Section 7.1: Multi-Layer Switching Components

The Cisco MLS implementation includes three components: a MultiLayer Switching Switch Engine (MLS-

SE); a MultiLayer Switching Route Processor (MLS-RP); and a MultiLayer Switching Protocol (MSLP).

• The Multi-Layer Switching Switch Engine (MLS-SE) is the switching entity that handles the function of moving and rewriting the packets. It is an NFFC residing on a Supervisor Engine III card in a Catalyst switch. It can also be a Supervisor I and the PFC on the 6000 series.

• The Multi-Layer Switching Route Processor (MLS-RP) is a RSM, RSFC, MSFC, or an externally connected Cisco 7500, 7200, 4500, 4700, or 8500 series router with software that supports multilayer switching. The MLS-RP sends MLS configuration information and updates, such as the router Media Access Control (MAC) address, virtual LAN (VLAN) number flow mask, and routing and access list changes.

• The Multi-Layer Switching Protocol (MLSP) operates between the MLS-SE and MLS-RP to enable multilayer switching. MLSP is the method in which the RSM or router advertises routing changes and the VLANs or MAC addresses of the interfaces that are participating in MLS.