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MAC-VRF Routing Instance Type Overview

Use a MAC VRF routing instance type to configure multiple customer-specific EVPN instances (EVIs), each of which can support a different EVPN service type. With this configuration, you create customer-specific virtual routing and forwarding (VRF) tables. These tables have MAC addresses on each Juniper Networks device that serves as a virtual tunnel endpoint (VTEP) in an EVPN-VXLAN network. You use MAC-VRF routing instances for EVPN unicast routes only.

Benefits of a MAC-VRF Routing Instance Type

  • Customer-specific VRF tables
  • Consistent configuration across supported router and switch platforms within the EVPN-VXLAN network
  • Configuration alignment with RFC 7432

MAC-VRF Enables Customer Specific VRF Tables

When you configure a MAC-VRF routing instance, you can isolate routing and forwarding traffic by customer. In fact, you can isolate the MAC-VRF instances around multiple schemes, including department, division, geographic location, etc. The isolation capabilities allow you to design and to implement traffic isolation in any way you want. The traffic within any one MAC-VRF instance cannot interact with traffic from any other MAC-VRF instances.

MAC-VRF Enables Common EVPN-VXLAN Configuration across Platforms

MX Series routers, QFX Series switches, and the EX9200 line of switches continue to support EVPN-VXLAN configurations. However, the configuration methods vary from platform to platform:

On MX Series routers, you must configure:

  • bridge-domains
  • routing-instances

On QFX Series switches, you must configure:

  • ethernet-switching
  • routing-instances

This disparity can lead to confusion and error when configuring EVPN-VXLAN across multiple platforms.

We introduced the mac-vrf routing instance type in Junos OS Release 20.4R1. You can use mac-vrf to create a common EVPN-VXLAN configuration on all supported platforms. This common configuration hierarchy also adheres to RFC 7432.


The existence of mac-vrf routing instances on any supported platform does not deprecate the previous methods of configuration. In fact, both methods of configurations can coexist in an active configuration.

Some command options within the mac-vrf hierarchy apply to only one specific platform. For example, show mac-vrf mac-table age (and the corresponding show bridge mac-table age command) applies only to MX Series routers. If you issue the show mac-vrf mac-table age command on a QFX Series switch, the output is blank and doesn't show an error.

See Table 1 and Table 2 for references to the existing commands.

Table 1: List of MAC-VRF Forwarding Commands by Platform
MAC-VRF Command MX Series Routers and the EX9200 Line of Switches QFX Series Switches
show mac-vrf forwarding flood show bridge flood show ethernet-switching flood
show mac-vrf forwarding flood-group show l2-learning flood-group show ethernet-switching flood-group
show mac-vrf forwarding global-information show l2-learning global-information show ethernet-switching global-information
show mac-vrf forwarding global-mac-count show l2-learning global-mac-count show ethernet-switching global-mac-count
show mac-vrf forwarding global-mac-ip-count show l2-learning global-mac-ip-count show ethernet-switching global-mac-ip-count
show mac-vrf forwarding instance show l2-learning instance show ethernet-switching instance
show mac-vrf forwarding instance-mapping
show mac-vrf forwarding interface show l2-learning interface show ethernet-switching interface
show mac-vrf forwarding mac-ip-table show bridge mac-ip-table show ethernet-switching mac-ip-table
show mac-vrf forwarding mac-table show bridge mac-table show ethernet-switching table
show mac-vrf forwarding mgrp-policy show l2-learning mgrp-policy show ethernet-switching mgrp-policy
show mac-vrf forwarding statistics

show bridge statistics

show evpn statistics

show ethernet-switching
show mac-vrf forwarding vlans show bridge domains show ethernet-switching vlans
show mac-vrf forwarding vxlan-tunnel-endpoint esi show l2-learning vxlan-tunnel-end-point esi show ethernet-switching vxlan-tunnel-end-point esi
show mac-vrf forwarding vxlan-tunnel-endpoint remote show l2-learning vxlan-tunnel-end-point remote show ethernet-switching vxlan-tunnel-end-point remote
show mac-vrf forwarding vxlan-tunnel-endpoint svlbnh show l2-learning vxlan-tunnel-end-point svlbnh show ethernet-switching vxlan-tunnel-end-point svlbnh
Table 2: List of MAC-VRF Routing Commands by Platform
MAC-VRF Command MX Series Routers and the EX9200 Line of Switches QFX Series Switches
show mac-vrf routing evpn database show evpn database show evpn database
show mac-vrf routing igmp-snooping database show evpn igmp-snooping database show evpn igmp-snooping
show mac-vrf routing instance show evpn instance show evpn instance
show mac-vrf routing mld-snooping database show evpn mld-snooping database show evpn mld-snooping
show mac-vrf routing multicast-snooping status show evpn multicast-snooping status show evpn multicast-snooping
show mac-vrf routing p2mp show evpn p2mp show evpn p2mp

We have integrated the syntax of the commands from the show mac-vrf routing hierarchy into the existing show evpn command documentation. The links in Table 2 lead to the existing show evpn commands.

MAC-VRF Conforms to RFC 7432

The common configuration hierarchy across routing and switching platforms brings our implementation of MAC-VRF into compliance with RFC compliance allows our MAC-VRF implementation to work well in data center, service provider, and public cloud environments.

Usage and Behavior Notes

Read the following notes to know more about using MAC-VRF routing instances and the observed behaviors of those MAC-VRF routing instances:.

  • VLANs

    Each supported platform has its own support framework for VLANs. Thus, the platforms vary in the number of supported VLANs and how the VLANs can overlap.

    • QFX5000 Line of Switches

      The QFX5000 line of switches supports only one forwarding instance. Therefore, you cannot configure overlapping VLANs within a single MAC-VRF routing instance or across multiple MAC-VRF routing instances.

    • QFX10000 Line of Switches

      The QFX10000 line of switches supports multiple forwarding instances. Therefore, you can configure overlapping VLANs across multiple MAC-VRF routing instances if you've mapped each routing instance to a unique forwarding instance. You cannot configure overlapping VLANs within a single MAC-VRF routing instance or across routing instances each of which maps to the same forwarding instance.

    • MX Series Routers and the EX9200 Line of Switches

      You can configure overlapping VLANs across multiple MAC-VRF routing instances. You cannot configure overlapping VLANs within a single MAC-VRF routing instance.

  • Extended VNI List Behavior

    You can configure extended virtual network identifier (VNI) lists within any MAC-VRF routing instance at the edit routing-instances mac-vrf routing instance name protocols evpn hierarchy level. The extended-vni-list keyword is an optional configuration element. By default, the device extends all VNI (whether in a VNI list or not) within the MAC-VRF routing instance. If you configure a specific VNI list, then you can extend only those VNIs that are in the list.

  • The forwarding-instance Keyword

    On the QFX10000 line of switches, we've included the forwarding-instance keyword at the edit routing-instances mac-vrf routing-instance name hierarchy level. Use this configuration to specify which one of the 100 available forwarding instances is used within the specified MAC-VRF routing instance. You can configure multiple MAC-VRF routing instances to use one forwarding instance. If you do not configure the forwarding instance, the MAC-VRF routing instances use the default forwarding instance (default-switch).

    On MX Series routers and the EX9200 line of switches, each MAC-VRF routing instance that you configure automatically maps to its own forwarding instance. No forwarding-instance keyword exists on these platforms.