(Part II) Virtual Routing and Forwarding
This is the second part in the series of posts dedicated to network virtualization and path isolation.
Ever needed one extra router? It’s possible to split the router into more logical routers by using VRF. How? Here’s how!
Virtual Routing and Forwarding or VRF allows a router to run more that one routing table simultaneously. When running more routing tables in the same time, they are completely independent. For example, you could use overlapping IP addresses inside more VRFs on the same router and they will function independently without conflict (You can see this kind of overlap in the example below). It is possible to use same VRF instance on more routers and connect every instance separately using VRF dedicated router port or only a sub-interface.
You can find VRFs to be used on ISP side. Provider Edge (PE) routers are usually running one VRF per customer VPN so that one router can act as a PE router for multiple Customer Edge (CE) routers even with more customers exchanging the same subnets across the VPN. By running VRF per customer, those subnets will never mix in-between them.
VRFs are used to create multiple virtual routers from one physical router.
Every VRF is creating his own Routing table and CEF table, basically a separate RIB and FIB.