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When CE and PE are combined


I would like to know how to differentiate if CE and PE are seprate devices (Routers) or it is same. I have seen in many deployment, the CE is combined with PE and kept at customer place. It may be since there is not many Services Configured (other customer) in that PE ?

How to distinguish the both pattern.

Also how to identified via SNMP if the given router is P or PE may be both ?



Harold Ritter
Cisco Employee

Hi Ayush,

The main difference between the PE and the CE is that the former runs MPLS and the latter not. The PE is also part of the SP core igp, which is not the case for the CE. Sometimes SP deliver l3vpn services where the CE is not needed. Just a L2 device drectly connected to the PE.

The difference between a P and a PE is more subtle. A P router technically does not perform label imposition and dispotion, therefore only label swapping. Not sure how you would identify that via SNMP though.

I am not sure I answered your question. let me know if not.


Harold Ritter
Sr Technical Leader
CCIE 4168 (R&S, SP)
México móvil: +52 1 55 8312 4915
Cisco México
Paseo de la Reforma 222
Piso 19
Cuauhtémoc, Juárez
Ciudad de México, 06600

Hi Harold,

Thank you for your response.

I was looking to know the command or SNMP OID or any other way, to identify P or PE router. For example, if you have two ipaddress, and you need to know which one is P and which one is PE, which command or SNMP query you like to execute to find it out.


Hi Harold,

This is another question I want to ask you.

How do I find out from PE, the number of CE connected along with their Ipaddress. I am looking to get overall topology of MPLS network.


Hi Shivlu,

     Isn't this gives the interface name of PE which are bind to specific VRF (VPN). And there may be more than one interfaces allocated to single CE.

     Is there any way to get this information from SNMP Protocol.

Hi Ayush

There are SNMP mibs available. I am not sure how much this can help you. Please visit the below link


Shivlu Jain

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