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Understanding Targeted Broadcast

 

Targeted broadcast is a process of flooding a target subnet with Layer 3 broadcast IP packets originating from a different subnet. The intent of targeted broadcast is to flood the target subnet with the broadcast packets on a LAN interface without broadcasting to the entire network. Targeted broadcast is configured with various options on the egress interface of the router or switch and the IP packets are broadcast only on the LAN (egress) interface. Targeted broadcast helps you implement remote administration tasks such as backups and wake-on LAN (WOL) on a LAN interface, and supports virtual routing and forwarding (VRF) instances.

Regular Layer 3 broadcast IP packets originating from a subnet are broadcast within the same subnet. When these IP packets reach a different subnet, they are forwarded to the Routing Engine (to be forwarded to other applications). Because of this, remote administration tasks such as backups cannot be performed on a particular subnet through another subnet. As a workaround you can enable targeted broadcast, to forward broadcast packets that originate from a different subnet.

Layer 3 broadcast IP packets have a destination IP address that is a valid broadcast address for the target subnet. These IP packets traverse the network in the same way as unicast IP packets until they reach the destination subnet. In the destination subnet, if the receiving router has targeted broadcast enabled on the egress interface, the IP packets are forwarded to an egress interface and the Routing Engine or to an egress interface only. The IP packets are then translated into broadcast IP packets which flood the target subnet only through the LAN interface (if there is no LAN interface, the packets are discarded), and all hosts on the target subnet receive the IP packets. If targeted broadcast is not enabled on the receiving router, the IP packets are treated as regular Layer 3 broadcast IP packets and are forwarded to the Routing Engine. If targeted broadcast is enabled without any options, the IP packets are forwarded to the Routing Engine.

Targeted broadcast can be configured to forward the IP packets only to an egress interface, which is helpful when the router is flooded with packets to process, or to both an egress interface and the Routing Engine.

Note

Targeted broadcast does not work when the targeted broadcast option forward-and-send-to-re and the traffic sampling option sampling are configured on the same egress interface of an M320 router, a T640 router, or an MX960 router. To overcome this scenario, you must either disable one of the these options or enable the sampling option with the targeted broadcast option forward-only on the egress interface. For information about traffic sampling, see Configuring Traffic Sampling.

Note

Any firewall filter that is configured on the Routing Engine loopback interface (lo0) cannot be applied to IP packets that are forwarded to the Routing Engine as a result of a targeted broadcast. This is because broadcast packets are forwarded as flood next hop and not as local next hop traffic, and you can only apply a firewall filter to local next hop routes for traffic directed towards the Routing Engine.

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