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BGP: Explanation for address-family ipv4 and vpnv4

Posted on 2010-09-19
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Last Modified: 2012-06-27
Experts,

Jr. Engineer for a service provider wondering about BGP. I am looking to solidify my understanding of ipv4 and vpnv4.
I was looking over our PE routers and see address-family ipv4 and address-family vpnv4.

Can someone explain to me what is the difference between the two? I've already read about the difference but would like to hear it from another point of view.
Is ipv4 is used to exchange regular ipv4 routes between bgp peers? vpnv4 is used to exchange vrf routes?
 
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Question by:trojan81
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Otto_N earned 400 total points
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IPv4 addresses is the usual IP address: NN.NN.NN.NN
VPNv4 is the IP address, but with the route-distinguisher appended: AS:RD:NN.NN.NN.NN

You are correct: "address-family ipv4" is configured to exchange IPv4 addresses between nodes (which can be used in the backbone of the ISP for infrastructure connectivity) while "address-family vpnv4" is used to echange routing information in the specific VPN (i.e. the subnets reachable inside the particular VPN, most likely the service offered to your customer).

To put it another way:  "address-family ipv4" exchange IPv4 routes in the Global Routing Table between BGP peers, while "address-family vpnv4 vrf <NAME>" exchange IPv4 routes in the specified VRF instance between peers.

Let me know if you need more info...
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by:trojan81
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Makes sense. well done!
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