the route redistribution does not work without the default metric.


Full complement of EIGRP show commands is available for EIGRP process running in VRF; you just need to add vrf name to the show commands. You can view the VRF EIGRP neighbors:

PE-R1#show ip eigrp vrf Cust neighbors
EIGRP-IPv4 neighbors for process 234
H   Address                 Interface       Hold Uptime   SRTT   RTO  Q  Seq
                                            (sec)         (ms)       Cnt Num
0               Se1/4             14 00:31:52   21   200  0  105

The EIGRP topology table contains local routes as well as VPNv4 routes redistributed from BGP (indicated by the via VPNv4 Sourced keyword):

PE-R1#show ip eigrp vrf Cust topology
EIGRP-IPv4 Topology Table for AS(234)/ID( Routing Table: Cust
Codes: P - Passive, A - Active, U - Update, Q - Query, R - Reply,
       r - reply Status, s - sia Status
P, 1 successors, FD is 2169856
        via Connected, Serial1/4
P, 1 successors, FD is 2297856
        via (2297856/128256), Serial1/4
P, 1 successors, FD is 28160
        via VPNv4 Sourced (28160/0)
P, 1 successors, FD is 2297856
        via VPNv4 Sourced (2297856/0)
P, 1 successors, FD is 2195456
        via (2195456/281600), Serial1/4
P, 1 successors, FD is 2169856
        via VPNv4 Sourced (2169856/0)

The local EIGRP routes appear as native EIGRP routes in the VRF IP routing table; remote EIGRP routes appear as BGP routes on the PE-router:

PE-R1#show ip route vrf Cust | begin Gateway
Gateway of last resort is not set is variably subnetted, 14 subnets, 3 masks
B [200/2297856] via, 00:29:40
D [90/2297856] via, 00:33:19, Serial1/4
C is directly connected, Serial1/4
B [200/0] via, 00:29:25
B [200/0] via, 00:30:55
D [90/2195456] via, 00:33:19, Serial1/4

However, the same routes appear as internal EIGRP routes on the CE-router:

S2#show ip route | begin Gateway
Gateway of last resort is not set is variably subnetted, 13 subnets, 3 masks
C is directly connected, Serial1/0
C is directly connected, Loopback0
D [90/2172416] via, 00:31:46, Serial1/0
D [90/2809856] via, 00:30:19, Serial1/0
C is directly connected, FastEthernet0/0
D [90/2681856] via, 00:30:17, Serial1/0

Further reading

Additional Resources  

Implementing Cisco MPLS (MPLS) course:

Configuring BGP on Cisco Routers (BGP) course:

Other links

Did you know?

  • NIL developed the first commercially available MPLS/VPN traning.
  • This training was for several years the only course available to Cisco's internal audiences and its Service Provider customers in Europe.
  • The MPLS/VPN course developed by NIL later became part of Cisco's Service Provider training curriculum and the basis for the Implementing Cisco MPLS (MPLS) course that is part of the CCIP curriculum.
  • NIL's experts have worked as part of Cisco's Professional Services team supporting early adopters of MPLS VPN technology in Europe.
  • NIL has provided several large Service Providers with MPLS/VPN design and deployment support.
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