Cisco Bridge-Group Virtual Interface(BVI) Configuration for High Availability

Cisco Bridge-group Virtual Interface (BVI)

A BVI (Bridge Group Virtual Interface) is a routed interface that represents a set of Ethernet interfaces that gets bridged. By using  a Bridge group Virtual Interface, you can convert  multiple Router Ethernet WAN interfaces as members of a common Ethernet  broadcast domain(Like L3 Switch). The figure below shows a sample High Availability LAN configuration. It eliminates the single point of failure in cascading switches topology in which a switch failure would result in total outage of the LAN.

Fig. Bridging Ethernet Interfaces








This configuration allows bridging IP between two Ethernet interfaces, and routing IP from bridged interfaces using a Bridge Virtual Interface (BVI). By using Integrated Routing and Bridging (IRB) technique, a Cisco router can be turned into a L3 switch. IP addresses can be assigned on Bridge-Group Virtual Interfaces (BVIs), similar to VLAN interfaces as in L3 switches. A BVI is a virtual routed interface that has all network layer attributes, eg: a network address can be assigned to it, able to perform filtering, and does not support bridging.

Bridge groups are defined by a unique number and are used for router bridging configuration. Network traffic is bridged between all interfaces that belong to the same bridge group.

Step by Step Bridge Group Virtual Interface (BVI) Configuration

Integrated Routing and Bridging configuration on Router1:

Router (config)#int fa0/0

Router (config-if)#bridge-group 1

Router (config-if)#no shut


Router (config)#

Router (config-if)#int fa1/0

Router(config-if)#bridge-group 1

Router (config-if)#no shut



Create Bridge Group Virtual Interface (BVI) and configure the IP and Routing credentials.

Router1(config)#bridge irb

Router (config)#int bvi1

Router(config-if)#ip add


Router(config)#bridge 1 protocol ieee

Router (config)#bridge 1 route ip


Note: The bridge 1 protocol ieee global configuration command removes bridge-group 1 spanning-disabled interface subcommand on Fa0/0 and Fa1/0 and hence enables STP on bridged interfaces.

Find Bridge Group Virtual Interface (BVI) show command outputs

Router#sh spanning-tree brief

Bridge group 1

Spanning tree enabled protocol ieee

Root ID    Priority    32768

Address     cc01.01e0.0000

This bridge is the root

Hello Time   2 sec  Max Age 20 sec  Forward Delay 15 sec

Bridge ID  Priority    32768

Address     cc01.01e0.0000

Hello Time   2 sec  Max Age 20 sec  Forward Delay 15 sec

Aging Time 300


Interface                                   Designated

Name                 Port ID Prio Cost  Sts Cost  Bridge ID            Port ID

——————– ——- —- —– — —– ——————– —–

FastEthernet0/0      128.2    128    19 FWD     0 32768 cc01.01e0.0000 128.2

FastEthernet1/0      128.3    128    19 FWD     0 32768 cc01.01e0.0000 128.3



Router#sh bridge group

Bridge Group 1 is running the IEEE compatible Spanning Tree protocol

Port 2 (FastEthernet0/0) of bridge group 1 is forwarding

Port 3 (FastEthernet1/0) of bridge group 1 is forwarding


show interfaces [interface] irb

This command displays the protocols that can be routed or bridged for the specified interface, as follows:

Router#show interface e0 irb


Routed protocols on Ethernet0:


Bridged protocols on Ethernet0:

ip         ipx

IP protocol is routed as well as bridged.

Software MAC address filter on Ethernet0

Hash Len    Address      Matches  Act      Type

0x00:  0 ffff.ffff.ffff     0     RCV  Physical broadcast

0x2A:  0 0900.2b01.0001     0     RCV  DEC spanning tree

0x9E:  0 0000.0c3a.5092     0     RCV  Interface MAC address

0x9E:  1 0000.0c3a.5092     0     RCV  Bridge-group Virtual Interface

0xC0:  0 0100.0ccc.cccc    157    RCV  CDP

0xC2:  0 0180.c200.0000     0     RCV  IEEE spanning tree

0xC2:  1 0180.c200.0000     0     RCV  IBM spanning tree





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  1. moni says:

    A BVI (Bridge Group Virtual Interface) is a routed interface that represents a set of Router interfaces that gets bridged.

  2. sheshi says:

    A BVI is virtual interface to group Router interfaces and it will convert Router L3 interfaces to L2 interfaces.

  3. Raghu says:

    Brilliant article bro. This unique is just a totally nicely structured posting, just the important information I was hunting regarding. Cheers

  4. Mark says:

    Excellent info about to configure Cisco Bridge Group Virtual Interface (BVI), Thanks for sharing.

  5. Khan says:

    Mind-blowing article bro. This kind of is just a enormously nicely structured piece of writing, just the awesome info I was looking regarding.

  6. zerocode85 says:

    Great article 🙂

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