Virtual Routing and Forwarding

What Does Virtual Routing and Forwarding Mean?

Virtual routing and forwarding (VRF) is a technology within IP based routers that enables them to create and operate multiple instances of a routing table simultaneously. VRF enables a router to create multiple instances of router within it, each of which operates separately and has its distinct and overlapping set of IP addresses.


Techopedia Explains Virtual Routing and Forwarding

VRF is primarily implemented for better use of router and segregate network traffic. VRF works like a typical router with its unique routing table, table entries and routing protocols, and it works independently of the core router and other VRF created instances. VRF is similar to virtual routers but the latter uses only one routing table whereas VRF has multiple routing tables. VRF is also used to create VPN tunnels that are solely dedicated to a single client or network.

VRF is also referred to as a routing table that has multiple instances on a VPN power edge (PE) router.


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Margaret Rouse is an award-winning technical writer and teacher known for her ability to explain complex technical subjects to a non-technical, business audience. Over the past twenty years her explanations have appeared on TechTarget websites and she's been cited as an authority in articles by the New York Times, Time Magazine, USA Today, ZDNet, PC Magazine and Discovery Magazine.Margaret's idea of a fun day is helping IT and business professionals learn to speak each other’s highly specialized languages. If you have a suggestion for a new definition or how to improve a technical explanation, please email Margaret or contact her…