Today I wanted to try and see how many IPv4 prefixes can a Cisco 2600 accommodate in BGP table both global and in VRF table. I have lying around a Cisco 2621XM with 64MB of RAM, so I said to stress it a bit like in the old days when it was productive.

I did use the bgp_simple tool to test with the latest full Internet prefixes table (dated 2013.03.09). For those of you not familiar with bgp_simple, it’s a script capable of BGP peering and route injection. I would recommend to check the script webpage as it’s an awesome tool.

First, I did use the Global table to store all BGP prefixes. The router issued a %SYS-2-MALLOCFAIL error after receiving 44791 prefixes and few seconds later it dropped the BGP neighborship peering.

For second test I did create VRF A and the BGP neighborship was established over an interface in that VRF, so all prefixes injected by bgp_simple arrived in the VRF table. This time it took only 33321 prefixes for the router to spit an error and drop the BGP connection.

For those of you curious about why it took less prefixes to exhaust memory in VRF vs non-VRF, the reason is that in VRF you have more memory consumption per IPv4 prefix. Ivan Pepelnjak explained it very well in his blog post about running Internet in VRF.

I’ll check what other old Cisco routers I have around to see their BGP table limit.

Cisco 2600: How many IPv4 prefixes can fit in BGP table

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