EIGRP in the Service Provider Networks

EIGRP in the Service Provider Networks. If you are wondering whether EIGRP (Enhanced Interior Gateway Routing Protocol) is used in the Service Provider networks, then continue to read this post.




  • EIGRP is very uncommon in the Service Provider networks. As I teach network design training to thousands of students and through my consultancy service, provide a consultancy to many Service Provider, before I explain the reasons why EIGRP is not used in the Service Provider networks, l I should tell that it is almost never used in the SP networks.


Reasons why EIGRP is not common in the Service Provider networks 



  • Lack of MPLS Traffic Engineering Support. MPLS Traffic. Engineering is used to manage capacity in the networks by utilizing all available links on the networks. It provides SLA guarantee for the customers of the Service Providers and supports MPLS Traffic Engineering Fast Reroute feature which is highly demanded feature in the Service Provider core networks. EIGRP doesn’t have topology information, thus path cannot be calculated via CSPF (Constraint Based SPF) or through centralized path computation.



  • Multi-vendor interoperability issues. EIGRP is Cisco preparatory protocol. I write this post on August 2018 , we have RFC 7868 as Informational EIGRP RFC. But due to lack of implementation by the major vendors and the lack of important EIGRP feature such as EIGRP Stub , Multi-vendor interoperability stays as an issue.



  • Service Providers are heterogeneous environment (Many vendors are used in the network) interoperability between the network equipments is critical. Service Providers use many different vendor equipments in different part of their networks. They design their network based on three tier hierarchy. Access, Aggregation (Depends on the scale we see one more layer which is Pre-Aggregation) and Core networks. Even in the same layer, I see different vendor equipments. Having a Standard mechanism in this environment is key to avoid vendor lock-in. Service Providers use standard based protocols and this may not be critical for the small medium businesses or small Enterprise networks.


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