Juniper to MikroTik – MPLS and VPNv4 interop

Juniper to MikroTik – a new series

Previously, I’ve written a number of articles that compared syntax between Cisco and MikroTik and have received some great feedback on them.

As such, I decided to begin a series on Juniper to MikroTik starting with MPLS and L3VPN interop as it related to a project I was working on last year.

In the world of network engineering, learning a new syntax for a NOS can be overwhelming if you need a specific set of config in a short timeframe. The command structure for RouterOS can be a bit challenging if you are used to Juniper CLI commands.

If you’ve worked with Juniper gear and are comfortable with how to deploy that vendor, it is helpful to draw comparisons between the commands, especially if you are trying to build a network with a MikroTik and Juniper router.

Lab Overview

The lab consists of (3) Juniper P routers and (2) MikroTik PE routers. Although we did not get into L3VPN in this particular lab, the layout is the same.

A note on route-targets

It seems that the format of the route-target has some bearing on this being successful. Normally i’ll use a format like 8675309:1 but in this case, I had some interop issues with making that work so we used dotted decimal.

Some of the results when searching seem to suggest that platforms like Juniper and Cisco reverse the RT string in the packet while MikroTik uses it in sequential order

To work around that, the format we used was the same forwards and backwards –

MPLS and VPNv4 use case

MPLS is often used in service provider and data center networks to provide multi-tenancy.

VPNv4 specifically allows for separate routing tables to be created (VRFs) and advertised via BGP using the VPNv4 address family.

This address family relies on MPLS to assign a VPN label and route target as an extended community to the route which keeps it isolated from routes in other VRFs.

Practical Use

Many service provider networks rely on Juniper for the edge and core roles.

However, increasingly, ISPs want to save money on last mile and smaller aggregation points.

MikroTik is an effective choice for more simplistic MPLS capabilities as it’s inexpensive and interops with Juniper.

This creates a variety of low cost deployment options as a manged CE router, GPON aggregation in the last mile, managed CE for enterprise customers….and so on.

Command comparison

Juniper commandMikroTik Command
> show ldp neighbormpls ldp neighbor print
> show mpls interfacempls ldp interface print
> show route table mpls.0mpls forwarding-table print
> show ldp databasempls remote-bindings print
> show ldp databasempls local-bindings print
> show mpls label usage label-rangempls print
> show ldp overviewmpls ldp print
# set interfaces ge-0/0/0 unit 0 family mpls
# set protocols mpls interface ge-0/0/0.0
# set protocols ldp interface ge-0/0/0.0
/mpls ldp interface
add interface=ether1
{ inherited from loopback }/mpls ldp
set enabled=yes lsr-id=

Testing connectivity

MikroTik – mpls forwarding table and vrf routes

MikroTik – Ping PE2 through Juniper MPLS network

Juniper – mpls forwarding table and vrf routes

Juniper – Ping PE2 from Juniper MPLS network

Router configs