Cisco to MikroTik – Switching and VLANs

 

 

About the Cisco to MikroTik series

 

One of the most difficult configuration challenges for MikroTik equipment seems to be switching and VLANs in the CRS series. Admittedly, the revamp of VLAN configuration for MikroTik CRS switches in early 2018 made things a lot easier. But, sometimes there is still confusion on how to configure VLANs and IP addresses in VLANs with MikroTik RouterOS operating on a switch.

This will only cover VLAN configuration for CRS 3xx series switches in RouterOS as SwitchOS is not nearly as common in operational deployments.

CRS 1xx/2xx series use an older style of configuration and seem to be on the way out so I’m not 100% sure whether or not i’ll write a similar guide on that series.

If you’ve been in networking for a while, you probably started with learning the Cisco CLI. Therefore, it is helpful to compare the commands if you want to implement a network with a MikroTik and Cisco switches.

This is the fourth post in a series that creates a Rosetta stone between IOS and RouterOS. Here are some of the others:

Click here for the first article in this series – “Cisco to MikroTik BGP command translation”
Click here for the second article in this series – “Cisco to MikroTik OSPF command translation”
Click here for the third article in the series – “Cisco to MikroTik MPLS command translation”

While many commands have almost the exact same information, others are as close as possible. Since there isn’t always an exact match, sometimes you may have to run two or three commands to get the information needed.

Hardware for testing

In the last article, we began using EVE-NG instead of GNS3 to emulate both Cisco IOS and RouterOS so we could compare the different commands and ensure the translation was as close as possible. However in switching, we still have to use real hardware at least in the realm of MikroTik – Cisco has IOSvL2 images that can be used in EVE-NG for switching.

 

Notes on hardware bridging in the CRS series

Bridging is a very confusing topic within the realm of MikroTik equipment. It is often associated with CPU forwarding and is generally seen as something to be avoided if at all possible.

There are a few reasons for this…

1. Within routers, bridging generally does rely on the CPU for forwarding and the throughput is limited to the size of the CPU.

2. In the previous generation of CRS configuration, bridging was not the best way to configure the switch – using the port master/slave option would trigger hardware forwarding.

After MikroTik revamped the switch config for VLANs in 2018 to utilize the bridge, it more closely resembles the style of configuration for Metro Ethernet Layer 2 as well as vendors like Juniper that use the ‘bridge-domain’ style of config.

Using the bridge for hardware offload of L2 traffic

Note the Hw. Offload verification under this bridge port in the CRS317

It is important to realize that bridging in the CRS, when used for VLAN configuration is actually using the switch ASIC to forward traffic and not the CPU.

In this instance, the bridge is merely used as a familiar configuration tool to tie ports and VLANs together but does in fact allow for the forwarding of traffic in hardware at wirespeed.

 

Cisco to MikroTik – command translation

Cisco commandMikroTik Command
interface FastEthernet5/0/47
switchport access vlan 100
switchport mode access
end
/interface bridge port
add bridge=bridge1 interface=sfp-sfpplus1 pvid=100
interface GigabitEthernet5/0/4
switchport trunk encapsulation dot1q
switchport trunk allowed vlan 200
switchport mode trunk
end
/interface bridge vlan
add bridge=bridge1 tagged=sfp-sfpplus1 vlan-ids=200
interface Vlan200
ip address 172.16.1.254 255.255.255.0
end
/interface vlan
add interface=bridge1 name=vlan200 vlan-id=200
/interface bridge vlan
add bridge=bridge1 tagged=sfp-sfpplus1,bridge1 vlan-ids=200
/ip address
add address=172.16.1.254/24 interface=vlan200 network=172.16.1.0
spanning-tree mode mst
/interface bridge
add fast-forward=no name=bridge1 priority=0 protocol-mode=mstp region-name=main vlan-filtering=yes
interface FastEthernet5/0/47
switchport access vlan 200
switchport mode access
spanning-tree portfast
end
interface bridge port set edge=yes-discover
interface GigabitEthernet5/0/4
switchport trunk encapsulation dot1q
switchport trunk allowed vlan 200
switchport mode trunk
channel-group 1 mode active
end

interface Port-channel1
switchport trunk encapsulation dot1q
switchport trunk allowed vlan 200
switchport mode trunk
end
interface bonding
add mode=802.3ad name=Po1 slaves=sfp-sfpplus1,sfp-sfpplus3 \
transmit-hash-policy=layer-2-and-3

/interface bridge vlan
add bridge=bridge1 tagged=Po1,bridge1 vlan-ids=200
show mac address-tableinterface bridge host print
show mac address-table vlan 200interface bridge host print where vid=200
show mac address-table interface Gi5/0/4interface bridge host print where interface=sfp-sfpplus1
show interfaces trunk
show vlan
interface bridge vlan print
show spanning-tree
interface bridge monitor
show etherchannel summaryinterface bonding print detail

 


Examples of the MikroTik RouterOS commands from the table above



Untagged switch port

This command will create an untagged or “access” switch port on VLAN 100

 

Tagged switch port

This command will create a tagged or “trunk” switch port on VLAN 200. Additional VLANs can be tagged on a port by using the same syntax and adding a new VLAN number.

