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    Understanding Key Router Components

    Inspect the Routing Engine and the Packet Forwarding Engine to ensure that the router is handling general routing operations and is forwarding packets properly.

    The router consists of two major architectural components:

    • Packet Forwarding Engine—This high-performance, application-specific integrated circuit (ASIC)-based component provides Layer 2 and Layer 3 packet switching, route lookups, and packet forwarding.
    • Routing Engine—Provides Layer 3 routing services and network management.

    The Packet Forwarding Engine and the Routing Engine perform their primary tasks independently, although they constantly communicate through a 100-Mbps internal link. This arrangement provides streamlined forwarding and routing control and the capability to run Internet-scale backbone networks at high speeds. Figure 1 illustrates the relationship between the Packet Forwarding Engine and the Routing Engine.

    Figure 1: Router Architecture

    Router Architecture

    Published: 2012-08-20