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Cisco® Field Manual: Catalyst® Switch Configuration by Steve McQuerry, Dave Hucaby

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8-2. Cisco Express Forwarding

  • Cisco Express Forwarding (CEF) handles all packet forwarding in hardware, for all packets in a flow.

  • CEF is implemented on the Catalyst 2948G-L3, 4908G-L3, 4000 Supervisor III, and 3550 series switches. It is also implemented on the Catalyst 6000 as a cooperation between the PFC2 Layer 3 switching engine and the MSFC2 route processor module.

  • A route processor runs routing protocols and populates the following tables:

    - The normal routing table— A table of routes and next-hop destinations as determined by the routing protocols, administrative distances, metrics, and so on.
    - The Forwarding Information Base (FIB)— Every known route is represented in the FIB as a hierarchical tree structure. Longest-match routes can then ...

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