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Layer 2 and Layer 3 Wholesale Overview

In general, wholesaling broadband services allows service providers to resell broadband services and allows other providers to deploy their own services over the incumbent network. There are different methods to partitioning an access network for resale. The two most common approaches are based on either Layer 2 or Layer 3 information. Wholesale access is the process by which the access network provider (the wholesaler) partitions the access network into separately manageable and accountable subscriber segments for resale to other network providers (or retailers).

In a Layer 3 wholesale configuration, you partition the wholesaler access network at the network layer or the subscriber IP component by associating the IP component with a distinct Layer 3 domain. In a Layer 2 wholesale configuration, you partition the access network at the subscriber circuit or customer VLAN (C-VLAN) by backhauling the connection through the service provider backbone network to the subscribing retailer network where the access traffic can be managed at higher layers.

In a Junos OS Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol (DHCP) or Point-to-Point Protocol over Ethernet (PPPoE) subscriber access configuration, wholesale partitioning is accomplished through the use of logical systems and routing instances within the router. Logical systems offer a stricter partitioning of routing resources than routing instances. The purpose behind the use of logical systems is to distinctly partition the physical router into separate administrative domains. This partitioning enables multiple providers to administer the router simultaneously, with each provider having access only to the portions of the configuration relevant to their logical system. Junos OS supports up to 15 named logical systems in addition to the default logical system (that is, inet.0). Unless otherwise specified in configuration, all interfaces belong to the default logical system.


This Junos OS release supports the use of only the default logical system. Partitioning currently occurs through the use of separate routing instances.

A logical system can have one or more routing instances. Typically used in Layer 3 VPN scenarios, a routing instance does not have the same level of administrative separation as a logical system because it does not offer administrative isolation. However, the routing instance defines a distinct routing table, set of routing policies, and set of interfaces.