 

Layer 3 VLAN Interface

Similar to a Cisco SVI (but dependent on the CPU and not an ASIC) this command will create a layer 3 interface on VLAN 200

 

Multiple STP

This command will set the bridge loop prevention protocol to Multiple Spanning Tree. As a general observation, MSTP tends to be the most compatible across vendors as some vendors like Cisco use a proprietary version of Rapid STP.

 

STP Edge port

This is referred to as “portfast” in the Cisco world and allows a port facing a device that isn’t a bridge or a switch to transition immediately to forwarding but if it detects a BPDU, it will revert to normal STP operation. (this is the difference between edge=yes and edge=yes-discover)

 

LACP Bonding

This command will create a bonding interface which is similar to a Port Channel in Cisco’s switches. Two or more physical interfaces can be selected to bond together and then the 802.3ad mode is selected which is LACP. You can also select the hashing policy and ideally it should match what the device on the other end is set for to get the best distribution of traffic and avoid interoperability issues.

 

View the MAC table of the switch

This print command will show all learned MAC addresses and associated VLANs in the CAM table of the switch

 

View the MAC table for VLAN 200 in the switch

This print command will show all learned MAC addresses in VLAN 200.

 

View the MAC table for bonding interface Po1 in the switch

This print command will show all learned MAC addresses on port Po1.

 

View the current VLANs configured in the switch 

The bridge vlan print command will show all configured VLANs in the switch.

 

View Bridge Spanning Tree information 

The bridge monitor command will show the configuration details and current state of spanning tree including the root bridge and root port

 

LACP Bonding information

This command will show the details of the LACP configuration and whether the bonding interface is running which indicates a valid LACP neighbor.

 

 

Cisco to MikroTik – MPLS

About the Cisco to MikroTik series

One of the hardest things to do quickly in network engineering, is learn a new syntax for a NOS. Especially if you have a tight deadline and need to stand up equipment you’ve never worked with before. The command structure for RouterOS can be cumbersome if you are used to the Cisco CLI.

If you’ve been in networking for a while, you probably started with learning the Cisco CLI. Therefore, it is helpful to compare the commands if you want to implement a network with a MikroTik and Cisco routers.

This is the third post in a series that creates a Rosetta stone between IOS and RouterOS. We plan to tackle  other command comparisons like VLANs, QoS and basic operations to make it easier for network engineers trained in Cisco IOS to successfully implement Mikrotik / RouterOS devices.

Click here for the first article in this series – “Cisco to MikroTik BGP command translation”
Click here for the second article in this series – “Cisco to MikroTik OSPF command translation”

While many commands have almost the exact same information, others are as close as possible. Since there isn’t always an exact match, sometimes you may have to run two or three commands to get the information needed.

Using  EVE-NG for testing

In the last article, we began using EVE-NG instead of GNS3 to emulate both Cisco IOS and RouterOS so we could compare the different commands and ensure the translation was as close as possible. Don’t get me wrong, I like GNS3, but the web interface of EVE-NG makes it really easy to keep all the horsepower for complex labs at a central location and then VPN in to work on labs as needed.

Network for Basic mpls commands

MPLS-Cisco-to-MikroTik

Cisco commandMikroTik Command
show mpls ldp neighbormpls ldp neighbor print
show mpls interfacesmpls ldp interface print
show mpls forwarding-tablempls forwarding-table print
show mpls bindingmpls remote-bindings print
sh mpls ip binding localmpls local-bindings print
sh mpls label rangempls print
sh mpls ldp parametersmpls ldp print
interface GigabitEthernet0/1
mpls ip
/mpls ldp interface
add interface=ether1
mpls ldp router-id Loopback0/mpls ldp
set enabled=yes lsr-id=10.1.1.3

Examples of the MikroTik RouterOS commands from the table above


[[email protected]] > mpls ldp neighbor print

This command will show LDP neighbors and detail on whether they are Dynamic, Targeted, Operational or using VPLS

mpls-ldp-neighbor-print

[[email protected]] > mpls ldp interface print

This command will list the interfaces that LDP is enabled on

mpls-ldp-interface-print

[[email protected]] > mpls forwarding-table print

Use this command to display the MPLS forwarding table which shows what labels are assigned, the interface used and the next hop.

mpls-forwarding-table-print

[[email protected]] > mpls remote-bindings print

This is a quick way to show remote bindings which displays the labels desired and used by the next hop routers for each prefix.

mpls-remote-bindings-print

[[email protected]] > mpls local-bindings print

This is a quick way to show local bindings which displays the labels desired and used by the local router – in this case R3.

mpls-local-bindings-print

[[email protected]] > mpls print

This is a quick way to show basic mpls settings for RouterOS which includes the label range and whether or not to propagate TTL which affects what a traceroute looks like over an MPLS network.

mpls-print

[[email protected]] > mpls ldp print

This is a quick way to show mpls ldp settings for Router-OS including whether or not LDP is enabled.

mpls-ldp-print

Configurations

R1

R2

R3

R4