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Understanding Layer 2 Bridge Domains

You can configure one or more bridge domains on MX Series routers to perform Layer 2 bridging. The Layer 2 bridging functions of the MX Series routers include integrated routing and bridging (IRB) for support for Layer 2 bridging and Layer 3 IP routing on the same interface, and virtual switches that isolate a LAN segment with its spanning-tree protocol instance and separate its VLAN ID space.

A bridge domain is a set of logical ports that share the same flooding or broadcast characteristics. Like a virtual LAN (VLAN), a bridge domain spans one or more ports of multiple devices.

On Juniper Networks MX Series 5G Universal Routing Platforms only, you can configure one or more bridge domains to perform Layer 2 bridging. Thus, MX Series routers can function as Layer 2 switches, each with multiple bridging, or broadcast, domains that participate in the same Layer 2 network. You can also configure Layer 3 routing support for a bridge domain. Integrated routing and bridging (IRB) provides support for Layer 2 bridging and Layer 3 IP routing on the same interface. IRB enables you to route packets to another routed interface or to another bridge domain that has a Layer 3 protocol configured.

You can also group one or more bridge domains within a single instance, or virtual switch. The MX Series routers also support multiple virtual switches, each of which operates independently of other virtual switches on the router. Virtual switches isolate a LAN segment with its spanning-tree protocol instance. . Thus, each virtual switch can participate in a different Layer 2 network.

In Junos OS Release 9.2 and later, bridge domains provide support for a Layer 2 trunk port. A Layer 2 trunk interface enables you to configure a single logical interface to represent multiple VLANs on a physical interface. You can configure a set of bridge domains and VLAN identifiers that are automatically associated with one or more Layer 2 trunk interfaces. Packets received on a trunk interface are forwarded within a bridge domain that has the same VLAN identifier. A Layer 2 trunk interface also supports IRB within a bridge domain. In addition, you can configure Layer 2 learning and forwarding properties that apply to the entire set of bridge domains.

In Junos OS Release 9.3 and later, you can configure VPLS ports in a virtual switch instead of a dedicated routing instance of type vpls so that the logical interfaces of the Layer 2 bridge domains in the virtual switch can handle VPLS routing instance traffic. Packets received on a Layer 2 trunk interface are forwarded within a bridge domain that has the same VLAN identifier.